The Giver Should Be Thankful

There’s a Zen story that taught me a lot about the nature of giving and receiving: While Seisetsu was the master of Engaku in Kamakura he required larger quarters, since those in which he was teaching were overcorwded. Umezu Seibei,…

Web Apps and the Uncanny Valley

Bottom line? Here are my guidelines for web app design without Uncanny Valleys:

1. Do include features like drag ‘n drop, cut ‘n paste, right-click context menus, etc.
2. Don’t make your user interface look too much like a Windows or Mac application.
3. Do copy some of the common design features of modern apps, like a File/Edit menu where appropriate.
4. Don’t forget it’s a web app, and don’t try to convince the user that it’s not.


My favourite work tool is a notebook and a pen.  (Lately it’s a DeSerres notebook, which is kind of like the Moleskines but a more convenient format, and a Uni-Ball JetStream pen, which is like a gel but without the…

Is the Tipping Point Toast?

A rebuttal to the Tipping Point brings up interesting points, but seems to miss some important points. Malcom Gladwell’s famous book The Tipping Point put forward the idea that small numbers of people have unusual influence on the spread of…