Archive for the 'Ramblings' Category

Peeking in to the minds of users.

Monday, September 29th, 2014

No matter where you start, users will always interpret your UI differently than you intended. Even the most intuitive interface in the world gets misused. Often the confusion leads to frustration, though occasionally it leads to increased utility as the user goes about using your tool for something you hadn’t considered before.
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Want to host your site for pennies per month?

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Here you are, once again. You just got pulled in to a new volunteer organization, and they don’t have a website. Since you’re a web guy, of course you can help solve the problem for them. They don’t have much of a budget, so they ask if there’s any way you could just cover it. Well, godaddy or bluehost are cheap, right? Well, sure… if you pay for a couple of years at a time, you only have to pay a few dollars per month. There’s a better way though, you may have heard that Amazon added hosting capabilities to their S3 service a while back. It turns out that with a bit of fiddling, and configuration, you can host a (static) website for pennies per month.
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The 3 main weaknesses of today’s shopping carts

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Over the last couple of years, we have had several clients come to us requesting some sort of ecommerce site. My response has consistently been to recommend one of the existing services like Shopify or amazon webstore. These guys have all been around for a while, and provide a decent service. Invariably, there would be a response that went something like this: “I’ve tried XYZ, but they paste their branding information all over the checkout page.” or “I can’t display all of my product options.” or “I can’t integrate it with this tool I use.” After some discussion, they would then pay us to build a custom site.
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Cucumber, what’s the point?

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Last tuesday, FedEx dropped off my latest Amazon impulse buy. It is a book called The Cucumber Book: Behaviour-Driven Development for Testers and Developers. This is one of the recent books published by the Pragmatic Programmers. It covers a popular Ruby based testing framework called Cucumber (.) Now cucumber makes a few bold claims on their site. They claim that tests can be written in plain english, and actually test real code. They also claim that with minimal training, even a non-QA person, like a product manager, could write these tests, which would double as specifications.
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