Category Archives: Technology

At 90, She’s Designing Tech For Aging Boomers

Barbara Beskind, 90, is a designer at IDEO who works with engineers on products that improve the quality of life for older people.

NPR just posted this article about a 90-year-old woman recently hired as a designer at IDEO.

What a great idea! As designers, our job is to understand and design for our intended audience. However, older designers may have problems identifying with younger users and younger designers may not really understand what elder users are going through. As our population ages, designing for elderly eyes, hands, bodies and minds is a challenging situation.

My colleagues at Pearson Education, led by Lisa Maurer, Design Research manager, have recently implemented KidsTeam, where schoolchildren actively participate in the design and research of Pearson’s educational products.

IDEO’s hiring elderly designers takes this approach for designing for the other end of the age spectrum.

Both programs show that user-centered design and research is alive and well in the User Experience (UX) community.

Your thoughts?

John Karlin, Father of Touch-Tone Dialing, Dies

An obituary in the New York Times highlight’s John Karlin’s historic influence on digital dialing. Karlin died on January 28 at the age of 94. Ed Israelski, a well-know human factors professional, was fortunate to work under Karlin at Bell Labs. Karlin designed the famous (or infamous) telephone keypad layout. He also conducted innovative researchContinue Reading

Who owns your UX philosophy?

“I’ve been in three board meetings in the last month where it was painfully apparent that there wasn’t a person in the company who owned the UX philosophy of the product. I’m explicitly saying “UX” (user experience) rather than “UI” (user interface) as each company had an excellent designer and the application looked great. ButContinue Reading

Tech hotshots: The rise of the UX expert

“As the digital world shrinks down to a screen the size of your hand, demand for user experience designers explodes.” The surge of mobile and tablet devices has placed more emphasis and need for user experience skills. UX practitioners have been promoting awareness and education of UX and usability for years, and it has paid off. ReadContinue Reading

Give Before You Get – Advice for the New Year

Great advice from a world-famous Boulder start-up mentor and founder, Brad Feld. Give Before You Get  

5 Ways to Begin Designing Your Life in 2013

Happy New Year 2013!! Here’s a great blog post about integrating your work and your life and living DESIGN! Enjoy! 5 Ways to Begin Designing Your Life in 2013  

Simplicity Isn’t Simple

KISS – Keep it Simple, Stupid! This has historically been a top-level goal for user experience professionals . However, as this blog post describes, achieving simplicity is not a simple exercise. There are many aspects to simplicity. It’s not as easy as saying, “If we look at an Apple UI, that’s our model!” Here’s the post: SimplicityContinue Reading

Finally! Microsoft celebrates IE6 death!

As a user experience designer and prototyper, one of the painful aspects of creating websites is checking browser compatability. With the demise of IE6, there’s one less browser version we have to worry about! Hooray! Check out the article on BBC Technology News!

Phoenix World Usability Day Celebration 2011

“To the heart of design” is a phrase that best describes the largest and most successful World Usability Day (WUD) event produced in Phoenix, Arizona, since its first event in 2007. PayPal hosted and sponsored the event, kicked off with a multimedia presentation of examples from its extensive interaction design team members, numbering 250 strong,Continue Reading

User Experience Experts are in Demand

As an independent user experience (UX) consultant, this year has been very busy, with more and more companies and clients realizing that user experience and usability is a critical component of any product or device’s design and and development process. Want to know more details on the resurgence of user experience? Check it out onContinue Reading

What Facebook Can Learn From Netflix When Disrupting the User Experience

I love it when journalists don’t let big companies get away abusing their customer’s experience. Here’s the latest user experience blooper, pointed out by Scott Davis at Forbes Magazine: Any time you mess with the user experience, you’re going to risk backlash. If change is based on a solid understanding of your customers and theContinue Reading

Design Tools Get the Human Touch

I was recently interviewed by Beth Stackpole for DesignNews magazine on how traditional CAD and design tool software is being made over to deliver a more natural and compelling user experience for engineers and designers. Here’s my section of the article: Beyond gestures, finger flicks, touch interfaces, and rotating objects around to change orientation, theContinue Reading

EMR Usability – Standardization vs Usability and Innovation

This is a classic debate – whether it is nobler to be consistent or to be usable! EMRs have notoriously been both inconsistent and also very unusable. So, what to do – fix the inconsistencies or fix the usability issues? The problem is, fixing one of these issues doesn’t necessarily fix the other! Here’s anContinue Reading

NIST, ONC plan measures, testing to improve health IT usability

I’ve worked in healthcare usability for a long time and with the impetus to move all of healthcare to electronic platforms, there have been many, many unusable implementations of EHRs and EMRs. The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) and  Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) are working to provide guidelines forContinue Reading

You’re not a user experience designer if…

It is very comforting that the “User Experience” field has become more popular and well-respected over the years. That makes me, as a UX professional, feel good about the work we do. However, as Whitney Hess points out in her blog post, There’s just one problem: not everyone calling themselves a user experience designer isContinue Reading

User Experience Myths

Similar to the “Golden Rules” of user experience design that I have written about and cover in my presentations and seminars, there are many common myths about users and the user experience. Some myths have been around for many years, such as the myth, “You may not have more than 7 +/- 2 items inContinue Reading

Healthcare Experience Design Conference – Boston, Mass – April 11, 2011

As a user experience professional designing EMR, EHR and case management software in the healthcare industry, there are few opportunities to educate, learn, network and focus on UX in healthcare. Well, look no longer!! I’m excited to hear about the Healthcare Experience Design Conference in Boston, Mass, on April 11, 2011. Here’s a summary ofContinue Reading

How one UI button change ruined the taxi ride!

Mark Hurst of Good Experience recently wrote on How one button changed the customer experience of New York City taxis Installed a few years ago, a touch-screen user interface allowed customers to choose a tip of 15%, 20%, or 25%. Thus with a single tap one could deliver the tip (and avoid mental arithmetic calculations).Continue Reading

Why are User Experience (UX) and User-Centered Design (UCD) getting a bad rap?

There have been a number of recent articles, blog posts and list comments trashing user experience design (UX) as unneeded, misguided and counter-productive to good product design and development. As a long-time user experience practitioner, I was taken aback by these attack from many sides. However, as my partner at Success PragmatiQ, Larry Marine, and IContinue Reading

UX Storytellers Tell Their Stories – FREE eBook

Very good reading! User Experience stories from UX experts! From the IxDA website: In this free eBook, ‘UX Storytellers – Connecting the Dots’, 42 UX masterminds tell personal stories of their exciting lives as User Experience professionals. The book brings together authors from around the world who paint a very entertaining picture of our multifacetedContinue Reading