In usability we trust

UX and all things web

Tag: UX

Click Areas for a Brave New Multi-Device World

Have you ever been browsing a web site on your smart phone or tablet and found that on some sites, the links are so tiny and so tightly packed, that it’s near impossible to click the right one?

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Lean Tribe Gathering 12

front-160bI was giving a talk on Agile UX at Lean Tribe Gathering 12 the other day. It was a nice event which included several great talks that inspired lots of interesting discussions. In my talk, named UX ♥ Agile, I shared some of my experiences trying to incorporate UX work into an Agile environment.

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Search Analytics for Your Site by Louis Rosenfeld

Search Analytics for Your Site is a great book that will teach you how to make the most of the searches people make on your site. Lou Rosenfeld has done a tremendous job describing how to approach this rich source of information about your users, and come out with valuable insights that will help improve your web site or Intranet.

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How to balance different interests within a project

In every web and software project it’s important to find a good balance between different interests in order to produce a successful product or service. My biggest takeaway from reading A Project Guide to UX Design was the idea of maintaining a good tension between different interests in a project group.

In this article I will describe what those interests are and what will happen when any of them becomes too dominant. I will also share my thoughts on how to overcome imbalances.

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4 Books on UX that I’ve read recently

I’ve recently read a few books on User Experience design and this is a run down of them.

Although they’re all about UX Design, they’re still very different in their approach to the subject. I list them here, from the most practical to the most theoretical.

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Action-Confirm Design Pattern

Inspired by the User Interfaces of mobile apps on the iOS and Android platforms, I created a delete button using a design pattern that I’ve named the Action-Confirm design pattern. I created this for a web application that I recently worked on.

In a nutshell it’s an Action button that transforms into a Confirm button when clicked. It’s a compact solution that provides the user with a way to confirm a possibly destructive action without interrupting the flow of the application.

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A Project Guide to UX Design

Just like the subtitle: “For User Experience Designers in the field or in the making”, implies this is a book for persons that are not yet experts in the UX field. It’s a wonderful read and really gives a great overview of the UX design role in modern web site development.

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Stripes – An interesting Operating System Concept

I’ve just discovered an interesting concept for a new Operating System. The concept is the brain child of Martin Gimpl and is a part of his master thesis on computer interaction. It uses a zooming interface for windows management and introduces several interesting concepts. In the short video below, Martin shows some of the core concepts. It is well worth checking out.

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Mobile First Person User Interfaces

The mobile devices are getting increasingly sophisticated. With the combination of GPS, compass, camera, Internet Connection and a big screen it’s now possible to create amazing, context aware, first Person UI’s. Imaging for a moment that you’re in a foreign city, standing in front of a statue that you never seen before. Point your mobile phone at it and it will tell you what it is, who built it etc, imposing the information as a layer over the reality.

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Forms that Work

Forms that Work is a book on how to design web forms properly. Some time ago I reviewed a similar book, Web Form Design by Luke Wroblewski, which deals with the same subject. I then thought that this was a very narrow scope for a book, but perhaps it was not since this book was published shortly after.

No doubt web forms are all around us, so the need for knowledge and skill to design them well should be great. I certainly can’t seem to get enough of these books. Continue reading

The rise of Zooming User Interfaces

The first time I ever read anything about Zooming User Interfaces was when I was reading The Humane Interface by Jef Raskin, where he introduced the concept of Zoom World, a whole OS based on a Zooming User Interface (ZUI). Of course this wasn’t my first encounter with this type of user interface since I’ve, among other things, been using Interactive maps like Google Maps. But it was the first time that I started considering a Zooming Interface a viable alternative to the traditional interaction idioms.

In this article I will explore some of the Zooming User Interfaces out there today and also take a sneak peak of what’s around the corner.

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Different approaches to communicate UX design

Peter Morville at Semantic Studios has compiled an extensive list of ways to create deliverables to communicate uX designs. He writes about this in User Experience Deliverables.

The article contains a list of 20 techniques with links to further reading on each. To make it easier to find suitable techniques he also made a Treasure Map (pdf) so it’s easier to see what your options are. Or as Peter himself put it:

It’s hard to find the best trees when we can’t see the forest. So, we often fall back on old habits. We churn out wireframes when a story may be worth its weight in gold. Some great deliverables stay hidden in plain sight. That’s why we created this treasure map for our wall (and yours).

– Peter Morville

Spotify is right on the spot

SpotifyI’ve been using the beta web service Spotify for a couple of months now. And I must say that I’m really impressed. I would almost go as far as to say it’s the best piece of software I have ever used.

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Shopping for groceries in style

Conchango is developing a shopping system for the British grocery store Tesco. It’s supposed to help customers when buying/ordering food and has a graphically rich interface.

I’m for one hate shopping for groceries. If I could have a system like this that remembers what groceries I normally buy and suggests a shopping list according to my dinner plans, I would be more than delighted. In fact, if I didn’t even had to physically go to the grocery store, I would be even more delighted.

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Visualizing the age of content

How do one visualize the age dimension of content?

In the real world it’s not a problem. Physical objects, like paper, clearly wears the mark of time. Paper turns yellow and get torn. Other things get scratched or changes it’s appearance in some other way that makes it obvious that it’s not new.

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The use of buttons in web forms

Action buttons exists at the bottom of almost every web form. They’re so common that we often doesn’t even reflect on how to actually design them. By gathering information from a few of the great minds in the field of web usability and also from my own experiences, I’ve tried to come up with a set of best practices on how to design them efficiently.

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5 essential books on usability

I’ve compiled a short list of book on usability and UX design that I’ve found both valuable and inspiring. All of these books have given me important insights and helped me to better understand the different aspects of the area.

I’ve listed them in the order I think one should read them and I’ve also written a small text about each.

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Huge booklist on user experience design

I’ve just ordered a couple of books at Rosenfeld media and while finishing the order I noticed a part of the site called UX Zeitgeist which consists of a huge collection of books and topics on user experience design.

Rosenfeld - UX Zeitgeist

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Designing the Moment [Book review]

Designing the Moment

Robert Hoekman Jr, the author of Designing the Obvious, has written yet another book on interaction design, Designing the Moment. This time he get’s down and dirty with the nitty gritty details of web- and interaction design. In this book he uses a variety of real-world examples to describe, in great detail, how and why to design all the small details of navigation, forms, video interfaces, tag clouds and more.

I had high expectations on this book since I really liked Designing the Obvious. And I have to say that it met my expectations. It’s fun to read and provides lots of interesting examples on great interaction design.

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When software ruins great products

I got a small mp3 player as a gift this Christmas. It’s a Sony Walkman NW-E003 and it’s really good. It has great sound, it’s easy to slip inside your pocket, it has long battery time and is easy to operate. The downside is that the software that comes along with it, SonicStage, is really bad. Although I feel that Itunes is somtimes a little quirky to use, it’s nothing compared to SonicStage.

Sony Walkman NW-E003

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