2013 SXSWi Primer for the First-Timer

or: I've Never Been to SXSW and I Don't Wanna Screw It Up I wrote a version of this in 2012/2011, but so many things have changed that I wanted to update this. This post is for you if you: have never been to SXSW or another huge conference have been and wanna know if I might have tips for you (if you're a veteran you probably have... Read more →

Goodbye, Yayabei

This is a long post that I need to write to get this out of my head, and to remember. It's not going to be suuuper coherent because I don't think I can go back and read it all just yet, so please forgive me the misspellings and mistakes. This was a very very difficult process, one I hadn't dealt with since we lost Mecca, and I wasn't really... Read more →

A Few Initial Vine User Experience Thoughts

I'm a tester-outer, which means I am usually an early-to-mid adopter. I don't try EVERYTHING but if I hear enough about it I give it a shot. So it was with the new Vine service. I joined to give it a shot and see what all of the fuss was about. I've used on-phone video editors like Viddy, whose UI leaves much to be desired, but is functional.... Read more →

Review: Half-Revised Instagram UI 3.2

This article was originally posted on I'm a heavy user of Instagram, and was excited (NEW FILTER!) to see that they'd updated their app. These updates, though, seem half-baked and inconsistent; it feels like IG's design team are making incremental changes to the UI, and publishing them as they go. Only half of the interface... Read more →

Dark Patterns and Trust

This article was originally posted on There are honest and dishonest marketing techniques, and some that are grey. These grey techniques, dark patterns, are moves that aren't technically illegal, but make people feel cheated, or exposed. These things aren't technically wrong, but they are not things the user would want, and... Read more →

Using Caution on Location-Based Social Networks

Artist Antti Laitinen printed his portrait on various maps, then "walked the lines" on the maps. He carried a GPS tracker recording his path, which produced these drawings. Stories (and email forwards and Facebook posts and sensational news stories) about the danger of social location sharing are common. The caution against them in... Read more →

Thoughts on Restaurant Websites, Flash, and iPhones

It's well known in the iPhone world that a website built with Flash won't show up on your iPhone. And it never will. But many restaurants have Flash-based websites. When am I most likely to look at a restaurant website on my phone? When I'm not at a computer, and probably out and looking for a restaurant, especially when I'm out of town. I... Read more →

Hours for Physical Businesses on Company Websites

I've noticed a lot lately that many restaurants and/or brick-and-mortar establishments don't have their hours on their website. This confuses me to no end. In order to visit a store in person I really do need to know when it's open. With my current lifestyle, if I go out, I often end up at restaurants late in the evening, or going to a... Read more →