Ok, so not that big a leap, it’s just me. Six months later me. Moved to the UK me.
Why Milton Keynes? Because Xero has an office here of course! Aside from being cheaper to live here than in the middle of London, it’s also a bit quieter and a bit of a slower pace of life for a bit, with reasonable connections to anywhere but here. The plan is to live and work here for a while and travel around Great Britain and Europe. It makes sense when Europe is 2-3 hours aways from here when it was 26 hours of plane plus another 5-12 of airports from Wellington!
So as you can imagine, planning a move takes a while, and my Wife and I had a 7 week holiday on our way over. Thus explains the 6 months of no blog posts. But I’m back in anger now and keen to get back into a good cadence of writing and GitHub-ing again.
As I travelled for the last 7 weeks, I completely lost touch with the development community. Partly from the busy sight-seeing schedule and picture taking, but partly because the mobile internet roaming charges were ridiculously priced, and hotel wifi was not amazing. And I was on holiday, so no time for work. But it did have an unforeseen side effect.
I spend 7 weeks around the non-geek, the computer normal, the general every-day average computer technology smart phone public. Real People. Lots of ‘em. And I noticed a few things. People have no idea what their devices can do. The times I heard “did you know it could do this?” for a years-old feature that came out 3 versions ago was interesting to hear. On top of this, the amount of bad software that people can and do put up with without complaining is amazing. We in the professional developer community hold other developers to a very high standard. One which we are very vocal about, but one the general public don’t really know to consider. They put up with a lot, and are non-the-wiser. Amazing.
The other side of travelling was using all of the hotel websites, airport touch kiosks and information centre devices. Wow. Touch is hard, but some of these machines could do with a bit of TLC. (What was I saying about high standards?) It has made me appreciate good touch software when I see it, as well as sticking to good old keyboard or mouse over touch in some cases as well. I could type my name faster or select from a few dropdowns faster than using some of the touch-designed selections and wizards.
For those of you making great experiences out there for travellers - thank you. For those of you making responsive web design - bravo. For those of you who realise people do have Windows Phones, even though we are only 5%, I applaud you! And better yet, though of you who remember that as well as iPhone and Android apps, having a responsive web-based version for everyone else still covers the other 20-30% of phone users who still want to access your resources on their phone!
Who has an idea of an app gap I could fill? Send me a tweet or put a comment below and I might give it a go.