Saturday, January 16, 2010

User Research: Discriminating Age?

I participate in a taste test program where they qualify you for certain studies and then pay you (and your selected K-12 institution) a modest sum to eat stuff and tell them what you think. It's fun, mostly because I like to observe their methods. And I like food. And to give my opinion.

As long as I've been a member, participation was limited to those under age 65. Just this week, I got an e-mail that they recently extended the upper age range to 85, so I sent my mom over (though she's not yet 80), because she buys food! And beverages! And she has time to go to studies in the middle of the work day! And she purchases food for my school-age children! And she has an opinion!

I always thought it was odd that they didn't care about the buying power of people who can afford to blow their childrens' inheritance at the casino.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The 11th Web Usability Top Ten Peeve

Stated more eloquently by Elliott Kember than I could. Just because you have the tools to do a job doesn't mean you're good at it.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Music

So, this evening, I agreed to accompany my son while he practiced violin, though my piano skills are only slightly good enough for most of the entry-level Suzuki piano parts.

Having spent several years learning to sing challenging vocal music in which one has to hold one's own part regardless of what else is going on, I thought it would be fun to try with my 7-year-old. I asked him if he could play the piece again while I played something completely unrelated and weird on the piano. Not only did he do it, afterward, he said, "That actually sounded pretty good! I really mean it!", meaning our odd, aleatoric composition was somehow pleasing to his particular musical ear.

I totally didn't expect that. (Sigh.) His uncles would be proud.