Via NY Times
For those unaware, these were versions of The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones that were re-edited in order to improve upon the movie.
The verdict, no amount of editing can add humanity to those characters.
I couldn’t get through thirty minutes of “The Phantom Edit.” It’s still an utter pile of garbage. I am ashamed to admit that I paid to see it three times in the theater because I couldn’t believe it was that bad. I kept telling myself, I must be missing something.
“Attack of the Phantom” was a bit more watchable but that is largely because it was a slightly better movie. Still, there are plot holes that you could drive a truck through. The most glaring, why wouldn’t Anakin in all those years check in on his mother and after slaughtering the sandpeople, why would Padme stick around?
It was that point that I turned it off.
Here’s hoping JJ Abrams can pull a rabbit out of his hat and make the next movie work.
For a much better explanation about why these movies suck check out these beautiful, hilarious reviews.
What online services exist to help companies understand, identify and segment their customers before the product is actually developed?
One of the major difficulties we face as a small startup company is identifying our target customers and understand who they are.
Sure, getting out of the office, doing the footwork and talking to as many people we can find helps, and is the right thing to do.
But it could be a real time saver if there were online services which could narrow our search, help us focus on specific groups and test our hypothesis.
I would like to know if you are aware of any solutions like that.
Thanks in advance!
“The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. If you would take a man’s life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die.” – Ned Stark
I spent about 15 minutes yesterday bulk deleting photos from Google+. Each time I clicked delete on a photo the computer so kindly asked me “Are you sure you want to do this?” I dutifully clicked “Yes”, as I’ve done thousands of times over the last 20+ years.
Then, it hit me. Why am I still doing this? It’s 2013.
If my computer were a sentient being and asked me to confirm every time I took some slightly dangerous action I would respond with something very sarcastic. “No, I don’t really want to do this. I just love clicking buttons.” Actually, I don’t. It made me feel a little like this guy.
Why do we continue to think that we know our users better than they do? Why are we treating our users like children that we must protect because they aren’t able to protect themselves?
Actually, that’s really not what’s going on. I’ve designed enough product to know that we’re not all sitting around thinking “Poor users, they just don’t know any better.” I think there is a much simpler explanation.
We are lazy.
Why are we lazy? It’s just so much easier to specify that a developer throw up a confirmation box then think through the problem. The thing is, it really doesn’t need much thought at all. The pattern for dealing with safely managing destructive actions has existed for almost as long as the computer.
It’s called Undo.
Ah, the Undo. You have saved my butt more times than I can count. And that’s exactly what you are there for. You are like Lindsay Lohan’s personal assistant. Never seen but always there to clean up the mess she makes.
Why doesn’t every application implement Undo? Well, building an Undo system isn’t easy. It’s actually kind of a pain and you must plan for it up front. Despite that, every destructive action should have an Undo function. Why?
Because your users have conditioned themselves to just blindly click on dialog boxes without reading them. Especially if they need to click many of them in a single session. They may just end up doing this.
Confirmation boxes are a way for the product team to wash their hands of any responsibility for the actions their users take.
Undo however, puts the responsibility back in the hands of the computer, the software team and the product owners. It’s harder to implement but provides a much better experience for people like myself.
Exceptional design, not designing for exceptions.
In the example I mentioned at the beginning, I needed to bulk delete my files. I clicked, confirmed, clicked, confirmed until I deleted each file. That was normal usage. The exception is a click that accidentally deleted a file. Despite that, the developers thought that I would need hand holding because I would potentially shoot myself in the foot each time I deleted a file.
Just let me delete the files! If I click on something by mistake I’m going to realize it. I can then just click the Undo button and poof, the file is back. It collapses 20 button clicks down to 10 + 1 undo. This is a much politer user experience.
The Undo has been around a long time. If your application needs to do something destructive, consider implementing Undo before putting up a confirmation box. Doing so will go a long way toward treating your users like peers instead of children.
A few months ago my website was hacked. I didn’t realize this for a few weeks because I don’t check it very often. It occurred to me the other day that I could use Google Analytics Intelligence Alerts to keep an eye on my website. The alert system will notify me when something goes wrong.
This technique is also good to notify you in case you forget to renew your domain name (which I’ve also done.)
Here is how to set it up.
Open up your analytics dashboard for the site you want to monitor. Click on Intelligence Alerts as shown in the screen shot below.
Then, setup your alert as follows.
- Choose the property or properties that you want to moni1. tor.
- Set the period to1. Day
- Set the alert to go to email or even better, your mobile.
Then, set the Alert Conditions as follows.
- This applies to “All traffic”
- Alert me when visits “is less than” “1″
When you are done, it should look like this screenshot.
Click Save alert and you’re ready to go.
Do you have any cool Google Analytics tricks? Let me know in the comments.