Category: Usability

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Jakob’s Top 10 Provoked!

I’ve been hinting for a while that we had big news for 2008 : and now the word is out! Provoke – Project Management, Information Architecture, Implementation, Development. Capiche – Visual Design.From Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox, January 7, 2008 10 Best Intranets of 2008 The winners of the award for 10 best-designed intranets for 2008 are: […]

Blobbing-Up Users

We’ve been going all gooey over ‘blob charts’ – our answer to persona data analysis – a godsend when faced with dozens of interview transcriptions and observations. When analysing users we look at a huge number of facets including: …Gender, Age group, Family situation, Income, Housing, Where living, Occupation, Education, Race/Ethnicity, Nationality, Language skills, Social […]

Feedback from Power to the People

Apologies to my regular subscribers – I’m not keeping pace with my goal of two blogs a week. Part of the reason is the return of my dj turntables (I sold them in 1999 – now they’re back!), gathering and stacking firewood for the winter (which we’re told is “still coming”), and my work at […]

Reflections on Power to the People

Today I co-presented a full day workshop at GOVIS 2007 here in Wellington. I didn’t think I’d make it having spent the last few days in bed with an aggressive case of bacterial sinutus. Over the weekend I’d taken nasty antibiotics (for the first time in living memory), and was feeling a tad strange… My […]

Make Qantas Smarter (and win!)

Qantas have a ‘thick’ online booking system. This came to light when I read an article in The Dominion Post this morning, which reads: A mother says she will never fly Qantas again after her two unaccompanied children were bumped off an overloaded Wellington to Sydney flight and sent to Auckland instead. And here’s the […]

prototyping tools for web design

After a slow start to the year, the Wellington Usability Professionals group has an exciting series of events planned for 2007! To kick things off, their next meeting is Tuesday April 3rd and will be about prototyping tools for web design. A rapid iterative prototyping process is often used with user centred design (UCD) methodologies. […]

iFlat Earth

Are we throwing ourselves blindly into a yawning flat paradigm with the Apple iPhone? Let us consider a world without pressing your (or someone else’s) buttons… First of all, try kissing a glossy photograph of Bradgelina’s lips (Brad or Angelina, or both, depending on your persuasion). Next, try some real lips – you might want […]

Filtering Out Advanced Search

Last year I designed a prototype of an advanced search system for Student Job Search (SJS). I’d taken inspiration from the iTunes ‘smart playlist’ feature and created an ultra flexible tool for students to add multiple layers of search phrases and criteria. Then a few months ago SJS asked us to build the search for […]

Get the Method with Boxes and Arrows

My latest piece of writing – ‘Method Acting with Personas’ – appears over on Boxes and Arrows It’s a suggestion for publication and your interest might help get it to the next stage. Take a sneak peek… Register for Boxes & Arrows (and then you’ll be able post your comments and a rating for my […]

Microsoft Bridging the Gap Between Developers, Designers and the User Experience

This article originally appeared on Digitalmelon, and is re-blogged here with the kind permission of Chandima Kulathilake. Chan has been recently evaluating new Microsoft technologies for User Interface Design – in what is just the start of Microsoft recognising interactive designers as integral to software – better enabling them to deliver an engaging User Experience. […]

Triple Bottom Line Usertarianism

As the designers of user interfaces we have an obligation to not only our clients, but our users and their greater working environment. In practical terms, Triple Bottom Line Usertarianism usually means expanding the traditional user experience framework to take into account not just user and client satisfaction but the overall user-ecology. Usertarianism is a […]

It’s K-Time!

Webstock is the biggest thing to hit the Wellington web industry since Trade Me sold for $700m in cash – the difference is that, this time, almost everyone gets to share the riches. For me the Webstock Experience started last night over a relaxed dinner at the Matterhorn with the Provoke DUX team and  (a […]

“I aint got no use-a-bill-latty”

As the President of the Usability Professionals’ Association of New Zealand (you can just call me ‘Mr President’), I\’m charged with supporting and growing “usability” in this country. Well, things seem to be ticking along quite nicely, with the latest UPA survey of over 1300 usability professionals worldwide (including a healthy 21 responses from little […]

Environmentally Friendlier Pop-ups

Old fossil Web1.0 technologies (such as pop-ups) continue to pollute our browsing environment and are hampering progressive and sustainable navigation. So, in one of my previous blogs I declared “War on Pop-Up Pollution“. In this issue I look at some alternative techniques to “display information within information”. Why Pop-ups Are Evil Forced Consumption’¦ According to […]

War on Pop-Up Pollution!

Pop-up creators are polluting our fragile web eco-system – they must look to alternatives. Now pop-ups are infiltrating people’s homes and messing-up the web eco-system.You might not realise it, but your friends, family and co-workers are all suffering from the long-term consequences of pop-up pollution. Common  symptoms include cluttered desk-tops, confused navigators and homeless browser […]

Online Census Flopped?

The online census attracted less than half the expected number the Dominion Post reported yesterday. Less than half the expected number of people filled out the new Online Census.The paper reported that Statistics NZ had hoped that 15-20 per cent of the population would complete the census online, based on dry runs conducted last year […]

Students Treated to Defensive Design

The Student Job Search website has been relaunched, but at first glance you wouldn’t notice much of a difference… While the visual design has largely remained untouched – most of the work has gone in to turning a potentially arduous registration process in to something digestable and usable for both students and employers. Provoke’s ethos […]

Foto Blotto

It was my first exploration into the brave new world of ordering photo-prints online. I thought the experience would be simple… Visit a website Upload a bunch of photos I want printed Choose the size and format Enter my address and credit card details Then forget about it a for a few days… …until “viola!” […]

Blind Greens

While travelling from Ohakune to Paraparaumu the other day I became obsessed with the plethora of political party billboards lining the highway. To the point…The National Party takes the cake for effective design (and billboards per mile), and the Social Credit party billboard in Wanganui wins the prize for sheer audacity… (won’t they ever give […]

Trade Me Your Region

The Trade Me ‘change my region’ feature assumes New Zealanders are hermits – never leaving the comfort of their internet device, home, street or town. I live and work in more than one region.The purpose of ‘change my region’ is to allow people to search for goodies in ‘their region’ (or, alternatively, over the whole […]