Photography, Cycling and the Internets


Presenting at the UIE Web App Summit

WebAppSummitOn March 28th in Coronado, CA, I will be giving a talk on applying best practices in web development and design to a ground-floor startup. This presentation will detail several contributors to both developing and designing a world-class web experience. This will touch on everything from resources, team-building, to design research and testing. Being in an early-stage startup demands everyone to do a bit of everything, but executing properly can get you a long-way quickly. This presentation is a bit of an experiment since I have not crossed my own finish-line yet. However, it does draw on all of my experiences (starting in 1998 at AltaVista) in developing world-class web applications and how they are being applied at GetListed with several examples; including a few from my most recent experience at Netflix.

Promotion Discount: If you sign up at the UIE Web App Summit with the promotion code of KANE, you will receive $30 off each single day registration. If you sign up for all three days, you will also receive an iPod Nano.

See you there, it’ll be fun!


Live The Rich Web Experience

This must be Web 2.0 season because web conferences are in full swing. I will be speaking at The Rich Web Experience in San Jose in September. My talk currently steps through a few key UI elements on the Netflix site and goes through the history and realities of how they came to be. I’m thinking about changing up the talk for RWE to step through more design pattern examples than before and highlight the pros and cons of the various approaches. This will still focus primarily on the data-driven development practices, but it will also shed some light on the more subtle aspects of good (and bad) design principles. It’s a 90 minute session, so there is plenty of time to experiment a bit. I’ll post more once I actually have some slides done :).

Register using the code: nfjs2007speaker200 and you will get a $200 discount.

Presenting this Friday

The Ajax Experience conference is going on this week in San Francisco, and it should be a great time!  The last couple were great for getting developers, framework authors  and luminaries from places like Yahoo, Mozilla, and Microsoft together.  The caliber of speakers has always been incredible, and I have met many very talented folks in the Ajax community both times.

Friday I’ll be presenting at the conference with an updated version of the talk I gave in Boston.   I’ll still be discussing the development process, with a focus on qualitative and quantitative testing.  It details some of the challenges that we have had in developing some of the Ajax features on the Netflix site and shows some very current examples.  It’s a great talk for anyone that is looking to find out a bit more about Netflix and see how our data-driven approach to development shapes the user experience.   I hope to see you there!

Vacation Policy?

In my latest talk at the Intel Developer Forum, I spent a few minutes discussing the fact that there is no vacation policy at Netflix, among a few other bits about the overall company culture. Today, the San Jose Mercury News wrote a comprehensive article on the non-policy that sheds even more light on the subject.

Netflix’s time off rules – or lack thereof – are part of a broad culture of employee autonomy instilled in the company when Hastings founded it a decade ago. The executives trust staffers to make their own decisions on everything – from whether to bring their dog to the office to how much of their salary they want in cash and how much in stock options. Workers are treated, as Chief Talent Officer Patty McCord likes to say, as adults.

“We want our employees to have great freedom – freedom to be brilliant or freedom to make mistakes,” Hastings said.

Read More

Experimenting with Slideshare

At the UIE Web App Summit, Rashmi Sinha let me know about a product that she has been working on called Slideshare which is essentially a flash presentation of PowerPoint slides. I thought that I would experiment with it and post my slides from the UIE Web App Summit to make it easier for everyone to see them. My deck uses quite a few animations, both through PowerPoint and embedded avi files, so was hoping that the animations and transitions specified by PowerPoint would have been picked up, but they weren’t. As a result, the deck looks a bit rough and unpolished.

Overall, the Slideshare product looks promising for the future, and I’m sure the missing features will get added.

Apparently WordPress doesn’t support embedding the Slideshare objects so my deck can be found here:

Thanks for the great time at BayCHI

Tonight I had a great time talking at BayCHI.  I was surprised to see a full house for my presentation.   I was encouraged by the enthusiasm from everyone and for asking such great questions.  Daniel Russell’s talk on how people search at Google and use search engines in general was also very fascinating.  The two talks had a great synergy for an evening on the similar and yet distinctly unique development approaches of Netflix and Google.    Again, thanks everyone for the great time.


Today Rashmi Sinha asked me if I wanted to give my Great UI talk at BayCHI on December 12th.  Of course I accepted, it’s BayCHI afterall. 🙂  I have attended several talks at Xerox Parc, but it will be great to actually talk there.


Due to a snafu in regards to handing out the comment sheets at the Ajax experience, those of us that presented on Wednesday aren’t going to be receiving many comments on our presentations. Myself included. If you attended my talk on Netflix UI and have any feedback, I would really appreciate hearing it.

I had a great time presenting

The Ajax Experience conference was fantastic. I want to thank everyone that came to my presentation on Netflix UI. Your questions were great, and I loved getting the feedback from many of you. There were some great ideas suggested, and a few that I hadn’t considered before.

I love the Ajax Expereience conference because it brings the best talent in the web development space together. For the second time in a row, I have left excited and motivated about the overall space; with many new ideas to boot.

Ajax Experience Presentation

I’ve finished preparing my case-study presentation, Building Great UI, the Netflix Way for The Ajax Experience. The development approach and challenges faced implementing several of the Netflix Ajax features are central to the discussion. Each case-study gives great insight into the goals, issues and results of developing each feature. The case-studies include the Starbar Rating Widget, the Add-to-Queue behavior, and the movie detail bubble among others. In addition to the specific Ajax interactions, the discussion emphasizes how data-driven development and usability testing work together, creating a great customer experience.

The Ajax Experience in May of 2006 was a fabulous conference, and I encourage anyone that is looking to improve their web development skills to attend. I’m very excited about presenting in Boston this October alongside such great folks. I can’t speak highly enough about each of the speakers I saw in May. The great news is, they are all speaking again in Boston. I’m looking forward to another great 3 days.