I've been thinking about this off and on for nearly a week and it's screwing with my head!
At Opera, lunch is served every day for employees. It's a really nice perk. BUT in my office in San Mateo, there is always chips and salsa/guacamole as part of whatever there is for lunch (so far, at least). I started to think about what I like more: the free lunch, or the chips and salsa/guac. Since the chips and salsa/guac are part of the free lunch, then the free lunch should be my answer.
However, the chips and salsa doesn't HAVE to be there for there to be a free lunch, so since I really like that part specifically, then the chips and salsa should be my answer. BUT it's part of lunch.
It may have taken a while, and I can explain why soon, but here is a taste of what it's like to head to Norway on an unexpected trip and just look around. If you want to know more about something leave a comment on the photo and I'll be sure to elaborate when I sit down for a day of writing. Walking Around Norway: Photos
Next week I leave for a brief trip to Norway. While I'm there I'll be visiting with some old and some new friends who work at Opera. I don't like to waste an opportunity to have a uniquely good time.
Before I put together a more complete post on the trip, I figured I'd put this out there to get input from anyone interested. Something I should do? Places I should take photos of? Friends I should visit or photograph in awkward situations? Let me know, and I'll not disappoint.
As part of Opera's Marketing Position Competition, you can favorite this post with the star at the top if you are signed in to MyOpera.
10. Old Recipes for Lutefisk and New Boxes from Frozen Pizza It's time to put the past behind and look to the future - a technology driven future with new software, new looks, new ideas, and refrigerators.
9. Fan Fiction for Opera Man Opera has it's fans, and chances are if you're reading this you are one. But Opera's got a a fanbase so strong that they've started writing fan fiction based on a fictional fictional character dubbed Opera Man. Certain fanatical employees are even involved in the movement and translation into multiple languages. Sadly, it's all terribly predictable: Fastest hero ever, saves everyone from bad situations, really good looking, etc.
8. Useless Code Ever wonder why other web browsers have 90+MB install files and take up so much space when Opera packs in more features in a smaller footprint? Even the download and install is faster.
7. CoffeeCups It's no secret that software companies like caffeine. But when your work day spans 24 time zones, you always have employees awake somewhere - even if they should be sleeping.
6. Doors Not satisfied with speeding up web browsing and information accessibility on the Internets, Opera Software has thrown away all of the doors within their headquarters to make getting around in the real world faster as well (with the exception of the front doors, because security is important, too). Further, they get around using dirt bikes in the office halls and use jumps liberally from floor to floor.
5. Smiley Stat Tracking Only secretly tested internally and in the MyOpera beta section online, the sad story of Smiley Stats ends here. Originally planned to be the metadata goldmine of the information age, the Smiley Stats program was going to track everyone's usage of Smilies in comments to then sell that data to advertisers - that is, until the exact same usage pattern emerged week after week after week:
Monday - was the general feeling
Friday - curiously shows up with not only 70% from the community, but also 99% from Opera employees.
Saturday - a mix of from the community andfrom Opera employees
All they found was that Friday = Beers. Opera decided ultimately not to subject their community members to advertisements.
4. Opera Brand Laxatives Opera loves to spread the swag thick, but this failed attempt had recipients running. The obvious choice as a medium to convey the 'Fast & Safe' angle of their web browsing platform, the Opera Branded Laxatives worked too fast - leading to the now infamous "Opera, So Fast You'll Crap In Your Pants" stickers.
3. Jon S. von Tetzchner's Speedo Known for crossing bodies of water to launch new versions of web browsers, Opera's CEO has to toss the old Speedo in lieu of a wet suit in the winter months. Even vikings need protection from Norwegian winter seas.
2. Mail intended for Oprah Winfrey Like letters to Santa Claus, Opera has the sad job of throwing away millions of letters intended for Oprah, shattering the dreams of household moms all over the world. Tweets, too!
1. Microsoft or Apple Employees You will often find these curious creatures rummaging around in the Opera dumpster looking for useful bits of information as to what Opera will bestow on the web browser industry next since Opera is always beating them to the punch.
How many clicks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of good usability?
Growing parallel to the video game industry, Internet users are aware of the incremental innovations that have become defining characteristics of gaming platforms, most notably in controllers, the interface by which you manipulate the on screen action. Initially more buttons meant more control. Atari gave us one, then we got D-pads, shoulder buttons, auto-fire, triggers, etc.. At some point between Playstation's 16 buttons w/ dual joysticks, and Jaguar's 18-26 buttons (depending on how you Do The Math), people got confused. Parents stopped playing with kids and casual gamers fell off the map; innovation turned into isolation.
Nintendo led a return to basics with Gamecube's large A button and colorful/ergonomic style; but there was another idea lurking on the drawing board. Back in the NES days, it wasn't uncommon to see people swing controllers in a boss fight, tilt their body as they drive, or jerk the pad up when they made Mario jump, particularly parents and casual players long forgotten. It was Nintendo's innovative concept of allowing what came naturally to be a form of control that helped springboard them from third place to first with the introduction of Wii's simple 10 [action] button controller. Removing complexity lowered barriers to entry and the market grew.
Opera has done similar things for browsing. No, I'm not talking about Mouse Gestures. About two years ago Opera introduced a feature that got my parents to switch browsers: Opera 9.2 added support for automatic searching from the address bar when users enter more than one word. How many times in the past have people opened a tab, clicked that address bar and started typing only to get a 404 error?
"Oops, ...error?" "You gotta search from the Google box, Dad." "The what?"
By capturing the actions that came naturally to users, Opera decreased confusion and the time it takes to get to the information you seek by a few more clicks. You see, there are more ways to make browsing faster than refining the way pages render. The fewer clicks needed to find what you seek, the better the experience, and if you can minimize confusion along the way, even better. Opera makes browsing as simple as one, two, three.