Mary Meeker’s New Internet Trends Report

Mary Meeker has published her newest internet trends report.  It is always a great, informative read:


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Quick Hit: Facebook rolling out ‘smart lists’ of friends

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about how the competition between Google and Facebook is improving the feature sets available to users:
Quick Hit: Facebook Boosts Photo Resolution, Size
In that case, it was that Facebook was improving it’s photo resolution similar to what Google+ had made available via Picasa. Today we see that Facebook has now released another feature called Smart Lists:
Facebook rolling out ‘smart lists’ of friends

This functionality automatically sorts friends into groups where posts and news can be targeted to them. It appears that this is very similar to Google+ Circles feature which manually allows you to put friends into groups.

Isn’t competition great?

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Quick Hit: Facebook boosts photo resolution, size

I just read this article on Yahoo and this is a much needed improvement to facebook:Facebook boosts photo resolution, size. I’m curious if this is a direct result of the launch of Google plus. Google’s Picasa photo software web integration … Continue reading

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Quick Hit: $250B Lost? Brands Are Still Getting Online Ads Wrong

In his recent Forbes article “$250B Lost? Brands Are Still Getting Online Ads Wrong,” George John argues that brands lose billions of dollars every year because of the following: Online ad spend lags consumer behavior by five years. Brands act … Continue reading

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Quick Hit: How Valuable Are Heavy Social Media Users, Anyway?

I just read this article from Forbes that had some interesting data about heavy social media users versus medium and light social media users: In the article, the author classifies these users as breaking down like this: Heavy Social … Continue reading

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Netflix Uproar

So, as you may have heard, Netflix recently had some pricing changes that caused an uproar amongst its customers. I happen to be Netflix subscriber and I am definitely peeved by their actions. Not so much because of the price … Continue reading

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Quick Hit: Phone Number Field Awry

Recently, I decided to upgrade my server for The Usability Review and my other sites. I have been using for a long time and have been quite satisfied with them. So, I ended up choosing a dynamic cloud server … Continue reading

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How to Choose a Design Agency/Consultant and Usability Exposure Hours

Recently I have been working on an article (not yet posted) to help organizations choose a web or application design agency/consultant. One of the key sections of the article discusses some things you can do to help you evaluate an … Continue reading

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Quick Hit: Customer Service Emails

Perhaps an example of how not to do your automated reply for customer service. Apparently,’s entire customer service organization is on vacation.

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The Baffling Windows 7 Control Panel

Since the dawn of time (or maybe only the last several centuries), the dictionary has been organized so that users can quickly scan vertical lists or words and find the page and the word that is of interest to them in quite a lengthy book. Recently, Microsoft (in all their wisdom) decided that centuries of using vertical lists to quickly scan content needed to come to an end. And, thus, the Windows 7 Control Panel became a horizontally sorted list:

Now this had to be an intentional change as there is no other reason it would suddenly change from a vertically sorted list of columns. And it is not nearly as easy to scan the list horizontally-otherwise, the dictionary would have been a bunch of horizontal rows for the past few centuries. Now, if there are 1 million Windows 7 users who have the same view of their Control Panel as the above and each one of them visits their Control Panel 5 times per year. Say on average they spend 2 more seconds looking for the appropriate control. That is 115 man days into the abyss due to one minor, poorly chosen change in convention. I’d certainly like to have 115 man days back, wouldn’t you?

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