Toothpaste tube UX improvement

Shortly after a new tube of toothpaste goes into use, I start rolling the tube over on itself and putting a binder clip on the end:

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The result is an "always full," strangely satisfying, easy-squeezing user experience throughout the life of the tube, and (I hope) less wasted toothpaste. Hat tip to my grandfather who I believe did a version of this, probably with rubber bands.

When a tube is done, there are lots of things you can do with it before throwing it away.

Interpretations of "mobile-friendly"

This post is a revised version of a post that previously appeared on the Summersault blog, now edited to be more generally useful.

If you've read any kind of article on website development or related topics from the last few years, it almost certainly told you that making your website "mobile-friendly" is critical to its success.  Everyone wants their new website to look great and work great, and they want to make sure it's mobile-friendly too.

It's a great goal, but it can also be a confusing one.

Making a website "mobile-friendly" can mean a lot of different things depending on the type of site and the end result you're looking for.  Most new websites created these days now have some minimum level of compatibility with mobile devices, but when discussing mobile-friendliness as an interest or when you need to use mobile components to achieve a particular business/organizational goal, there are some details to talk about.

Here are a couple of different interpretations of the phrase "mobile-friendly" when it comes to website development:

Continue reading "Interpretations of "mobile-friendly""

Starting the creative day

Another mugI work in a world with a lot of artificially constructed structures and images, and those structures and images have a lot of straight lines, right angles and cold, industrial, unfeeling surfaces.  Computer monitors, e-mail composition windows, 8 1/2 x 11 paper with black lines on it, rectangular desks, rectangular parking spaces in dark grey rectangular parking garages, and so on.

It's also the case that I try to do creative work: building interactive and engaging websites, collaborating with people to find innovative solutions to challenging problems, creative writing, creative thinking, and more.

Sometimes it can be a challenge to do creative work surrounded by pieces of infrastructure that don't elicit creativity, and that sometimes even discourage it.

Continue reading "Starting the creative day"

Security FAIL

Two stories of security failure for this blustery day:

1) Apparently, all you have to do to throw off the facial recognition software that protects us from identity theft or worse, is smile:

The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles is restricting glasses, hats, scarves -- and even smiles -- in driver's license photographs. The new rules imposed last month were deemed necessary so that facial recognition software can spot fraudulent license applications, said BMV spokesman Dennis Rosebrough.

And then he had the gall to spin it as an improvement, since it would be horrible to admit that humans had done a better job:

The new technology represents an advancement of what the BMV already was doing, Rosebrough said. BMV employees always have looked at the old photo of a person to see if it looked like the person seeking a new license.

FAIL.

2) I was at a local video store yesterday, trying to rent a video using Anna Lisa's account. I gave the cashier her phone number and name, and he said he'd have to call her to verify that it was okay for me to rent on her account. When she didn't pick up, I offered to call her on my cell phone (in case she wasn't picking up the call from an unknown number), and the cashier said, "okay, yeah, just ask her if it's okay and then you can tell me what she said."

FAIL.