User Experience

One afternoon, designed by fate or the designated luck of coincidence, I was in three different coffee-shop locations, yes, the international chain that operates with the Bill Gates Business School mentality — “If you can’t beat them, buy them.”

Last times checked, they owned Seattle’s Best Coffee, as an example(1). Besides, as user-experiences go, Starbucks has it honed to a fine science. Each location had decent seating. One place had the AC too high, but with lots of window space and a South Texas Summer starting up, in another month or two, no one will complain about too much AC.

Comfortable, lived-in look, each place different, but only by degrees. One had a cool, long table with seating, and enough room for two different parties to camp at each end, not crowding each other. Or a large gathering, whatever.

One place, I know some of the staff by birthday, so I know that the Ska playing on the sound system was older than the guy pouring coffee. The music is low, just above ambient, but not too exciting, not really dance rhythms.

An extended Reggae mix was playing in an another one. A middle-class Mexican(2) dad tried to shake with the music, his wife’s ass grinding, briefly with the audio background, and the daughter, a sprouting tween, getting that look most children get.

I want everyone from that tween to her parents to my parents, siblings, rivals, and cohorts to feel at home on my web page, astrofish.net.

To prevent the mistaken, misguided parents from cavorting in front of a disgusted offspring, with the requisite roll of the eyes and sighs of exasperation, the music is optional. Hit the play button on the bottom of the scopes for noise. Original, audio files are not copyright protected, nor are there any draconian DRM hooks.

It is not free, but that shouldn’t be much of a barrier, subscriptions start at a single dollar.

It is possible to brew an excellent cup of coffee at home, but it’s just easier to get it already done.

The horoscopes are single serving size, with, I hope a comfort level that translates across the broadest spectrum of interested parties.

(1) I have a beautiful shot of the Pike Market “Seattle’s Best Coffee,” but I’ve been unable to locate my image online.

(2) Observed, language was Spanish mixed with English to order, and the car they all piled back into was mid-size American 4-door with Chihuahua tags on it.

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