All posts from
April 2004

Measuring the User Response to ClearType

“We are investigating the user response to Microsoft’s ClearType™ font enhacement technology. ClearType is a setting that is manipulated through the operating system of devices using Liquid Crystal Display screens. ClearType works by altering the vertical color stripe within a pixel, allowing for changes in how the text looks at fractional levels. These changes are intended to enhance the resolution of the screen text and improve readability.” (Andrew Dillon et al.)

Reproduced and emergent genres of communication on the World-Wide Web

“Genres are useful because they are more easily recognized and understood by recipients of the communications. Therefore, we suggest that Web site designers consider the genres that are appropriate for their situation and attempt to reuse familiar genres. More explicit attention to genres may also speed the wider acceptance of newly emerging genres of communication unique to the Web.” (Kevin Crowston and Marie Williams) – courtesy of victor lombardi

Movement in Visualisation

“The correct perception of movement has been an important routine of everyday life since the beginning of humanity. It is also an important resource in visualisation.” (Juan C. DürstelerInf@Vis!)

B2B: Help Your Fans Convince Their Bosses

“B2B websites must support a more complex buying process than B2C sites. Three key goals are to make a buyer’s shortlist, offer a downloadable advocacy kit, and build a reputation for great service.” (Jakob NielsenAlertbox)

Peter Van Dijck: The InfoDesign profile

Each month, InfoDesign profiles a thought leader in the design industry, focusing on people who are identified with or show strong sensibilities to the design of information and experiences. This month, Peter Van Dijck is our ‘victim’. (InfoDesign: Understanding by Design)

10 Classics from Cognitive Science

“The editorial board of Cognitive Science has identified several classic articles that appeared in our journal over the last couple of decades.” (Cognitive Science Society) – courtesy of peter van dijck

How much human support does your website need?

“A website should be measured based on the value it creates. What results do you want to get from your website? A 100 percent self-service website may simply not deliver the results you need. The right mix of self service and human support may in fact deliver the best value.” (Gerry McGovern)

Metadata based search and browse functionality on the NSW Office of Fair Trading intranet: A Case Study

“The NSW Office of Fair Trading launched its first intranet in June 2003. At the very beginning of the intranet project we recognised that unless users could find information easily the intranet would not succeed. We also understood that different people prefer to find information in different ways. To maximise the chances of searchers finding relevant information, and to provide flexibility in search options, we developed and implemented metadata driven search and browse functions. This case study describes the standards, tools and technology we used and how metadata was manipulated to retrieve information in a number of different ways.” (NSW Office of Information and Communications Technology) – courtesy of column two

Russell Reflects: How the Web is Changing

“But I think a sea-change is on the horizon – readers are becoming more powerful, and more importantly, integrated into websites, and screen scraping is becoming more advanced.” (Usability News)

The Impact of Design on Stock Market Performance 

“Design is a critical component of business performance. We’ve heard designers, commentators and companies say it. But, to date, the evidence for the link between shareholder return and investment in design has been scarce and anecdotal.” (Design Counsil) – courtesy of jason kottke

How To Quantify The User Experience

“Many look to the user experience as an overall indicator of Website success. Analyzing how effectively a Website provides for a net positive user experience can often turn into a subjective affair, rife with opinion and short on objectivity.” (Robert Rubinoffsitepoint) – courtesy of column two

Search Engine Optimisation and Accessibility

“The following chapters describe how search engines algorithms, and attempts to address them through search engine optimisation as marketing technique creates new opportunities for making web content accessible – and equally, how improving the accessibility of a site can help maximise both it’s search engine promotion potential and increase user conversions and ROI.” (Big Mouth Media)

Making 1040s a bit less taxing

“Another big difference is how the instructions are written. When modifying language on the existing 1040, Karen Schriver took care to make statements before qualifying them.” (Avrum D. Lank – JSOnline) – courtesy of beth mazur

Observing the User Experience: A Practitioner’s Guide to User Research

“Design is disorienting. Especially when you are designing something in a collaborative environment, with multiple stakeholders, pressured deadlines, business objectives and budgetary constraints. We all go into design with the firm belief that the user is our pole star, but so often we lose that focus because of tossing waves, buffeting winds, and the crew screaming in our ears—never mind the dense cloud cover that always seems to obscure that trusty star just when a committee forms to gather requirements.” (Andrew HintonBoxes and Arrows)

Remote Contextual Inquiry: A Technique to Improve Enterprise Software

“Remote Contextual Inquiry gives us an opportunity to view our end users’ desktops to observe how they are using their current products in a cost and time-efficient manner. It is a marriage between the remote usability lab test and contextual inquiry, allowing us to transcend geographical boundaries without actually having to travel to distant locations. We gain contextual insights such as personalized settings, hidden fields, and added functionality that are typically not obtained during a usability test. It is truly a flexible method that provides a wealth of knowledge about the use of customized enterprise software” (Jeff English and Lynn Rampoldi-HniloBoxes and Arrows)