Here’s a summary of the tips we’d like to pass on; we’ll look at each one in more detail below.
1. Tackle expensive computations when they can improve the interface.
2. Eliminate dialogs and command lines in favor of direct manipulation.
3. Drop old assumptions and idioms. Use the processing power to explore new interfaces.
4. Provide a starting point for exploration.
5. Avoid programming cleverness. Instead, assume a good compiler and write readable code.
6. Invest development time in user-centered design.
7. Learn the new rules for performance.
8. Design tiered functionality: take advantage of whatever hardware you’re running on.
9. Test on real users.
“COMFORT IS THE GOAL OF LIFE”
This is a pervasive and sinister belief that has – at times – caused me to compromise more than I should. When I aspire to comfort as the greatest goal of life, I refuse anything that might cause me pain or hardship, even if that means I have to abandon my pursuit of true north.
It is struggle that gives life its meaning, and the pauses and blessings that punctuate its landscape. Sometimes that struggle is against self and the laziness that craves only comfort. The creative process is a personal assault on the beachhead of apathy, and to succumb to the path of comfort is to turn our backs on the greatness that is on the other side of sacrifice. I refuse to allow comfort to be my ambition. Comfort is often the enemy of greatness.
I recently read Frank Lloyd Wright’s Autobiography — a very thought-provoking work. In it, he includes a list of the “Fellowship Assets” that he outlined for the architecture apprentices he worked with at Taliesin, his summer home, studio, and school.
1. An honest ego in a healthy body.
2. An eye to see nature
3. A heart to feel nature
4. Courage to follow nature
5. The sense of proportion (humor)
6. Appreciation of work as idea and idea as work
7. Fertility of imagination
8. Capacity for faith and rebellion
9. Disregard for commonplace (inorganic) elegance
10. Instinctive cooperation
Rams’ ten principles to “good design”
Is innovative – The possibilities for innovation are not, by any means, exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for innovative design. But innovative design always develops in tandem with innovative technology, and can never be an end in itself.
Makes a product useful – A product is bought to be used. It has to satisfy certain criteria, not only functional, but also psychological and aesthetic. Good design emphasises the usefulness of a product whilst disregarding anything that could possibly detract from it.
Is aesthetic – The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products are used every day and have an effect on people and their well-being. Only well-executed objects can be beautiful.
Makes a product understandable – It clarifies the product’s structure. Better still, it can make the product clearly express its function by making use of the user’s intuition. At best, it is self-explanatory.
Is unobtrusive – Products fulfilling a purpose are like tools. They are neither decorative objects nor works of art. Their design should therefore be both neutral and restrained, to leave room for the user’s self-expression.
Is honest – It does not make a product more innovative, powerful or valuable than it really is. It does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept.
Is long-lasting – It avoids being fashionable and therefore never appears antiquated. Unlike fashionable design, it lasts many years – even in today’s throwaway society.
Is thorough down to the last detail – Nothing must be arbitrary or left to chance. Care and accuracy in the design process show respect towards the consumer.
Is environmentally friendly – Design makes an important contribution to the preservation of the environment. It conserves resources and minimises physical and visual pollution throughout the lifecycle of the product.
Is as little design as possible – Less, but better – because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity.
AND THE NUMBER ONE THING I HAVE LEARNED:
#1 – Those who have achieved REAL success in life (financially, emotionally and spiritually) will never criticize your dreams and aspirations. Instead they will look for ways to share their own experiences to help lift you up to higher levels. Successful people are rarely jealous and welcome the achievements of others.
As with all free advice….remember, you get what you pay for.
Excellent advice. Read the whole thing!
“Know yourself” includes knowing when you excel as a principal and when you excel as a lieutenant. Many entrepreneurs I know think of themselves as CEO material. Generic ambition points to the top. But not everyone is best suited for the top job all the time, even if they are sufficiently capable.
You are not either a principal or lieutenant. Teams and circumstances vary. Part of being a good team player is knowing your role within the team. Most of the time I find myself a principal / CEO, but there is at least one area where I excel and enjoy more a lieutenant role: basketball.
read the whole thing and watch the linked videos. or you could do what I do. Listen while coding.
Play keeps us in the moment
A spirit of play engages us and brings us into the content and into the moment. Children remind us that we need more play in the classroom, in the lecture hall, and especially in the typical conference presentation. But first we adults must give up the notion that play is not serious. We must abandon the notion that work (or study) and play are opposites. Work and play are inexorably linked, at least the kind of creative work in which we are engaged today and hope to prepare our children for. As Bill Buxton likes to say, “These things are far too important to take seriously. We need to be able to play.”
The opposite of play (and work) is depression
In this TED talk below, Dr. Stuart Brown reminds us that “The opposite of play is not work, it’s depression.” Brown makes many good points concerning the importance of play, not just for children but for all of us. Ironically, the presentation could have been even better if Dr. Brown had interjected more play into the actual talk (like Tim Brown did in his talk on play and creativity), but still the talk is very much worth watching for the issues raised.
Want to be a person? Remember: Managers tell employees what to do and make sure they do it.
With people, they have conversations about things that matter to them.
Come on if you haven’t had a failed venture when your nearing 30, when you haven’t worked for or been part of a startup, if you haven’t failed at a micro enterprise, you are probably risk averse and would only start a business if it was a sure thing (and the sad thing is nothing is “a sure thing”).
If you’ve worked for the same company since graduating from college and haven’t left
PLEASE READ THE WHOLE THING on the linked blog!!!
In just about every business, there’s a club. To become a member, you have to be a person, and not just an interchangeable, faceless, member-of-the-great-unwashed, one-of-the-troops sack o’ skills.
Companies treat members of the club differently than non-members. They pay members more. They give members more interesting assignments. Members receive the promotions, and their names aren’t on the Reduction In Force rosters.
If you value your career, believe me: You want to be a person.
Selling on price doesn’t achieve that. Neither does selling solely on work products. Both proclaim kinship with cinder blocks and lentils as interchangeable commodities.
Wouldn’t you rather burn out doing something you love than plod along doing something you merely put up with?
Don’t get me wrong; I have no plans of going down in flames in the foreseeable future. I have a close circle of trusted advisors that I listen to carefully. If they told me I was in danger of exhaustion or boredom (the latter being more dangerous, I think), I’d pay attention and make some changes.
But my close advisors are also the kind of people who understand that I shouldn’t always be making the safe choices. They know me, and they know I’d die a slow death if I slowed down too much. I went in the bank the other day to open a new account and looked around at everyone working there. I felt like I aged three days in the 40 minutes I sat in the chair filling out paperwork. I just can’t fathom the idea of a life like that.
All things considered, I’d rather regret something I did than regret something I wanted to do but was restrained by fear or insecurity from going for it. In other words, I want a full life. I don’t want to miss out on anything. There will always be time to sleep later.