Statements of disappointment in product communities

There is an interesting type of feedback, which you can often find when people tell on the web that they are disappointed in a product they are invested in.

“I waited 10 years for this release and I had high hopes. But after trying it, I was shocked by the …

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Most common problems that make documents look bad

I sometimes review slides and text documents for others. There are some areas where some simple changes can improve the look and feel a lot.

Check for consistent use of fonts

When you copy and paste text you easily end up with different fonts in the same documents. Often they …

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Logo Competitions in Open Source Software Projects

I always wondered why open source projects love community-driven logo competitions (almost all logos of Wikimedia projects seem to have been created this way). What happens is this: A person or a group makes the case the the project needs a logo or needs an improved logo. If they are …

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Control and instructions

I research how people learn new skills using instructions. As fields, I selected working with people who learn programming and people who (re) learn cooking (some of them do so as they got a diagnosed with a condition that demands a new diet). Both fields work with very different materials …

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Unusual methods, marginalized people

This is a text I thought about for a long time. I hoped that I would find a nice theory that someone else suggested for the observations I made, but I was unable to find one or maybe unable to see the ones I know from a perspective that made …

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Creating a Research Question for Qualitative User Research

In most experimental quantitative research, it is essential to have a research question, or rather: an hypothesis. However, in qualitative research, a research question can be useful, too as it helps to communicate to others what you are doing and it can help to guide your research. In contrast to …

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The problem of gaps, biases and barriers

In discussions about equity in the web and in technology I often come across two terms: Gaps and Biases. Sometimes they are accompanied by barriers. It is said that, to achieve equity, we need to close gaps, correct biases and remove barriers.

a google ngram search for "Gaps and Biases". The Graph starts 1940 at 0% and raises up to 0.0000001% in 2019

“Gaps and Biases” had quite a career since …

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How I learned programming

My initial attempts to learn programming start with not starting: My father encouraged me to learn to programming when I was 14. But he suggested QBasic and TurboPascal. I think his idea was that I would start with QBasic and then "graduate" to Pascal. I tried to learn QBasic a …

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Coordination and Cards

Some days ago, I chatted with a colleague (Gabriel Birke, who writes on  Leben++) about a story telling card game in which the players develop a story based on prompt cards (based on the mechanics of “For the Queen”). He was programming a little web-based version of it. I reviewed …

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