Jackson Fox’s Weblog

Interaction designer, student, and all around web geek

Jackson Fox’s Weblog random header image

I’ve always been a fan of the mouse. I never got along well with keyboard shortcuts. I scoffed at Mutt and turned my nose up at vi. I never really got the hang of Quicksilver. Now, in just few short hours, Gmail macros has made me into a believer. Long live the keyboard.

04/23/2007 · No Comments

I’m very keen on the idea of presence awareness, personal content aggregation, tumblelogs, etc. I just haven’t figured out what’s truly useful in this regard. Tumblr and Jaiku both work great as content aggregators, but I’m not convinced that it’s a good idea to merge everything into one giant mega feed. Maybe its better to pick and choose the most interesting bits to share.

04/14/2007 · No Comments

Help Plan DCampSouth!

April 12th, 2007 · No Comments · Posted to Weblog

Hey there DCampers! I wanted to post a quick update on the status of DCampSouth. We’ve had several suggestions for locations and are very close to selecting both a day and a place. Speaking of dates, I’m interested in hearing which of these days work best for people: May 19th, May 26th, June 2nd.

The next big step is to put together a planning committee to start hammering out the details of the event. If you are interested in helping to plan DCampSouth, please email me at jacksonfox@gmail.com. I’m looking for 5-6 people to help out. If you’ve already emailed me about planning, I’ll be in touch soon!

Thanks to everyone who offered suggestions on locations, and a big thanks to everyone who has signed-up on the wiki. If you haven’t signed-up yet, don’t forget to add your name to the Campers page on the wiki.

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You can ignore me, I’m just playing around with the stylesheet a bit.

04/12/2007 · No Comments

Apparently April is when you re-design your website to use split buttons.

04/11/2007 · No Comments

The Design of DRM-less Music

April 3rd, 2007 · No Comments · Posted to Weblog


So why not make 99-cent 128-bit AAC tracks DRM free as well? We don’t think there’s an easy answer, but perhaps this is a move more tentative than people realize; this whole uncrippled music thing might just be an experiment.

It might be an experiment, but it might also be a question of design.

In the wake of Steve Jobs’ anti-DRM essay “Thoughts on Music” there was a lot of discussion about the possibility of Apple offering both DRM and DRM-free downloads in iTunes. The crux of the discussion was the customer experience that would result from offering multiple download formats.

Peter Lewis:

But how would this be communicated? A special “flag� icon to indicate format — that would not likely be noticed. A dialog box on purchase — people do not read them, and already ignore the current ones. The net result would be confused consumers wondering why some music they purchase works with their Zen and other purchased music will not play. Lots of angry customers. The result: a degrading of the iTunes Music Store experience and customer loyalty.

John Gruber:

I see no reason why Apple couldn’t devise a little icon to represent FairPlay-protected songs. But Peter Lewis is right that no matter what Apple does, it would only matter for iTunes users who are paying attention — and most users don’t pay attention.

By creating a higher cost “premium” offering in the form of higher bit-rate and DRM-free downloads, Apple has a solution for the customer experience problem. Apple couldn’t offer two downloads whose only distinguishing characteristic was the presence of absence of DRM without potential confusion — the two versions would be too similar in the eyes of customers who may only have a vague understanding of what DRM is. The higher price-point provides the missing discriminating factor, forcing customers to make an explicit distinction between the two in order to purchase the music they want. In fact, the increased bit-rate may exist solely to help justify the higher price-point and make it more appealing.

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Announcing DCampSouth 2007

March 30th, 2007 · No Comments · Posted to Weblog

Myself and Triangle UPA are proud to announce that planning has begun for DCampSouth 2007, an unconference for anyone interested in design and user experience.

In May 2006 I was lucky enough to attend DCamp at the SocialText headquaters in Palo Alto, CA. Masterminded by Rashmi Sinha and Stacie Hibino, DCamp brought together over 150 people of all backgrounds to talk about design, usability, and user experience. It was a huge success, I learned a lot, and met some really interesting people. At the end of the day it occured to me that folks in Silicon Valley shouldn’t be having all the fun, so I stood up and announced that I hoped to bring the DCamp idea back to the Triangle. Well, it took a little while, but the time has come to make DCampSouth happen.

The goals of DCampSouth are simple.

  1. Have fun
  2. Meet interesting people
  3. Learn a lot
  4. Build the community

To achieve these goals we’re going to need campers, organizers, sponsors, and most importantly… A location. Unconferences are democratic things, so I’m putting the call out to anyone interested to get involved.

Once we find a location, we hope to find a Saturday in May to hold the event. To stay informed, you should watch the DCampSouth wiki, subscribe to the DCampSouth Google Group, and follow the TriUX weblog. In the mean time, start thinking about how you want DCampSouth to work, and share your ideas about the schedule and the sessions you want to have on the wiki. This is an unconference, which means we get to decide what happens and when.

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