Friday Facepalm– Feb 21, 2014

You know, I kinda like that title. I might have to make it a thing. Lord knows there’s enough material out there for that.

So, at work, someone ordered pizza and, after placing the order, had a question on whether they charged for delivery. Their menu was unclear, so we went to their website. Here’s what I found:

  1. It was built entirely in Flash (last “copyright date” is 2008).
  2. With an animated intro.
  3. And music that plays automatically.
  4. It also had a menu in the shape of a pizza, using a picture of a pie, complete with hovers and rollovers.
  5. But there was no search function.
  6. It did have an “order online” option, but that redirected us to a separate site that looked like one of those “thisdomain.com is available” pages, and that had a list of sub-menus with no way to do an intelligent search.

*Facepalm*

It was at this point I gave up, and we called the place. They have a $2 delivery charge.

Random Thought for Wednesday, January 15, 2014

On decisions–
There’s an old saying– “It’s better to fail trying something than it is to succeed doing nothing.

It’s one thing to change a decision once it’s been put into action and its results can be evaluated. It’s another to constantly make second-guessing decisions without ever putting any of them in motion.

The former shows flexibility, strength of character and the potential for growth. The latter a paralyzing fear of the unknown.

Given those options. I’ll take the former any day.

Sharing is caring– about who you’re sharing with

Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead
— Benjamin Franklin

This morning, I was asked about some files that I had been asked to placed in Dropbox. I knew I had sent them already, so I told the person to look in her folder (we have shared folders set up to make it easier to “sneaker-net” either large files or multiple files more easily. She did, and replied “they’re not there. There’s nothing there”.

What the–?!

I went into my folder. Maybe, for some strange, unforeseen reason I had put them there instead (I knew I hadn’t, but figured I’d check anyway).

Nothing there, either.

Panic. How could–? When–? Who could–? Then I remembered seeing pop-up notices that files had been deleted yesterday. I just chalked it up to her removing the files I had sent and storing them locally. How did they just disappear? Did someone delete them? And why?

I was ticked off. And determined to figure out how this happened and who perpetrated such a thing.

I went online and logged in to Dropbox. Surely there had to be a way to see who had accessed the folders recently. If there wasn’t, an immediate password change would ensue. Either I was getting to the bottom of this, or I was locking things up. Fast.

I looked in the Dropbox menu for the shared folders and realized a couple of things. First, neither I or my coworker was the owner of our respective shared folder (never realized I wasn’t the folder creator, since it had my name on it). Second, one of the folders had an additional person set up to have access.

Turns out the owner/creator of the folders– according to the trail provided by Dropbox– had gone and deleted the contents of the folders. Now, I understand that, as a folder admin, the contents were counting against their storage space, and maybe they needed it for some purpose. That’s fine. My issue was in not being told they were deleting the contents.

Thankfully, Dropbox allows you to recover deleted files within 30 days (I didn’t know how initially, but Dropbox has a nice FAQ– win!) , so I was able to restore everything. In the process, I created new share folders, and I assigned limited user access.

My takeaway? An obvious one, but one I had not had the presence of mind to remember in this context– always be aware of who you’re sharing content with. And, from time to time, it’s not a bad idea to review who has access to what. Especially when it comes to online content, whether you generate it in the form of Facebook status updates, tweets, blog posts and comments, or files stored online.

Photoshop– you sure you’re doing that right?

I was walking around the mall this afternoon running a couple of errands before I start my new job on Monday, and I happened to come across a poster for the upcoming Scott Pilgrim movie. I thought it was pretty cool as a teaser type poster (I’ve always been partial to bass and drums). That is, until  I took a look at its feet:

What jumped out at me was how oddly angled and out of proportion (relative to the figure as a whole) the sneakers looked. And let’s not get into the shadow. For a second I thought the whole thing might have been an optical illusion created by overly baggy pants, but the jeans looked loose or relaxed, but definitely not baggy. I also looked Michael Cera up on IMDB, and found that the kid’s close to six feet, so not only did the shoes look like they had been replaced, but they were now tiny as well (I’m fairly confident in saying that, if anything, Mr. Cera would not want to be known as the guy with the tiny feet).

Just so things are in context, here’s an image of the whole poster. I took the liberty of really quickly drawing a rough “wireframe” of where I think the original feet were placed.

I’m hoping the reason such slipshod work was put out was because of time constraints. I’d hate to think this exemplifies the type of quality the studio’s marketing people (whether in-house or not) are putting out.

So, tell me– am I correct in my observation? Am I completely off-base here? I’d really love to hear your thoughts on this.

The New Testament and Social Media

I’m writing this as I’m about to post, and not really editing (other than for typos), so please bear with me.

Lately I’ve been listening to Joel Osteen on Sunday mornings as I’m getting ready for church, and the last couple of weeks in particular have hit home with me, for one reason or another. Yesterday’s message boiled down to how we need to have in our “inner circle” (his phrase, not mine) people that will encourage us and who will be supportive in chasing and reaching our goal.  Those “toxic” relationships (as he described them) should be ones that we re-examine and possibly even eliminate from our lives.

Also, this past Sunday our church was visited by one of the pastors from a nearby church. The message he prepared and delivered was all about sharing. I believe some of the phrasing he used– to me– echoed in a weird reversed way Gordon Gecko’s speech about greed in Wall Street.

But I digress.

See, you can take out all the Biblical bibliography, and both messages remain extremely relevant. And, the way I see it, as designers/developers/artists– whatever, the idea of having people that are supportive of our goals and the idea of sharing what we have (knowledge, experience) are both things that are important to our growth, and are an integral part of living and interacting in the realm of social media. After all, isn’t that at least part of the reason we involved ourselves initially, and continue to do so day after day?