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Month

January 2008

Radiant CMS: It's all about the extensions

As we prepare to overhaul Pathfinder's corporate website, my colleague Dietrich and I have been giving Radiant CMS a spin. An open-source, Rails-based content-management system, Radiant offers up the slogan "content management simplified." Although Dietrich has been doing most of...
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Lessons in usability from a trio of remote controls

I wasted eight hours trying to set up a high-end universal remote control last week. In the process, I was reminded that usability matters as much in the world of physical gadgets and desktop software as it does in the...
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Fingerpointing

My index finger is about to explode. Some clients cling to the 'us versus them' mentality of old school development. You know: Them: "It says here in your very own document that when I click the back panel of...
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Usability review: Amtrak.com checkout process

Many large ecommerce sites work beautifully as long as users do what they're supposed to. The minute users make mistakes, however, the UxD falls apart completely. Case in point: Amtrak's online checkout process, in which poor choices about error handling...
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Mash Note: Ninjawords online dictionary

In keeping with my new year's resolution to laud as many good Ajax apps as I trash bad ones, please allow me to celebrate the simplicity, beauty and utility of Ninjawords. An online dictionary developed by Phil Crosby, Ninjawords offers...
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Echo3 Custom Components Coming into Focus

I had a read of some of the Echo3 developer docs this weekend. In particular, the docs on how to create a custom component were very interesting. If you've read the custom component docs for Echo2, you know how messy...
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"Every Meeting I Have Ever Attended.."

A few months ago, I started writing down some thoughts on the purpose of meetings, spurred on by The Laptop Herring. I went back and re-read my initial comments and realized that I must have just walked out of a...
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Save That Duck!

So, while most of you were off celebrating the holidays, Dietrich was off [killing a duck][deadduck], or at least Duck Typing. Personally, I always thought that the goose was the traditional holiday bird.. shows what I know. Deitrich's argument is...
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Visualizations & Election Year Coverage

The New York Times has an interesting campaign event flash-based interactive map (link from the image on the right) which works out to be easy on the eyes. The animations are not that useful, but what I find most curious...
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The Curse of Knowledge

You can never know too much about something, right? Wrong, at least according to a December 30th article in the New York Times. As we become experts in a particular domain, our ability to innovate diminishes. "Andrew S. Grove, the...
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