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User Experience

Most Disappointing RSS?

On 22, Feb 2007 | No Comments | In User Experience | By Ryan Feeley

The winner for the world’s most disappointing RSS feed in my opinion has to go to Consumer Reports. Full on black dots all around! How does that feel CR?

  • Gawdy jumbo logo embedded
  • Most often devoid of any content beyond a headline
  • Links that often just go to the site’s homepage
  • Links that are often often broken
  • A footer link advertising subscription to their site (even though I already do).

Here is an unflattering screenshot of their feed as viewed in Google Reader. I removed the two or three regular looking entries for shaming purposes.

I would bring this to their attention directly but ironically CR also has the worst customer relations too! Pretty much an impenetrable organization. No way to leave feedback. And their forums are topic-sensitive and moderated. Phone calls are or orders only. This is possibly to prevent their integrity from being compromised from the outside. But, get with it CR.

Consumer Reports CSS

Full screen playback. A basic human right?

On 14, Feb 2007 | 2 Comments | In Apple, User Experience | By Ryan Feeley

Actual 2007 screenshot

Full Screen Dialog

Dear Steve,

Thanks for all of the great video stuff that comes with my new iMac. iMovie HD, iDVD, Front Row, all free. Heck, even a remote control! So many amazing ways for me to not only watch my video files but also make some!

But I have to ask… with all this great video stuff, why not also include full screen video playback for Quicktime? Seems like something that should have been included long ago. Every other OS I can think of offers this feature, and often from within the web browser. Why not Apple?

Ryan

CSS Form Buttons

On 09, Feb 2007 | 2 Comments | In User Experience | By Ryan Feeley

There are the odd times when a web developer needs to make a link look like a button. I decided to have a go at it with CSS and I think I did a pretty good job. Even has the realistic “press” state (active).

Here is a non-interactive screenshot.

CSS Form Buttons

The buttons represent Add, Remove, Move Up, Move Down, and Hide.

View in action:

Download the source:

How to keep your Nano fresh

On 03, Feb 2007 | 3 Comments | In Apple, User Experience | By Ryan Feeley

Smart PlayslistsI love my iPod Nano; all 4GB of it. It’s just the right size for my Podcasts, calendars, contacts and notes. And even though the Nano won’t fit my entire music library, I utilize Smart Playlists to prevent my music from getting stale. As long as you are listening to music on your iPod and getting new music often enough, this approach is more or less self-maintaining.

I created 5 Smart Playlists each containing 700MB the following:

  • 1 CD Most Recently Added. 700MB of the most recently added songs.
  • Heaviest Rotation. A random selection of songs played more than 10 times.
  • Lightest Rotation. The least played songs that were not added in the last three months.
  • Newish. A random selection of songs added in the last 12 months.
  • Oldish. A random selection of songs not added in the last 12 months.