adobe acrobat + firefox = pain

Is it just me?

Adobe Acrobat has given me a lot of grief in the past few months… in lots of different ways that I don’t really understand. I find myself constantly having to kill Firefox if it opens a PDF in a browser window.

In the last two days I’ve had a PDF file open in a tab that I was trying to close. I only wanted to close that tab, but everything I’d try to close it, Firefox would totally lose it and freeze up until I’d Ctrl+Alt+Delete and kill it that way.

I finally worked out what was going on this afternoon. It seems that when I ask Firefox to close the tab, Acrobat wants to check if I really want to close the application, and it throws up a dialogue box to that effect… but the dialogue box appears *behind* my frozen (and unmovable) Firefox window.

The only way to ‘click’ it to make it go away and to unfreeze Firefox and close the tab seems to be to go back to ‘View Desktop’, then choose to view your Firefox session, which then pulls the dialogue box to the front, for some reason, where you can close it. Firefox then behaves normally again, and the PDF document and tab close.

I’m not sure whether this is Adobe or Firefox’s fault… but I’d sure like to give who ever it is a slap. Very, very annoying.

international emergency (a case for standards)

As you do, I was lying in bed the other night when the thought struck me that if I found myself in an emergency situation, if I really needed to get an ambulance to where I was as soon as possible – I had no idea what number I would need to call.
OK, so I moved countries recently, but I’ve been here almost 3 months now… and I’m sure I’ve never seen anything that told me what the emergency number was.
Funnily enough, my husband happened to witness a robbery in progress at work today and one of his co-workers called the emergency number. It turns out, in London, it’s 999.
In Australia, it is 000. As everyone in the world knows, in the USA, it’s 911.
Now, is it just me, or is this an example of where an international standard could *really* come in handy.
How hard would it be for everyone to agree on an emergency number that we used, like, everywhere?
Image credit: Good Experience

Office 2.0 PodCast Jam – Get Involved!

PodCastJam Logo

I’ve been really interested to see the way that conversations around conferences are being collated online. The recent D.Construct conference had a BackNetwork that I thought was really great – even though I wasn’t able to attend the conference. The upcoming Web Directions conference in Sydney has a similar Web Connections site set up. Even though these aren’t designed for those of us unable to attend – it’s a really valuable resource for those of us unable to attend.

A similar kind of conversation sprung up about the upcoming Office 2.0 conference. Granted, it started from the fact that there was a dreadful under-representation of women on the speaker list… but since then Anne Zelenka has spearheaded a concept known as Office 2.0 PodCast Jam.

The idea of the PodCastJam for Office 2.0 is to expand the conversation to people who aren’t invited to speak, or who aren’t able to attend, but who are still really interested in this topic. Anyone can contribute a short podcast, and then around the time of the conference, the podcasts are shared, and chats and blog posts and otherways of having this conversation allows all kinds of people who wouldn’t usually be engaged in this conversation to have a voice, and to engage with other people who are also interested – hopefully both those who can attend the conference and those who can’t.

From my perspective, this is a great opportunity for three groups who are usually chronically under-represented at these conferences to have a voice: women (which is where it started), people not from the US (as an Australian, I know how hard it is to get to these cool conferences!), and people who are interested in usable and accessible design.

So – getting to the point of this post. If you are in any one of the three groups I’ve just mentioned. Or, if you’ve got something to say about Office 2.0 but haven’t been invited or able to attend the conference. Get involved!

Contribute a short podcast, or put PodCastJam in your diary and come get involved in the conversation.

The more diverse the voices, the more successful the PodCastJam. Check out all the great people who are already involved. But don’t be intimidated – make the lineup even more special!

Don’t know how to do a PodCast? Well… what better time to have a go.

Get in touch (leisa.reichelt AT and we’ll get you involved!

It’ll be great!

Moo Flickr Mini Cards + Getting Real

moo cards
Moo Flickr Mini Cards launched recently, as you may have read elsewhere. I’m stoked to see so many people checking them out and enjoying them because I had the pleasure of working with the Moo Team on the design of the service.
It was interesting that Signals vs Noise wrote them up, because the design process that Moo undertook is really quite similar to the Getting Real methodology that the 37 Signals guys espouse.
Moo took a really inclusive and user centric approach to the development of this interface – doing user research and testing in a range of different environments throughout the design and development lifecycle. It’s really great to see that some of the things that we at Flow found when we were working with them are now part of the design – and it’s been great to see the design evolve over time as more and more people got involved in the Moo project.
So, designing, and developing and feedback were locked into a really fast and iterative process – and the end result is a process of selecting, designing and ordering cards that is – I think, and others seem to agree – really easy and enjoyable.
Based on what I know of their ethos and approach, I feel confident that Moo will continue to evolve and improve the interface and user experience of Moo Flickr Mini Cards over time.
It’s been really great working with the guys at Moo because of the responsiveness and user centric approach that they’ve taken to this project. I look forward to seeing how this product evolves and where else Moo shows up – they’re a really smart crew, doing really smart work! Yay Moo! :)
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