Mark Bult Design: San Francisco, CA, Established 1988

Web design and development for small and large business, e-commerce, b2b, b2c, SAAS, and community websites. User experience design and usability testing.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


I spent the last two days at work in two eight-hour trainings about the "Agile" or "Scrum" software development process. My boss put me in this class because I've been made part of a small team that's responsible for significantly increasing user engagement with the site over the next three months.

The team project is a bit daunting (because the target we have to hit is rather a tough one) but not something I'm worried about. And I was honored to have been entrusted with this responsiblity, not to mention glad that they're even including a designer, since the designer's contribution is often more of an afterthought. But Jim has apparently recognized my experience in usability, so adding me to the user engagement team presumably seemed logical.

The training, however, was mostly a waste of time for me. Which I'm loathe to admit to Jim since I'm pretty certain that the seats in this training were hard to come by and the company spent a pretty penny on the training guy. I did learn a few things, and I can apply a couple of things to work I do, and going through the training will help me better understand what all the programmers and project managers I was in there with when we work together. But the process itself has almost no value to my work, and unfortunately it was mostly a big waste of two days for me.

Now I just have to think of a polite way of saying that to the boss tomorrow.

In other news...

I added my photoblog to a couple days ago and have already had something like 25 or 30 visitors from there in a day or two. There's some fantastic work out there, and a lot of great photographers on If you go there and end up making a profile (it's free), you can save your favorite photoblogs in a watchlist. And you can add me ; )

I've been taking photos more often now that my camera has been revived (knock on wood!). I stopped on Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island last night on my way home from the hospital in the East Bay, and took some really cool photos of the Bay Bridge and a panorama of The City that I hope to stitch together this weekend.

When I started the photoblog last month I was initially worried that I'd never be able to keep up the pace of one photo per day. That's 365 photos a year! And they have to be quality ones. Not just crap. But looking through my archive, I realized I have quite a few good pictures in there I can use. I'm hoping I might just be able to keep it up. Especially if it makes me actually get out and take more photos. The Pixelpost software is what makes it possible, really, because actually posting every day is the hard part. But now I can process and upload 10 or 15 photos in a night, and set them to post one-a-day for the next two weeks. As it stands now, I have enough photos already in the database to last through early October.

I've been so beat the last few days I still haven't finished cleaning anything post-desert, including laundry, so I'm kinda running out of clean clothes. I'm also running tragically low on food (tonight's dinner was frozen corn and two cereal bars), but still holding out on going to the grocery store, seeing as I absolutely hate going grocery shopping.

The Dandy Warhols' latest came out on Tuesday and I haven't even finished listening to it yet! Gotta rip it to iTunes tomorrow and listen to it at work.


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