Monday, May 19, 2014

An Interesting Sentence

An interesting sentence, unlike one I've ever seen (well that I recall), from the New Yorker where the copy editors are intense:

He liked to roar, though also: he liked quiet.
I would probably have written "He liked to roar, though he also like quiet." but the colon puts a really hard stop in there. From The New Yorker, May 12, 2014, p. 72, by Jill Lepore.

I had more on this post but I had copy and pasted it and it got a bit messed up, then it was deleted accidentally. The New Yorker is very pedantic and precise about grammar is the point here.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Excel and Date Formats

I hereby hate the people who programmed Excel and how it deals with date formats.

This error warning makes absolutely no sense. Sure, there are a ton of date formats. But the source file, which I made myself, is just a CSV file. The destination file is a brand new empty Excel file. Four years? You are kidding me. Approximately? What? This is not acceptable.

Edit: Aha! So this is what is going on. Not at all acceptable, since it means that Excel is interpreting the text as dates when I just want it to passively see everything as text. Microsoft has made Excel overdo it here, and it is not helping.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Ubisoft Toronto Visit

Lucky enough to be a part of CHI's game group (see also CHI Play) and headed along to Ubisoft's Toronto offices and their User Research Lab!

Yup. Ok we missed the "FT" part but hey.

Testing Station: Xbox One, PS4, PC under the table.

Testing stations.

Testing room with one-way mirror!

Through the looking glass.
You can see me in the mirror there.

This room is made to feel like a living room.


The Psychology of Seating

I'm sure research has been done in this area, but I never see it reflected in conference seating layouts... probably because there is "easy" and there is "this is what best practice and research articles show."

Indeed, Google Scholar has articles on seating, but most I see in a cursory glance are about children and education, but anyways.

As you can see in the following photo from CHI 2014 in Toronto (just ended this week!), there are people who haven't gone to a seat, yet there are seats open. Why? Well that seems mostly obvious (spatial norms, seats too small, no outside aisles are just a few possibilities). But what bothered me is, given that we know a thing or two about this kind of seating and human behavior, why can't we do better?