Tag Archives: technology

Which is it?

My cousin, Lonnie Brown was a game warden in the mountains of Colorado for many years. A good man, in a noble profession.

On one visit to his little ranch in the mountains, he showed me the bear trap he used occasionally to trap a bear needing to be relocated to a more remote area. It was a simple piece of culvert opened on one end. They would put some stinky piece of meat or something in there to attract the bear and of course close the gate once he was inside.  It wouldn’t hurt him.  Actually it might save his life. But there is not much chance of explaining that to the trapped bear.  Lonnie told be you better believe that bear makes a heckova racket inside that steel tube.

Sometimes when I am watching a usability test in which a user is lost and frustrated, clicking around on everything trying to get a foot hold, I think of that bear in a trap, thrashing about trying to get some control of his situation.  Then when someone tells me that  some stupid feature is getting a lot of clicks, i smirk a little. Quantitative data is compelling, but qualitative data is smarter.  Knowing what users do is information.  Understanding why they do it is intelligence.
My point is: A whole lot of clicking going on is not necessary necessarily a sign of success.
My question is this: What is the nature of interaction on your web site? Is it site exploration and discovery? or is it thrashing and flailing?  How can you know?

roger

Creativity and Ambiguity

DressAgainstTreesCongratulations to the City of Frisco for supporting the Arts and infrastructure to ensure a great community continues amid all the growth.

For those who opposed the commitment toward a performing arts center because in their words, “There was no plan” I will tell you what I tell my colleagues in the IT business – And it is this:

“You can be included in the creative process to shape a plan or you can have only finished plans presented to you for approval, but you cannot have both”. – belveal

Everything starts with an idea and a sketch.  A sketch is a representation of an idea, but not everything in detail.  A sketch by its nature contains immense ambiguity.  That ambiguity inspires creative minds to fill in the rest with possibilities.

It is often the same people who complain about being left out of the process that,  when you include them, choke on the unanswered questions. Design is about  solving problems and working hard over a period of time to find and develop answers to all those questions.

Anyone who has ever been successful at creating anything fully understands that there is ambiguity in the early stages. If you cannot handle that, you cannot be successful yourself and you will be in the way of others. The creative process is what converts great ideas filled with questions into finished viable plans with every detail worked out. I suppose this explains why some people perceive new innovations as magic. They just really have no idea what creativity is or how to do it.

For those creatives that do get it, thank you for your vision. There is a lot of work to do to do to make this dream a reality.  Let’s build something awesome!

– roger

http://www.friscobonds.com/

Performing Arts Center, momentum

Wow, a lot is happening with the Performing Arts Center initiative since my last post.

The bond election committee has recommended an amount of ten million be offered to the voters to approve or disapprove.   If the voters decide to approve it, then it simply means that the City Council has been authorized to sell bonds when and if they are satisfied that a solid plan for such a project exists.

Such a plan will require private donations in the millions.  From Who?  How about from the private developers currently  investing B B B Billions right now.  Yes Billions with a B.

Ever since the Cowboys announced their intentions to build a new practice facility to the north of the Hall Office Park, a strong band wagon has formed and is continuing to gain momentum.  Luxury hotels, office parks, housing, and restaurants are piling up in the adjacent properties.  And not too far down the road,  Toyota is breaking grown on their new US headquarters.  FedEx will follow soon.

Why is this happening?  What is the big draw?  Simple.  Quality of life.  Frisco has it with a great promise of it getting even better.  Many great sports venues are here already and more are coming.  That growth is great, but it represents a very lop sided quality of life.  Anyone can recognize that Frisco needs to be well-rounded.

Bringing  these kinds of investors on board with a plan to add a cultural arts center to the mix doesn’t seem far fetched at all.  Empowering the Frisco city Council to foster such a partnership makes sense.  But there must be some assurance the city is truly a partner.  Without it, who will invest their dollars?   Ten million in potential bonds to be sold if and when such a plan emerges shows the kind of commitment needed to get such investors to commit their resources to the making of the plan.

Now is the time.  Lets’ do this thing.

Roger