Material Design Arrived on my Android Nexus 5

Material Design Flatness is Soothingly Pleasing
Material Design Flatness is Soothingly Pleasing

It’s somewhat hard not to notice and not to appreciate the difference.

Good work, G!

Usability Matters: Material Design (Leaks)

Because it’s hard (but certainly not impossible) to separate functionality from usability, Material Design has had me rather chomping at the bit. It inches closer each day as October winds down (perhaps a driving reason for selecting Google Music: Orange!), and should ship with Nexus 9 on November 3.

Not quite as quirkily endearing as My MSFT Metro aesthetic, Material Design is certainly crisp & firmly intelligible.

google-music-md-3 Track Changes Feature: Usable & Easy on Eyes

I like the before and after tracking. Not that our processes contain so many touchpoints that dozens are waiting upon reports such as this. Still, it’s nifty, direct and to the actionable point: to see how proofing catches things that are corrected with version updates. Great way to document to your team that you’ve done what they’ve pointed out.

Nice touch!


MSFT is Unfairly Maligned

I still try to calculate the soothing value of the user interface design of Office 365, which continues to grow sleeker — and grow on me. This is a totally different angle from how powerful you can feel with your configuration options.

But I digress. This was to be a minor musing. So ending now.

Xen’Do is Awesome (18th Century Sense: Impressive tinged with Fear)

Today was one of those “whoa”: this stuff is impressive, powerful and the tiniest bit scary. (Not that I haven’t, to paraphrase Kubrick, learned to stop worrying and simply love the cloud).

Signed up for Xendo via Yammer, and then proceeded to add all the usual suspects of my cloud services: Salesforce, Twitter, Gmail, LinkedIn, Office 365, Evernote, Trello — hey, to learn things sometimes you have to have redundancies (even if you have to pay for the privilege).

Let it whir and churn for a while as it builds primary indexes for the first time. But before long, you’ve got an “internal” search engine of quite some (staggering) power. I searched upon my former colleague/treasurer of Columbia Business School Alumni of MetroDC, Dana Scherer, a Virginia resident who works for the Federal Government.

The result set was impressive — her contact information in my multiple synchronized systems; her attendance at events as recorded in Salesforce, along with her ticketed purchases from the club. Google drive stored versions of contact clean up exports that I, mental pack-rat that I am, simply save. A reference to her in a backup of a WordPress database (evidently unencrypted). It goes on and on — just as this image does here.In fact, what you’re seeing and about to scroll through is truncated, because no browser based screenshot tool that I know of will capture a sample as tall as this is.

(To give a slight preview, here is the search results dashboard detailing source, record type and chronological allocation of the search results. Nifty, eh?)  But that’s where that slight tinge of fear comes from.  If, courtesy of Xendo I can aggregate information like that — just imagine what people who truly know their way around systems can do.  The Snowden halo is hard to ignore.  Still, for lil’ole me: it’s simply fun — oh and useful.

A Preview of the Results with Descriptive Stats & Chronological Allocation
A Preview of the Results with Descriptive Stats & Chronological Allocation

So: get ready to tire your thumbs as you scroll through the (extremely) truncated search results.

Tall & Narrow: Lots of Results
Tall & Narrow: Lots of Results

Adventures in Social Media Marketing: Segmentation

Bespoke Boutique Interpreters and Translators

That’s the tagline I developed for my Client, The Meehan Group (follow the LinkedIn Organization Page and/or Facebook Page[s]: English; Japanese), a Tokyo-based but global practice of language professionals. Subtlety note: Interpeters/Translators are people, whereas Interpretation/Interpeting (etc.) are nouns – common and gerund form. (Can you tell I like my role in offering linguistic guidance?)

I decided to take LinkedIn up on its offer of an advertising coupon. The registration part was normal enough, though it did take a few minutes’ worth of tapping on the keyboard. (There are indeed some tasks one doesn’t want to do on mobile!) But the real fun was in developing an audience segment to address.

The brand voice for The Meehan Group is cerebral and quirky — slightly indirect, at times, but the distance of the indirection is paid-in full by the time the reader reaches the payload, and, as students of reader response criticism would note, the re-presentation/re-framing of the point is precisely what makes it pop and stand out in the reader’s mind. Live simultaneous interpreters are costly, but to the people who hire them, they’re indispensable. Quality, not price.

So, for the segmentation exercise I targeted highly educated alumni of select prestigious schools — based both in the U.S. and in Asia (Japan, Korea, Greater China). No projection of personal background onto the matter. Strictly professional. Honest.

Screenshot from LinkedIn Ad Campaign Manager
Screenshot from LinkedIn Ad Campaign Manager

Watch this space to see how it works out — and to discuss analytics and data integration issues.