All posts from
April 2007

Location is Irrelevant for Usability Studies

“You get the same insights regardless of where you conduct user testing, so there’s no reason to test in multiple cities. When a city is dominated by your own industry, however, you should definitely test elsewhere.” (Jakob NielsenAlertbox)

Conference Review: IA Summit 2007 (I/II)

“On the whole, IA Summit 2007 was an excellent conference. Though, because of the deficiencies of the venue, it was less successful than last year’s Summit. Next year’s IA Summit looks promising. It will take place at the Hyatt in Miami, Florida, on April 10–14, 2008. Its theme: Experiencing Information.” (Pabini Gabriel-PetitUXmatters)

Interfaces That Flow: Transitions as Design Elements

“Actively influencing a person’s emotional state throughout an experience—in particular, his or her sense of anticipation, involvement, and desire for a certain outcome—is still an evolving concept in the realm of user interface design.” (Jonathan FollettUXmatters)

Personas and Storytelling

“Personas work because they tell stories. Stories are part of every community. They communicate culture, organize and transmit information. Most importantly, they spark the imagination as you explore new ideas. They can ignite action.” (Whitney Quesenbery) – courtesy of craig marion

Methods of Understanding and Designing For Mobile Communities

“Society is increasingly on the move, mobile devices are commonly being used to coordinate group actions, and group communication features are rapidly being added to existing technologies. Despite this, little is known about how mobile groups act, or how communications technologies should be designed to augment existing behaviour. This is partially due to minimal research being done on the topic, but also to the lack of research methods available to study the topic with. Mobile groups are challenging to study because of frequent and long-duration movement, frequent distribution, and the rapidly changing environments they operate within. To address these issues, this research focuses on methodological issues surrounding the development of mobile devices for mobile groups and communities. More specifically it addresses backpackers, who are a relevant example of this type of community. The research primarily explores the convergence of computer supported cooperative work (CSCW) and the field of mobile device development. This enables the combination of emphasis on designing technologies for groups, social implications, mobile device design, and mobile settings.” (Jeff Axup – Mobile Community Design)

Web Form Design Best Practices

“Forms broker the most crucial online interactions: checkout (commerce), registration (community), data input (participation and sharing). This book will provide everything you wanted to know and more about designing effective and engaging Web forms that optimize these key customer interactions.” (LukeWRosenfeld Media)

Information architects on communicating to IT managers

“Our final source suggested asking the provocative question ‘what would happen if someone simply pulled the plug on their website. Would their organization become stronger or weaker?’ He also cautioned against talking about information architecture specifically; people are interested in the ends, not the means.” (Louis Rosenfeld)

Show Numbers as Numerals

“It’s better to use ’23’ than ‘twenty-three’ to catch users’ eyes when they scan Web pages for facts, according to eyetracking data.” (Jakob NielsenAlertbox)

Enterprise IA Methodologies: Starting Two Steps Earlier

“Information architects working within enterprises are confronted by unique challenges relating to organisational culture, business processes, and internal politics. Compared to public website or interface design projects, key aspects differ in the application of IA discipline relating to uncertainties around the exact nature of the business problems being solved.” (James RobertsonBoxes and Arrows)

Women in IA – Indy Young

“In this interview, we talk about a great IA and UX method of doing this very efficiently. It was developed by Indi Young (…). After attending her seminar during the PreCon of the IA Summit 2007, where visitors learned how to create a Mental Model (during the teamwork that needs to take place between IAs and their clients), I had the chance to interview her. One of the things I really like about her is her great ability to describe complex things in an understandable way, using metaphors such as ‘the hallway test’ to help communicate methods like the Mental Model to the business world.” (IA Voice)

Acting with Technology: Activity Theory and Interaction Design

“Interaction design is a broad term inflected in different ways in different communities. To us, interaction design comprises all efforts to understand human engagement with digital technology and all efforts to use that knowledge to design more useful and pleasing artifacts. Within this arena, the main audiences for this book are those who conduct work in the fields of human–computer interaction, computer–supported collaborative work, computer–supported collaborative learning, digital design, cognitive ergonomics, informatics, information systems, and human factors.” (Victor Kaptelinin and Bonnie Nardi – First Monday 12.4)

Information Architecture & Ethical Design

“My presentation at the 2007 IA Summit, in Las Vegas, covering professional ethics, ethics of user experience and cultural ethics. Subjects include privacy and trust, evolutionary psychology, virtual status and ubiquitous altruism, applied to social networking and the mobile internet.” (Olly Wright)

Advertising is Broken

Brandon Schauer interviews Clement Mok – “I see the opportunity to marry Experience Modeling with the smarts of the Information Architect to structure a powerful model in the user’s world, whether that be through cell phones or tagging systems. The opportunity is to create a model that ties together the deep ethnographic understanding of the user, the system engineering understanding, and the brand/marketing understanding. Tying these three things together is quite powerful.” (IIT Institute of Design Strategy Conference 2006)

When Observing Users Is Not Enough: 10 Guidelines for Getting More Out of Users’ Verbal Comments

“Observing a user perform a task provides more reliable information than simply asking the user how easy it would be to perform the task.” (Isabelle PeyrichouxUXmatters)

Using Technical Communication Skills in User Experience

“User experience professionals can also learn some lessons from and find potential recruits in technical communicators as they have skills that can be applied directly to the design process.” (Theresa PutkeyBoxes and Arrows)

Reaction to NextD

“I would recommend one thing for the IA Community to consider: invite someone from the NextDesign Leadership Institute to speak at the 2008 IA Summit (Miami, Florida, USA, April 10-14). We have a history of giving our biggest critics a voice at our main event – Mark Hurst and Mark Bernstein are just two examples. Time to find our long-lost twins.” (Keith Instone)

Accessible Web 2.0 Applications with WAI-ARIA

“Web 2.0 applications often have accessibility and usability problems because of the limitations of (X)HTML. The W3C’s standards draft for Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) addresses those limitations. It provides new ways of communicating meaning, importance, and relationships, and it fills gaps in the (X)HTML specifications and increases usability for all users by enabling navigation models familiar from desktop applications. Best of all, you can start using ARIA right away to enhance the accessibility of your websites.” (Martin KliehmA List Apart)