All posts from
June 2010

What every UX professional needs to know about statistics and usability tests

“Do you like computers, but hate math? Would you love to work on creating cutting-edge technology, but don’t think you have the quantitative aptitude to be a programmer or electrical engineer? Then become a user experience professional! If you can count to 5 (the number of users in a usability test), then you already know all the math you’ll need! Everything else is art! I bet you’re good at art, aren’t you?” (Stat 101) courtesy of usanews

Design Better And Faster With Rapid Prototyping

“Prototypes range from rough paper sketches to interactive simulations that look and function like the final product. The keys to successful rapid prototyping are revising quickly based on feedback and using the appropriate prototyping approach. Rapid prototyping helps teams experiment with multiple approaches and ideas, it facilitates discussion through visuals instead of words, it ensures that everyone shares a common understanding, and it reduces risk and avoids missed requirements, leading to a better design faster.” (Lyndon Cerejo ~ Smashing Magazine

A user’s guide to service design

“If you don’t, it might sound like something that’s complicated, difficult and costly to get involved in. To help you get to grips with service design, we’ve talked to the experts, read the academic papers and compiled a set of case studies of some well designed services. This users’ guide to service design contains lots of information about how we at the Design Council are demonstrating that design can improve our public and consumer services. But it also contains great examples from design agencies, universities and businesses and public services who’ve used design.” (Design Council)

Usability is in the details

“Although usability practitioners love to show examples of big usability issues with websites and applications, the vast majority of usability issues are typically in the details. By forcing your application users or website visitors to be constantly bothered with more detailed usability issues, you eventually wear down their patience and force them to decide whether to continue being annoyed, or to try a different application or website.” (W Craig Tomlin ~ Useful Usability)

From Industrial Design to User Experience: The heritage and evolving role of experience-driven design

“In this article, I want to share some thoughts about user experience design, UX practice today, and its parallels to industrial design practice. In efforts to continue the conversation about the true fit of UX as a growing specialization, I will attempt to position it within the landscape of established design disciplines. I will also to raise questions and considerations to entertain as UX emerges from its software-related origins and grows into strategic leadership across design disciplines. This is neither a manifesto nor a hard-lined stance on UX; rather just some ideas to help carry the collective discussion forward.” (Mark Baskinger – UX Magazine)

A theory of digital objects

“Digital objects are marked by a limited set of variable yet generic attributes such as editability, interactivity, openness and distributedness. As digital objects diffuse throughout the institutional fabric, these attributes and the information–based operations and procedures out of which they are sustained install themselves at the heart of social practice. The entities and processes that constitute the stuff of social practice are thereby rendered increasingly unstable and transfigurable, producing a context of experience in which the certainties of recurring and recognizable objects are on the wane. These claims are supported with reference to 1) the elusive identity of digital documents and the problems of authentication/preservation of records such an identity posits and 2) the operations of search engines and the effects digital search has on the content of the documents it retrieves.” (Jannis Kallinikos, Aleksi Aaltonen, and Attila Marton ~ First Monday Volume 15, Number 6)

Web Fonts at the Crossing

“Font designers are very still very much focused on print. By and large, the money is in catering to professional customers in the printing industries: Books, magazines, displays, etc. Prices usually move on a sliding scale based on the number of users. The fear is that once fonts are on the web, they will become a commodity, the current model will break, and a devaluation of fonts, in general, will occur.” (Richard Fink ~ A List Apart)

Using Persona Advocates to develop user-centric intranets and portals

“Grasping complex information needs and uses can indeed be daunting. One powerful design tool, personas, can help make sense of these needs and provide a framework for building Intranets that will satisfy a variety of needs. Effectively developed and used, personas enable Intranet teams to hone in on user needs and build interfaces and user experiences that end-user audiences can and will use.” (McQueen Consulting)

So, You Want to Do User Research: Characteristics of Great Researchers

“One of the best things about user research is that anyone can do it. On the other hand, it takes real commitment and a lot of personal development to do user research well. People commonly assume that research is research—and doing any kind of research is better than doing none at all. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Not all user research is created equal. Flawed research can be a significant liability to the success of a product, as well as the company developing it, so it really is important to get it right.” (Demetrius Madrigal and Bryan McClain ~ UXmatters)