Software Wizardry

Anyone who's fought for the user experience will appreciate this excerpt from a New York Times interview with Microsoft's Senior VP for Online Services:

Microsoft lost its way, Mr. Berkowitz says, because it became too enamored with software wizardry, like its new three-dimensional map service, and failed to make a search engine people liked to use.

"A lot of decisions were driven by technology; they were not driven by the consumer," he said. "It isn't always the best technology that wins. It is the best experience."

Mr. Berkowitz compared his move from Ask Jeeves to Microsoft as stepping from a rowboat onto a cruise ship. I wonder if he's been watching reruns of Titantic.

Strange Connections

This interview with Chris Farnum is excellent (and fun in a Car Talk sorta way).

In geospatial news, GeoTec and Where 2.0 are seeking speakers.

Andy King has a nice article on the interaction of delay, breadth, and familiarity.