General Archive

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Bad UX on a Menu

popeyesI took the family to Popeyes this weekend.  I’m not the fast food type so this is about as close as it gets for me.  I’m also not one who eats biscuits or drinks a lot of soda.  Why eat at Popeyes, you ask?  It was Sunday and Chick-fil-A was closed. Lastly, I am not a UX (user experience) expert.

I scanned the menu and I noticed a 2 Loaded Chicken  popeyes_combosWrap option.  It’s basically 2 chicken tenders, beans and rice, wrapped in a tortilla.  I was good with that but I only noticed the price for the combo at $6.59.  As noted in bold letters at the bottom of this menu sign, combos include a regular side, a biscuit and regular sized drink. I figured that was a reasonable price and would work for me.  I would normally just get the main course, some beans and rice, and a cup of water.  My plan was to give the biscuit to my son.

What happened?  I received 2 chicken wraps, a side of beans and rice, and a 22 ounce cup. I’m not complaining about being charged for a massive 22 ounce cup for soda, when I would have been happy to get a free cup of water.  What I was a little pissed about was I didn’t get a biscuit to give to my son.

I informed the cashier that she forgot my biscuit.  She pointed at the sign and stated, I’m sorry but number 10 and 11 don’t get a biscuit.

I then looked at the sign again. My eyes drawn to the word combo.  I then looked at the wickedly small text next to the word wraps.

Biscuit not included

Are you kidding me?  It’s not like I’m trying to buy $9.99 knives off an infomercial and the shipping and handling will cost me $49.99 (written in the footer in super tiny sub-text).  I’m at a restaurant getting a sandwich.

I looked at all of the other menu cells that had combos 1-9. None of them included the combos statement in the footer.  So, they inaccurately framed this message and deceived me through bad design. I will never order a combo from Popeyes again. If I return, I will only order a sandwich, a side, and a water.  They will actually lose money from me over time.

Word to the wise.  Don’t try to trick your customers.  Be upfront with them. Be honest with them.  Use simple design and language so things like this don’t happen.  You’re only hurting yourself.

Have you every been tricked by bad UX?  I would love to hear your story.

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Favorite Project Management Quotes

Favorite QuotesThere isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t hear some awesome quote or analogy.  I put as many as I can into my mental back pocket, hoping for an opportunity to pull one out at a moments notice.  When you’re stuck for a quote or analogy, to help someone understand what you’re trying to say, do you ever ask yourself what’s that awesome quote that I just heard the other day?

Here are 10 that I keep handy.  Are there any quotes you would like to share?  Please add them to the comments section.


  • Because the needs of the one… outweigh the needs of the many.Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Captain Kirk.  I like to use this quote when explaining the contrast between egoism, utilitarianism, and altruism (servant-leadership).
  • The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain. – Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Scotty. I’m admittedly a Star Trek geek.  I’ve used this once when trying to articulate Lean thinking.  I also segway into the untrue but compelling story of the Million Dollar Space Pen.
  • The thing is, Bob, it’s not that I’m lazy, it’s that I just don’t care. – Office Space, Peter Gibbons.  I like to use Office Space quotes, particularly when referring to empowered teams and while drinking from my Initech coffee cup.  Mmm’kay? Greeeeat.
  • Luck is not a factor. Hope is not a strategy. Fear is not an option. - James Cameron.  This quote was on the back of the LeadingAgile t-shirts we all wore at Agile 2012.  I still have strangers walk up to me and ask about its origin.
  • That which does not kill us makes us stronger. - Friedrich Nietzsche.  I think of this quote during almost every run I take.  After taking an inventory as to my physical condition, I have a mental debate as to stopping or keep pushing forward. I keep pushing forward.
  • We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.- Walt Disney.  I’ve told my son over and over again to challenge the status quo (I don’t call it the status quo because he’s seven) and when given the choice, try new things.
  • When we go into that new project, we believe in it all the way.  We have confidence in our ability to do it right. - Walt Disney  The power of positive thinking and an empowered team.
  • Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential – Winston Churchill.  Another almost identical quote came from Dwight D. Eisenhower: Plans are worthless, but planning is everything When I talk about the Agile Manifesto and how we should be responding to change over following a plan, this becomes one of my most commonly used quotes.
  • Stable Velocity. Sustainable Pace - Mike Cottmeyer.  This quote appears on the back of the LeadingAgile running shirt. It has become the unofficial motto of my life, as it applies to work, family, and running
  • We don’t need an accurate document, we need a shared understanding - Jeff Patton. I was attending Jeff’s session at Agile 2012, when I heard him say this.  It really resonated with me.  I don’t know if the quote was scripted or impromptu.  Regardless, when I recently quoted him at a Project Managment Symposium in Washington DC, I saw over 400 project managers nodding their heads.

This post was originally published on LeadingAgile

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Week Ending Nov-13

Wow, it’s been a busy week on the blog.  The amount of comments from last week’s posts kept me busy clear into this week.

Early in the week, I was asked about the RSS feeds that I read daily.  I listed them earlier in the year.  In just a few month, I started using Twitter a lot more and feeds less.  Read more… A retrostpecitve – daily read, then and now

Next, I wrote about how within different areas within organizations, people feel they are the true center of the universe.  Read more… about how I feel people should not forget the larger goal

On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to see a webinar, from VersionOne and their Moving Agile into the Mainstream webinar series.  Read more… about AgileLive

I was then inspired to write about the need to Communicate effectively. See what I think are the best and worst ways to communicate.

On Thursday, I was interviewed for an upcoming podcast about project management and project leadership.  It inspired me to write a post titled Chasing the carrot Read more…

Like the image?  Find it at Pictofigo

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Free Total Project Status Report Template

TPS ReportAs I study the collection and reporting of metrics and project statuses, I find many reports just do not deliver what they should. I believe there should be a stand-alone deliverable that a project manager is able to provide to a stakeholder at any time, illustrating the total project status.  I created a report and used the name “TPS Report” from the movie Office Space.  I try to interject a little humor into a project, where I can, without raising too many eyebrows.  Because I do not think I should keep all of the good stuff for myself, I hope others will download my free template.  It captures everything from overall project status to schedule, budget, scope, and quality, including a RAG (Red, Amber or Green) status.  What milestones were planned and accomplished?  What is planned for the next period?  Though I believe a subjective narrative does have its place in project reporting, I like the more objective approach.  Give your stakeholders the facts!
Please enjoy this free copy of  my Total Project Status Report Template.

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The Critical Path Turns 1 Year Old

iPhone CalendarWow, where did the time go?  A little over a year ago, I found the need to start blogging.  Little did I know how energized I would become.  Other then learn as much as I can about my craft, I want to share my knowledge and experiences with other project managers or those who wish to become project managers.  Since logging onto Twitter a little over a month ago, I have discovered a whole new world of people to exchange ideas with.  What will happen in the next year?

1.  Launch at least one project management centric iPhone application

2. Author an article pertaining to project management and have it published in a refereed journal (e.g. Project Management Journal or Crosstalk)

3. Publish a Project Management centric book and offer it on Amazon.com

4. Monetize the things I enjoy doing

(Calendar image by Apple)