All posts from
June 2004

Restoring Confidence in Usability Results

“Adding confidence intervals to completion rates in usability tests will temper both excessive skepticism and overstated usability findings. Confidence intervals make testing more efficient by quickly revealing unusable tasks with very small samples. Examples are detailed and downloadable calculators are available.” (Jeff SauroMeasuring Usability)

Why visual form matters for information architecture

“(…) the full version was recognized more than the content only version, recognized more than the form only version. The interesting finding is that when the form version was recognized, it happened twice as fast as for the other versions. (…) this is because the cognitive processing of visual information happens faster than that for verbal information. While there is some truth to that, let’s play detective and identify what cognitive mechanism is the culprit here.” (Rashmi Sinh) – courtesy of victor lombardi

Out with the New! The IA Summit at Five Years

“It’s been five years, the Summit is pretty much a regular event now and writing a column about it has become a normal assignment for me too. Can we stop calling ourselves a new field now?” (Andrew Dillon – ASTS&T Bulletin 30.5)

10 Accessibility Blunders of the Big Players

“Web accessibility is about making your Website accessible to all Internet users (both disabled and non-disabled), regardless of what browsing technology they’re using. More and more countries have passed laws stating that Websites must be accessible to blind and disabled people. With this kind of legal pressure, and the many benefits of accessibility, the big players on the Web must surely have accessible Websites, right?” (Trenton Moss – sitepoint) – courtesy of deswozhere

Victor Lombardi: The InfoDesign profile

“Victor Lombardi is actively participating in the fields of information architecture and interaction design. He co-founded and served on the board of the Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture. He slaved away as designer for a number of companies, most notably four years at Razorfish. All this while teaching at the Parsons School of Design. He also led the information architecture practice at a global financial services company. Noise Between Stations is Victor’s personal website.” (InfoDesign: Understanding by Design)

Voting and Usability: Top 10 Things to Read

“This is a large field, and there is a lot of material to read. If you are just learning about voting, it can e a bit overwhelming. To help out, we’ve assembled a short list of the most critical readings on voting and usability.” (UPA)

UXnet Soft Launch

“User Experience (UX) is an emerging field concerned with improving the design of anything people experience: a web site, a toy, or a museum. UX is inherently interdisciplinary, synthesizing methods, techniques, and wisdom from many fields, ranging from brand design to ethnography to library science to architecture and more. (…) UXnet is dedicated to exploring opportunities for cooperation and collaboration among UX-related organizations and individuals.” (UXnet Mission)

Making Knowledge Management Work on your Intranet

“In the information economy, the longevity of an organization is based as much on the sophistication of its knowledge management practices as it is on traditional differentiators such as the strength of its products, the talent of its employees, and its marketplace reputation and partner relationships. Simply speaking, as actionable and insightful information becomes the currency of an organization, there are few other ways to tap into any latent potential lost in the office corridors.” (Shiv SinghBoxes and Arrows)

An Introduction to Information Architecture

“Information architecture (or IA) is the science — some would insist art — of defining the structure, organization, navigation, labeling and indexing of a Website. It is the role of the information architect to decide how a site should be structured, what kind of content it should host, and how to accommodate future growth. In short, information architecture defines the backbone of a Website.” (Subha Subramanian – sitepoint) – courtesy of xblog

Ten Best Government Intranets

“Redesigning an intranet for usability often more than doubled the use of these award-winning designs from ten public-sector organizations.” (Jakob NielsenAlertbox)

Managing Content with Automatic Document Classification

“News articles and Web directories represent some of the most popular and commonly accessed content on the Web. Information designers normally define categories that model these knowledge domains (i.e. news topics or Web categories) and domain experts assign documents to these categories. The paper describes how machine learning and automatic document classification techniques can be used for managing large numbers of news articles, or Web page descriptions, lightening the load on domain experts.” (Rafael A. Calvo et al. – Journal of Digital Information Vol 5.2)

Search Engine Optimization and Non-HTML Sites

“The mistake of building entire sites in Flash is not just an amateur’s mistake – many leading Web designers, who are paid copious amounts of money, do the same thing. Sometimes the use of Flash is the only way to achieve a specific function (e.g. Web-based games), so you need Flash for that feature – but do you need it for the whole site?” (Alan K’nechtDigital Web Magazine)

Toward a Critical Practice in Design

“A critical practice challenges prevailing values through works based in some other set of values. This is a form of conscientiousness. In a world where technique has too often become an end in itself, a culturally critical attitude has become essential to meaningful design. How to seek and identify a problem is as important as how to solve a problem.” (Usability News)

90% of All Usability Testing is Useless

“When done right, usability testing will improve your Web site and your development process, but the current culture surrounding Web site usability testing is such that it rarely benefits the design. Worse, this misapplication can undermine the acceptance of this important technique throughout an organization.” (Lane BeckerAdaptive Path)

How to get great content from people

“There is a need to connect the person who creates the content with the person who reads it. Content creation must be seen as an important and valuable task within the organization. When a piece of content delivers value, the person who created it should be praised and rewarded.” (Gerry McGovern)