Archives May 2009

Cheap User Testing (via Steve Krug)

The book "Don't Make Me Think" has a simple mechanism for doing user testing "on the cheap", we used it to some good purpose and someone asked me about it at TorCHI, so here's a summary:

  • do user testing approximately once per month or once every two weeks
    • recruit users as closely as ...

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Notes from PyGTA's Programmer Liability Round Table

We had a lively discussion last night about programmer liability.  Consensus (such as there was) seemed to be that perfectly reliable software is extremely expensive and likely futile as a goal given complexity restrictions, basically if every app must meet milspec the industry as we know it is toast, as costs would go through the ...

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Need to rustle up some readers...

I'm going to have to find myself someone to act as reader for the thesis rewrite.  Jacinta helped enormously when I was writing the original, as she constantly demanded that I explain the details I was assuming other people understood.  Should try to find some Architecture students to review and challenge me on it ...

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Backdoors in Academia...

Working some of the outline points on critique into the thesis.

I've been playing idly with how to get back into academia.  Dumb thoughts that keep coming up:

  • convince some design school to use my (assumed finished) thesis as an introduction for first-year students, point at that and see if some school would let ...

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Why Play?

Human beings are playful creatures.  If we are to understand human design and intention we must understand the process of play.  The professional designer is in some way paid to retain the plasticity and playfulness of the childlike mind, to be able to play with ideas and forms in ways that most adults have long ...

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Neat, Curriculum discovery mechanism in Gates' TED Talk

Have TED talks running in the background (I'm beginning to see TED as more useful these days, it's not about new information, it's about getting a feel for how people are communicating the issues).  Interestingly, in Gates' presentation (the one where he releases the mosquitoes) he describes briefly the idea of the ...

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Writing is slow...

I got about 4 hours of writing in today.  You'd think that would be a huge amount of material, yet it's just a few paragraphs here and there and some editing.  I've been going through the original outline looking for "lost points" that need to be covered.  Quite a few of them ...

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Time to start testing for PyOpenGL 3.0.1

PyOpenGL 3.0.1 is pretty much finished AFAICS. The biggest visible change is support for the OpenGL_accelerate module (written in Cython) which provides a noticeable speedup for my applications.  However, the fact that the code is C (once generated) means that bugs are going to be introduced (including possible segfaults).

There are also a ...

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Roughing in the Play in Design section

My point-form outline for my 1997 thesis was 30 pages of single-spaced 10pt text.  It's somewhat daunting going through it and picking out which pieces need to be in a document for first-year students.  For tonight I dropped in the "Play in Design" section as a fairly quick rough draft.  I figure it eventually ...

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