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

How to Design Perfect (Software) Products

Pieter Hintjens – How to Design Perfect (Software) Products:

Trash-Oriented Design: “Eventually, something resembling a working product makes it out of the door. It's creaky and fragile, complex and ugly. The designers curse the engineers for their incompetence and pay more consultants to put lipstick onto the pig, and slowly the product starts to look a little nicer. By this time, the managers have started to try to sell the product and they find, shockingly, that no-one wants it.”

Complexity-Oriented Design: “The team, being engineers and thus loving to build stuff, build stuff. They build and build and build and end up with massive, perfectly designed complexity. The products go to market, and the market scratches its head and asks, "seriously, is this the best you can do?"”

Simplicity-Oriented Design: “We apply one measure of quality to patches, namely "can this be done any simpler while still solving the stated problem?" We can measure complexity in terms of concepts and models that the user has to learn or guess in order to use the patch. The fewer, the better. A perfect patch solves a problem with zero learning required by the user.”

 (Via Ivo Jansch.)
Wed, 01 Feb 2012 14:03:10 +0000

Who cares?

Seth Godin – Who cares?:

“If we define good enough sufficiently low, we'll probably meet our standards. Caring involves raising that bar to the point where the team has to stretch.

[…] Caring, it turns out, is a competitive advantage, and one that takes effort, not money.”

Fri, 27 Jan 2012 10:02:41 +0000

Is 2012 the Year of User Experience in ECM?

An interview by Jane Zupan on the Nuxeo Content Geeks blog – Is 2012 the Year of User Experience in ECM?:

“In the not-too-distant past, user experience (UX) was considered an annoying afterthought for enterprise application development and deployment. User adoption was often disappointing, and the disconnect between business and IT seemed like a deep chasm. In recent years, easy access to technology solutions such as Flickr, Dropbox, Google Docs, and mobile apps that require no reading of manuals or training, has changed the mindset of technology users.”

Jill Hart: “Today, we have multiple generations of people using technology, and users have much more confidence. If they're not able to complete a task, they realize that the problem isn't them, it's the poorly designed system they're trying to use.

[…] Listen to what customers have to say EARLY in the design process. Do some paper prototyping – put together some easy mockups of what your research has indicated that people want.

[…] No matter how I look at content management, in the absence of effectiveness and ease of use, the business value of the system cannot reach its full potential. This applies to any enterprise application.”

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 12:07:33 +0000

Not Piracy

Tim Bray – Not Piracy:

“Anyone who claims that unauthorized transmission of bits is analogous to piracy is at least a liar and is deeply disrespectful of the people who are suffering the effects of theft, kidnapping, and murder right now today in the Indian Ocean. They deserve your contempt, and they have mine.”

Wed, 18 Jan 2012 10:20:47 +0000

ISYS Document Filters

ISYS Document Filters

“Support for hundreds of common and legacy file, email, archive and container formats (e.g. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, WordPerfect, ZIPs, MSGs).

[…] Converts files into HTML and renders embedded graphics as a JPEG or PNG.”

(Via Enterprise Search.)

Wed, 18 Jan 2012 08:58:27 +0000

Successful DAM evolves to publishing system

IT Enquirer – Successful DAM evolves to publishing system:

“Integration or downright transformation into a publishing system: DAM vendors are hot in today's digitized world.

[…] Typical usages for DAM are for example brand management and photo management. Increasingly DAM is also shifting from pure management system to publishing system.

[…] Digital Asset Management can help them [marketing teams], especially when the DAM system either integrates seamlessly with a CMS or when it comes very close to being a publishing and content management system itself.”

(Via Elvis DAM.)

Tue, 10 Jan 2012 08:23:32 +0000

The MicroPHP Manifesto

Ed Finkler – The MicroPHP Manifesto:

“I am not a Zend Framework or Symfony or CakePHP developer

[…] I like building small things that work together to solve larger problems

[…] I need to justify every piece of code I add to a project”

(I mostly agree, but I love Rush!)

Mon, 09 Jan 2012 10:56:33 +0000

How Trello is different

Joel Spolsky – How Trello is different:

“The great horizontal killer applications are actually just fancy data structures.

Spreadsheets are not just tools for doing "what-if" analysis. They provide a specific data structure: a table. Most Excel users never enter a formula. […]

Word processors are not just tools for writing books, reports, and letters. They provide a specific data structure: lines of text which automatically wrap and split into pages.

PowerPoint is not just a tool for making boring meetings. It provides a specific data structure: an array of full-screen images.”

Mon, 09 Jan 2012 11:30:38 +0000