Creativity design Improvement Small Business Technology

Opening eyes with a slider

I spend a lot of time working with/talking with programmers.

If you spend time discussing software, websites, or life in general with them, you might get the idea that they are serial complainers.

While a few might live up to that, a substantial part of a programmer’s work is to find bugs – the ones someone *else* created, of course (sarcasm, anyone?). That penchant for bug detection, along with an investment in good design, is what makes things better.

It’s natural for programmers to point out the faults, just like it is for a woodworker to run their hand along a freshly sanded wood surface feeling for rough spots.


That brings us to the slider feature the NYTimes used to make it easy to compare before/after tsunami images from Japan.

This simple feature demonstrates why a strong user interface, whether for software, devices or websites, is so important.

Comparing the images side to side like we would in the past is one thing. No one would say that the photos aren’t impactful, unsettling, disturbing, etc.

They’re hard to wrap your head around. Doing so using the slider brings it even closer.

The point?

The slider allows the photos – which haven’t changed – to really bring home the impact of the tsunami.

You might not have thought that was possible after seeing video and photos on the news and online for several days, yet there it is.

An innocuous little feature whose importance you might have a difficult time justifying in a meeting about possible new product features has suddenly changed everything about those images.

Imagine trying to place a value on this via email message to a vendor or client.

Yet the benefit is obvious, once demonstrated.

What can you do differently to open the eyes of others to the things you find seriously impactful?

While you’re mulling that over, please help Japan.

PS: Kudos to the NY Times and GeoEye for sharing this.

Apple attitude Banking Business culture Competition Customer relationships Improvement Small Business

Anoop voted off American Idol. Economy recovers. News at 11.

Creative Commons License photo credit: boyghost

Yesterday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF, a conglomeration of old money guys from 185 countries) indicated that they don’t see the global economy recovering until 2010.

Meanwhile, Anoop was voted off of American Idol. Wow, I had a hard time getting to sleep after hearing about that:)

The Economy doesn’t have to be Your Economy

“The economy” or “The global economy” may have an impact on your business but it is not YOUR economy.

Don’t let all the doom and gloom junk on CNN and elsewhere cloud your thinking. Sure, some businesses and plenty of people are struggling. Business-wise, look closely at the reasons why.

Look under the covers at the businesses that are having trouble. In large part, a lot of them are businesses that haven’t shown any consideration for their customers in decades, or they stuck in outdated business models for far too long, or that they did things just because everyone else was doing them (over-building, over-extended, subprime lending, obvious stuff).

Examples: GM says they won’t make their debt payment and bankruptcy is likely. New York Times stock said to be worthless.

Are they unrecoverable? Depends. If they continue to try the same things that got them where they are today, maybe not.

Meanwhile, there are shining spots in the business news…

So who is right? The IMF or Apple, Wells Fargo and some local businesses?

It doesn’t matter which of them is right. What’s right for you is what matters.

Care as much about it as they do

Earlier this week a client remarked to me that I work as if I care as much about their business as they do.

Isn’t that how all your clients should feel?

Did anyone ever feel that way about GM or the New York Times?

You get what you focus on. Focus on doing more, better for your clients and you’ll get more, better clients.