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XI. Twitter Search

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In the last entry, I mentioned how important a search bar is to certain individuals because it narrows down the information that they are seeking. Twitter is actually creating an application called Tweethook which is using webhooks to post information to you in real time without requiring you to keep refreshing for new results. Twitter currently does not have a way to send data to a callback URL and it proves to be difficult to archive searches over a long period of time. Twitter’s search engine doesn’t allow you to search beyond 100 pages or 10 days. Tweethook is going to allow users to pull up searches continuously depending on the plan they subscribe to. For example, a user has 5 continuous searches for $6 a month, 10 continuous searches for $12 a month, 25 for $29 a month and so on and so forth. The most anybody could get is the 500 searches for $400 a month plan. I feel that this proves to be extremely useful for companies since they’re always looking for feedback (Krug and Norman both mention the importance of this). The founder,  Chad Etzel, got the idea from a friend who asked to get the Twitter search results on their website without having to constantly look throughout the search archives. Chad Etzel listened to the feedback provided by his friend and decided to actually do something about it. 

for more information, click here.

Written by minjikwon

October 7, 2009 at 2:53 pm

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X. Distracting Design

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Krug mentions in DMMT (Don’t Make Me Think) that the Web includes a lot of information that humans just skim over. People are usually just interested in what they’re looking for and just skip over what they deem unnecessary or uninteresting. Krug actually gives an example of Gary Larson’s Far Side cartoon about how an owner talks to their dog, Ginger but the only things that come out of the owner’s mouth from Ginger’s point of view is, “blah blah GINGER blah blah blah GINGER blah blah blah” (Krug 23). This incident reminds me of Charles M. Schultz’s Peanuts cartoons and how the teacher just ends up saying “Wah Wah Wah”. We end up paying attention to the things that interest us and our personal lives and everything else is just gibberish to us. Krug then goes onto mention certain people’s dependency on the Yahoo!  search engine and how these people use it to look for everything including inserting entire site urls in the box. I can actually relate because I tend to enter everything into Google. Even though I know that I could just easily insert the url into the internet address bar above, I just end up typing it into Google’s search bar. I tend to associate the internet with Google and Krug mentions the people who insert the urls into Yahoo! tend to associate it with being the internet. I am one of those people who is dependent on search boxes. Everytime I stumble upon a site, I immediately check to see if a search box is available because I want to find whatever I’m looking for in the shortest amount of time. I’ve realized that humans are impatient and usually have short attention spans so the quicker the better which is usually in my case. If a search box is not evident, I just press command F which is the hot key for the find box. I just type in the word or phrase I’m looking for and it scans the page for it thus acting like a search bar. In conclusion, I believe that Krug has got it spot on with his article and how people don’t want cluttered, confusing websites to scroll through that just read “BLAH BLAH BLAH”. 

Below is a clip of the teacher’s WAH WAH WAH and linus’s infatuation with her:

Written by minjikwon

October 7, 2009 at 2:30 pm

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IX. Internet Piano

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Nowadays, everything can be done through the internet. For example, last year I ended up ordering Dominos pizza through the internet. The internet even allows you to play piano now, too! Yamaha has actually released an Internet piano that connects to the Internet and plays any song that you want it to play. All you have to do is pop a cd in and the computer will recognize the song and bring up the sheet music and will play it for you too! I find this invention to be absolutely ludicrous. Okay, ordering pizza at Domino’s is pretty absurd (not to mention lazy) but having a piano automatically play that Elton John song you listen to all the time is pretty ridiculous. It even shows you exactly what keys to press just in case you wanted to learn the song; the keyboard presses the key down for you. As a former piano player, I’m actually a little offended by this invention. Whatever happened to building muscle memory and actually learning how to read music and play? I feel that because our world is so technologically advanced nowadays, we feel that we need to keep churning out more inventions that “teach” us everything and help make our lives easier. If a piano’s going to play for you, then why bother learning the piano or buying it for that matter since you can probably just find the instrumental piano version to that song on YouTube anyway. This leads to the question of “what’s going to be next for us?” Will we see a new invention of a car driving for us? Will we just use robots and computers for everything in the future? Will we no longer need to learn information because we’ll just have something doing it for us? I fear this all. I fear that our dependency on technology is getting us in too deep. Whatever happened to the good ole days when we used to just learn for fun?

If you want to see this creation, go here for more information.

Written by minjikwon

September 30, 2009 at 3:43 pm

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VIII. Misinterpret

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In Chapter 5, To Err is Human, Norman discusses how humans tend to “misinterpret” or not connect certain clues to certain scenarios. For example, in the beginning of the paragraph, Norman quotes a reformed thief who claims that if he got 100 dollars every time he heard a dog’s owner telling their dog to shut up, he’d be rich (Norman 127). Norman claims that we often don’t pay attention to the “minor” things such as a dog barking randomly or a car making funny noises. We don’t pay attention to these things because they have just become the social norms in our society. We as human beings have concluded that these situations are normal and happen by chance all the time. “Norman also brings up an interesting point that if a disastrous event takes place, people’s explaining away the signs of impending disaster always seem implausible to others” (Norman 128). He then gives the example of the Three Mile Island incident and Chernobyl. While people tend to throw the blame all on the engineers, Norman reasons that each error was logical and understandable. This then relates to Norman’s thought that human error stems all from bad design. I agree with Norman that everything can simply just be linked to a bad interface. As humans we make mistakes and shrug off small signs that may seem like warnings but aren’t too suspicious because we believe that it’s too “normal” to link these things to disasters. For example, I don’t find it odd or unusual to see a dog barking while no one’s around because I’ve connected this event to being part of the everyday life. I’ve noticed that people don’t seem to notice the “little things” until something goes wrong. It’s like the famous saying, “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone”.  A dog owner isn’t going to pay attention to every single dog bark and find it unusual unless he gets robbed or something happens. I’ve noticed that people don’t react unless something negative happens. Also, I find it funny that if people tend to pay attention to every little detail, then others would see that person as a paranoid individual. Well maybe being this “paranoid” or careful individual will end up leading a more successful life in the end or they’ll just end up being a social pariah.

Written by minjikwon

September 30, 2009 at 3:30 pm

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VII. Show & Tell

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The iPhone might be upgrading again but this time with a physical keyboard.  The iPhone is known to have a virtual keyboard but may soon resemble the Blackberry. Many iphone users frequently complain about difficulties of dialing or texting on the virtual keyboard and have voiced an interest in pressing physical buttons. I understand their frustrations because my cousin’s phone, although not an iPhone, also has a touch screen keyboard and it confuses me every time I try to text a message to someone. I’m so used to physically pushing the keys that the touch-sensitive keys end up annoying me. It then leads to frustrations and questions such as how hard or sensitive do I need to push the buttons?  Mike Nykoluk, a founder of Mobile Mechatronics, realized the growing nuisances of the touch screen board and decided that the only way that users could get used to it is to install a physical keyboard add-on. Actually it’s interesting to know that the beta testers of the keyboard chose to keep using the physical keyboard over the touch screen board. This new product will be out in markets around November at the price of $30 with an extra $5 shipping charge. Hopefully now iPhone users won’t grow so frustrated to the point of wanting to throw their phone.

iphone_homenow-iphone

iphonekeyboard.190after with physical keyboard add-on?

Written by minjikwon

September 23, 2009 at 3:38 pm

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VI. Mac Mouse

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So in one of my earlier posts, I discussed the interface of Apple’s Itunes and it’s effectiveness. This time I’ll be discussing the poor, confusing design of the standard Mac Mouses. I can say that in my honest blunt opinion, I am not too fond of these mouses. They frustrate me and other users who may not have any experience with macs at all. It’s very aesthetically pleasing but there’s nothing on the mouse that indicates how to use it. It’d fall into the category of procedural knowledge which is when you must gain experience to understand and use it effectively. The mac mouse has a sleek white exterior with a single moveable round button in the center. Unlike PC mouses which contain both a left and right clicker, this mouse only has the little scroll button.  When I encountered my first mac mouse, I was confused and frustrated and wanted to give up just using it. I’m pretty sure I had to google how to right click with a mac mouse. In the end, I felt defeated and later stupid because I thought it was my own fault for not being able to use the simple looking mouse. Norman mentions falsely blaming yourself in chapter 2 and even goes on to say “designers should take special pains to make errors as cost-free as possible” (Norman 35). I agree wholeheartedly. I mean what’s the point of making a product that’s going to make you feel worse about yourself in the end and give you more of a headache when the intention was to simplify and make the task easy to do? I am not the only one who seems to be frustrated with the mac mouse. This site writes a whole entry telling mac lovers to get a real mouse. According to Wired Magazine, “even Apple seems aware of the shortcomings of the one-button mouse ” (Kahney 1). If the head execs. at Apple even realize that the one-button mouse isn’t working out and it’s coming to an end, obviously that’s a sign that it’s not as efficient as they thought it was. 

Mac Mouse

confusing one-click mac mouse.

Written by minjikwon

September 23, 2009 at 2:22 pm

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V. Common Knowledge

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Norman discusses how humans have common knowledge about certain things. He’s talking about how memory ties in with the human thought process. For example, he brings up how many typists may not have memorized the keyboard but with experience and time the typist can type with accuracy, speed, and ease. He then states that “the knowledge is still mostly in the world, not in the head” (Norman 56). As a skilled typist, you just start to type whatever letters you need to type subconsciously. It’s similar to breathing as it comes naturally to you over time. For instance, I know that when I type I don’t use a lot of my brain to indicate where each letter on the keyboard is since it just flows naturally to me. Instead, I just think about what I’m going to write and then I type it out without straining my brain or eyes. Norman then goes on to explain the sub categories of knowledge which are the knowledge of and the knowledge how. “Knowledge of –of what psychologists call declarative knowledge–includes knowledge of facts and rules like knowing to stop at a red light.  Knowledge how is what psychologists call procedural knowledge or the knowledge that enables a person to perform music, to stop a car smoothly with a flat tire on an icy road, to return a serve in tennis, or to move the tongue properly while saying the phrase “frightening witches” (Norman 57). The knowledge of  is easy to write down and teach while the knowledge how is easy to demonstrate.  Basically, the knowledge of  is common knowledge known just by living everyday life while knowledge how is knowledge you must learn through experience.  Thankfully, visual aids help us with these everyday inventions on top of our knowledge of the world. Norman uses the example of how a keyboard lights up every time it’s in use. For example, when I’m driving in a car, a green square surrounds whatever position the car is in whether it be in P(ark), R(everse), D(rive), N(eutral) etc. and serves as a reminder to me. I think it’s interesting how certain things have become “common knowledge” such as stopping at a stop sign, going at a green light, knowing there’s 4 seasons in a year, knowing new york city is a major city in the united states and so on. What exactly makes something common knowledge or how long does it take for something to become common knowledge? I guess only time and the people influenced will be the only deciding factors. Well for now, I know that it is declarative knowledge (of) that the _____ for Dummies books are for people who want to know more about that specific topic which makes the book a procedural knowledge (how); pretty interesting if you ask me.

Written by minjikwon

September 23, 2009 at 1:57 pm

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