Barcelona: Day 2

I’m going to begin by saying I’m going to save my posts on Barcelona observations and pictures for another 36 hours. I just woke up for the first time without jet-lag.

It’s morning here, and I’m going to head out with my digital camera and soak things in so I have some posting material.

But let me tell you my irrelevant thoughts so far:

I must be obsessed with usability. I post on usability topics fairly frequently for someone who does SEO.

My observations on usability are no longer limited to the web.  I find the same rules apply in the real world, too, where people are trying to navigate foreign landscapes.  Like the web, they need well labeled navigation elements.

My first rule of web usability is:”tell a visitor where they are, why, and what are their next steps options”.

Ok, so let me start my bitching about the hotel I’m in.

Got here late Thursday. I have a beautiful corner room on the 16th floor. 180 degree views. Took a nap. When I woke up it was dark. I tried turning the lights on.

No dice.

I figured it must be one of those deals where this a master switch, probably by the front door.

There was a switch by the front door. Turned it on. Nothing.

Finally I took my flashlight out. Tried everything in the world.

Eventually I called the front desk and told them I couldn’t turn the lights on.

The guy at the front desk where there in minutes. He showed me that you need to use your door key to turn the lights on. (The door key goes in a slot by the front door).

“Hmm,” I said. “Interesting. And how was I supposed to know that?”

He looked at me like I was loco.

“Because that’s the way it is,” he said, gesticulating with his hands in a way that suggested the Spanish have been turning lights on and off for hundreds of years with these cards.

“Well, why not put a sign right HERE,” I said, pointing to a perfectly vacant spot on the wall above the card slot.

He laughed and left.


  1. hate to say it, but that’s the way it is in Europe.

    i went through the same ordeal when i was in barcelona, except the ‘escort’ I brought to my room was kind enough to show me how to make it work.

    then, she showed me how to stick the key in the slot.
    next, she made the lights go on.
    then, she told me how to actually make the lights work.

    the room was never brighter…

    i love Barcelona


  2. No, just my secretaries running *from* my office after I try to molest them.

    Why couldn’t I have owned a business back in the industrial age. Ah, those were the good old days when a man in power could force his women employees to sleep with him under threat of losing their job. And if things were slow, maybe the men as well.

    You see, my great great grandfather started Cirexx ( with just a pocket full of lint, a slave ship and the vision, “People selling People to People.”

    What does this have to do with Barcelona? Mexicans. Pure and simple. Without them my companies couldn’t compete with China. So thank you Spain for bringing forth the Mexican race.


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