A quick note on usability


Am I the only one who doesn't necessarily always fill out online forms from top to bottom? The way some forms are designed makes it seem so.

For example, visit the free Basecamp account signup page. At the time of this blog post, if you fill in item 3 and then fill in item 2 with something different (and then click in a new field to have the change to item 2 "sink in"), what you have entered for item 3 is replaced.

FLOSS Usability Sprint


Last weekend Aspiration co-hosted a Usuability Sprint at Google in Silicon Valley. The purpose of this sprint was to bring together designers of Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS) software with "usability experts", with the hope that some good design work could be done to make the products more user-friendly. Google provided most of the usability experts, and the open source projects represented were Drupal, Sustainable Civil Society, SocialText, HyperScope, and of course, Social Source Commons (represented by Gunner and me).

Comment from cheryl jerozal on November 3, 2006 - 4:05pm

did you get one of the google pins that lights up with different colors? that was my favorite piece of swag from them.

Comment from gariet cowin on November 9, 2006 - 3:01pm

For those of you interested, which is probably nobody, I would like to point out that "shwag" and "swag" are not the same thing.

"Shwag" is free promotional crap given out by companies.

"Swag" is an Aussie term for a rolled bundle of belongings, carried by a foot traveler. It can also refer to "loot", such as that plundered by pirates.

The only exception to this is if you happen to be at a trade show for a pirate startup company, and you steal some of their promotional items. In that case, either word is acceptable.

Comment from lauren bratslavsky on November 14, 2006 - 11:22am

well garriet you'ld be surprised to know that this is relevant at our office. We have been talking about schwag and calling it pirate booty. Thanks to your clarification, I informed my coworkers and set the record straight, though there are still some rebels who say schwag is the pirate booty of conferences.

Comment from cheryl jerozal on November 16, 2006 - 12:54pm

swag and shwag are the same thing: , except that shwag has one additional meaning of low grade marijuana. i chose the spelling i did as an attempt at a joke (sometimes i feel like a pirate looting companies, especially at job fairs where they have things like pens that light up in multiple colors...hmm maybe i just like things with flashing colors)...but i guess that attempt failed.