All posts from
February 2008

Free iPhone usability report

“The results? The iPhone has introduced a new interaction paradigm to the world, in an uncompromising way that proves that ‘less is more’ when it comes to true user experience.” (inUseFul.se)

Navigation Menus: Trends and Examples

“Navigation is the most significant element in web design. Since web-layouts don’t have any physical representation a user can stick to, consistent navigation menu is one of the few design elements which provide users with some sense of orientation and guide them through the site. Users should be able to rely on it which is why designers shouldn’t mess around with it.” (Smashing Magazine)

The Persona Non Grata article is a gift. Really.

“Here’s the deal… he’s got a great point, and I actually kinda furiously like the article because it reflects what annoys me about persona efforts (not personas themselves).” (Tamara AdlinCorporate Underpants) – courtesy of marrijeschaake

Personas: Good Enough for Moses, Good Enough for Me

“These are personas that orbit a single objective and the ways in which people might accomplish that objective is defined in the personas. Writing it down now, it seems self-evident, but my personas have never been framed this way. Instead, typical personas identify user objectives and the product’s requirements must support those objectives. To apply this to a specific example, take online banking. What would objectives look like if not defined by the target audience but instead by the business?” (Dan BrownGreenonions) – courtesy of livialabate

Personas and the Role of Design Documentation

“In User Experience Design circles, personas have become part of our established orthodoxy. And, as with anything orthodox, some people disagree on what personas are and the value they bring to design, and some reject the doctrine entirely.” (Andrew HintonBoxes and Arrows)

Show and Tell: Imagining the User Experience Beyond Point, Click, and Type

“More reliable and permanent than human memory, the technology of written language dominates as the primary method human beings use for conveying abstractions of complex ideas across space and time. The evolution of written language has complemented that of new distribution technologies—from handwritten papyrus scrolls to books and other print publications produced on offset printing presses to the pixels on our computer screens.” (Jonathan FollettUXmatters)

Applied Empathy: A Design Framework for Human Needs and Desires

“Part One of this series, Applied Empathy, introduced a design framework for meeting human needs and desires and defined five States of Being that represent the different degrees to which products and experiences affect and motivate people in their lives. Part Two explained the three Dimensions of Human Behavior and outlined a variety of specific needs and desires for which we can intentionally design products. This third and final part of the series shows how this design framework maps to a variety of well-known products and experiences and illustrates how this framework can be put to practical use.” (Dirk KnemeyerUXmatters)

Where HCI comes from (and where it might go)

“This week, a new book appeared in my mailbox: HCI Remixed: Reflections on Works That Have Influenced the HCI Community (eds. Thomas Erickson and David McDonald). This book helped remind me that human-human interaction was part of HCI, even if the field seems not to emphasize that these days.” (danah boydapophenia)

UI-patterns

“It has long been common practice to use recurring solutions to solve common problems. Such solutions are also called design patterns. Collections of software design patterns are standard reference points for the experienced user interface designer. This website seeks to better the situation for the UI designer, who struggles with the same problems as many other UI designers have struggled with before him. UI-Patterns.com are not the first to create a UI design library. While other pattern collections are useful, they are far from coherent and complete. The purpose of this site is over time to fill some of the gaps – especially by providing code examples as to how how the different patterns can be implemented: to join theory with practice.” (Anders Toxboe) – courtesy of thaliakeren

Usability versus Searchability: Is it an Either/Or Proposition?

“Last fall at Adobe Max we talked with Adaptive Path’s Jesse James Garrett about how to build Rich Internet Applications utilizing technologies like AIR and Flex while simultaneously making them underestandable and coherent to end users. The issue isn’t just making them intuitive, but educating the public on what their purposes are, how they can be used, and, most importantly, what they can and cannot actually do.” (ScribeMedia.Org)

The road to finding is paved with data: Web analytics and user experience

“The non-digital world often provides designers with metaphors and models of how things work; these metaphors and models provide the raw material and inspiration for our digital designs. However, in physical information spaces it’s difficult to integrate different modes of finding, so they provide few if any good sources of inspiration for how to integrated finding in the digital environment.” (Louis Rosenfeld – Adobe Design Center)

Konigi

Knowledge Sharing & Competitive Research for User Experience Design – “The idea of researching how others have designed the look and feel of web sites and crafted their user interfaces is a practice many of us are engaged in continually. We may monitor innovative designers and the sites of influence that have paved the way for the practices we engage in as user experience and visual designers. In a way, it allows us to remain competitive to know what others are up to, but that awareness alone can be a double-edged sword. (…) My goal in all of this is to prove the point that design patterns are nice, but innovation for the sake of improving contextual experience is better. This site is also about demonstrating the idea that not only is it our job to give users what they expect and think they want, but more importantly it is to give them what they need and might not be able to express. I think some of the examples I showcase here do that exceptionally well.” (About Konigi) – courtesy of petervandijck

Top-10 Application-Design Mistakes

“Application usability is enhanced when users know how to operate the UI and it guides them through the workflow. Violating common guidelines prevents both.” (Jakob NielsenAlertbox)

The Trouble With Web 2.0

“Web 2.0 technology and design patterns have been a large success in the World Wide Web – but will they also work in the environment of a large enterprise? Large Enterprises are jumping on the hype, announcing their own implementation projects. Alexander Wilms looks in-depth at some issues and challenges corporations might face.” (Alexander WilmsBoxes and Arrows)

What Is Your Mental Model?

“To coincide with the release of her new book, Indi Young talks about the power of the mental model and how it came about. She also shows how it can grow over time and help your organization avoid strategic blindspots.” (Chris BaumBoxes and Arrows)

Designing Ethical Experiences: Social Media and the Conflicted Future

“Questions of ethics and conflict can seem far removed from the daily work of user experience (UX) designers who are trying to develop insights into people’s needs, understand their outlooks, and design with empathy for their concerns. In fact, the converse is true: When conflicts between businesses and customers—or any groups of stakeholders—remain unresolved, UX practitioners frequently find themselves facing ethical dilemmas, searching for design compromises that satisfy competing camps. This dynamic is the essential pattern by which conflicts in goals and perspectives become ethical concerns for UX designers. Unchecked, it can lead to the creation of unethical experiences that are hostile to users—the very people most designers work hard to benefit—and damaging to the reputations and brand identities of the businesses responsible.” (Joe LamantiaUXmatters)

Turn Usable Content into Winning Content

“Findable. Scannable. Readable. Concise. Layered. We know much these days about how to make Web content usable—thanks to experts such as Robert Horn, Jakob Nielsen, Ginny Redish, and Gerry McGovern. What we don’t understand as well, however, is how to make content win users over to take the actions we want them to take or have the perceptions we want them to have. We don’t understand how to make Web content both usable and persuasive. I, by no means, intend to imply that we should sacrifice the usability of content to make it more persuasive. Truly winning content must be both.” (Colleen JonesUXmatters)

Incantations for Muggles: The Role of Ubiquitous Web 2.0 Technologies in Everyday Life

“(…) when people engage with technology, amazing things happen. The magic isn’t the technology. It’s the stories and connections, the sharing and ideas. It’s the way these technologies serve people’s lives. More importantly, it’s the way technologies serve the lives of ‘everyday people’, not just technologists.” (Danah Boyd – O’Reilly ETech 2007)

The future of XML

“The wheels of progress turn slowly, but turn they do. The crystal ball might be a little hazy, but the outline of XML’s future is becoming clear. The exact time line is a tad uncertain, but where XML is going isn’t. XML’s future lies with the Web, and more specifically with Web publishing.” (Elliotte R. Harold – IBM developersWork)