Tim’s Weblog Tim's Weblog
Tim Strehle’s links and thoughts on Web apps, managing software development and Digital Asset Management, since 2002.

Why speed matters

Joshua-Michéle Ross at O'Reilly Radar – Why speed matters:

"Human beings live and operate in a constant state of now; we process extraordinary volumes of information in real time. The acceleration of technology is simply an effort to catch up to our zero-latency experience of being. Whenever given a choice, we will opt for a service that delivers response times as fast as our own nervous system."

Fri, 29 Apr 2011 11:34:22 +0000

Real time vs. slow time – and a defense of sane work hours

Jason Fried – Real time vs. slow time – and a defense of sane work hours:

"I think companies would benefit from giving employees a lot more autonomy and alone time to do their work. And then when they do need to come together, it can be more special and more meaningful. It’s like seeing an old friend you haven’t seen for a long time – it’s kind of a special moment for a couple hours and then you go break up and go back to your own lives and that’s fine. And that’s how we like to treat our work here."

Thu, 28 Apr 2011 09:26:34 +0000

Dawn of a New Day

Ray Ozzie – Dawn of a New Day (his 2010 Microsoft farewell memo):

"Complexity kills. Complexity sucks the life out of users, developers and IT.  Complexity makes products difficult to plan, build, test and use.  Complexity introduces security challenges.  Complexity causes administrator frustration.

And as time goes on and as software products mature – even with the best of intent – complexity is inescapable.

[…] In our industry, if you can imagine something, you can build it. […] And so, the first step for each of us is to imagine fearlessly; to dream."

Thu, 28 Apr 2011 09:07:42 +0000

The opportunity is here

Seth Godin – The opportunity is here:

"The old economy offered a guarantee – time plus education plus obedience = stability. The new one, not so much. The new one offers a chance for you to take a chance and make an impact.

[…] If someone can tell you precisely what to do, it's too late. Art and novelty and innovation cannot be reliably and successfully industrialized."

Wed, 27 Apr 2011 11:11:41 +0000

Attention Information Workers: Your Job Description Has Changed

Craig Roth (Gartner Blog Network) – Attention Information Workers: Your Job Description Has Changed:

"It may sound like one should hire interns to pick through all the garbage so the high priced brains can then analyze the findings, as law firms do for discovery.  But the worker’s subscriptions, filters, watch lists, bookmarks, tags, intuition about what is of value,  and applying years of accumulated knowledge about where to look and (more importantly) who to pay attention to is of tremendous value in a knowledge economy."

(Via Jack Vinson.)

Fri, 22 Apr 2011 22:10:36 +0000

Context is not a bolt-on

Stijn Debrouwere – Context is not a bolt-on:

"Topic pages, story trackers and Q&As fail because they’re never an integral part of a news website. They’re Google landing pages, designed to poach traffic from Wikipedia.

[…] What no newspapers, online or offline, seems to have perfected is how this broad, topical information stream should mesh with the daily news that’s presented on our front page.

If somebody clicks on a story and is dazzled by an array of unfamiliar names and places and events, how do we turn that experience around?"

Fri, 15 Apr 2011 22:00:05 +0000

Interaction Models for Faceted Search

Tony Russell-Rose – Interaction Models for Faceted Search:

"Note that the facet values examined in the two-stage examples above are disjunctive (multi-select OR), e.g. the selection of a value for a facet such Make & Model does not preclude the selection of another value from the same facet. In this case, selecting multiple independent facet values has the effect of widening the search. However, if the facet values are conjunctive (multi-select AND), then the choice of which interaction model to apply is quite different. […] In this case, the only meaningful interaction model is the instant update, as this is the only approach which will ensure that facet values and the current result set stay in sync."

(Via Patrick Durusau.)

Fri, 15 Apr 2011 21:41:07 +0000

Why makers should think a little bit more like managers (and vice versa)

Seth Godin – Why makers should think a little bit more like managers (and vice versa):

"Makers need to be disciplined enough to interact like managers, else they will become pawns in a system they don't sufficiently influence. If you're not present when decisions are getting made, my guess is that you won't like what gets decided..."

Sat, 09 Apr 2011 20:31:40 +0000

Faceted Navigation

A List Apart – Faceted Navigation:

"The distinction between faceted navigation and parametric search is relevant. In parametric search applications, users specify their search parameters up front using a variety of controls such as checkboxes, pull-downs, and sliders to construct what effectively is an advanced Boolean query. Unfortunately, it’s hard for users to set several parameters at once, especially since many combinations will produce zero results. […] It’s a solution that’s hard on people but soft on hardware. In other words, it’s an unfortunate compromise that sacrifices immediate response to reduce the server load."

Fri, 08 Apr 2011 12:11:46 +0000

A Blogging Lesson For Topic Maps?

Patrick Durusau – A Blogging Lesson For Topic Maps?:

"An emphasis on giving users an immediate sense of accomplishment, with results they can use immediately could lead to a different adoption curve for topic maps."

Fri, 08 Apr 2011 11:49:51 +0000

Why I Run a Flat Company

Jason Fried at Inc. – Why I Run a Flat Company:

"What we learned is that adding a dedicated manager and creating a hierarchy is not the only way to create structure. Instead, we decided to let the team be entirely self-managed. There's still a team leader, but that role rotates among the team every week. Each week, a new leader sketches out the agenda, writes up the notes about problems and performance, and steps up to handle any troubled customer interactions."

Wed, 06 Apr 2011 20:29:45 +0000

Who's responsible for service design?

Seth Godin – Who's responsible for service design?:

 "Make it easy for complaints (and compliments) about each decision to reach the designer (and her boss).

In my experience, most of the problems are caused by ignorance and isolation, not incompetence or a lack of concern."

Wed, 06 Apr 2011 09:30:53 +0000