Google+ #webWednesday

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This page is too beautiful it left me speechless for 5 minutes.

IA vs. Site navigation #webWednesday

Once upon a time, I freelanced for a digital agency and there was a minor incident that has been bugging me since then.

At some point during my short tenure there, I was roped into a client’s meeting to go through some of the evaluations and recommendations the agency has made for the client’s work. It was all documented in a thick stack of papers.

I was told that we would go through the document and discuss the pointers with the clients accordingly, therefore I didn’t have to really prepare anything. Plus, I was told it should be a short meeting of roughly an hour.

Looking at the thick stack of paper, I could not barely imagine how we could cover all the points within a hour of meeting. Perhaps my agency folks were a little too ambitious.

Given that I had some down time then, I took it at my own effort to compile a list of recommendations indicated in the document. Basically, I picked up points in a Word document and listed them out in an Excel sheet. Simple as that.

There came the meeting.

I was praised for the awesome list I drawn out. To this day, I am still amazed how a simply house-cleaning action could have got me so much attention. But that’s not the point of this post.

Among more than 10 pointers of how to improve the work, we’ve got 2 particular points:

  • Improve the information architecture
  • Improve the site navigation

So the client asked: What is IA so different from site navigation? Can’t we combine these?

The next thing I knew, everybody was trying to chime in.

Account Director: Oh yea, what’s so different?
Planner: I would think as much.
Client: Architecture is navigation and vice versa right?
Account Director: Ah right. Don’t worry about it. ‘IA’ is just another flash word of Jenny’s.

At that very moment, I felt literally lost, couldn’t comprehend why I was sitting among ‘digital’ folks who could simply laugh through ‘IA is navigation and navigation is IA‘ without a second doubt.

I would have already spoken up if not the topic wasn’t immediately overshadowed by the next point in the list.

Frankly speaking, I wasn’t so much turned off by lack of knowledge or however more nicely one would put it. Neither was I totally disappointed by at the fact that the situation became me Jenny showing off ‘flash words’. It was exactly the ignorance of people who consider themselves ‘digital experts’, who could write endlessly about Advanced Digital everywhere on the Interwebs, yet couldn’t grasp the difference between IA and Navigation. Seriously, guys?! That was totally uncool.

So to put this on record, Information Architecture is different from Site Navigation.

Let us all get our shit together, shan’t we?


Disclaimer: My ex-colleagues then were super nice people. And I had zero personal or work-related conflicts towards them prior to this event, which may or may not result in this post. All views were mine alone. Happy to discuss the topic further if you please.

Facebook Paper #webWednesday


Best login screen ever?

Coincidentally, Paper’s website is also a favourite one of mine.

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I have only noticed today that WordPress has just revamped their landing page. Absolutely fabulous.

If there’s something that itches me for ages about websites in general, it’s about how site owners typically expect users to do some multiple things when users land on the landing page. Some have too many call-to-actions, while others don’t have one at all.

I wish all site owners could just button down to one single individual thing that they want most of their users to do when the users land on the site.

Think of Google Search, clean, neat, simple and straight to the point. Plenty of white space, yet not flooded with umpteen of irrelevant ads.


Google Search is my single-mindedly most favourite site of all time. But I’m glad to see more sites picking up this practice.



It looks like not a lot of people can really let it go with blank white spaces. But one step at a time, they just need to figure out a focus first.

Example of bad UX

Dear the famous Casio,

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you are an example of bad UX.

Here’s why:

Ft. #rollen.

today’s realisation

I feel like I haven’t been really ‘living’ for the last 2 months. Such a scary feeling when I have been deeply focusing on something for a while, for a minute I stop and look around, I realise I don’t know what’s happening around me.

Anyhoo, leave the emotional drama aside, here’s some realisation of today when I stop and stare.

  • Reunited with my uni friends over a friend’s baby shower, they asked me what I’m doing. I said I’m in an advertising agency. None of them had an idea what advertising is. I thought ‘advertising’ is common sense, obviously it’s not.
  • I find it really hard to explain my work to people in Vietnamese. #justafact.
  • Had some issue with opening a PowerPoint deck on my Mac today. The file appeared somewhere out of the viewport and I couldn’t manage to drag it in by any means. I was literally frustrated. For a minute, I was feeling disappointed of myself for not knowing how to fix this shit. And also scared, for thinking if it was just me who didn’t know how to figure this thing out.
  • Went to Watsons. Oh, mother of discounts and promotions going on. I definitely prefer the price tags that said: “Now $XX (UP. $YY)” than “Buy 1 get 1 free (UP. $YY)”. The difference is I don’t need to deal with my math (that sucks) with the former, as long as I know how much I have to pay.
  • Browsed and bought some stuff online. Some deal aggregator websites do really suck. But the deals were just too good that I braved to make some purchase. This got me thinking: is the user experience that important when your content is good and unique? Most of the time, we are trying really hard to explain something that we think it’s ‘easy to understand‘ to people. Isn’t this ironical? If it’s easy to get, people will get it, why do we have to even explain? Sigh…
  • When I’m unhappy, I don’t want to hang out with happy people. I’m tired of hiding my unhappiness to be in a happy gathering. I don’t want to lie that ‘everything is alright’ and I’m afraid I couldn’t help myself but complaining. Although a part of me wishes to join the fun, I’d rather stay in and get some physical rest. It seemed like a good decision.
  • Cream eyeshadow works amazingly with a finger. I have had this squad for like the longest time and I remember every time i used it with a brush, I created a mess on my face. Not until yesterday when I reorganised my make-up, I randomly used the ring finger to swatch and dab a little cream on my eyelids and woah, the shimmer worked its shimmery and from now moment on, I said I will wear this everyday.Inline image 3 (Src)

Off-track, my ring of the day. Heehee.

have you got CARROT-ed? @CARROT_app

I stumbled upon this article yesterday and the title got my attention. I was curious how sadistic an App can be so i downloaded CARROT to try.!!! (And really sadistic lol)

What I like about this app is not how well it manages my tasks (compared to Astrid) but all its personality, randomness and the fact that it makes me feel like it’s talking to me.


CARROT is moody

CARROT has mood swings.

CARROT is a badass.

CARROT does swear (that’s how i interpret “BEEP”)

CARROT likes kittens (I don’t. I just like it that a kitten is brought into our ‘conversation’)

CARROT can get bad-tempered. Tickle it!


CARROT talks to me

Because of all this, i’m abusing CARROT with adding and removing nonexistent tasks just to see what else it will come up with 🙂 And have I mentioned i love the name CARROT lol?

This is a really good example for “Idea doesn’t matter. Execution does!

More about CARROT:

Chatting with Janice Fraser

Picking her brain on females/being a female in the start-up scene.

Janice is an entrepreneur, designer, and advisor to early stage companies. She has raised capital, founded both successful and failed startups, and consulted to both large enterprises & tiny startups. Along the way Janice has learned a lot about what makes some teams thrive and others wither.

At LUXr ( she’s answering the question, “How can regular, smart people do predictably good user experience work in an agile or Lean Startup™ environment?” She believes the answer lies in the operating practices and behaviors of the team.

Janice is a guest lecturer at Haas, Stanford, CCA, and the Presidio Graduate School of Management. Prior to starting LUXr, Janice was a founding partner of Adaptive Path and served as the company’s first CEO.

> Src

Janice’s full profile here.