Monthly Archive for March, 2007

Eye tracking goodness

Jakob Nielsen’s recent eye tracking study contains a lot of interesting data, but none more unusual than the unexpected discovery of excessive fixation on crotches by the males in his sample.

Yep, you read that right. Crotches.


Although both men and women look at the image of George Brett when directed to find out information about his sport and position, men tend to focus on private anatomy as well as the face. For the women, the face is the only place they viewed.

Coyne [the Nielsen/Norman Group Director of Research] adds that this difference doesn’t just occur with images of people. Men tend to fixate more on areas of private anatomy on animals as well, as evidenced when users were directed to browse the American Kennel Club site.

Oy. Well, that’s kinda humiliating. Gives new meaning to “know your audience,” I guess.

Oh, and did anyone else notice that Coyne went from cognitive function to George Brett to implied bestiality in just two paragraphs? Holy cow that was awesome.

As a bonus exercise, now that I’ve used the “b- word” in a monkeyPi post, we shall sit back, make some popcorn, and watch the Google search strings pour in.

I never claimed I was a smart man…

“You shake my nerves and you rattle my brains…”

Over a recent weekend, my wife and I opened our home to an elderly relative of hers. The lovely lady, carrying the superior genes from my wife’s side of our union, enjoyed a few days of respite in our home.

Eager to prove I wasn’t totally useless, I made a pot full of theMonkey’s famous Red Sauce. I may not do many things well, but I can cook a good red sauce. The trick is to dice a half-pound of prosciutto so thin that it disintegrates into the bubbling, steamy tomato flesh, and then… well, I’d go on, but this isn’t a story about pasta sauce. I just thought that it was information that you might need to know later in the story.

One evening, expecting a large influx of relatives coming to visit, I looked at the rather large remainder of the sauce, resting quite comfortably in the fridge, the flavors getting better acquainted with every passing hour. Then inspiration struck. You know, I thought, the only thing that separates red sauce from salsa is cilantro, spicy peppers, and some sugar. Everyone likes salsa. Yes. I shall make salsa. I shall tread to the local grocer, and acquire the necessary items. I shall tell the grocer, “Excuse me sir, but I need some cilantro. And some spicy peppers.” What a captial idea! Which is exactly what I did.

At this point, dear readers, the habaneros enter into our story.

Or, as I shall refer to them from now on: Satan’s Insanity Peppers.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, all the possible anecdotes that could arise from someone working with hot peppers. But understand: no matter what you’re thinking about, no matter how terrible your imagination, no matter how many horror movies you’ve seen, nothing can prepare you for some of the details you’re about to encounter.

Trust me, it’s worse than you can possibly imagine.

Continue reading ‘I never claimed I was a smart man…’

RoboHelp Server 6 and NLS issues?

There seems to be a wildfire brewing among customers of Adobe RoboHelp Server 6.

Many have upgraded only to find that the legacy Natural Language Search functionality has not been included. Synonym search is gone, too. Apparently, Adobe has simply not included the NLS DLL file with the software.

What’s odd is that the functionality apparently hasn’t been disabled in the UI or the help. From the developer’s perspective, the feature just isn’t working. In other words, the features “appear” to be there, but aren’t. Users aren’t aware of the disabled functionality until they try to use it. Even the software’s help topics on NLS are apparently still present.

I’ve already gotten some comments from some who have encountered this.

Adobe has responded with an article in the RH Developer Center, alerting users to the “important change.”

Is it just me, or does seem a bit disingenous to alert users to the decreased functionality via a web article, rather than by removing the functionality from the UI?

It’s kinda like buying Microsoft Word, writing a letter, clicking Print, and then finding out that Microsoft didn’t include Print functionality with this version. So you open the software’s help to make sure you’re doing it properly. Yep, no problem… you think. Looks like I’m doing everything right. Finally, in frustration, you go to the MS website, and find an article “alerting” you to the fact that they didn’t put it in this time. No doubt you’d ask, Why did they include the ability for me to click “print” if printing wasn’t possible? Why include the help topics detailing the proper printing procedure, then? Odd.

Does anyone have suggestions for those who are dealing with this issue?

I wonder where he’s placed the closing element…

You HTML geeks should check out this groovy tattoo.

H/T: Wil

Helvetica, the film


Nerd alert: The upcoming film Helvetica has begun screening worldwide.

Helvetica is a feature-length independent film about typography, graphic design and global visual culture. It looks at the proliferation of one typeface (which will celebrate its 50th birthday in 2007) as part of a larger conversation about the way type affects our lives.

I know I have a lot of readers from the OSU area… Be aware that the film is coming to the Wexner Center on May 3-4.

Look for a screening near you

Image copyright Gary Hustwit