Archive for April, 2008

While making some configuration changes in Salesforce.com, I ran into a truly puzzling set of buttons. At the bottom of the page I was editing, I saw the usual buttons for “Save” and “Cancel” — plus another button for “Quick Save”. I don’t have a clue how you can save something faster than normal, and […]


There are many anecdotes that teach us to be wary of unusually low prices. In my experience, this is especially relevant when you’re buying something that involves an ongoing or recurring relationship with the seller. Regardless of how you scored the deal — whether by taking advantage of a novice sales rep or using questionable […]


Elevator logic

28Apr08

From what I’ve read, modern elevator design generally focuses on how to make elevators more efficient. In other words, engineers try to group passengers by their destination floor, reducing average wait times. With that said, I came across a design blunder in Chicago’s John Hancock Center that makes me wonder if elevator designers have really […]


Most people have a difficult time explaining problems with their computer or any other piece of technology. Instead of providing useful details like what they were doing when the problem took place or what sort of error they received, the typical person just reverts to saying “It’s broken.” To make things easier on customers and […]


Sugar coating

24Apr08

I received a package from a reputable mail order company yesterday. Inside, in addition to the products I purchased and a packing slip, was an envelope entitled “Special offers for our most valued customers.” From the title, I would have expected to find a collection of highly-targeted, exclusive offers inside. Instead, what I got was […]


The way you end your error messages can have a big impact on how the user perceives them. Here’s a quick overview of what each type of punctuation says to the reader: – Period or no punctuation: Simple and direct, the message comes across without any specific tone. – Question mark: Polite and unintrusive, this […]


Insider lingo

22Apr08

The other day, I heard a radio ad for the season premier of a popular TV series. I didn’t catch the name of the show, but the ad promised “the biggest reveal ever”. I’m not very familiar with the TV business, but somehow I know that a “reveal” is when they disclose a fairly shocking […]