Wednesday, March 20, 2013

GREAT User Experience (UX)


We know when we have it. We revel in it when we start and complete an online transaction with a warm glow of satisfaction, and a short investment of time.  A comfortable hush falls over our being, and we have confidence that we have made a good decision. 

Stepping out of our computer cocoon, we love it when other people line up behind us, wrapped around a building, camped for days, playing games, and chatting--all experiencing the same rush of anticipation for whatever it is we await. 

The Rose Parade comes to mind. A new Apple product. Tickets for a concert. It’s a wonderful thing for the marketer to see.  But the company, service, or event has to deliver. All the way.  My friend went to a Bruce Springsteen event. “The Boss” played non-stop for almost four hours. A real value. 

The Boss delivered.   

But, what did my friend focus on? The crappy parking at the venue.  I heard how the inflow was so poorly managed that they were late for the opening number. She is never late for opening numbers. Then when they left, the same convoluted mess resulted in their leaving for home in the wee hours and arriving home even later. Senseless. They would like to boycott this unnamed venue for the rest of their concert-going lives.  Does Bruce know? Does he care? He should! 

Great UX. We know it when we see it and especially when we don’t. But can we accomplish Great UX? Only a few companies can. It takes vision, genius, hard work, and amazing communication of the vision both within the organization and to customers.   

Sunday, January 27, 2013

We attended a TEDx event this month.  It attracted interested, interesting people, intelligent people, young people, old people, lots of people. It sold out at first blush to entice and eventually almost fill an overflow space.  Students of life and sippers at the trough of learning came to enjoy the day.  

The theme of the talks was The Brain. Without the brain, people could not study or attend a talk on The Brain. That people spend hours, days, and entire lifetimes trying to know what we know -- and understand and share it to the benefit of science, medicine, the arts, and indeed, life-- is humbling and inspiring.

As a writer, I can only be grateful for people who are making life better, one synapse at a time. Awesome.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


"Planning is the active component of beginning with the end in mind. It is the first creation in your mind before physical creation. A goal is the end point and the plan explains how to get there. To be certain you can achieve your goals, break them down into manageable tasks with realistic deadlines. The goal inspires you, but the deadline motivates you. -- Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Consumer Behavior

Did anyone else see it? The Tower of Babel image in the Wall Street Journal caught my eye. In the article "Lost in Translation,", the article's author, Lera Boroditsky, a professor of psychology at Stanford University, suggests "language profoundly influences the way people see the world." As a marketer and writer, I see it more... as a way to identify the cognitive process a business or a writer would want to address in marketing their products/books globally.
So much hinges on our perceptions. In turn, that which we perceive hinges on the language we receive it in... and furthermore, as Boroditksy states "...does the language shape cultural values, or does the influence go the other way, or both?" How do consumers contextualize any product or service, including the books, and in fact any writing, we offer?
More heavy thoughts posited in the article: "How do we come to be the way we are? Why do we think the way we do? An important part of the answer, it turns out, is in the languages we speak."

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Time Management

Tim Ferris (author of the 4-Hour Work Week) says this about time management: "Forget all about it." He defines effectiveness as doing the things that get you closer to your goals. Efficiency is performing a given task (whether important or not) in the most economical manner possible. Two corrolaries:
  1. Doing something unimportant well does not make it important.
  2. Requiring a lot of time does not make a task important.
I'm guilty of both. TO WIT-- How BUSY am I doing the unimportant?
I'm trying. I'm trying. But it's so hard.
How does this sound? "Being busy is a form of laziness -- lazy thinking and indiscriminate action." Also comes from Tim Ferriss. And: "Lack of time is actually lack of priorities."
I've even been known to busy myself making lots of priorities. Here's a trick (from Ferriss): define a TO DO list and define a NOT-TO-DO list. Wow.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Four Hour Work Week

Is it possible? Is it a pipe dream? Well, Tim Ferriss, in his book, The 4-Hour Workweek, says it's possible. In fact, there are hundreds of people who approach and conquer his "luxury lifestyle design"and blog about it on his blog:

It sounds like a scam. But then, I haven't tried it yet. The process requires a step out of the automaton existence most of us lead (I do), and a commitment to self-examination that few dare to engage. Defining dreams (and making corresponding goals to achieve them) takes time, honesty, and oh, trust. (Do I REALLY think this will work? I am risking FAILURE!) How can I spare the time? I am SO busy being busy.

In the book Ferriss teaches how to control the three ingredients that achieve this seemingly fictitious, (impossible?) work/life balance: Time, income, and mobility. Can I? Will I? I'll let you know.