Visual Studio UX Taskforce, Office UX Taskforce... etc.
Long Zheng's Windows UX Taskforce is amazing.
In the space of a few days, what started as a blog post has turned into a web phenomenom. He put together the digg-like site in a couple of days, apologizing all the while how long it was taking. (It's actually based more on a site from Dell called IdeaStorm but calling it 'digg-like' gives it an instant familiarity).
The amount of content now available is stunning. Long is awesome -- but so are the people who follow his blog. The recurring theme is that little things add up.
This is a point that Joel Spolsky makes over and over on his website (when he's not telling you to learn C)
"Another tiny frustration. These things add up; these are the things that make us unhappy on a day-to-day basis. Even though they seem too petty to dwell on (I mean, there are people starving in Africa, for heaven's sake... ), nonetheless they change our moods."
--Joel Spolsky in User Interface Design for Programmers
I think we need more of these UX Task force sites. What I'd love to see:
Office.UXTaskForce.coma community site for improving usability in MS Office
VisualStudio.UXTaskForce.comimprove Visual Studio
IE.UXTaskForce.comimprove Internet Explorer
...and so on for any software that has sufficient surface area to maintain its own independent site for focusing on user experience.
Obviously my own needs are too limited to the microsoft realm -- such is my burden in life.
I checked if the
UXTaskForce.com site was available, with the idea of donating it to Long (he's a fellow Australian after all)
The website has been registered, and only a few days ago -- hopefully it's Long himself who grabbed it.
Domain Name: UXTASKFORCE.COM
Registrar: ONLINENIC, INC.
Updated Date: 08-jun-2008
Creation Date: 08-jun-2008
Expiration Date: 08-jun-2009
If there was a community-backed Visual Studio UX Taskforce (rather than the paltry connect.microsoft.com/VisualStudio), here's something I'd contribute (from the last few minutes). It's really small, but... well, little things add up.