Deep in development on Marble Jar I have finally unlocked our UI (User Interface) catch phrase. Can my mom use it?

After countless training sessions on our remote control she has given up trying to use our TV. Directing her to a blog post about my father I gave her the winwinapps url, and she didn’t scroll the page below the video to find it.

She is an unusual use case. But not so unusual as to be un useful. When designing a UI for small kids and parents on the go “stupid simple” was my original touch stone.

Not anymore. “stupid simple” didn’t resonate with my developers. These are young, clever, braised in technology guys, and the multi touch interface of the iPhone was second nature to them. When I switched over to “can my mom use it” they seemed to respond. Perhaps they have a mom like her at home.

My mom is on her second iPhone, and she was great at taking pictures with her iPhone 3. The iPhone 4 though, with its gorgeous integrated video camera has her flumoxed. The ability to flip the screen to take a picture of herself is also confounding.

Yesterday she took my boys on a hike, and today I got some pictures via email. So she has worked through these feature difficulties. (almost)

I’ll have version two of Marble Jar on my phone on Monday. My mother couldn’t get through the first screen of version one. We have worked hard to make it easy.

I need to make a date with her for Monday afternoon. Hopefully she will make it through.

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Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes about sex, parenting, cat pee, bi-polar disorder and the NFL; all things inextricably intertwined with her mental health. In her free time she teaches her boys creative swear words, seeks the last missing puzzle piece and thinks deeply about how she is not exercising. Her writing can be found on Babble,, Great Moments in Parenting, Ravishly, Good Men Project, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Playpen, Crazy Good Parent, and YourTango. She also does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at

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