Google’s insertion of unsolicited ads directly into inboxes is made possible, paradoxically, by its success in otherwise eliminating them. Google has essentially conquered spam, which was once predicted to be the death of e-mail: less than one per cent of all spam in Gmail reaches an inbox. It could not stuff its own ads in the box if it had not already cleared the space.
Matt Buchanan on integrated ads in Gmail’s redesigned inbox: http://nyr.kr/1aJaw2Y (via newyorker)
Defining the problem goes a significant way toward solving it.
Stefan Klocek (via mralancooper)

layervault:

When LayerVault 2 launched earlier this spring, we believed that we were taking a risk by pursuing an entirely flat interface.

Well-loved products on the web share a similar design aesthetic, with roughly the same kinds of bevels, inset shadows, and drop shadows. For designers, achieving this level of “lickable” interface is a point of pride. For us, and for a minority of UI designers out there, it feels wrong.

We certainly didn’t invent the flat style but arriving at it was a violent process. We tore through hundreds of revisions (we have the LayerVault timelines to prove it) to potential interfaces before arriving at the answer that now makes us say “of course.” The desk at LayerVault’s original headquarters (my Manhattan apartment) still has the battle scars from objects being slammed down in anger. At one point, while working on a mockup, a MacBook was slammed shut so hard it was nearly unhinged.

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Metrics for success can be internal or customer-focused. Keep both, but make final decisions based on those that are customer-focused. (the things your customer does care about)

skipvanderburg:

Six Sigma is a methodology for improving the quality of everything from the manufacturing of minute electronic parts to the development of complex software. 

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At its core, it has a set of tools that helps identify and eliminate defects, waste and undesirable outcomes.  

While there are many tools in the six sigma toolbox, here are six that we apply when improving the user experience of websites, software and hardware:

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