n i g h t i n g a l e s h i r a z / blog

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explaining usability to your mother.

i know it's almost a month since World Usability day 2006.  but i just found the promo posters for the event (having been buried under a mountain of content and information architecture myself, SPEAKING of usability...) -- and i think they're great.

if you -- like me -- are finding this field even harder to explain to people (via the "so what do you do" question) than any you've ever worked in (who would have thought i'd be doing something that was even harder to explain than technology -- ha! -- technology seems as comprehensible to the common man as carpentry now...) -- then maybe you should paste these to the backs of a few business cards.

of course, it might not change anything at all.  your mother might still go around telling people that her daughter "she uh, works with computers...".


[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Rue Saint-Alexandre, Montréal]
[wednesday 13 december 2006 at 12:09:48] []

what happens when you Russian-roulette your way into random IT journalism...

...specifically, in relation to today's Edvard Munch tribute on Google, and me being naive enough to pick the first result in the related "Happy Birthday Edvard Munch" result list...

you get -- well.  see for yourself (it will take you all of seven seconds to read, though comprehension is another matter altogether).  quite a bit of smoke and disconnected writing for so scant a bunch of lines...

what was this writer doing, blogging from her carphone?  where is the concept of narrative?  of a point, towards which (or around which), you tell a story, or consider an issue, or present an argument?  where (for the love of God) -- is any idea of a purpose -- to inform, inspire or incite?  (my inner Alliteration Assistant suggests the word "irritate"...)
and where's that other concept -- the one about one sentence having something (maybe.  sometimes.  ooh -- how about just once?) to do with the next?

to say a schizophrenic wrote this is unfair (and i'm pretty sure it's clear to whom).  it just looks like she took all her scribble notes from a stackful of post-its, and let fly.  or, like she needed to blog and quick (and she needed to make it survey-worthy -- note the "Promo Verdict" vote buttons at the bottom of the -- cough -- article), and she opened up a browser for instant inspiration, and uh, decided to stop right there.

i'm sorry.  i know i'm no Pulitzer-pen-pusher myself.  and i know the Internet (Web 2.0, whatever) is all about fast-paced, often-instant, user-generated content.  but come on.  this just makes me annoyed.  and maybe i should be -- except with myself.  for trusting Google's auto-search to tell me something halfway-intelligent about the Munch doodle on it's own home page...

judging from some of the actual comments on a higher level page, it seems i'm not alone in this frustration.  my favorite is the super-simple: "*This* is what you blog about?"

"Capitalizing on Interactivity, Mobility and Personalization".

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Rue Saint-Alexandre, Montréal]
[tuesday 12 december 2006 at 16:50:28] []


i know.  i need to write about what crossing the border on a Greyhound bus is (still) like.  i need to write about the Gilbane Conference on Content Management.  i need to write about what it felt like to sit on a bar stool at Spring and Wooster, again.  i need to write about the Boomerang Awards (or maybe i don't).

but until then, there's real writing to be read.

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Avenue Girouard, Montréal]
[saturday 09 december 2006 at 14:45:19] []

on being in good company.

it says a lot about me, that i can't decide who i'm more excited to be sharing the home page with: Matt Dillon, or Calvino.

thank goodness for screenshots.

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Avenue Girouard, Montréal]
[sunday 03 december 2006 at 20:54:12] []