go ahead, mac my day

a Macintosh girl in a Microsoft world

July, 2006

  • go ahead, mac my day

    fake Leopard screenshot contest


    And while I'm making with the linky today, here's another one: the fake Leopard screenshot contest.

    My favourite fake so far is the Leopard on a touchscreen iPod (good choreography with a video on a current iPod).

  • go ahead, mac my day

    Mac ad responses


    There's another spoof of Apple's new Get a Mac campaign, this time from the folks at VH-1. From their show Best Week Ever comes a series of three 'lost' Mac ads.

  • go ahead, mac my day

    the usability of blogs


    Usability pundit Jakob Nielsen wrote a pretty good article about the usability of blogs: top ten design mistakes of weblogs. I've had a bookmark to that sitting around for awhile, and always meant to do something about it. Today, I had a bit of extra time between usability tests, so let's talk about it.

    Here are Nielsen's design mistakes, and some commentary from your favourite MacBU user experience blogger:

    1. No Author Biographies -- I don't think that this is absolutely essential. There are some anonymous blogs out there that are quite effective. That said, I think that they do have to work harder to establish their creditability and readership. This reminded me to finally get off my lazy duff and add some content to my own about this blog link.
    2. No Author Photo -- Another item that I don't think is absolutely essential, but does help. I haven't put one up yet, but perhaps I'll get around to it someday. Attendees of WWDC will probably still be able to pick me out of a crowd, since there aren't that many other women at most geek events like this.
    3. Nondescript Posting Titles -- I can't disagree with this. The title of a post tells me whether I want to read it.
    4. Links Don't Say Where They Go -- I agree with the point that he makes about this one, but the title of this mistake is actually quite misleading. In the body of this one, he complains about people who give ambiguous links (you know, 'click here').
    5. Classic Hits are Buried -- Blogs are set up to read the latest content, but that's not necessarily giving new readers a good overview of your best content. Link back to your old posts, too. As RSS readers become more popular, I think that linking back to your old posts is much more important than a best-of list on your blog.
    6. The Calendar is the Only Navigation -- Use categories, but don't abuse them. I added categories the minute they became available here.
    7. Irregular Publishing Frequency -- You don't have to post every day, but at least post regularly. You'll lose readers if you're too erratic.
    8. Mixing Topics -- The more topics that you post about, the less likely you are to have an audience that is interested in all of them.
    9. Forgetting That You Write for Your Future Boss -- Don't forget that your bits persist, even if you think you’ve deleted your blog. This strikes me as a no-brainer.
    10. Having a Domain Name Owned by a Weblog Service – This is another idea that I question him about. As a corporate blogger, I wonder whether some readers get some value out of being able to access a central list of Microsoft bloggers. I’m undecided on this one.

  • go ahead, mac my day

    secrets and buzz


    The Wall Street Journal published an article last week titled At Apple, Secrecy Complicates Life but Maintains Buzz. Here's a quote from the article:

    While many tech companies assign internal code names to products, Apple goes a step further. It often gives different departments dissimilar code names for the same product, current and former employees say. If a code name leaks, Apple can more easily track down the department from which the leak originated.

    In the interests of being more transparent, I'm going to share a secret with you, my dear readers. Microsoft is one of those tech companies that assign internal code names to products [1]. The code name for our next version of Office:Mac is (drumroll) ... Office 12.

    I hope I didn't just kill any of our buzz by revealing that secret.

    [1] My favourite code name that was used by MacBU was Taco Cat. I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to figure out which product had that for a code name and why. (We don't make that many products, so guesses don't count.)

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