Recent posts in my Usability Category
November 21, 2012
November 9, 2012
The Guardian are currently trying out some changes to their commenting system. Like most changes to a major website, the backlash amongst some users is very, very vocal, and everybody gets to watch.
October 1, 2012
This is an essay version of the talk I gave at EuroIA 2012 in Rome, looking at responsive design and touchscreen devices have changed the approach I take to my IA work.
September 30, 2012
One of the few sessions at EuroIA I saw that actually had footage of using testing was a cases tudy of building a discount coupon app for the iPhone in Switzerland. Here are my notes on Hermann Hofstetter & Gregor Urech’s talk.
Here are my notes on James Kalbach and Carola Weller talking about the RITE methodology at EuroIA 2012 in Rome.
September 28, 2012
August 23, 2012
A question that I used to get asked time and time again in the comments underneath techie blog posts on the Guardian was why the site didn’t open external links in a new window. And I get asked variations of it elsewhere, so I thought I’d just take five minutes to set out why, on the 21st century internet, forcing links to open new browser windows is wrong.
July 30, 2012
On Friday and Saturday I attended Design Jam #5 in London. A group of around thirty-or-so designers got together over a 24 hour period, to form teams and to try and research and design products to meet a specific challenge. This time around the challenge was: “Design a service for people who read for pleasure”
Here are my notes from the event.
June 6, 2012
You might have seen that the Usability Professionals’ Association has rebranded as the User Experience Professionals Association. Here’s why it has been a dreadful user experience for me.
May 10, 2012
April 11, 2012
If you subscribe to the theory that you should “release early, release often”, and that you want to “fail fast” and learn from those failings, then you end up in a world where you should be regularly testing variations of your digital product on your audience. If you don’t go about it the right way, this can be a bruising experience for all concerned. Today I wanted to outline some thoughts prompted by a recent trial of threaded comments on the guardian.co.uk site that I was involved in.
March 8, 2012
September 24, 2011
I’m trying to keep up the pace with “live blogging” the sessions from EuroIA as soon as they finish today, but there was so much packed into Wouter Sluis-Thiescheffer & Brian Pagán’s talk that I didn’t quite manage to write it up in the fifteen minute break that followed. It was fantastic though - and really great fun as well as useful. And please excuse an above average number of typos...
I’m trying to “live blog” my notes from EuroIA in Prague as quickly as I can. Here are my takeaway points from Andrea Resmini and Luca Rosati’s talk about pervasive IA in our cities, which has just finished. You’ll have to be forgiving of an above average number of typos...
September 23, 2011
Over the course of the next couple of days, I’ll be blogging my notes from the sessions at EuroIA in Prague. Not necessarily, it must be said, in the right order. I’m starting with my notes from a session that has just finished - LBi’s Terry Ma talking about localising web design to compete in the Middle East and Asian markets.
July 25, 2011
Andy Rutledge published a fascinating blog post last week looking at the design of digital news, and to illustrate his points he did a redux of the New York Times. Whilst appreciating the visual design, I thought there were 4 key areas where I very much disagree with Andy’s analysis, and think it would fail to engage with mainstream news readers.
July 4, 2011
Recently I was in Atlanta for the UPA conference. Here is part three of my notes from the week, featuring Amy Buckner & Pamela Walshe talking about contextual mobile research, Susan Dray talking about barriers to adopting usability techniques, and a big helping of my own technology failure.
July 1, 2011
Last week I was in Atlanta for the UPA conference. Here is part two of my notes from the week, featuring Kuldeep Kelkar, Rolf Molich and Danielle Cooley.
June 29, 2011
Last week I was in Atlanta for the UPA conference. Here is part one of my notes from the week featuring Brooke Baldwin, Kathi Kaiser and Susan Weinschenk.
June 28, 2011
Paul Adams opened the UPA conference in Atlanta with a keynote talk that looked about how the web is being rebuilt around people. With a liberal dose of Facebook’s “Social by design” mantra, he explored the nature of our offline social networks as humans, and the differences between strong, weak and temporary ties between friends and people. Here are my notes from the session.
June 27, 2011
June 23, 2011
Today at the UPA Conference in Atlanta I gave a presentation entitled “Changing the Guardian through guerilla usability testing”. Here is an essay version of the talk.
Here is my almost certainly doomed attempt to gather together a running linklog in one place the slides, resources, posters and blog posts from the speakers and attendees at the UPA 2011 conference in Atlanta as they appear on the web. If I’ve missed one, let me know in the comments or tweet me the link to @currybet.
June 16, 2011
Part three of “Come as you are” looks at some of the things that I learned about about being an IA/UX practitioner whilst working for Sony in Austria - including treating internal systems with as much care as you focus on end users, and why sometimes UX cannot rescue a flawed product.
May 24, 2011
Alexis Madrigal asked in The Atlantic if it was “the magazine app of the future”, and I’ve been playing around with Biblion, the app produced by the New York Public Library. Although it has generated some rave reviews, I thought there were some flaws and missed opportunities in the app.
March 18, 2011
I was going to start this blog post off with a quote from Leisa Reichelt’s recent London IA talk, but she came out with so many pithy one liners that it was impossible to pick one. Leisa’s basic premise was that if you read some of the very best books about management strategy and techniques, they sound awfully familiar to anyone who has ever read a UX book. For example, they have a focus on businesses being successful by serving customers needs - a criteria for design success that we are all familiar with.
February 22, 2011
I’ve been sitting on the news for several weeks now about some upcoming talks and appearances at conferences that I’ve got planned, but since they all seem to have finally been publicly announced I can reveal my jet-setting plans for the next few months.
February 9, 2011
January 31, 2011
"Putting the user at the heart of digital development" - Julie Dodd talking at PublicZone's user research event
Last week I attended an event hosted by PublicZone, and their head of user experience, Julie Dodd, spoke about ways non-profit organisations could involve users in their digital product and service design.
December 21, 2010
A fascinating section in Joanna Geary's news:rewired keynote last week looked at brand loyalty, and how people happily have tattoos of company and band logos inked onto their bodies, but you never see someone with a masthead tattoo. An important feature of how we develop digital news products is now how we interact with our audience.
December 3, 2010
In early November 2010 I gave a presentation at the London UKUPA meeting for 'World Usability Day'. In it, I took the day's theme of 'communication', and examined how twenty years of digital technology had smashed the boundaries between media organisations and their audiences. In this five part series, I've written that talk up as an essay, covering how the media now have to deal with users on a much more personal level, involve them in product design, and build tools to enable story-telling. This is the final part.
November 11, 2010
Tonight I'm talking at the UK UPA's event for World Usability Day. Here is a list of the links and things that I'll be mentioning.
October 4, 2010
At EuroIA this year, Belén Barros Pena and Bernard Tyers were presenting their approach to DIY usability testing on mobile devices. Having listed various expensive ways of doing it, and their drawbacks, the duo then MacGyver'd up a device that clamped to a phone, and filmed the screen as a user carried out the test.
September 27, 2010
All of the slides from this year's EuroIA that I have been able to find online gathered in one place.
September 20, 2010
June 4, 2010
Yesterday I posted my 10 tips for ambush 'guerilla user testing'. Once you've got some footage of people using your website, you need to find the best way to present that back to the business. I like to make a summary clip reel of the testing, and here are my 8 tips on putting your clip reel together...
June 3, 2010
Over the last couple of years I've been practicing 'ambush guerilla user testing', which is basically the art of pouncing on lone people in cafes and public spaces, and quickly filming them whilst they use a website for a couple of minutes. It isn't by any means a formal research technique, but you can soon build up a valuable clip library of initial reactions to you and your competitors' products, and tease out interesting anecdotal evidence about the way that people use and feel about your website. Approaching strangers in a public place and asking to video them using the Internet sounds pretty daunting, so here are my top 10 tips to help you get started....
June 1, 2010
Here are my 'Future of web design' notes from an excellent talk about inclusive and accessible website design from Robin Christopherson, and some notes from a couple of sessions that didn't quite do the trick for me...
May 26, 2010
In the first of a series of posts writing up my notes from this year's "Future of web design" conference in London, here is what I made of the keynote by Brendan Dawes.
January 14, 2010
January 12, 2010
In part 6 of this series, I turn my attention away from estate agents, and towards the user experience of dealing with Haringey and Waltham Forest councils.
January 11, 2010
Globrix and Rightmove are two 'digital native' websites that illustrate that the user experience of searching for a new home online need not be as painful as most estate agent websites seem to make it.
January 8, 2010
In the fourth part of this series, based on a presentation given at 'London IA in the pub' in October 2009, I look at different online interfaces to help you determine the transport links surrounding your potential new home.
January 7, 2010
Not all estate agent websites follow the same formula. In this part of the 'UX of moving house' series, I look at an experimental flash search results page, and ponder why so many estate agent sites make such poor use of images.
January 6, 2010
Looking for a new home is essentially one long search process over a set of structured data - location, price, number of bedrooms etc. You'd therefore expect most estate agent sites to be heavily optimised around the search experience. You would be wrong, as part 2 of this series illustrates.
January 5, 2010
Last year my wife and I bought a house for the first time. She was heavily pregnant during the process, and so I did much more of the leg-work that I'd usually expect to. Naturally, I tried to do everything online, and document the good and the bad about the information architecture and user experience as I went along. This is the first of a series of posts based on a presentation of my findings, which I originally gave at 'London IA in the pub' in October 2009.
December 11, 2009
Several presentations of enterprise software I've seen recently have made me wonder why we tolerate interfaces and interactions in this sphere which would never make it into production for web tools.
November 3, 2009
October 30, 2009
September 3, 2009
July 31, 2009
July 30, 2009
July 29, 2009
July 28, 2009
Social media unplugged
A series of posts looking at the user experience of social bookmarking sites when people first visit them via clicking an icon.
June 28, 2009
June 27, 2009
June 22, 2009
"London IA Mini II"
My write-up of the recent London IA Mini Conference at the Sense Loft in London.