Author: Zef

Zef’s Management Ethos

Now that I have over seven years experience leading and managing Design/UX teams, I’m clear on what works and what doesn’t. I’ve never been a “command and control” manager – the type who is authoritative and decisive and usually has their team living in fear. My approach in recent years has been to be the quiet one working diligently behind […]

So it’s about time I updated my blog isn’t it?

Well… …I don’t have a plan but it looks like I’m back. I think I’m going to be less glossy and a bit more gritty from now on. You’ll not only be hearing about my adventures in Experience Design but whatever’s rocking my world right now. I’ll reveal more about my personal life, thoughts and […]

Answers to those Questions

Occasionally I get emails from aspiring User Experience professionals asking a bunch of questions about the industry and how I got into it. Over the years I’ve had people contacting me from around the world including the USA, Europe, The Philippines, India and New Zealand. I thought it might be useful to share some of these questions […]

World’s First Bearcam

In 1995 I took part in what was arguably one of the first webcams in New Zealand and certainly the one and only bearcam on the planet! The innovation took place at Vidmark Productions – a little TV and video production house based in Dunedin – it was run by Steve Young from the legendary 70s […]

Government to review ‘wild west’

Inquisition, Theosophy and Tools Minister John Wayne has ordered a review into the ”wild west”, he announced today. The Minister will examine the adequacy of regulations around how cowboys and cowgirls interact with the townsfolk. One-armed bandits and outlaws are not subject to any form of regulation or professional or ethical standards, Mr Wayne told […]

My Day Job

During the day I work at Click Suite – a little new media company based in Wellington which picks up some strange and wonderful projects. I frequently write articles for their blog – 360°. Here’s some of my latest posts… Your Place or My Place? Facebook will soon not only track your conversations and interests, […]

The Money In Mining

In March 2010, New Zealand’s Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee and Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson released a discussion paper containing a suite of measures to facilitate development of New Zealand’s mineral estate – this included minerals within national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, marine reserves and protected islands. The Standard argued that the figures for mining […]

50 vs. 80

[+] Enlarge The above infographic is the first I’ve created for the Science Media Centre. Their aim is to promote accurate bias-free reporting on science and technology by helping the media to work more closely with the scientific community. The Story Behind the Infographic The New Zealand Government is considering a proposal to drop the […]

The Pollinator

Click Suite // Auckland Museum: The Pollinator from Click Suite on Vimeo. Using touch-screen technology visitors could tap into a world of pollination. Auckland Museum and Click Suite took three common New Zealand insects – the honey bee, monarch and native hoverfly – and set them loose in an amazing virtual rose garden. The Pollinator, […]

A Suite Makeover

Ever heard the saying “you’re your own worst client?” In our industry it’s common knowledge that a DYO (or “Design Your Own“) website is one of the trickiest things a web/interactive/design company can undertake. First of all, paid work always comes first. So despite your best efforts the DYO falls by the wayside, only to […]

Tap Dancing on Paper

When it comes to creating a user experience specification for a website, it\’s usually a straight forward exercise. You create wireframe diagrams and show the web pages in different states. But how do you specify user interactions for a touch-screen that\’s ever-changing, highly interactive and has unpredictable curious creatures influencing the user navigation? This was […]

Tsunami Early Warning Information Graphic

  When the recent 6 metre tsunami hit the Samoan region, killing 189 people, there unfortunately wasn’t time to warn their people. But there was time to warn their neighbours in the South Pacific. We failed. New Zealand had several hours to crank-up the tsunami warning machine. The police did their best to round up […]

Card Sorting Doesn’t Cut the Custard

Why I don’t use Card Sorting Card sorting is a simple technique in User Experience Design where a group of   users are guided to arrange subject-headings under pre-determined categories or into groups which make sense to them. For example, a card labelled “apples” might logically sit under a category labelled “fruit”. It can be […]

11 Must-Follow Kiwi User Experience Evangelists on Twitter

Being down-under often means we are off the radar. But did you know that New Zealand is also brimming with UX (User Experience) evangelists? This is my list of Twitter must-follows for any New Zealander interested in locals talking about usability, user experience, information architecture and interaction design. This is by no means a comprehensive […]

Tabatha the Service Design Goddess

Business owners, service delivery managers, business analysts and user experience consultants could learn a lot from tacky reality TV shows like ‘Tabatha’s Salon Takeover’. The straight-talking Ozzie, Tabatha Coffey lends her sound advice and styling expertise to help make over America one salon at a time in this new series (Friday’s, 9.30pm on TV3). In […]

User Centred Design with Microsoft Expression

A presentation from my archives – many of the points made in these slides are still relevant today. A brief presentation I did at ‘Microsoft Expression for Art’s Sake‘ – a 3 Day Silverlight Camp held in Wellington, New Zealand in April 2009. It makes the simple point that, while Expression is a great tool-set, […]

Power to the People!

A presentation from my archives – many of the points made in these slides are still relevant today. Extracts from a workshop at GOVIS 2007. This one-day intensive workshop taught attendees how to incorporate user goals and agency needs into the web design process. Workshop presenters: Zef Fugaz, Bob Medcalf, Elyssa Timmer. Feedback from the […]

Kids Clothing Online: Shopping Experience

A presentation from my archives – many of the points made in these slides are still relevant today. Extracts from a 2006 presentation to one of the world’s largest manufacturers and retailers of kids clothing. We investigated their in store experience and how this might be translated online. E-Commerce for Kids Fashion Clothing from Zef […]

Be Very Afraid…

With around 75% of New Zealand homes online that leaves about a million people who do still do not have access to the internet in this country. Worldwide an estimated one billion people have access. That’s leaves around 5.7 billion who don’t. The main reasons are they can’t afford it, are too young to pick […]

Feeding the Suite Spot

The SUITE SPOT (as seen at Webstock) takes live data feeds from blogs, Twitter, Flickr and SMS messages then ‘repurposes’ all of this into an exploratory scene. The feeds might look  simple enough on screen but deciding what appears on the timeline, where and when were all challenges faced during the design and development. The […]

It’s Semantic

Throughout 2009 you’ll probably hear a lot of talk about the semantic web, aka “Web 3.0”. The semantic wave embraces previous stages of internet growth. The first stage, Web 1.0, was about connecting information and getting on the net. Web 2.0 is about connecting people – the web of social networks and participation. This was […]

Software Specifications With Vision

When it comes to building software many New Zealand companies unnecessarily struggle with design and development issues. Much of this is due to software specifications without adequate pictures. Below is the specification a building architect has written for a new house: …the total floor area of the building is to be approximately 250 square metres […]

Designing for Loyalty

Astute web designers do more than just design with your customers in mind- they actually design with your customers- in person. Zef Fugaz looks at ways to get your users on board, and looks at New Zealand success stories. This article originally appeared in Unlimited Magazine (June 2004) The dotcom crash taught the young web […]

Kissing the Lips of E-govt

Achieving e-Government compliance for public sector websites will require a makeover that’s greater than skin-deep. Zef Fugaz looks at the realities of putting public service websites on the operating table and making them skip to an e-Government beat. Trevor has spoken. By 2006 all public service websites will have to be well and truly on […]

Rise of the Usability Guru

Your next Guru could be a usability practitioner. It was only a few years ago that the term “usability” was widely categorised as a misspelling or another lunatic fringe concept being pushed by idiosyncratic web designers. But a change is in the air and usability is increasingly becoming “the secret weapon” for many web and […]