Dive Right In: The Art of Menu Design in Action

I’ve updated my menu at Sources of Insight to make it easy to dive into hot topics including Innovation, Leadership, Personal Development, Productivity and more. (here is the full Topics pages.) I made them front and center on the top menu bar: I’ll be testing the effectiveness of this new menu for the next 30…


10 Ways to Use Evernote More Effectively

This post will give you some Evernote tips and tricks for how to use Evernote as a Personal Information Manager or as a personal knowledge base. I think of Evernote as an "Agile Knowledge-Base."  It’s like a simple Wiki, with folders and pages.  The big deal is "access anywhere" and "friction-free" notes.   The beauty is…


A Map for the Microsoft Application Development Platform

When you can speak the language, it’s easier to find your way around.   One of the key things I’ve learned at Microsoft is that I can find my way around the platform fast, *if* I know the language.   The language usually consists of scenarios or topics, features, and APIs. The toughest part is usually mapping…


MSDN Library Home Adds Quick Links

Jeff Braaten let me know that the MSDN Library Home is now featuring Quick Links … and it’s poetry in motion: The point behind the Quick Links is to help you jump quickly to some of the most popular areas of the MSDN Library. App Types / Platform Technology Clusters The links are clustered around…


Reference Models, Reference Architectures, and Reference Implementations

"All models are wrong, but some are useful." — George Box I often see confusion over reference models, reference architectures, and reference implementations.  In this post, I’ll share my experience and learnings and observations: Reference Model – A Reference model is a model of something that embodies the basic goals or ideas, and you can…


MSDN Library Home Mockup to Simplify Finding the Product Docs

The MSDN Library is the primary showcase of our Microsoft product documentation.  It’s a treasure trove of gems.  The problem is, if you don’t know where to look, sometimes finding the documentation you’re looking for can be a challenge.   Part of your success hinges on finding the right information, so let’s see what we can…


ADO.NET Scenarios Map

The ADO.NET Scenarios Map is a consolidated and shared view of the common scenarios and tasks around Microsoft data access technologies. You will find Getting Started and Architecture scenarios first, followed by other common areas. Scenarios in each group should represent common tasks developers would face when building applications that access or interface with data….


Silverlight Developer Guidance Map

If you’re a Silverlight developer or you want to learn Silverlight, this map is for you.   Microsoft has an extensive collection of developer guidance available in the form of Code Samples, How Tos, Videos, and Training.  The challenge is — how do you find all of the various content collections? … and part of that…


Developer Guidance IA at a Glance

The Information Architecture (“IA”) for Microsoft Developer Guidance is a work in progress.  You can see a living instance of the IA at Microsoft Developer Guidance Maps.  The purpose of the IA is to simplify and improve the effectiveness of content for Microsoft developer guidance.  Rather than create more prescriptive guidance, our management team wants…


Getting Started, Solve-a-Problem, and Arch-and-Design

This post is about creating an effective body of knowledge for helping developers succeed with your product.  When I try to size up a space in terms of technical documentation, best practices, and prescriptive guidance for a given domain, product, or technology, I use the following mental model: I think of it in terms of…