July 27, 2005

It's Like Summer Camp for User Experience Types!

Shameless plug:

Adaptive Path is going to Washington, D.C. next month, August 22 -25. This is our annual User Experience week - 4 days of talking about all manner of interesting issues (designing for Web 2.0, information architecture, content effectiveness, new user research methods), with interesting people (i.e., the other attendees.)

We recently announced a new guest speaker -- Eric Costello, developer for Flickr, will talk about the development of their innovative product.

That's in addition to such good guests as Jared Spool and Marc Rettig.

I've helped put together Day 2, which is all about IA and content effectiveness. I'm excited about speaking with Melanie Arens, a senior information architect from WellsFargo.com. We will be discussing content strategy and content effectiveness in depth. Planning and designing your content is an often overlooked step in web development. We hope to shed light on its importance, and approaches for doing it.

All of which takes place in Washington, D.C.'s Hotel Monaco, a massive boutique hotel (is "massive boutique" an oxymoron) in the heart of D.C. Often the greatest value of conferences is in the networking, and we make a point of getting attendees to meet one another, both in the sessions and afterwards.

You can sign up for any number of days, or all 4. When you do so, use promotional code FOPM and get an additional 15% off.

Posted by peterme at 08:37 PM | Comments (2)

Unbridled Venom, Airline Edition

Why does it seem that so many major American airlines are run by children? My last two trips have been plagued by bush-league inability to manage *their own* schedules.

On the trip to and from Minneapolis, I was plagued by Northworst. Arriving in the Twin Cities, we were 15 minutes early at our gate.... Yay! Except we had to wait an entire HOUR before we could deplane, because there were other planes at our gates. And because we were on the ground, we had to STAY SEATED. No getting up to go potty! We would have been better off circling above the tarmac.

Why on earth is it that there aren't spare gates that airlines can use in such circumstances. Is every gate really spoken for at every moment?

Then on the trip back, I got to be seated in the distant back of the plane. I know, boo-hoo. But the reason I got the distant back of the plane is that when I bought my ticket, I was unable to select seats for that leg. So I get punished for buying a ticket so far in advance that they don't know what kind of plane will be flying.


And then today, I am on an America Worst flight from Oakland to Dallas, by way of Las Vegas. A colleague of mine is on an earlier flight... which is so delayed that he is told he would not be able to make his connecting flight. So they get him a seat on a direct flight on American, the lucky bastard.

Me, I'm not so lucky. My plane departs from the gate on time... But then waits inexplicably to take off. It turns out that before a plane takes off, some information needs to be sent to the pilot, which is done wirelessly... Except that his computer wasn't receiving the information. So we had to return to the gate, so he could be given this information BY HAND. Oh, 19th century, look out! Then, about 40 minutes late, we take off... Which wouldn't be so, bad, except I have 45 minutes between flights at Las Vegas.

So when we land, I get off the plane, only to be found that my connecting flight is at the farthest possible gate (from A3 to B25). So I'm hauling ass past slow fat people, and make it to the plane.... Only to be told that my carry-on luggage must be checked. Because I was so late on the plane. Because, clearly, it was my fault.

Airlines have NO CAPACITY for dealing when things go wrong. You'd think that, this late into the airline business game, they'd have figured out issues of redundancy, planning, etc. But no.

Suffice it to say, I will never fly either airline again. Even when I return to Minneapolis (which Northworst pretty much has locked up), I will choose a carrier with a connecting flight if need be.

I mean, these experiences are making United Airlines *look good*.

Posted by peterme at 08:37 PM | Comments (5)


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