I appreciate my iPod touch more now that I have a BlackBerry

I recently became a member of the CrackBerry crowd. My last three year contract ended in November, and I figured it was time to get something better than my old Motorola phone. I was thinking about the iPhone, but since I already had an iPod touch, I ended up going with the BlackBerry Curve. So far, I love it. Text messaging is much better, email access is fantastic (obviously), and I can hop online from anywhere if need be.

It hasn’t been a perfect experience however. I’ve run into a number of issues trying to figure out how to do things – simple things that took no time at all to figure out on the iPod touch. Here’s a small list of them:

  • One of the first things I did was open up the browser. It took me a ridiculously long time to figure out how to enter an address though! Eventually I figured out the menu button and the “Go to” option, but I found the iPod much easier – just scroll up and there’s the address bar.
  • Another problem was deleting messages. Very quickly I figured out how to delete a single message, but I couldn’t figure out how to delete multiple messages at once! I ended up searching for it, and found the CAPS button trick. The iPod was much easier – nice big edit button, which reveals checkboxes beside each item. Just really intuitive.
  • Settings are another issue. Changing the background on my iPod took barely any effort at all, but I once again had to Google for help with the BlackBerry. The menus just seem to make more sense on the iPod.
  • I like to keep the unread messages count cleared, and one day it was stuck at one. I checked the email inbox, the text messaging inbox, and both were empty. I once again turned to the web and found out that missed calls show up as unread messages! I then opened up the Call Log, but it didn’t clear! Turns out they show up as messages in the combined inbox. Confusing design.

There have been other issues of course, but these few stuck out. In general, I think the interface on the iPod/iPhone is just much more intuitive. I guess that’s not surprising, given Apple’s reputation for good design, but it still caught me off-guard.

Most of my searches end up at the the CrackBerry.com forums. I’m clearly not the only one who has run into these issues! Thanks to everyone who has contributed there – you’ve made it much easier for me to get up-to-speed with the BlackBerry!

CanUX 2008 Attendees on Twitter

canux Even though we spent more time doing than tweeting at CanUX, Twitter was still there in the background. Those of you who couldn’t make it to the event could at least follow along remotely, and some of us at the event used it for informal discussions. You can find nearly all the related tweets at Twitter Search. There’s some value there, but I think following the people who attended is even more valuable, because you can learn from them over time. With that in mind, here’s a partial list of CanUX 2008 attendees on Twitter.

nForm

Presenters

Attendees (in no particular order)

If I’ve missed you, let me know and I’ll update the post!

UPDATE: Here’s my list of links and resources for CanUX 2008.

Sketches from CanUX 2008

I had a blast at CanUX 2008 this week! It was my first real introduction to Canada’s User Experience community, and a great opportunity to meet some interesting people. I learned a lot, and have tons to read and think about! You can read about the sessions at Techvibes: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3. You can find all of my photos here.

We ended up doing quite a bit of sketching and drawing at the conference, which was something I didn’t expect. It was fun though, and something I think I will practice. Here are a few sketches from the sessions (I originally wrote these in my Moleskine and re-did them using my tablet):

This one comes from the creativity session on day 2, led by The Banff Centre. It’s a representation of David Snowden’s Domains of Knowing.

This one comes from Jerome Ryckborst’s session on Designing with Developers. It illustrates the different types of people that your team likely has. Ideas are created on the left, and refined or implemented on the right.

This one was shown in Brandon Schauer’s session on Sketchboards. It shows the two basic types of sketching. Exploratory sketching results in lots of rough and varied ideas. Refinement sketching results in fewer, better ideas.

The visual alphabet was something Dave Gray shared with us. Early on in his career, he started searching for the ABC’s or 123’s of drawing, and this is what he found. Can any drawing be made just from these simple characters? Probably!

Thanks to Gene, Yvonne, Jess, and the rest of the nForm team for putting on a fantastic event!