NOTE: This blog has been moved to

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Big D Talk - 5/30/2009

Thanks to all that attended my talk in Dallas. What struck me the most is the vibrant community of designers, innovators and startup incubation that is growing locally in Big D. From my visit to CoHabitat in uptown Dallas to the Big D Conference itself I found the same conversation threads that I hear every day in Silicon Valley. Maybe it's the immediacy of information available now that brings us all closer. Or maybe the economy is driving lots of people into consulting and scrappy self-funded or low-funded startups. But it is refreshing to see it in action.

For those wanting the Big D version of the talk (slight variation on previous versions) you can get it from

An earlier version is available on Slideshare.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Speaking at Big D Design Conference this Weekend

Small Big (D)esign Speaking Badge

Happy to be traveling to Dallas to speak at the Big D Design Conference. Lots of interesting speakers. In particular looking forward to hearing Norm Cox's keynote as well as hear from several former colleagues: Micah Laaker, Jim Carlsen-Landy, Stephen P. Anderson and Adam Polansky.

I will be speaking on Designing with Patterns at the 1pm slot on May 30th -- a shorter version of my 3 hour workshop I gave at WebVisions 2009.

On the personal side I get to visit 2 of my sons, daughter-in-law, grandkids as well as mom and brother.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

WebVisions 2009 - Bringing Design to Life

What are the disconnects between web design & web development? How can the two work together more efficiently? What do developers wish designers knew?

I gave this talk today (May 21, 2009) at WebVisions 2009. Enjoy!

Monday, May 18, 2009

WebVisions 2009 - Workshop & Talk

Excited to be heading to Portland for the upcoming WebVisions 2009 conference. I was fortunate to attend & participate on a panel at WebVisions in 2006. I found it to be a no-hype, practical conference with good speakers and excellent attendees. And of course Portland is a wonderful city.

Designing with Patterns Workshop
I will be giving a 3 hour workshop on Wednesday afternoon (May 20) starting at 2pm. Here is the planned agenda:
  • Pattern Overview
  • Survey of Pattern Libraries
  • Design Principles
  • Principle One: Make it Direct
  • Exercise: It's a Drag
  • Present Solutions
  • Principle Two: Keep it Lightweight
  • Principle Three: Stay on the Page
  • Principle Four: Provide an Invitation
  • Principle Five: Use Transitions
  • Principle Six: React Immediately
  • Exercise 2: Button Mayhem
  • Present Solutions
  • Q & A
Here is a description of the workshop.

In every field of design one of the first things students must do is learn from the work of others. They study and break down real-world examples in order to understand the underlying principles and patterns that make for successful design. Then they are able to apply these learnings to their own set of problems. Designing for web interfaces is no different. We are constantly searching for inspiration and practical guidance in solving the problems we face as designers each day. One approach to curating and applying solutions is through the idea of design patterns. Design patterns define a solution in the context of a real world problem.

In this workshop, Bill Scott will discuss the rationale behind patterns, present a number of excellent pattern libraries for your consideration (20+), and then dive deep into 100+ examples from around the web that illustrate good interaction techniques (design patterns) as well as the not so good (anti-patterns) all organized as a set of six design principles. The main idea of the workshop is to expose you to lots and lots of real world examples and discuss the nuances and best practices that can be distilled from the them. In addition there will be time for two group exercises -- both actual problems that are currently being worked on at Netflix.

Many patterns are discussed. Here are the main ones:

In Page Editing. Direct Selection. Drag and Drop. Complex Inline Editing. Alternate Edit Path. Symmetry of Interaction. In Page Action. Remembered Collections. Rating an Object. Contextual Tools. Vote to Promote. On Demand Scrolling. In Context Expand. Inline Assistant. Hover Details. Lightweight Popup. Lightbox. In Context Configuration. Accordion. In Context Insight. Inlay. Overlay. Pagination. Carousel. Paged Scrolling. On Demand Scrolling. Seamless Paging. ZUI. Inline Checkout. Inline Assistant. One Page Checkout. Step by Step. Single Page Flow. Page in a Menu. Invitation. Tooltip Invitation. Cursor Invitation. Hover Invitation. Drop Invitation. Tour Invitation. Blank Slots. Blank Slate Invitation. Something Askew Invitation. 1-2-3 Call to Action. Sneak Peek. Question Invitation. Familiar Invitation. Button Invitation. Navigation Invitation. Fade. Self-Healing. Zoom Box. Slide. Animate. Spotlight. Auto Complete. Busy Indicator. Live Previews. Periodic Refresh. Focus+Context. In Place Drill Down. Tickler Menu. You are Here.

You can learn from the bad examples as well. Along the way, anti-patterns are pointed out. The anti-patterns discussed are:

Anti-Patterns: Non-Symmetrical Interaction. Artificial Construct. Tiny Target. One at a Time. Hover & Cover. Double Duty. Mystery Meat. Stalker. Pogo Stick Navigation. Idiot Boxes. Mouse Trap. Animation Gone Wild. Needless Fanfare. Missed Moments.

I will also be presenting Bringing Design to Life which explores what designers should know about interface engineering and ways for engineering & design to work in synch to bring design to production.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hiring! Sr. Web Flash UI Engineer - Interactive TV Position

* UPDATE: POSITION FILLED. Thanks everyone for your help! *

I am looking for a top-notch ActionScript developer to join my Web UI Engineering team. The special emphasis is building interactive experiences for the television. In particular experience with developing FlashLite for embedded devices along with a solid engineering background is needed.

Here is my job posting:


Netflix is bringing its movie service directly into millions of homes with Netflix Ready Devices, partnering with companies such as LG, Samsung, Microsoft, Tivo, and Vizio. The TV-based User Experience team is responsible for building the reference Netflix experience which is launching on a variety of new devices this year. In addition, the team is responsible for prototyping and testing new user experiences, advancing the state of the art for all Netflix Ready Devices for years to come. Over the last ten years, Netflix has developed the world's best personalization and movie finding technology - this team's challenge is to bring it to the TV and create a fantastic experience used every day by our growing subscriber base of over 10 million customers.

In this role you will directly build and engineer the TV-based user experience applying your talent with FlashLite and ActionScript. The engineering effort includes prototyping concepts with the design team, building reference platforms and implementations for our device partners and primarily creating production ready user experiences for millions of customers. As such you will need to have solid engineering skills with a strong background in simple design, agile methodologies and object-oriented development as well as an understanding of what makes a great user experience.

In addition you need to have excellent communication skills and the ability to work closely with design, product management and engineering to provide rich interfaces that are highly performant in a constrained environment.

  • Excellent knowledge of FlashLite, ActionScript 2.0 and 3.0
  • Strong modular design and object-oriented programming skills
  • Rapid prototyping skills
  • Solid understanding of web architecture (Flash, Actionscript, DHTML, CSS, Javascript)
  • Solid product development experience
  • BA/BS in Computer Science or related technical field desirable

  • Experience developing for embedded systems and/or TV set-top boxes
  • Experience in developing for multiple devices, application types, and browsers
  • Experience with C++ and/or Java


[Link removed]