All posts from
October 2006

Creating Usability and Sociability in Online Social Spaces

“Creating successful online social spaces requires attention to usability and sociability. Online social interaction involves individuals interacting with the technology (i.e., usability) and with each other via the technology (i.e., sociability). Attending to issues such as how users create and send messages, and communicate non-verbal cues are examples of usability design; attending to moderation, facilitation, politeness, leadership, and social support online are examples of sociability design. Both are needed for thriving social interaction online.” (Jenny PreeceOxford Internet Institute)

We Got Sick of Hearing About Design & China, So we Got on a Plane and Went There

“There has certainly been a great deal of speculation lately regarding the real or perceived rise of Chinese industrial design. We say ‘perceived rise’ to emphasize that their impending world domination in this field is not a foregone conclusion, despite the frequent flurries of listserve chatter and design-conference panel discussions supporting such a notion.” (Bruce M. Tharp and Stephanie Munson –

Lakoff’s Women, Fire, & Dangerous Things

OZ-IA 2006 talk – “What every IA should know (…). I think this was the best presentation I have ever given. This is a quite hard topic and somehow it ended up quite hilarious (…)” (Donna Maurer)

David Malouf and Bill Scott on AJAX

UI 11 conference notes – “What’s all the fuss about Web 2.0? Marketing buzz, but really nothing new: All existed separately.” (Jesper Rønn-Jensen – justaddwater)

Interfaces for People, Not Products

“Without cooperation among designers of digital products, the proliferation of complex information systems can lead to unintended consequences – chiefly user fatigue, frustration, and the confusion that results from dealing with a host of variant user interfaces.” (Jonathan FollettUXmatters)

The Web and Beyond: SIGCHI Conference in Amsterdam

“The Netherlands’ tenth annual SIGCHI Conference took place on Thursday, June 8th, 2006, in Amsterdam. Titled ‘The Web and Beyond’, the conference focused primarily on interaction design for Web 2.0. The conference drew a capacity crowd to the fabulous art deco Theater Tuschinski.” (Pabini Gabriel-PetitUXmatters)

No Ideas But In Things

“No Ideas But In Things is a library of controls, animations, layouts, and displays that might be a source of inspiration for interaction designers.” (Dan Saffer) – courtesy of elearningpost

Conference Report: The Web and Beyond

“About the so-called Semantic Web Initiative, Jared stated that, as an historian, he wanted proof of its existence. Only when people can show him the Semantic Web will he have an opinion about it. According to Jared Spool, in general, 99.9% of everything is crap.” (Peter J. BogaardsUXmatters)

Productivity and Screen Size

“A study of the benefits of big monitors fails on two accounts: it didn’t test realistic tasks, and it didn’t test realistic use. Productivity is a key argument for workplace usability, but you must measure it carefully.” (Jakob NielsenAlertbox)

Metrics for Heuristics: Quantifying User Experience 2/2

“An information architect’s evaluation of user experience is often highly subjective and gains value with an evidence-based understanding produced by web analytics. User testing and web analytic data are currently the only ways to verify the heuristic assumptions upon which a website is redesigned.” (Andrea WigginsBoxes and Arrows)

The Coming Age of Magic

“(…) I presented a short history of the desktop metaphor as a way of thinking about screen-based user interface design and laid out my thoughts for why magic should be a metaphor for the user experience design of ubiquitous computing.” (Mike KuniavskyOrange Cone) – courtesy of adaptivepath

Minimal-Feedback Hints for Remembering Passwords

“Passwords are a widely used mechanism for user authentication and are thus critical to the security of many systems. To provide effective security, passwords should be known to the password holder but remain unknown to everybody else. While personal information and real words are relatively easy for a user to remember, they make weak passwords from a security point of view because vulnerable to informed guessing and dictionary attacks.” (Morten Hertzum – uiGarden)

Experiencing Experience

“Technically, most designers are attempting to design meaning, not experience. The experience of eating a cookie, for instance, can be described in very clear terms. But, capturing the unique meaning which that cookie had for one individual was what made Proust’s madeleine the stuff of great literature. A simple cookie for one person is a trigger for emotion-laden memories for another. But, most often, designers must create experiences for people they don’t know. So, how can designers create opportunities for meaningful experiences for people they don’t know? By paying close attentions to patterns.” (Tom Guarriello – UX Magazine)

What Is User Experience Design?

“(…) the field of user experience design takes a broad approach to the enhancement of products, combining elements from various fields to create an optimal and well-rounded experience. This wholistic methodology is often more adept at helping to reach a set of goals that encompass passive and active user interactions–goals determined both by users and the business or organization.” (Paradyme) – courtesy of usernomics

Designing Breakthrough Products: Going Where No User Has Gone Before

“Because evolutionary products are far more common than revolutionary products, UCD techniques have focused more on how to approach projects for which the problem space is fairly well understood – both by UX designers and by users. UCD techniques are best at helping us determine how to solve such problems – which is not to downplay the challenges of those sorts of projects. However, the situation is different for breakthrough products, where potential users often have difficulty imagining a solution to a problem.” (George OlsenUXmatters)