User Experience Design Blog

Commentary on strategy and design of interactive products.

All Articles in the ‘Usability’ Category

Avoiding Agile Disaster

Jan 23, 2013 - Agile development can be a wonderful thing. Unlike a waterfall approach that can be mired with checkpoints, bottlenecks, and other friction, Agile can free organizations to move quickly. However, with that freedom come deleterious consequences. Chief among them is the loss of  product identity, which leads to an unrecognizable agglomeration of disjointed features—A blob of garbled parts. A Blob of [...]

Designing for a Sustainable World: World Usability Today

Nov 12, 2009 - Today is World Usability Day. Don’t forget to get involved and see the events happening near you. For Boston, there are a series of events at South Station, titled “Connecting the Dots” In San Francisco, check out: Design Matters: An Open House to Celebrate World Usability Day And of course, please do comment/share any events you have or [...]

BBC Online Shares Its Usability and Accessibility Methodologies

Aug 12, 2009 - Jonathan Hassell of BBC online shared a presentation on the challenges and methodologies of the company’s Usability & Accessibility team. The short presentation describes the challenges, such as a wide range of platforms and audience types, as well as the wide-range of research tools that are used to understand and address them, from card sorting [...]

A Survey of Lufthansa’s Touch Screen Entertainment Application

Aug 4, 2009 - I flew on Lufthansa during a recent trip to Europe. Not only was it one of the nicest flying experiences that I have ever had, but it also turned out to be an opportunity to experience a very well-done interactive experience. Despite some shortcomings, Lufthansa’s touch screen entertainment application was a prime case study in [...]

Oops Award for Bad Product Design 2009

Jul 9, 2009 - This year’s batch of nominees for the Oops Award for Bad Product Design are truly exemplary. I highly encourage the reader to feast your eyes on some of the world’s biggest product design disasters. While most of the nominees have earned their spot in these echelons for aesthetic reasons, there are also some that are [...]

Designing and Evaluating Gestural Interfaces

May 9, 2009 - Touch continues to be a big topic in user experience and product development. I recently came across two articles that add great points to the continuing dialog: Design Considerations for Touch UI This article enumerates five major pointers for designing effective touch interfaces, namely: Design for immediate access Keep gestures smart and simple Leverage clear mental models Design for real hand [...]

Google’s User Experience Director Speaks About Design Challenges

Mar 23, 2009 - BuisinessWeek has a great Q&A with Google’s Director of User Experience, Irene Au. In the article, Irene Au is asked about Google’s approach to design and brand coherence across different Google products. Not surprisingly, Google has a very scientific approach to experience design, heavily rooted in quantitative methods: [Engineers] and analysts pore over streams of data [...]

The Palm Pre User Experience

Mar 19, 2009 - The iPhone started a paradigm shift in mobile that led to a deluge of touch-screen devices, which differ only slightly in feature sets and overall experience. Marek Pawlowski of MEX writes a very detailed account how Palm went back to its ideological roots and to the blackboard to design a unique mobile device–the Pre. In [...]

Digitial Camera User Interfaces

Mar 19, 2009 - With all the talk of mobile phones and touch screen interfaces, it was nice to come across a fairly complete look at existing camera interfaces, which typically do not get much coverage. Gizmodo’s Matt Buchanan, not only gives a great “visual tour” of the top players in camera devices: Canon, Nikon, Sony, Panasonic, Casio, Olympus [...]

Eye-Tracking Studies at Google

Feb 25, 2009 - Two user experience researchers share on the Google Blog how their team conducted eye-tracking studies on the interface of Universal Search to gain insight into optimal information design. They write in their post: Our User Experience Research team has found that people evaluate the search results page so quickly that they make most of their decisions [...]

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