Category Archives: MacBU

iPhone announcement anniversary

Eight years ago today, the iPhone was officially unveiled.  Since I was working for Microsoft on Office:Mac at the time, I was at the Moscone Center.  We also officially announced Office:Mac 2008 (whose previous codename was Magnesium) that week, an announcement which got overshadowed by the iPhone announcement.

I remember that announcement.  Since we were going to announce Office:Mac 2008, several of us got to sit in the VIP section for the Stevenote.  Behind me in the VIP queue was the guitarist of Cheap Trick, which meant that I knew who the super-secret band was for the Macworld Blast party that night.  During the Stevenote, I sat next to my then-manager.  Just before it began, he told several of us that he was sick of seeing John Mayer at these things, and he swore he was going to storm the stage in protest if Mayer showed up again.  He didn’t, but we had a lot of fun coming up with what the headlines in the tech press would’ve been.

I also remember the announcement because that’s the time that I got blind-quoted by Cult of Mac.  I remember the calls that night to let the PR team know that it was me.  They told me that no-one else would notice this thing because nothing was going to get column inches if it wasn’t iPhone-related.  I was still freaked out.  They were, of course, right.  (It does mean that when I got approached a few months ago by the self-same writer of that story to do an interview, I laughed and laughed and laughed.)

Looking back at my blog post that considered what little we knew about the UX of the iPhone, it’s fun to see what I got right and what I didn’t.  I guess it’s a toss-up about whether I was right about scrolling behavior, since the iPhone and Mac scrolling behavior was divergent for awhile, but now has converged to the iPhone model, and scrollbars have mostly disappeared, too.  I was right about the apps that I can’t delete.  I still have a stock ticker that I never use, and there are even more apps that I can’t get rid of.  Tips?  Really, Apple?  Tips is like Clippy but even less useful.

My iPhone immediately replaced my iPod, and I effectively haven’t used one since.  Once my iPhone got Exchange support, and thus I could stop trying to use Exchange Web Access 2007 on my iPhone1, my iPhone became something that I didn’t let out of my sight.  And, ever since I got that launch-day no-subsidy iPhone, I don’t think I’ve let an iPhone out of my sight.  I’ve got an iPad to keep my iPhone company, too.  The iPhone replaced my flip phone, my Palm, and my iPod.  My iPad hasn’t replaced anything, although it has reduced my laptop usage some.  Perhaps when the iPad hits its eighth anniversary, it will have replaced more.

  1. Now that was a website not optimized for mobile!

user research at MacBU

Inspired partially by yesterday’s post, which included a mention of how I imported all of my existing data into Outlook, I decided to clean up my oh-so-messy Documents folders. We won’t discuss how much stuff was in there that I haven’t needed in years.

In that folder, I found a presentation that I gave earlier this year at the San José State University student chapter of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.  This presentation gives me an excuse to try out embedding a PowerPoint presentation that’s stored on SkyDrive in my blog, so here goes:

PC Magazine reviews Office:Mac 2011

As I’m sure you can imagine, my team here in MacBU has been following the early reviews of Office:Mac 2011 quite closely.  Whenever a new one gets posted, there’s a flurry of mail, not to mention Facebook and Twitter posts.

So far, my favourite line is from the PC Magazine review.  Here’s the quote that totally makes my day:

I like Apple Mail, iCal, and the OS X Address Book, but Outlook is more powerful and flexible than those three separate apps, and it’s one of the most powerful and best-designed apps ever written for OS X.

Having worked so hard on the user experience for Outlook, seeing someone call it “one of the most … best-designed apps ever written for OS X” has me turning cartwheels in the halls.

More reviews are forthcoming.  Mossberg hasn’t weighed in yet, and the full Macworld review hasn’t arrived either.  My fingers (and toes!) are crossed that they’re as positive as the ones I’ve seen so far.