Thursday, March 31, 2005

Getting It vs Not Getting It

I found an ecard from my sister in my inbox this AM- very sweet, but the pick up instructions from Hallmark just boggled my mind.

The "click here" link is, I'm not kidding, 3 lines long. So of course it had newlines inserted into it somewhere along the way in coming into my inbox, and was unclickable. I could have pasted it back together, but instead I moved to the "If you have trouble using the link" directions. Here they are:

1. Click this link to go to our homepage, or copy and paste it into your browser's address line:
http://www.hallmark.com
2. Click on the "Free E-cards" link.
3. Click the link on the upper left hand side of the page that says "Pick up an e-card."
4. Enter your e-mail address and this retrieval number: XXXXXXXXXXXX.
5. Click "Display Greeting." Your e-card will be displayed.


Hallmark, I should NOT have to hunt for a link & click 5 times to pick up my ecard. What you should do is make a SHORT url for me to type in or click on- say, "pickup.hallmark.com" or "www.hallmark.com/pickup" -take your pick.

I should NOT have to click back to the original email to see which one of my addresses my sister sent my message to. You should trust your ecard code generation uniqueness algorithm enough to just give me the card if I paste in a code. These are ecards, not something that needs super fancy extra verification of also pasting in an email address.

Of course, what you really should do is make the original pick up URL something short so that it didn't break. How about www.hallmark.com/pickup.whatever?card=XXXXXXX for starters?

Make things easy for your users. Then use your own tools, note where you're frustrated at the experience, and make it easier. Find extra steps that are stupid, get rid of them, make the computer do more of the work than the human using it.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Nature's Path 8 Grain Synergy Multigrain Flakes

Synergy Multigrain Flakes

Today is apparently all about food blogging. I had to post this, though. I bought this cereal a few weeks ago without really seeing more than "Multigrain" and "Oraganic" on the box. I just was pouring myself a bowl of it and caught sight of the name. Oh geesh... I wonder if some vintage 1999 consultants have found second careers naming cereals?

Anyway, you don't need to drive to grocery store to get some Synergy Flakes as apparently you can buy them online. It's 2005 and I feel like I'm having a September 1999 experience in my kitchen.

chocolate yogurt cake

Chocolate Yogurt Cake Recipe from the April Gourmet magazine - currently baking in my oven. Mmmmmm.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Major Hangups Over the iPod Phone

Major Hangups Over the iPod Phone - this is really sad. From the article:

Zander said Motorola and Apple want to hold off until the phone is closer to hitting store shelves. But three industry sources say a lack of support from such giant cellular operators as Verizon Wireless and Cingular Wireless was instrumental in delaying the unveiling. So far, the wireless companies are reluctant to promote the Motorola-Apple phone.

Behind the clash are two very different views of the future of music on mobile phones. Motorola and Apple would let customers put any digital tune they already own on their phones for free. That would help Motorola sell more phones, and it would help Apple expand its dominance of digital music.

Verizon, Cingular, and other wireless operators want customers to pay to put music on phones.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Using the XML HTTP Request object

I'm loading and reloading and reloading the alaskaair.com tracking page for a friend's flight tonight. I need to repost the form every so often because they don't have a 'click here to refresh' link with the flight number and date in a GET link format. Makes me think about all the Ajax buzz (Using the XML HTTP Request object). If there was ever a web application screaming for an ajax implementation, it's online flight tracking.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

hidden dog

Bandon visited us this weekend while his dad was in California. He spent a lot of time hiding underneath one of the dining chairs- he's so tiny that he can curl up underneath one & fit entirely beneath. Smidgen of a dog! It took me a while to get a picture of his hiding spot because he kept coming out to poke his nose at the camera.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Stickers!

The shuffle and ibook have been Powerpuff Girl'd! I bought the stickers because some of them looked small enough to fit on my shuffle, and then put a few extras on my ibook. We'll see how long they last, both get a little knocked around in my bag.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Yahoo

Yahoo - ancient web history. I first learned HTML in 1995, so this must be 10 years as a web dev for me. Scary thought.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

untangling the sound

A few months ago, I was talking to my mom about how I learned to read. She says I just kind of picked it up- I didn't learn with phonics or any real methods. So I think that's tied to my french pronunciation/listening woes. For a while now, I've been able to read french just fine- I read books at a speed pretty close to my english reading speed, I can poke around our french templates with no problem, and so forth. However, when a native french speaker says something to me, I can't catch the words. These are words that I could read with no problem... but they exist visually in my head, with no sound attached to them. Slowly, slowly, slowly I'm putting the sounds to the words. Recently I've been listening to streaming french news radio when I'm working on a slow task, that seems more effective than listening to my language lessons CDs. Big reason? Speed. The CDs purposely go slow. Real french is spoken as if the person grew up in NJ- too fast and all bunched together.

Anyway, I remembered this weekend that I hadn't touched this blog in a long long time, but I'd forgotten that it had been over two years. Wow. Hello blog, nice to meet you again.