Author Archives: Theo Mandel

Reaching Retirees: Web Design for Senior Users

Good article by Design For Use on web design for seniors. Here’s the summary: “With the aging population and increased reliance on internet resources, improving the online experience of senior and retired users can facilitate greater success and knowledge about the web. While the common practices of increased text size, button size, and simplified layoutContinue Reading

Reverse Psychology – Microsoft makes Game out of the Office Ribbon

In the spirit of the developer’s credo – “That’s not a bug, that’s a feature!” – Microsoft has created a game that gives users points for finding and using commands on the Office Ribbon toolbar. Usually companies don’t point out their usability issues and problems, but Microsoft’s manager of Office programs, Jennifer Michelstein decided to tryContinue Reading

Counterpoint to the “Madlibs” Form Style

As I looked closely at the different form styles in the previous blog entry, I noticed there are a number of differences, in addition to the different form layouts. Any or all of these changes could have contributed to the reported test results.  Here’s a well-written counterpoint blog post: Lesson from Madlibs Signup Fad: DoContinue Reading

“Mad Libs” Style Form Increases Conversion 25-40%

UI designers are always looking for new ways to do common tasks better and faster. This new style of filling in forms may prove to be one of those new twists that makes people think, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Luke  Wroblewski writes about some new websites that lay out registration forms in aContinue Reading

Usability Guidelines for Heuristic Evaluation

Very nice overview of heuristic evaluation guidelines for websites. >

Google Goggles – Amazing New Mobile Technology

Google has announced a new mobile tool that enables users to search using pictures instead of words. Called Google Goggles, it uses the phone’s GPS and compass to help determine search results. This free app works only on Google Android mobile phones. Goggles can also recognize faces, but Google has decided to block facial recognitionContinue Reading

Gifts for User Experience Geeks 2009

Just in time for the Christmas Holiday! Very thorough list of gifts for UX geeks! http://www.nickfinck.com/blog/entry/gifts_for_user_experience_geeks_2009/

Ridiculous User Interfaces In Film and the Man Who Designs Them

Interesting blog about Mark Coleran’s futuristic computer user interfaces for movies and TV shows. It’s not always about usability!! >

Theo Mandel’s “Golden Rules of Web Design” Keynote Presentation – User eXperience Russia, October 2009

Theo Mandel, Ph.D. was invited to give a keynote presentation at the User eXperience Russia conference in Moscow, Russia, on October 26, 2009. Mandel’s keynote, “The (New) Golden Rules of Web Design,” is an new presentation based on a chapter from the well-known book, The Elements of User Interface Design (John Wiley & Sons, 1997).Continue Reading

Bad Usability! Humorous Slideshare Presentation

A humorous, poetic, simple and elegant presentation about bad usability based on the Bad Usability calendar (www.badusability.com/). >

UX Problems at American Airlines

Dustin Curtis wrote a blog article about American Airlines’ poor website design. He received an e-mail from an Interaction Designer within the company explaining the corporate culture at American Airlines with regard to the website. The designer was promptly fired by AA. >

Why Agile Needs to Start in Academia

Thought-provoking article about getting geeks and artists together during college rather than afterwards on the job. Some institutions offer interdisciplinary programs, but more should be done to get students used to working in multi-disciplinary, cooperative work environments. >

Improving the Patient Experience (Bridget Duffy, Gel Health ’09)

Bridget Duffy Former Chief Experience Officer Cleveland Clinic After breaking her leg, Bridget Duffy got a close look at the patient experience – by being a patient herself. At the first Gel Health conference, Bridget discusses what she learned – and what has inspired her, throughout her career, to advocate for improved patient experience. ThisContinue Reading

Snacks vs. Gourmet Meals in Online Content

This Good Experience post discusses an article that hits the nail on the head. With Twitter and other bite-sized nuggets of information, the world is full of instant, immediate “experts” on any topic. Their information is worth the money you paid for them – nothing. From Good Experience: “Lots of the popular posts on Twitter,Continue Reading

Hilarious Google “Opt-Out” Parody

The Onion, a famous print and online parody newspaper, has a hilarious news video parody of Google’s “Opt-Out” policy. >

Phoenix Design Week 09

Phoenix Design Week is a celebration of the local design community. It will include a variety of exhibitions, open houses, workshops, presentations, activities, films and other community-growth oriented events. Come join the fun – http://phxdw.com/index.php

Google Releases News-Reading Service

Google, long seen as an enemy by many in the news industry, is making a bold attempt to be seen as a friend with a new service it hopes will make it easier for readers to read newspaper and magazine articles. On September 14, 2009, the company introduced an experimental news hub called Fast FlipContinue Reading

Why Craigslist Is Such a Mess

Intriguing article in Wired Magazine on the history of controversial Craigslist.org, the largest community site in the US. From the interface design and usability perspective, Craigslist is notoriously well-know for its old-style, link-heavy, basic interface that does not make using the site easy for people shopping for stuff to sell or buy, apartments to rentContinue Reading

Why Adults Have Fed Twitter

Very interesting results from a study on twitter usage. It turns out older people are using twitter more than young people – not the results you would expect from a new social networking experience. “The tech industry has been perplexed by the fact that Twitter has grown extraordinarily quickly even though young people do notContinue Reading

Above and Beyond: Airplanes ARE social media

It’s time for user experience designers to break out their wings! Airlines are beginning to realize that air travel is a shared experience where travelers can share informaton and experiences and the airlines can learn more about their customers! Jay Vidyarthi, a User Experience Designer and Research Coordinator at Yu Centrik, a usability and designContinue Reading