Recent posts in my User Experience Category
January 10, 2013
The word “click” will become a generational marker
Rather like grandparents fondly referring to the wireless, my generation are going to carry that word “click” in our vocabulary to describe interactions long after anybody last used a mouse.
December 18, 2012
“Putting user experience at the heart of your tablet strategy” - Martin Belam at ‘Les Victoires de la Presse’
Yesterday I gave a talk in Lyon at WAN-IFRA’s ‘Les Victoires de la Presse’ event. Here is the essay version of a talk which looked at how user research and a focus on simplicity can help the news industry build better products for the tablet market.
December 11, 2012
“Rediscovering the ‘content experience’ for news” - Grig Davidovitz at news:rewired
At news:rewired, Grig Davidovitz argued that news organisations need to rediscover the art of designing the “content experience. Here are my notes.
December 6, 2012
“The user experience of news” - Martin Belam at news:rewired
At news:rewired today I spoke as part of a panel talking about the importance of “user experience” for digital publishers. Here is the essay version of the talk.
December 4, 2012
Training courses with Martin Belam for January and February 2013
I’ve confirmed a line-up of four different training courses that I’m teaching or taking part in early next year. All are open for booking now, and they cover a range of topics from blogging to digital journalism to the fundamentals of UX to the nitty-gritty of responsive IA.
November 21, 2012
David Byrne on the perils of ebooks and developing enhanced editions
Sounds like David Byrne has been having a tough time developing an enhanced ebook version of his “How music works”.
November 9, 2012
Guardian comment system changes: The perils of designing for all users, not just the vocal ones
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.
November 4, 2012
“Taking Stern magazine to the iPad” - David Heimburger at #TAS12
David Heimburger was speaking at the WAN-IFRA Tablet & App summit about how Stern magazine has become a digital property, in a talk entitled “850 000 print copies per week, 7 million readers, and the challenge of reproducing print miracle for tablet readers.”
November 2, 2012
“The UX of publishing for tablets and smartphones” - Martin Belam at #TAS12
This is an essay version of a talk I gave at the Tablet & App Summit at the World Publishing Expo in Frankfurt, October 2012.
October 25, 2012
“What Comes After UX?” - Cennydd Bowles at UX People
Last week I helped host Zebra People’s UX People, a day long conference featuring talks and practical workshops. Here is what I took away from a very thought-provoking talk by Cennydd Bowles about “What comes after UX?”
October 24, 2012
“Seeding UX into the DNA of an organisation” - Mel McVeigh at UX People
Last week I helped host Zebra People’s UX People. Here are my notes from the third talk of the day - Mel McVeigh sharing some lessons from building a digital product development and user experience team at a very analogue publishing business.
October 23, 2012
Guardian responsive redesign beta gets web fonts
This week some of my ex-colleagues at the Guardian unveiled the latest update to their public beta of a responsive redesign - using a version of Guardian Egyptian that has been hinted for the web.
“Test or be damned” - Jonty Sharples at UX People
Last week I helped host Zebra People’s UX People, a day long conference featuring talks and practical workshops from the likes of Cennydd Bowles, Christopher Lee Ball and Louise Oakham. These are my notes from a session where Jonty Sharples insisted designers must “test or be damned.”
October 21, 2012
“Experience Principles” - Christopher Lee Ball at UX People
Last week I helped host UX People, a day long conference featuring talks and practical workshops from the likes of Cennydd Bowles, Jonty Sharples and Oli Shaw. Here are my notes on Christopher Lee Ball talking about an LBi project for Virgin Atlantic.
October 18, 2012
Not quite the future of publishing yet - Pitchfork, Bat For Lashes, and mobile phones
You might have seen lots of people on Twitter lavishing praise on the web display of Pitchfork’s Bat For Lashes feature today. But not me.
October 2, 2012
All my EuroIA 2012 notes are belong to you...
If you subscribe to this blog via RSS or the email updates, you’ve probably been inundated with a flood of blog posts as I wrote up all the talks I saw at EuroIA in Rome. And probably didn’t get a chance to read them all. Never fear - now you can catch up with the whole lot, including my talk about “Responsive IA” in one handy, free, ebook.
October 1, 2012
“Responsive IA: IA in the touchscreen era” - Martin Belam at EuroIA
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
Building a coupon app for iPhone - Hermann Hofstetter & Gregor Urech at EuroIA
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.
“RITE: Testing and a business driver” - Jim Kalbach & Carola Weller at EuroIA
Here are my notes on James Kalbach and Carola Weller talking about the RITE methodology at EuroIA 2012 in Rome.
September 28, 2012
“‘Stupid bloody system!’: Bad IA in the workplace” - Jonas Söderström at EuroIA
I’m trying to keep up with nearly-live-blogging EuroIA in Rome. So far I’ve posted notes on talks by Gerry McGovern,Peter J. Bogaards and Birgit Geiberger & Peter Boersma and Raffaella Roviglioni. I actually split my time during Raffaella’s talk because I wanted to see some of Jonas Söderström’s session on bad enterprise software...
“An agronomist’s unexpected path to UX Design” - Raffaella Roviglioni at EuroIA
I’ve live-blogging EuroIA in Rome. I’ve posted notes on talks by Gerry McGovern,Peter J. Bogaards and Birgit Geiberger & Peter Boersma. I was really looking forward to Raffaella Roviglioni talking about her unique path into UX, and I wasn’t disappointed. Here are my notes...
“Process & People” - Birgit Geiberger & Peter Boersma at EuroIA
I’m trying my usual frantic blog-it-as-it-happens thing here at EuroIA in Rome. I’ve already posted my notes on the opening session from Gerry McGovern, and Peter J. Bogaards talking about “wicked problems”. The third session was from Birgit Geiberger and Peter Boersma, looking at how relationships at work are key to delivering good design.
“Helping businesses to tackle a ‘wicked problem’” - Peter J. Bogaards at EuroIA
I’m at EuroIA in Rome, trying my usual frantic blog-it-as-it-happens approach. Up until the point where I give my talk on “IA in the touchscreen era” tomorrow. I’ve posted my notes on the opening session from Gerry McGovern, and here is session two with Peter J. Bogaards. Peter was one of the first information architects I ever started reading on the web, and one of the inspirations to start currybetdotnet all those years ago...
“The dirty magnet” - Gerry McGovern at EuroIA
I’m at EuroIA in Rome, and will be trying my usual blog-it-as-it-happens approach. Whilst also putting the final touches to my talk on “IA in the touchscreen era” tomorrow. Here are my notes on the opening session from Gerry McGovern...
September 25, 2012
“Designing products with mobile users at the core” - Martin Belam at Mobile Media Strategies 2012
This is a version of the talk I gave today at Mobile Media Strategies 2012
September 24, 2012
A week in the life of Emblem
On Friday it was exactly three months since my last day at the Guardian. So I thought I’d post my first ever set of “weeknotes” so you could see what I’m getting up to as Emblem.
September 14, 2012
“How to make friends. And influence robots” - Martin Belam at BrightonSEO
This is a version of the talk I gave at BrightonSEO on September 14th 2012.
September 12, 2012
Thinking about mobile and tablet design...
I’ve been doing quite a bit of thinking about, and designing, mobile and tablet UIs. So here goes with one of those awkward blog posts where I essentially point at stuff I did elsewhere, and direct you to events I’m talking at...
August 29, 2012
“So you think you want to be a UXer?” - New date and book announced
Yesterday I ran the first of my “So you think you want to be a UXer?” Guardian Masterclasses at Kings Place in London.
August 23, 2012
Why your news site should never automatically open external links in a new window
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.
August 21, 2012
Designing Contributoria the open source way
Contributoria is “a peer-based collaboration platform for storytellers”, which has been funded by the International Press Institute. In July I joined them for a week to work on some early sketches and wireframes of how the service might be realised.
August 2, 2012
Why I have (some) sympathy with the people behind the Olympic ticketing website
It seems that like most of my Twitter timeline I spent a good deal of last night futilely pounding my fists on my laptop keyboard trying desperately to get any joy out of the London 2012 Olympics ticketing website. After a while, hypnotised by the queue animation graphic, I got into a zen-like state where I began to ponder how you could possibly end up designing a system that worked this way.
July 30, 2012
My notes from Design Jam London #5
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.
July 9, 2012
I “Agree/Disagree” with reaction buttons in Facebook apps
A few weeks ago I spotted a tweet by Gary Ellis of Razorfish criticising “naff, lazy functionality” in the Guardian Facebook app, namely the “Agree/Disagree” buttons that appear on comment pieces. “Bit like the ‘Right/Wrong’ dial from Brass Eye” he said. So why do it?
June 21, 2012
Behind the scenes at the ITV News redesign
Design agency Made By Many hosted a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes of the digital relaunch ITV News this week. Here are my notes on how they didn’t just redesign a website, they redesigned a newsroom.
June 14, 2012
So you think you want to be a UXer?
This week I’ve announced another training course that I’ll be running during the summer. “So you think you want to be a UXer” is the first training event I’ve run for Guardian Masterclasses. It will be in the evening of 28 August, at the Guardian’s offices in Kings Cross, London.
June 6, 2012
UPA. UXPA. WTFUX?
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.
June 1, 2012
The great EU cookie wangdoodle
Some thoughts on what I’ve been calling the great EU cookie wangdoodle, including how I’d like people to re-think the complexity they are forcing on the user.
May 30, 2012
Give share buttons their due - they do change user behaviour
There’s a really interesting post by Oliver Reichenstein doing the rounds at the moment entitled “Sweep the Sleaze”, about why sites should remove share buttons from their pages. If you haven’t read it, you should. And then come back and read why I don’t agree with it.
May 24, 2012
“Designing the mobile wallet” - Tim Caynes at London IA
Last week we had the latest London IA evening, featuring a packed programme with an IA Summit theme, as Tim Caynes and Johanna Kollmann reprised their talks from New Orleans, and Giles Colborne provided an overview of the event. Here are my notes from Tim Caynes’ talk about designing the mobile wallet.
May 23, 2012
Situation vacant: Head of UX at the Guardian
This week the Guardian started looking for a replacement Head of User Experience.
“Making sense of messy problems” - Johanna Kollmann at London IA
Last week we had the latest London IA evening, featuring a packed programme with an IA Summit theme, as Tim Caynes and Johanna Kollmann reprised their talks from New Orleans, and Giles Colborne provided an overview of the event. As ever, Sense Worldwide were our hosts, and Zebra People our sponsors. I’ve already published my notes on Giles’ redux of the IA Summit, and here is what I made of Johanna’s talk.
May 22, 2012
“It’s all about content. It’s not about content” - Giles Colborne’s IA Summit Redux at London IA
Last week we had the latest London IA evening, featuring a packed programme with an IA Summit theme, as Tim Caynes and Johanna Kollmann reprised their talks from New Orleans, and Giles Colborne provided an overview of the event. As ever, Sense Worldwide were our hosts, and Zebra People our sponsors. Here are my notes from Giles’ talk.
May 10, 2012
“Do you want your internet to work? Yes/No”
April 30, 2012
From display:none to display:relevant - Why “Responsive IA” is vital
You can’t be involved in digital product design and not have heard the buzz-words “responsive design” - building one URL that changes the information and design displayed as you access it with different devices with different screen sizes. The Boston Globe has won awards for doing it in the news space. A key component of a successful “responsive design” has to be a flexible and responsive IA.
April 16, 2012
3 must read articles on user experience and product development
I stopped keeping a linklog on here a while back, but in the space of a couple of hours today I saw three absolutely must read posts about user experience and product development which I thought worth passing along.
April 11, 2012
A handful of lessons from beta testing features on the Guardian’s website
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.
April 1, 2012
How 3D wireframes help UX and Agile work better at the Guardian
For almost as long as I’ve been a user experience practitioner, the issue of how UX deliverables interact with an Agile project has been a vexed one. At the Guardian we’ve been trying a new technique based on a very old optical illusion - the red/blue anaglyph 3D technique - with startling results.
March 27, 2012
“Brand with a little b, Design with a Big D” - Warren Hutchinson at London IA
Last week we held the latest London IA evening, hosted by Sense Worldwide and sponsored by Zebra People. The talks were from Warren Hutchinson and Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino. Here are my notes from Warren Hutchinson’s talk about “Brand with a little b, Design with a Big D”
March 8, 2012
Your product is flawed. That should hurt.
Andrew Chen wrote an excellent blog post a few days back entitled “Why you’ll always think your product is shit” No digital product is ever finished, and the flaws in the one you work on should hurt you.
February 24, 2012
Journalist-centred design for the CMS
This is my contribution to February’s Carnival of Journalism. The topic this month, set by Steve Outing, is “What emerging technology or digital trend do you think will have a significant impact on journalism in the year or two ahead?” I’m hoping it might be journalist-centred design for the CMS.
February 21, 2012
Interviews about Facebook and UX recruitment
I’ve featured in a couple of interviews published over the last few days about the Guardian’s Facebook app and my ideas on UX recruitment.
February 19, 2012
Bad websites ruin the internet, not “Graphic designers”
I had quite a rude awakening from Twitter on Sunday morning when someone contacted me about John Naughton’s Observer column: “Graphic designers are ruining the web”. The users in the comments have done most of my blogging for me...
February 10, 2012
Putting Lean UX into action
I wasn’t able to be at this month’s London IA event, which is possibly the first time I’ve ever missed it. Unavoidable, but a real shame because I had been looking forward to seeing Jeff Gothelf talk about Lean UX, and hear the debate that was sure to follow. But instead of hearing about it, I was putting it into action.
February 3, 2012
“The Guardian’s Facebook app” - Martin Belam at news:rewired
At news:rewired today I was part of a panel discussing optimising news sites for social media. I talked about the Guardian’s Facebook app. Here is an essay version of the talks.
January 13, 2012
Design error pages for users, not IT consultants
I came across this tweet yesterday, by an IT support company called IGC Technical Solutions: “Windows 8 has a redesigned Blue Screen of Death, It's worrying that Microsoft has taken the time to update something that shouldn't be seen.”
Worrying? What nonsense. Here’s why you should design error pages for users, not for IT consultants.
December 14, 2011
UXmas at the Guardian
Last night we threw open the Guardian’s door for “UXmas” - a chance to meet people from the UX and design teams, hear a couple of talks, and eat some mince pies before retiring to the pub.
December 6, 2011
“Strategic User Experience” - Leisa Reichelt at UX People
At UX People Leisa Reichelt issued a rallying cry to the UX troops. She said it is time for us to start being the awkward people in the room who say no - and if it ends up getting you fired, then that is just an opportunity to move to a company that will listen.
December 5, 2011
“The psychology of engagement” - Mo Syed at UX People
At UX People, Mo Syed gave one of those talks that reminds me that I haven’t read as much about psychology as I probably should have, but that I’ve picked an awful lot up by osmosis along the way. Here are my notes from the session.
December 1, 2011
“From Print to Pixel” - John-Henry Barac at UX People
John-Henry Barac is someone I have worked closely with at the Guardian on projects like our iPhone and other mobile apps, and he has written several thoughtful essays about the app and touchscreen user experience on his blog, so I was really looking forward to hearing him talk at UX People. He was discussing his personal journey from print design to “literally pushing pixels” through the touch-screen interface. Here are my notes from the session.