Don Norman at the Business of Software 2009

Neil has posted a video of Don Norman (most famous for his book The Design of Everyday Things) speaking at the Business of Software conference last year in San Francisco.

“Imagine you’re on the first slide of your powerpoint presentation and want to move to the next slide. Your remote control has two buttons. They are unmarked, but one button points up and one button points down.

“Which button do you press?”

It turns out half the people press up, half the people press down, and everybody thinks their choice is obvious. It’s a great talk.

The early bird discount for the Business of Software 2010 (Boston, October 4-6) saves you $400, but it expires this week, so this is the right time to sign up for my favorite conference.

Area 51 is now in beta

Area 51 is now in beta. This is the promised place where the community comes together to invent new Stack Exchange sites.

Benofsky from Hacker News writes:

Seems overly complicated, I have no idea what’s going on when I visit Area 51, I guess this is their strategy for turning away uncommitted users.

Also, how are they going to make money?

I’m glad you asked, benofsky! The answer is simple. Volume.


Well, I’m not one to take Internet chat board comments seriously. After all, the Anonymous Nostradamus’s over at Code Project reacted thus when Stack Overflow itself launched:

I think the UI sucks. I can’t imagine this site being around in a year.

We all know how stunningly accurate that prediction was:

Benofsky is onto something, though. Area 51 is not for everyone. If you don’t know what it’s for, or why it’s going to work, or you can’t figure it out, it’s not, actually for you.