As part of World Usability Day, the organizers are collecting stories about usability. One of my favorites has to do with a quick reference card we made 10 or 12 (or more?) years ago for pilots who use small local or regional airports. I was the documentation manager for the company at the time, and was just beginning to incorporate some of what’s now considered standard usability practices. When pressed for more details about this particular story, I realized that I hadn’t talked to anyone at that company in way too many years. Where are my networking skills when I really need them? Luckily, the product manager for the aviation product was still there, and even remembered me! We had a lovely chat, just catching up on our mutual friends and co-workers. The company is doing well, I’m happy to say, and my friend has been very successful with the product we worked on together all those years ago, as well as many others since then.
I’m now inspired to get back in contact with some of the other people I used to work with. One of the great tools for doing this is LinkedIn, a web-based service that lets you link to people you know, and through them to people they know. Sort of like that shampoo commercial (if you tell two people, and they tell two people…)