Throwing in the sponge

For the past three weeks, I’ve written 2,100 words for the #blogg100 challenge trying to repeat the feat of last year. I’ve even “tightened the rules” this time: one 100-word blog post a day—no shorter, no longer.

Both satisfied and with a heavy heart, I am throwing in the sponge. Hey, I’ve had my moment of happy (thank you, @beep!). But everyday blogging does not suit me after all. It’s not that I have nothing to say. It’s the regular commitment that I’m unable to maintain for now.

Instead, I will be focusing on longer, more thought-out occasional posts. Cheers!

This is the final post as part of the #blogg100 challenge—100 blog posts à 100 words in 100 days.

There should not be a need for justdelete.me

I get many e-mails from applications I’d signed up for and forgot about. If I don’t use a service regularly, I like to delete my account. Sometimes it’s easier said than done. Forth comes justdelete.me.

justdelete.me

Justdelete.me is a directory of direct links to delete your account from web services.

Built by Robb Lewis and Ed Poole, it’s a handy directory of links to pages where you can delete your account from web services. Moreover, the tool provides colour codes to indicate the difficulty level of account deletion.

Justdelete.me shouldn’t exist. Deleting an account from web services shouldn’t be that big of an issue. Unfortunately, it is. And the popularity of the tool is undeniable.

This post is part of the #blogg100 challenge—100 blog posts à 100 words in 100 days.

Building a product the users’ way

So I did a quick test on my youngest daughter yesterday. I wanted to test her preference of hand to hold a toy rattle in. Left is wrong, I learned, and right is right—she’d switch hands every time I placed the toy in her “wrong” hand. After a while though, she got tired of the experiment and refused to take the toy at all.

Users will always try doing things their way, not yours. If you don’t heed their way, they will become disinterested, frustrated, or worse yet, hostile.

Place your product in users’ lap and observe. Act thenceforth accordingly.

This post is part of the #blogg100 challenge—100 blog posts à 100 words in 100 days.

All links should be blue

Blue links

Photo cropped. Original: Links. by C/N N/G (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

The less effort it takes for users to recognise an element on a web site the better. If a button looks like a button, the users are more likely to associate it with something pushable and to actually push it. Right?

It’s only partially true. What users recognise, and subsequently take for granted, is patterns. All patterns are culturally fabricated. The target audience is the key to decisions on both aesthetics and functionality.

If users expect links to be blue, they’ll look for blue to click. Building on what rocks their boat is the surest way to get it right.

This post is part of the #blogg100 challenge—100 blog posts à 100 words in 100 days.

Be prepared for the unpredictable

Cold Shower

Cold Shower by Steve (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

The other day, when my daughter and I were on our way to the kindergarten, she told me she didn’t want to play with one of the girls there. She was clearly upset about something. After lunch, as I picked her up, she told me she loved the girl. The same girl!

Your customers are like that. Their feelings are unpredictable, their actions are irrational, their mood is fluctuant. You may try to prepare a response to every situation. However, you must prepare for the sudden change as well.

The best response to this kind of situations is authentic empathy.

This post is part of the #blogg100 challenge—100 blog posts à 100 words in 100 days.

Perseverance against aspirations

One warm August afternoon I arrived in Örebro with two huge suitcases and ambitions set on studying to become a teacher. Quickly realising that teaching was’t my cup of tea, I switched to Media and Communication Studies, which I never completed.

During the past 6.5 years, I’ve moved thrice, got married to the girl of my dreams, fathered two beautiful daughters and got a job I love.

My aspirations and plans for the future help me but move forward. The closer I get to the goal, the easier it is to make out the shape of it. And, in faith, persevere.

This post is part of the #blogg100 challenge—100 blog posts à 100 words in 100 days.

Bullying always starts at home

Photo coutesy of Jürgen

Photo coutesy of Jürgen

Bullying seems to be a game of popularity and domination. Children bullying their peers are in it to win it. Their low self-esteem may be the reason they yearn for attention and dominance.

Self-esteem isn’t a product of peer influence. Even if the negative effects of it being low do not appear until a child starts interacting with other children, it all starts at a younger age, at home, with parents.

Parents must teach their children their worth: “Look, how good you are at ______ !” However, the sense of one’s worthlessness needs but a “You could never ______ !” to rocket.

This post is part of the #blogg100 challenge—100 blog posts à 100 words in 100 days.

The beautiful mind of creators

Photo courtesy of Jeff Daly

Photo courtesy of Jeff Daly

According to Alex Griendling, we often praise work because of who made it, not necessarily because of its quality. He claims that follower counts and likes—the superficial measures of “success”—encourage “exclusion of the creative majority”.

His statement may be a crude generalisation. In any case, your follower count is usually based on something praiseworthy you’ve done. I want to hope so anyway.

What goes unnoticed is the beauty of creators’ mind, dimmed by the light of their creation. Sometimes, we ought to shift our praise from creation to the creators. Whether they are widely respected or “relegated to the fringes”.

This post is part of the #blogg100 challenge—100 blog posts à 100 words in 100 days.

Responsive web design is a mindset

Responsive Web Design

Photo courtesy of Jeremy Keith

Some people think that responsive web design is the answer to every single one of their problems: “Conversion rate’s low? Well, is our site responsive? No? I think I’ve made my point.”

Responsive web design is just as much a solution as it is a mindset. It’s more than look-what-happens-when-you-resize-your-window thing. It is how you approach your little part of the world wide web in the first place. What is the purpose of your presence online? Who is your target audience? What goals are your trying to attain?

Digging deep into the why’s can help you figure out the how’s.

This post is part of the #blogg100 challenge—100 blog posts à 100 words in 100 days.

Tools of the trade

Tools of the trade

Photo courtesy of John M. P. Knox

The tools we choose for our work say more about our creativity as to how we put them to use than the end product. Using the same tools as our competitors’ does ensure you achieve the same results.

The above is true for digital products. Take a website as a product, for instance. The tools to produce it are the same. The are available for everyone. However, the end result—everything from code to user experience—is unique.

All components are there. Just use them. The particular combination of ingredients to achieve an exceptional product is the mark of a true creator.

This post is part of the #blogg100 challenge—100 blog posts à 100 words in 100 days.