Answering Your Questions

I check my blog analytics pretty regularly. I like to know how many people are visiting, coming from where, for how long, reading what, etc. My keyword activity, the search terms that lead people to my blog, is particularly interesting and hilarious. I realize that I have a sultry blog title, and as a result people sometimes come here accidentally (pun intended). But there’s actually a ton of traffic from folks who typed “how to” type questions into Google and landed on one of my usability evaluation posts.

Most of the time I know that I haven’t directly dealt with their particular question, but rather generally talked about the related features and functionality. So I’ve decided to finally tackle some of those questions now in the hopes that the next time someone searches for help, they’ll actually find the answer.

“view facebook chat history”

From Facebook Help Center:

You can view recent conversation history by opening a chat window with your friend. You cannot view older conversations at this time or conversations with friends who are not currently online.

To clear your chat history just click the “Clear Chat History” link at the top of your Chat window. While message history is saved from page to page, and even between login sessions, please note that it is not logged permanently.

“facebook chat idle” or “facebook chat moon icon” or “facebook chat icons”

From Facebook Help Center:

A green dot will appear next to a friend who is online and available to chat, and a moon will appear next to a friend who is currently idle. Friends are considered idle when they have not taken any action on the site in the last 10 minutes. On profiles and anywhere else on the site, clicking on a chat icon will start a conversation with that person.

“autoplay flickr video”

Yes, you can autoplay your Flickr videos! Just log in, go to your account page, then click the Privacy & Permissions tab. At the very bottom of the page under Content Filters, make sure the “Autoplay videos” option is set to YES.

“how do i delete my bebo account”

I know how…because I did it. Log in to Bebo, click on Settings in the top nav, click on MY ACCOUNT, then scroll to the very bottom of the page. Under the Cancel Membership heading you’ll see: “I must be crazy but for some reason I want to cancel my account.”

Clicking on “cancel my account” will bring you here:
Make sure you click the Yes button! (a reason is required)

“bloglines export pinned items”

So far as I know, there is no way to export just the pinned or “clipped” items in Bloglines. You can, however, export your subscriptions to OPML format by clicking Export Subscriptions at the bottom of the left panel.

“google design principles”

The Google user experience guidelines are posted on their corporate information site. The ten Google design principles are:

1. Focus on people – their lives, their work, their dreams.
2. Every millisecond counts.
3. Simplicity is powerful.
4. Engage beginners and attract experts.
5. Dare to innovate.
6. Design for the world.
7. Plan for today’s and tomorrow’s business.
8. Delight the eye without distracting the mind.
9. Be worthy of people’s trust.
10. Add a human touch.

“iphone one-handed”

Apparently one-handed browsing is possible on the iPhone, but I have yet to see one-handed typing.

“twitter statistics”

There are lots of ways to track your Twitter usage. Here are some of the ones I use:

  • TwitterCounter — tracks your number of followers and based on the trajectory predicts your follower count for tomorrow and 30 days from now.
  • TwitterFriends — an enormous depth of analysis such as the size of your relevant outgoing and incoming network, overall rank, average tweet length, conversation quotient, retweet quotient, link quotient and more. Also offers cool but somewhat confusing visualizations of these stats.
  • TweetStats — graphs your average tweets per hour, total for each month, overall timeline and reply statistics. They also provide a tweet cloud of your most commonly used words.
  • Twitter Charts — really cool density visualization of your tweets by time of day and day of week, along with the ability to explore @reply conversations.
  • Klout — tracks your influence on other Twitterers, based on @reply conversations and retweets

“search my friends on twitter”

To find which of your friends are currently on Twitter, click on “Find People” in the top navigation and then the “Find on other networks” tab. You can search your Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL or MSN address books, or just search by email address.

“twitter bots”

There are thousands of resources out there on Twitter bots. The Twitter Fan Wiki on pbwiki has a whole bunch of them listed in one place.


TwitterBerry is a Twitter app for BlackBerry. It’s pretty good. It’s the only one I’ve ever heard of. You can download it here and follow its Twitter updates here. What more do you want to know?

“randy pausch blog”

Randy Pausch was an incredible professor and hero to many. He passed away on July 25, 2008 from pancreatic cancer. Read about the journey on Randy’s CMU blog.

“was randy pausch christian”

I’m sorry, but I don’t know if Randy Pausch was a Christian or if he practiced any religion. It was not the subject of any of his lectures or classroom conversations.

“best schools for interaction design”

I get asked this question constantly, in emails, at conferences and on Twitter. I can’t possibly know of all the options out there, but here are my recommendations:

I can’t speak highly enough of Carnegie Mellon, my alma mater. I got a Master’s degree in Human-Computer Interaction, which is very research and usability focused and can be completed in 1-2 academic years depending on workload. There is also a Master’s in Interaction Design, a two-year professional program, from which the illustrious Dan Saffer and many other greats have graduated. CMU is in Pittsburgh, PA.

Starting this fall, the School of Visual Arts in NYC will be offering a new MFA in Interaction Design. The lovely Liz Danzico is the chair of the program and some incredible people whom I really admire will be faculty. The program is full-time for two academic years and remote classes will not be offered.

There is an interaction design minor for undergraduates Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), and a year-old Master of Interaction Design program now offered at the University of Kansas. University of Michigan has a great program called Master of Science in Information that has a human-computer interaction specialization.

If you aren’t interested in a full-time education: Smart Experience, a small school run by Victor Lombardi, offers great design-related classes at relatively inexpensive prices and are also based in NYC.

“whitney hess blog”

Seems you found it!

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  1. says

    This is so funny! You know you'll know get even more hits but those readers will find what they need. A great use of analytics and I wish I thought of that. How would I explain, “washer tuna resume”?

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