Skip to main content

Bad Demo Days

Yesterday I gave a bad demo of pretty good software that has a few rough edges. I made a classic mistake, after working on it for months: assuming the audience is as forgiving as we are, and that they'll see what isn't there.

We left out a number of subtle but absolutely key visual cues. I've know for some time that we need a designer to clean things up, and a UXpert to help shape the nav, paths, and presentation choices.

Yet I never got around to bringing someone in, and instead kept my head in the code. A faulty approach.

Over the next week we'll tighten it up, bring in the UXpert and take a design pass. Space, color, timing, proximity, context, semantics, metaphors. Critical stuff, noted in the spec, but not attacked. Tough to do for one full-time person, but it's time to put the code aside until we nail the user experience.

When you're very close to something, it's very hard to see the full picture. It's true in relationships, businesses, jobs, music--anything. That's the way it should be; you're passionate about something and close to it. But let someone else take a look at what you're doing and take their input to heart. It can really make the difference between something universally adopted and accepted and outright rejection.



Popular posts from this blog

Beta Signup

I've been working for quite a while on a new search concept, though the further in I get, the closer the rest of the world gets to what we're doing. So today I'm inviting you to sign up for the rather modest beta, which will be ready soon if we can nail down a few difficult  details. Jawaya is a way of navigating the web and getting better results. And that's as much as I can say right now, because we're not a funded startup, and things are moving really fast in this space--it's going to be very competitive. I predict there will be about 10 funded startups in the next 6 months doing something similar. One of them will be mine, and we aim to make it the best. We're raising a round of capital to fund the team, and are shooting for early sustainability. This is my fifth company; my fourth in the tech space, and my third software company. I think it will be the biggest and can possibly have a positive impact on the world by reducing the amount of time it takes

Where Innovation Happens

As I get closer to a go/no-go decision on a project, I've been thinking about the difference about my vision for the project and the supportive innovations to enable the core innovations The vision combines (in unequal parts) product, core innovation as I imagine it, the application of that core innovation, design, marketing,  developer ecosystem, and business development. The core innovation enables everything else, but it's the application of the innovation that makes it meaningful, useful, and in this case, fun. This week we're testing initial approaches to the implementation for our specific application, and that's where we'll develop the enabling innovations, which is basically where the rubber meets the road. The difference is that the enabling innovation happens at the source of real problems only encountered in the making of something, and in a project like this just getting the essence of it right isn't enough; it also has to be safe, the compone

Disqus Digests

This morning my phone dinged with a fresh notification--a new email! What oh what could it be?  I rush over to check while thinking "I need to unsubscribe to a lot of stuff so I get fewer non-urgent dinging notifications." Well shoot, that's disappointing. It's Disqus Digests, one of the biggest wastes of dopamine anticipation ever.  It simply sucks.  Disqus itself is great as a commenting system. I've been there since the beginning and have mostly enjoyed its evolution.  And then they did this interruptive, irrelevant email. Well why does it suck, you say.  Every one of these "Digests" sends a few comments from a blog conversation in which I've already participated. That means it's very, very likely that I've seen the comments before.  So I open the mail, see something I've already read, and curse Daniel and Company for enticing me into wasting my time, and cursing myself for falling for it.  So I unsub