All posts from
September 2004

The Cost of Frustration

“It’s difficult to find someone who doesn’t believe it’s beneficial to make a more usable design. However, in today’s design environment, it’s often difficult to justify the expense of usability work against other business priorities.” (Jared Spool – – courtesy of john rhodes

CM Pros

“(…) content management is essential to organizations of every type. It harvests and promotes both financial and human value for the companies and organizations that can tap its potential. CM Pros is a membership organization that fosters the sharing of content management information, practices, and strategies.” (About CM Pros)

Extending a Technique: Group Personas

“So we decided to see if we could make group personas. At first, there was some apprehension – what if the groups are so varied as to be impossible to characterize? But as soon as we started making them, only several different kinds of personas made sense and it became a straightforward extension of Alan Cooper’s original persona technique. Here’s how we did it.” (Mike KuniavskyBoxes and Arrows)

Internet time and the reliability of search engines

“Search engines are unreliable tools for data collection for research that aims to reconstruct the historical record. This unreliability is not caused by sudden instabilities of search engines. On the contrary, their operational stability in systematically updating the Internet is the cause. We show how both Google and Altavista systematically relocate the time stamp of Web documents in their databases from the more distant past into the present and the very recent past. They also delete documents. We show how this erodes the quality of information. The search engines continuously reconstruct competing presents that also extend to their perspectives on the past. This has major consequences for the use of search engine results in scholarly research, but gives us a view on the various presents and pasts living side by side in the Internet.” (Paul Wouters et al. – First Monday 9.10)

Lost in gallery space: A conceptual framework for analyzing the usability flaws of museum Web sites

“This article reports on a study which used results from 119 scenario-based evaluations of 36 museum Web sites to develop a conceptual framework for analyzing the usability flaws of museum Web sites. It identifies 15 unique dimensions, grouped into five categories, that exemplify usability problems common to many museum Web sites. Each dimension is discussed in detail, and typical examples are provided, based on actual usability flaws observed during the evaluations. The availability of this conceptual framework will help the designers of museum Web sites improve the overall usability of museum Web sites in general.” (Paul F. Marty and Michael B. Twidale – First Monday 9.9)