All posts from
December 2006

Review of ‘Everyware: The dawning age of ubiquitous computing’

“Adam’s thesis is that technology and our experience of it will change significantly in the very near future: computer processing will insinuate its way in into our daily lives deeply and invisibly, in a way that PCs haven’t. It will move from our desktops and server rooms into our walls, our furniture, our clothing, and perhaps even into our bodies; everyware will literally be everywhere.” (Andrew Otwell – heyblog)

Clash of the Titans: Agile and UCD

“Agile software development has become fairly popular in the last few years, leaving many UX professionals wondering how user-centered design (UCD) can fit into an extremely fast-paced development process that uses little documentation. User-centered design can involve a variety of techniques that provide insights into users’ wants, needs, and goals, including ethnography, contextual inquiry, contextual interviewing, usability testing, task analysis, and others. But all of these take time-time that an agile development process might not allow. There is hope, though. Agile and UCD methods are not completely at odds with each other-and in some cases, agile development can even enable a more user-centered approach. By taking the time to understand the differences and similarities between agile development and UCD, it’s possible to devise a process that is both user-centered and agile.” (Richard F. CecilUXmatters)

Seeing the World in Symbols: Icons and the Evolving Language of Digital Wayfinding

“Of all the objects that occupy our digital spaces, there are none that capture the imagination so much as icons. As symbols, icons can communicate powerfully, be delightful, add to the aesthetic value of software, engage people’s curiosity and playfulness, and encourage experimentation. These symbols are key components of a graphic user interface-mediators between our thoughts and actions, our intentions and accomplishments.” (Jonathan FollettUXmatters)

OLPC Human Interface Guidelines

“These guidelines are targeted primarily at developers who are building tools for the OLPC laptop. They provide an in-depth view of the various features of Sugar, the laptop user interface, and focus closely on the parts of the UI that pertain directly to software development and the ways in which applications, presented as ‘activities’, interact with the operating system. However, as these guidelines are intended to provide a comprehensive overview of the user interface, these pages should also be of general interest. Hopefully the descriptions of the various UI elements, particularly in the Laptop Experience section, will quench the thirst of all who want to better understand the project and its goals.” (The OLPC Wiki) – courtesy of usernomics

The Bottom Line of Experience Design: Q&A with Nathan Shedroff

“The word design means many things, but to people who design for a living, their profession normally breaks down into specific categories like graphic design, industrial design, and information design. Nathan Shedroff is one of the pioneers in experience design, an approach that encompasses multiple senses, usually in a physical environment. As author of the book Experience Design and president of the Board of Directors for the AIGA Center for Brand Experience, Nathan has important insights for those who design experiences with PowerPoint.” (Cliff Atkinsonsociable media)

Slideshare and the ‘slideumentation’ of presentations

“Don’t get me wrong, there are some cool features in Slideshare. SlideShare does indeed make it easy to upload PowerPoint slides and it is quite cool that you can embed clickable slides into your blog or view them in good quality on a large screen. But without the possibility to include audio (or video and animation) with slides I just do not see what all the excitement is about (yet).” (Garr Reynolds – Presentation Zen)


“Devotees of simplicity will bring up 37signals and the Apple iPod as anecdotal proof that Simple Sells. I would argue that in both these cases, success is a result of a combination of things: building an audience, evangelism, clean and spare design, emotional appeal, aesthetics, fast response time, direct and instant user feedback, program models which correspond to the user model resulting in high usability, and putting the user in control, all of which are features of one sort, in the sense that they are benefits that customers like and pay for, but none of which can really be described as ‘simplicity’.” (Joel Spolsky)

Web Browsing on Mobile Phones – Characteristics of User Experience

“Browsing the Web with a small mobile phone may sound absurd at first. The increasing importance of the Internet means, however, that a person should be able to access Web services even when not sitting in front of a computer. Since there are approximately three times more mobile phones than computers in the world, a mobile phone may provide the only way to access the Web for many people. Technically, it has been possible to access the Internet on a mobile phone for several years already, but the mobile browsing experience has often been cumbersome for ordinary people. Understanding the user needs in different use contexts is the key to improving the user experience and thereby popularizing device independent access to Internet. In her dissertation research, Virpi Roto has interviewed users of mobile browsers in several countries, and identified characteristics that help improve the mobile browsing user experience if taken into consideration. In addition to user and use context, all the system components should be taken into account: device, browser, network infrastructure, and web site.” (Virpi Roto – Nokia Research Center) – courtesy of vuccosic