All posts from
April 2004

Measuring the User Response to ClearType

“We are investigating the user response to Microsoft’s ClearType™ font enhacement technology. ClearType is a setting that is manipulated through the operating system of devices using Liquid Crystal Display screens. ClearType works by altering the vertical color stripe within a pixel, allowing for changes in how the text looks at fractional levels. These changes are intended to enhance the resolution of the screen text and improve readability.” (Andrew Dillon et al.)

Reproduced and emergent genres of communication on the World-Wide Web

“Genres are useful because they are more easily recognized and understood by recipients of the communications. Therefore, we suggest that Web site designers consider the genres that are appropriate for their situation and attempt to reuse familiar genres. More explicit attention to genres may also speed the wider acceptance of newly emerging genres of communication unique to the Web.” (Kevin Crowston and Marie Williams) – courtesy of victor lombardi

Metadata based search and browse functionality on the NSW Office of Fair Trading intranet: A Case Study

“The NSW Office of Fair Trading launched its first intranet in June 2003. At the very beginning of the intranet project we recognised that unless users could find information easily the intranet would not succeed. We also understood that different people prefer to find information in different ways. To maximise the chances of searchers finding relevant information, and to provide flexibility in search options, we developed and implemented metadata driven search and browse functions. This case study describes the standards, tools and technology we used and how metadata was manipulated to retrieve information in a number of different ways.” (NSW Office of Information and Communications Technology) – courtesy of column two

Observing the User Experience: A Practitioner’s Guide to User Research

“Design is disorienting. Especially when you are designing something in a collaborative environment, with multiple stakeholders, pressured deadlines, business objectives and budgetary constraints. We all go into design with the firm belief that the user is our pole star, but so often we lose that focus because of tossing waves, buffeting winds, and the crew screaming in our ears—never mind the dense cloud cover that always seems to obscure that trusty star just when a committee forms to gather requirements.” (Andrew HintonBoxes and Arrows)

Remote Contextual Inquiry: A Technique to Improve Enterprise Software

“Remote Contextual Inquiry gives us an opportunity to view our end users’ desktops to observe how they are using their current products in a cost and time-efficient manner. It is a marriage between the remote usability lab test and contextual inquiry, allowing us to transcend geographical boundaries without actually having to travel to distant locations. We gain contextual insights such as personalized settings, hidden fields, and added functionality that are typically not obtained during a usability test. It is truly a flexible method that provides a wealth of knowledge about the use of customized enterprise software” (Jeff English and Lynn Rampoldi-HniloBoxes and Arrows)