Author Archives: Josh Kinal

About Josh Kinal

Josh makes things on the web easy to use and understand. Sounds simple, but it’s not. His understanding of developing engaging content comes from many years of writing for print and radio. You might have heard him on Boxcutters, his popular weekly podcast about TV or years of appearing on Triple J, Radio National and 3RRR. He also holds a science degree and in 2012 was one of Australia’s few panelists at SXSW Interactive conference in Austin, Texas

Design: Poka yoke UX design

There’s a theory of Japanese car construction called poka yoke. It was described to me as meaning a form of idiot-proofing but it really means “mistake proofing”. Pieces of the car are manufactured in such a way that they can only be used on one particular part of the car. We need to apply this theory to website design.

Business: Simplifying can complicate things

I’ve played with Google Wave (OBM) and toyed with PBWorks. I tried wikis and intranets, I implemented networks and created complicated Excel spreadsheets. I have used at least five different time trackers and even more wireframing tools.

None of those things ever helped get the work completed quicker, more efficiently or better in any way.

Business: Networking is the New Networking

Networking is not about shoving your business cards in people’s faces.

Behind the Websites: HTML5 for Web Designers

The first release from publisher A Book Apart does exactly what I would hope for from the people who brought us the excellent A List Apart online magazine. It simplifies a topic and gets me excited about using new web technologies.

Business: An Answer to the Twitter Question

One of the questions we’re often asked by clients when doing an initial consultation is “what about twitter?” After a couple of years of thinking about an answer, Josh might finally have one.

Design: Use Experience to build Experience

Real world experience counts for a lot when developing for an online world. Sure, it sounds trite but it’s frighteningly true. Working on redesigning the user interface for an online store, I found myself digging deep into my own experiences to be able to anticipate the needs of the customer.

Design: Designing a User Interface with Caveat Emptor

There are lots of elements that go into making a good online store. One of the most important is that customers have access to all the information they need to make an informed decision.

Business: Reply to Emails to Manage Expectations

The cost to benefit ratio of replying to email is tiny. In contrast, not replying to email can be detrimental to your reputation and your relationships. It’s your choice.

Business: Business is not like Sport

It’s easy to make sports analogies when discussing business. Watching World Cup soccer and playing baseball, as I do, the similarities between doing well in sports and business seem obvious. In fact, since Robert DeNiro, playing Al Capone in The Untouchables bashed in an associate’s head while making a baseball analogy, drawing lines of comparison between the two has become cliché.

Business: Beware the Amazing Bargain

We’ve all heard about how, when something sounds like too much of a bargain to be true, it probably is. This was definitely the case with “quick and simple websites from $495″. When it comes to building a website, it’s important to know what the client actually needs.