Author Archives: Jay

For the paranoid in all of us…

From televisions to toasters, all kinds of devices are getting hooked up to the Internet. That’s bringing convenience, like air conditioning systems that can be activated remotely while you’re on your way home from work. But it’s also bringing new privacy concerns, as anything connected to the Internet tends to attract the attention of hackers.…

via 7 Easy Ways to Stop Your Gadgets From Spying on You — Tech – TIME

RIP Dad

On Wednesday, March 8th my father passed away at the age of 78.

He fell over the weekend, causing a subdural hematoma . They performed brain surgery Monday to relieve the pressure. On Tuesday his vitals crashed and we were advised that there was nothing to be done. He was moved to a hospice center that afternoon. He never regained consciousness after surgery. My daughter (17) went in to tell him goodbye on Monday.

My mom and my sister stayed overnight Tuesday while his breathing became more and more shallow.

Wednesday I got up and had an urge to read The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. I thought I had a copy of it already but apparently I never got around to buying it. So my wife and I drove to Barnes and Noble to pick one up before heading to the hospice to spell mom and sis.

When we got to hospice we sent mom and sis home for a shower and food. The plan was for them to come back in the morning. After they were gone I opened up the book and read the first page under the “Dying” section. It said to be honest with the dying and to tell them what they need to hear, that it’s about them- not you.

So, I took him by the hand and said “Pop, mom just left with sis. I want you to know that mom will be taken care of. Me, sis, <my wife>, <sis’s husband>, <my kid>… hell, the grandkids have fights on who gets to be with her. She’ll be safe and we’ll make sure she’s OK. We’ve got this. All you need to do is relax and let go. Love you pop”

2 minutes later he was gone.

I don’t know why I woke up wanting that book. But it told me what needed to be done.

I called sis who literally just got out of the parking lot. She turned around and came back. Now, my wife is a very strong person. I’ve seen her go through multiple deaths in her family and I can count the number of times I’ve seen her cry in 28 years on one hand. However, my mom’s reaction to seeing my dad dead… it was the realest, most heart breaking thing I have ever seen. I really have no words to describe it. My stoic wife was left sobbing in the corner, just watching it.

After a few minutes mom looked at me, still destroyed, and asked “Why didn’t he want me here when he left?”- like it was betrayal. By now the hospice doctor was in the room and she had seen this hundreds of times.  I told her “He was waiting for you to leave so you wouldn’t have to see it. He wanted to spare you that moment.” Hospice doctor just nods and says “It almost always works that way. Men will hang on until the wife leaves. It’s just how things go.”

I then told her what I told him, about her being taken care of and how he was gone less than 2 minutes later. “Mom, he may have been a grumpy old man but there is no arguing that he loved you. He refused to go until he knew you would be OK.”

And that is how my father died.

 

Quick Update and New Section

Happy March 1st… where it hit 80 here yesterday. Hope you didn’t have any plans for winter because apparently it was cancelled.

Just a couple of news bits to relate.

First, I’ve been SICK as a dog for the last week. I felt ick on Friday and then Saturday standing in the kitchen I could actually feel the moment where I slid over the edge between “I don’t feel too good” to “Awww crap. Kill me now.”  Tomorrow is the first time I will be leaving the house this week as a result.

Which brings me to point two. The reason I’m going out at less than 100% (closer to 75% to be honest) is that I have an interview with a well respected company and the job is to “find the next big thing”. It’s basically an in-house think-tank for their industry. How cool is that? No way a virus, cough, steroids, codeine laced cough syrup and all the rest will keep me from going after this. Fortunately they were kind enough to postpone it from Monday to tomorrow.

A big part of my role there would apparently be ADA evaluation, including Sec 508 compliance. I’ve done this stuff in the past and kept up on it, but since my last job was tweaking a long-existing platform I decided to place it safe and look through some of my favorite resources on the subject for a quick brush-up.

That’s when I realized they’d be a very good addition to Red Paint. So, on the right there is now a new section specifically for useful ADA information. Like I do with the UX blogs I’ll try to keep it as updated as possible.

Wish me luck tomorrow!

-J

 

Apple + Netflix = Dear God NO

Below is an argument as to why Apple should buy Netflix. As a devoted user of Netflix (love me some historical dramatic series like “Borgias” and “Frontier”) I hope that this never happens. I ditched Apple with the iPhone 3 because it was so restricted and so… hipster. Please, leave my Netflix alone. Season 3 of “The Medici’s ” is starting soon.

In light of Apple’s announcement that it was working on “Planet of the Apps” series, in August 2016, I wrote about why I thought Apple should buy Netflix. It led to an enthusiastic exchange of arguments with my dear friend John Gruber. Fast forward to 2017, and suddenly everyone is talking about Apple buying Netflix.…

via Why Apple Should Buy Netflix…Again! — Om Malik

Everything old is new again…

Polaroid had a hit on its hands with the Snap. The device marked the perfect marriage between an iconic brand and new technologies, re-developing the once novel phenomenon of instant film for an early 21 century millennial crowd. According to a rep I spoke with, the brand can’t keep the thing on the shelves. Unveiled…

via Polaroid’s Pop returns the brand to its iconic instant format — TechCrunch

Rule #3: Keep the Navigation Simple

The purpose of navigational tools and cues is to allow the user to get where they need to be. The best type of navigation is the ones where the user doesn’t even realize they are using it. The user shouldn’t have to figure out how to use your “cool” new nav.

An example of bad navigation is ESPN’s “floating nav”. I did an entire post specifically on this feature here: ESPN Floating Nav Text.

An example of good navigation has to be Amazon’s. The site is incomprehensibly huge, yet a user to able to get to any item with a couple of clicks.

This may be a personal preference, but any nav that changes when you move the scrool wheel on your mouse is too distracting. If the entire page changes because I’m scrooling down a few lines it is very disconcerting. Please give me a way to turn that function off.

In Summation- The best navigation is one your user never notices.

Happy Birthday… Not Really

Hello All,

Long time, no hear. Sorry for the lack of updates, but I’ve been slammed at my day job.

Well, that’s going to change.

I can’t say it was a 100% surprise, but I was given notice today. Yes, I was let go on my birthday and barely a month before Christmas. Sometimes life can really bite.

Positive side: this will let me focus on getting a couple of things around the house done.

Negative side: everything else.

Soooo, if any of you know of a company that can use a very experienced BA/Information Architect, please give me a shout.

Thanks-

Jay