Thursday, March 20, 2008

Bad User Interface: Microsoft Outlook 2007

Check out this screenshot from office 2007. Most user interface designers know that you can give the user a sense of progress by giving them some kind of motion on the screen. A little spinning disk, an hourglass that rotates every few seconds, or a never-ending progress bar.

The office team decided that for their search interface, they would let us know that the search is proceeding by putting the word "Searching..." in light gray text, on a white background... The most prominent item in the UI is actually a link that that will widen the search criteria... but the original search hasn't even finished yet. I guess they want us to try another search before the original one has even finished.

I see this UI several times a week, and every time I do, it takes me a few moments to remember what the heck is going on.

For a software release that was touted as being mostly about user interface redesign this seems like a big step backwards to me.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

prescription for success

1. Start building a product
2. Screw up
3. Start Over
4. Release an uninteresting product 3 years late
5. Fire your marketing manager
6. ?
7. Profit!

I'll admit that one of the big problems with Vista is that there are no interesting or compelling reasons to upgrade, what is unclear is whether that is a product issue, or a marketing issue. Vista has been in enthusiasts hands for a year now though, so I must imagine that the issue is primarily the product itself since the spelunkers haven't found anything very compelling yet.

Friday, February 01, 2008

one and a half armed life: physical therapy

I started physical therapy this week. So far it's going great. I'm excited to be working with professionals who can help me understand what I should and shouldn't do to help my shoulder get better.

On tuesday I had 20 degrees of rotational flexibility in my arm (elbow at my side, rotating the arm away from the body). Yesterday I had 40 degrees rotation.

I didn't have any significant pain yesterday, and I've been off of all medication for three days now. The physical therapist was a bit surprised by the range of motion that I have my right arm (about 100 degrees) so in that sense I have a long way to go to regain full range of motion in my left arm. But so far I have been and my physical therapist have been pleasantly surprised by my progress.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

one armed life: thursday

Today feels like a progress day. Last night I was able to do some exercises without much if any pain. Earlier today I realized that my bicep was really tight and I was able to stretch it out without adding much pain to my shoulder.

I am starting to get a little soreness and tightness in my shoulder but it seems like the good kind of soreness that comes from stretching muscles, not tearing them. I'm going to take it easy for the rest of the day. Maybe do my exercises a little bit tonight and call it good.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

one armed life: patience

Patience seems to be the name of the game. It's irritating because every day I feel a little bit better, and yet if I start to push myself I know I will cause more damage. It's been 2 weeks and 2 days. I want to be able to use it more than I can, but I know that it will just take time to heal.

I did some isometric exercises last night and iced up afterwards. That seems to help. My shoulder felt pretty good this morning, which tends to be the case. It starts out feeling pretty good and starts to get sore as the day progresses.

I did some reading online and it sounds like the recovery times they are quoting are longer than what my dr. told me. So I'm not concerned that I don't have more motion on my arm yet (some sites said you will be in a sling for 2 weeks). But I'm starting to wonder just how much longer this is going to take. I want to start building up strength again. I feel like I'm wasting away.

Monday, January 21, 2008

one armed life: monday

Not a whole lot new to report. My shoulder seems to be healing up from the reinjury incident last monday. I'm going to continue to take it easy for the next few days. Perhaps working a few isometric exercises into my nightly routine.

I haven't been reading very much because of the painkillers. I do most of my reading at night, which is when I take them. I stopped on Friday night, so I was able to get a few more chapters finished in Foundation and On Intelligence.

Sleeping without painkillers is kind of hard, but I'm hoping that as the pain dies down in the shoulder it will eventually lead to more restful sleep. I'm going to give it a couple more nights without anything beyond Advil and see how it goes.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

one armed life: thursday

So far so good. I think the heat/cold regime is going to be very helpful. I'm a little more tentative these days, which is probably a good thing. I'm irritated that I'm losing a lot of the fitness I worked hard to build up as I'm pretty sedentary at the moment. But, it's only for a few more weeks, and I'll have many years to build it back up after this event. Especially if I don't push to hard and turn this into a chronic problem.

I'm back to tying my shoes with two hands, but taking it a little slower than last time.

The Sarah Conner chronicles

Last night I watched the pilot episode of the terminator tv show.

I found the pilot to be quite enjoyable. It borrowed a fare bit of the style and storyline from the second movie. I'm looking forward to see how they develop the storying telling.

I don't watch a lot of tv these days, but I imagine I will try to make time to watch this show for the next couple of weeks.

I am pleased to see Summer Glau in the show. I expect she will do a very good job with the role.