Update: It seems Safari 5.1+ together with OSX Lion’s “All My Files” Finder view implements something similar as I suggested. Funny!
Update 2: It seems Apple added the animation for the downloaded file swooshing down to the download folder with OSX Mountain Lion. Double fun.
After a recent discussion on @twitter with @limi and @philikon on the difference between the Firefox and Chrome Internet browsers, I started thinking about why I still find both browsers lacking in the download experience department.
For an excellent primer on how the different Internet browsers currently handle downloads I highly recommend reading @Limi’s blog post and come back to revisit this post.
I do not know about you, but I hate the Firefox Downloads window like the redheaded stepchild it is. The web-page-in-a-tab solution from Chrome (yeah, yeah, yeah – I know Opera did the tab thing first, but who uses that browser besides you?) doesn’t quite jive with me either.
Thus I decided to do this quick & dirty mockup of how the download experience in the browser could be improved.
Introducing the Browser Downloads Docking Menu
I would think a slide in/out dock menu for downloads would be a better solution. This way you’ll always know where your downloads are and it enables context (page and download file viewable simultaneously, guaranteed) and visual/ spatial cues (e.g. in an OSX version you should animate the download file flying into the downloads dock menu).
Visual / Spatial Cues
I think it’s important to visually show that the user’s intent to download has been registered, where the download can be expected to be found and what you can do next. If the dock menu is not out/showing already, it should slide out first, showing the user how and where.
Filtering & Recovery
Some sort of parameters to adjust list view of downloads should be added, but not visible to the normal user as default. Should be extremely easy to understand and use for normal people. Should change and filter view live/realtime. The big fat “Show all” button is there to secure that the user can feel confident that she’s seeing everything and that all filters are off/reset.
What do you think? Are you happy about the current download experience in your browser? How would you make it better?
In the spirit of sharing, here’s an alphabetic list of the books I read and lectures listened to in 2010. I think I learned something from each and every one of them, so I can recommend them all.
These days, I mostly consume books as audiobooks from Audible to fill the gaps.
I’d love to learn more about what you’ve been reading lately. What did you read in 2010? Do you have any ideas on what I should be reading in 2011? Did you read any of the books on my list too? What did you think? Tell me in the comments below!
On why we seem to instantly connect with some people. On why we ‘click’, see?
In the video above, Ori Brafman “[…] talks about the power of oxytocin in making instant connections with people, and how it affects our personal and professional relationships. Vulnerability and proximity are both important factors in making lasting connections and relationships, and affect workplace efficiency and collaboration.”
Gary’s highly personal (and after-the-fact) advice for success. But if you need to learn how to hustle, listen to Gary. He’s awesome! I recommend the audio version to hear the author read it himself with added bonus materials. Contagious energy and passion.
Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders
by The Stanford Technology Ventures Program
Are you into entrepreneurship like me? Are you thinking of starting your own venture? Your own startup? Not exactly a book, but who cares. You should listen to every single one of these 130+ awesome talks with lessons learned by the superstars of the entrepreneur world. I know I did and I am eternally grateful for the insane amount of time it has already saved me by learning from other people’s mistakes.
From Harvard to the Facebook
The Art of Negotiation
Secret to Successful Negotiation
Negotiations On and Off the Field
Research Lens on Understanding Entrepreneurial Firms
Phases of a Startup
A history of venture capital
A Panorama of Venture Capital and beyond
Stimulating innovation and creativity in the workplace
Fall 2009 Quarter Roundup: What did we learn?
Getting to Plan B
Honest Advice on Starting a Company
by Sally Hogshead (@SallyHogshead)
On discovering the triggers of fascination behind yourself and your brand – and how to tweak them to better communicate your values and position yourself.
Because everybody should remember to put themselves in the other people’s shoes, know never to play a dominated strategy, use iterative deletion and know about best responses and the Nash Equilibrium. And because Prof. Ben Polak is an amazing teacher! And it’s free from Yale.
(Aside: Yale University uses the Plone CMS – An awesome and humbling factoid for me personally. Yay!)
Interesting facts about why we (or at least some) attach value to and desire mundane objects that has been owned by or in some case were only in the vicinity of a famous person; how under some conditions an object is thought of possessing some sort of “essence” of the famous person, but I found it going here, there and everywhere rather shallowly without arriving at any particular place.
I’d say just stop worrying because you’re going to die and you can’t stop it. Period. Being curious about other works [than described further down in this list] of Carnegie’s made me read this one (so you probably won’t have to).
A fractal view on financial turbulence. Provides interesting insights on market mechanics, or rather the actual lack of empirical insights to such. Do not let the math aspect scare you: It’s a [relatively] math phobic safe book. You should read it.
This one really put me off by referencing pseudo-science as science-fact. Aside from that fact, it says something along the lines of that you can program yourself to be and behave like you want to. Simplistically speaking, just tell yourself “you are the kind of person who does x” or “you are NOT the kind of person that does y” in front of a mirror and you’re well on your way to change your programming. It’s all about self-image, see? I guess it works to some extent, but I’d stay away on account of the pseudo-drivel.
More interestingly it’s also talking about the tortoise mind or the lizard brain; the power of your brain processing problems without your active thinking, better explained here:
(Aside: I’d really love to read more about any scientific research on the “Tortoise Mind”. Perhaps you know of any?) UPDATE: I found the motherlode in Daniel Kahneman’s “Thinking, Fast and Slow“.
Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions
by Gary Klein
A cognitive psychologist’s research on “naturalistic decision-making”. Ever wondered why you as an experienced professional make (good) decisions in seconds that you find hard or next to impossible to explain to say, you boss or even to yourself? Enter RPD (Recognition Primed Decision):
Recognition-primed decision (RPD) is a model of how people make quick, effective decisions when faced with complex situations. In this model, the decision maker is assumed to generate a possible course of action, compare it to the constraints imposed by the situation, and select the first course of action that is not rejected. RPD has been described in diverse groups including ICU nurses, fireground commanders, chess players, and stock market traders. It functions well in conditions of time pressure, and in which information is partial and goals poorly defined. The limitations of RPD include the need for extensive experience among decision-makers (in order to correctly recognize the salient features of a problem and model solutions) and the problem of the failure of recognition and modeling in unusual or misidentified circumstances. It appears to be a valid model for how human decision-makers make decisions.
Hah. Stick that to the next person requiring you to explain and/or have you follow the next theoretical decision processes du jour based on evaluation and elimination of total options based on explicit input: “It’s RPD, mofo!”. Another case for intrinsic knowledge beating explicit knowledge, I wager. A must read.
Challenging even more common (mis)conceptions and raising even more interesting questions with applied economics. It surprised me as being at least as funny and provocative as their first book, Freakonomics.
I think I read it the first time back in 1994 or 95 understanding little but being highly intrigued. As I read it again in 2010 I don’t know if I actually understood much more but it sure as hell raised a number of interesting questions and provoked a lot of new thoughts so I guess I found it even more fascinating now as it’s arguably obvious to most that we’re living smack in the middle of his ‘prophecy’. Spoiler: The Medium is the Message.
Unthinking, unlearning, relearning marketing, helping small and large businesses master the art of (un)marketing with example stories in this day and age: Listen and engage, do not interrupt and try to find better ways of cold calling because you know it sucks.
Like I mentioned at the beginning, I’d love to learn more about what you’ve been reading lately. What did you read in 2010? Do you have any ideas on what I should be reading in 2011? Did you read any of the books on my list too? What did you think? Tell me in the comments below!
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