Monthly Archives: October 2012


I’m a person who likes to be organized.  I know right now my mom is laughing at me – she’s convinced I’m the messiest person in the world.  She’s a neat freak.  I didn’t know how to use a mop … Continue reading


People watch Honey Boo Boo for the horror of it, the smugness of knowing that we are better than them.  A friend of mine recently told me a episode made her nearly throw up, yet she kept watching. But I … Continue reading


Oh and the learning part too

Oh and the learning part too

I’m really loving taking a class that requires ridiculous cartoons.

Very Particular Tastes

I have recently started listening to Pandora hoping to add to my weird music library of things I downloaded from Supernatural fanmixes, things that people sent me on mix cds when mix cds still existed, and things I bought cds of in high school when people still bought cds.

I carefully set up a few channels based on some of my very favorite songs and I learned two very important lessons:

1.  Never set up a station based on Jar of Clay’s Flood unless you’re REALLY Christian.  There is no option for this sounds really cool but I hate everything else they ever did.

2.  Everything else on my playlists are either things I currently own or that I used to own but lost in one of my many laptop switches.  I.e., I’ve already found and listened to all the music like the music I like.

Clearly I need to learn how to change my mind on Christian rock.  That or become a computer science genius to improve Pandora’s algorithm.

Overheard at my Favorite Dive Pizza Place

An argument over the best three presidents, starting with Obama “obviously” as #1, that included these points:

  • “The only good thing that Reagan did was die.”
  • “Clinton was great because he got his willy wet.”
  • J.F.K. was killed because he wanted to help “fellas, black folks” out

And ended a discussion of the Rosevelts that concluded with “Fuck Teddy” and a door slam.

Wasn’t it August last week?

It feels like everyone’s a bit behind right now.  All my friends are scrambling around or looking at their to-do lists and sighing.  It’s like somehow we all lost two weeks or so in there and are headlong into the rush that is Autumn falling into the holiday season.

I don’t think I’m alone in this but when I’m behind I become  scatterbrained, running from one thing to another, never quite putting anything to bed.  This weekend I’m going to sprawl out on the floor with a handful of colorful pens, my notebook, and a big cup of coffee and plan.  It’s a little tricky; I book projects quickly so I’m never exactly sure when I’ll be in the field or not, so it’ll have to be the movable type of schedules.

I’m currently taking a UX class and my project is looking at how PhD students plan for the long term deadlines that can be years away.  I can see a little bit of that in myself and I selfishly hope there will be some insights in there for me too.

I’d love to hear how you plan. Paper? Digital?  Some sort of special ap or the world’s longest scroll of to-dos?

iPhone, uJane

While catching up on the Daily Show a couple of days ago, we saw the above Samsung commercial over and over.  It was overly long even the first time (it should end when the parents show up imho) and smelled of vinegar.

It was also particularly pertinent since we’d spent the last two weeks phone shopping while I also did some ethno work on the iPhone5 launch.  I was up at 5am the day of the launch to talk to people in line before they got their phones.  Needless to say, the line was nothing like the commercial.  There was a quiet passion, an enjoyment of experiencing an “event”, detailed knowledge of what new advancements the phone had.  People knew what they were doing and they were happy to do it.

For those who are Apple fans, so much of it is about the little details.  Let’s talk screen size.

Issue:  Wanting bigger screens for watching videos.

 Other manufacturers: Yes!  We will make you the biggest screen we can.  Enjoy!

 Apple:  Okay, so you want a bigger screen but we also know that you want your thumb to cover the entire screen and to be able to shove your phone in your pocket.  Let’s design it so we can get you the most screen while doing that.  Not as big as other options?  That’s okay.

Now not every consumer cares about that sort of thing.  But everyone I’ve talked to or watched, Android and Apple owners alike, has subconsciously noticed it.  While ethnoing, I noticed that people held iPhone 5s one of two ways.  Either they cradled it in their hands like some sort of delicate bird* (with accompanying oohs on how light it was) or they firmly placed it in the web between thumb and finger and used it one handed.  Everyone with the Galaxy held it up with one hand and poked at it with the other.  There was just something about the two that led to such different behavior.

That’s one of the (many) reasons why qualitative data and UX are so important – design leads people to particular key behaviors that lead to consumer decisions and emotions.  As people have more options and become even more picky about what to purchase, anticipating the intrinsic reactions becomes increasingly important when speaking to consumers in authentic and honest ways.

* I personally liked the feel of the Galaxy better than the 5 – it felt like a smooth river stone, where the 5 felt like all edges.  Despite that, I’m still stalking the Apple store for a 5 because of all the other stuff.