All posts from
October 2006

Creating Usability and Sociability in Online Social Spaces

“Creating successful online social spaces requires attention to usability and sociability. Online social interaction involves individuals interacting with the technology (i.e., usability) and with each other via the technology (i.e., sociability). Attending to issues such as how users create and send messages, and communicate non-verbal cues are examples of usability design; attending to moderation, facilitation, politeness, leadership, and social support online are examples of sociability design. Both are needed for thriving social interaction online.” (Jenny PreeceOxford Internet Institute)

We Got Sick of Hearing About Design & China, So we Got on a Plane and Went There

“There has certainly been a great deal of speculation lately regarding the real or perceived rise of Chinese industrial design. We say ‘perceived rise’ to emphasize that their impending world domination in this field is not a foregone conclusion, despite the frequent flurries of listserve chatter and design-conference panel discussions supporting such a notion.” (Bruce M. Tharp and Stephanie Munson –

Minimal-Feedback Hints for Remembering Passwords

“Passwords are a widely used mechanism for user authentication and are thus critical to the security of many systems. To provide effective security, passwords should be known to the password holder but remain unknown to everybody else. While personal information and real words are relatively easy for a user to remember, they make weak passwords from a security point of view because vulnerable to informed guessing and dictionary attacks.” (Morten Hertzum – uiGarden)

Experiencing Experience

“Technically, most designers are attempting to design meaning, not experience. The experience of eating a cookie, for instance, can be described in very clear terms. But, capturing the unique meaning which that cookie had for one individual was what made Proust’s madeleine the stuff of great literature. A simple cookie for one person is a trigger for emotion-laden memories for another. But, most often, designers must create experiences for people they don’t know. So, how can designers create opportunities for meaningful experiences for people they don’t know? By paying close attentions to patterns.” (Tom Guarriello – UX Magazine)

What Is User Experience Design?

“(…) the field of user experience design takes a broad approach to the enhancement of products, combining elements from various fields to create an optimal and well-rounded experience. This wholistic methodology is often more adept at helping to reach a set of goals that encompass passive and active user interactions–goals determined both by users and the business or organization.” (Paradyme) – courtesy of usernomics

Designing Breakthrough Products: Going Where No User Has Gone Before

“Because evolutionary products are far more common than revolutionary products, UCD techniques have focused more on how to approach projects for which the problem space is fairly well understood – both by UX designers and by users. UCD techniques are best at helping us determine how to solve such problems – which is not to downplay the challenges of those sorts of projects. However, the situation is different for breakthrough products, where potential users often have difficulty imagining a solution to a problem.” (George OlsenUXmatters)