Category Archives: Technology

User Experience and the Elderly

Sometimes you have to protect users from themselves so they do no harm. Here’s a real-world example of creating a faux user experience that helps users remain safe and at home. Here’s an example: There’s a bus stop located outside the Benrath Senior Centre in Dusseldorf. People occasionally walk up to the stop and standContinue Reading

101 Five-Minute Fixes to Incrementally Improve Your Web Site

More advice about improving the design and usability of your website. Major categories include: Copywriting Usability Search Engine Optimization Accessibility Design Legal View the article

Continental Airlines Turns Mobile Phones Into Boarding Passes

More new technology ideas to improve real-world usability! Road-weary travelers (and everyone traveling these days) no longer enjoy the air travel experience. Companies must diligently look for new ways to use technology to improve the user experience of their common tasks. This may be one of those new ideas. View the article

Lamenting the Lost Art of the Office Telephone Conversation

Very interesting article in the New York Times on the shift from telephone calls in the workplace to e-mail correspondence and cell phone conversations. While it makes the office a quieter workplace, workers have lost the fine art of handling the telephone conversation: “At first glance, there are reasons e-mail seems a boon. It leavesContinue Reading

Consumers earn Free Stuff with “Free Love”

FREE LOVE: the ongoing rise of free, valuable stuff that’s available to consumers online and offline. From AirAsia tickets to Wikipedia, and from diapers to music. This is the new consumerism on the Web. Read about it at FREE LOVE thrives on an all-out war for consumers’ ever-scarcer attention and the resulting new businessContinue Reading

Rebate Psychology – Understanding Taxpayer Behavior

Nicholas Epley, a professor of behavioral science at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, wrote a recent article in The New York Times about the recently passed tax rebate bill. Basically, he says that calling the money taxpayers will receive as a “rebate” will encourage them to save the money. To stimulate theContinue Reading

The Ultimate Multi-Function Cell Phone (Humor)

You knew it was coming…move over iPhone! Here is a cellular phone that *really* can multitask! The Sumsing Turbo 3000 Xi mobile phone! View the video!

Scientific Web Design: 23 Actionable Lessons from Eye-Tracking Studies

I conducted eye-movement research on reading comprehension in my graduate work on my M.A. and Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology back in the early 80’s. Eye-tracking hardware and software have come a long way since then and they provide very interesting analyses of user experiences with applications and websites. This article summarizes some results of eye-trackingContinue Reading

Truth or Fiction? – Microsoft taps brain scan for UI work

Interesting article on future UI research going on at Microsoft. They are even filing patents on the technology. – Read the article – Microsoft’s Patent application Companies that develop some of the world’s most well-known user interfaces, such as Microsoft and Apple, already know this, but it’s still difficult at times to know exactly whatContinue Reading

Computer Usability – Need we say more?

Police excuse angry computer user for outburst Reuters, Tuesday July 17, 2007 2:35pm EDT (View article) BERLIN (Reuters) – A German man who startled his neighbors when he hurled his computer out of the window in the middle of the night, was let off for disturbing the peace by police who sympathized with his technicalContinue Reading

IT side of medical care: Interview with Dr. Christopher Longhurst

Very illuminating interview with Stanford doctor, Christopher Longhurst, a general pediatrician who works in the IT department there. Recorded from the Scoble Show, a video blog about “geeks, technologists and developers.” The most interesting thing? Just how many mistakes get made in hospitals and how information technology is being used to keep those errors fromContinue Reading

History of GUIs: Interview with Larry Tesler

Good interview with Larry Tesler, one of the innovators from Xerox PARC who created the early GUIs with icons and folders on the desktop. After the Xerox PARC years, he worked at Apple on the early GUI products, the Apple Lisa and the Macintosh. This was an exciting time in user interface design. I wasContinue Reading

Really BIG Usability Issues – How to Build a Mile-High Skyscraper!

Very interesting article! The idea has been around for over 40 years (see below), but is now possible with modern materials and construction techniques…Just think of the possibilities! In 1956, architect Frank Lloyd Wright, a noted proponent of small, squat buildings, unveiled a design for a mile-high skyscraper. Wright acknowledged that construction

World Usability Day Announces 2007 Healthcare Focus

Theo Mandel, Ph.D. has been named the healthcare chairman for World Usability Day 2007. World Usability Day’s focus for 2007 is on healthcare. The theme is, “We can make a difference.” Mandel will present at the kickoff event at the UPA Conference in Austin, Texas on June 13. Here is the initial press release forContinue Reading

Experts Discuss the Future of “Ease of Use” – Simplicity vs. Functionality


Helvetica Font turns 50 Years Old!

The Helvetica font is a widely used sans-serif typeface developed in 1957 by Swiss graphic designer Max Miedinger. Originally called Neue Haas Grotesk, the typeface’s name was changed in 1960 to Helvetica

S.Korea Works on Ethical Code for Righteous Robots – Isaac Asimov would be proud!

South Korea is drawing up a code of ethics to stop humans misusing robots – or vice versa, officials said Wednesday. Just the fact that this is happening now means we are making progress in robotics and artificial intelligence! [Photo] Alex Hubo — the world’s first walking robot with an expressive face resembling Albert EinsteinContinue Reading

The Face of the $100 Laptop – Nicholas Negroponte

Revolutionary computer with an evolutionary user interface. “One Laptop per Child” is an international effort led by Nicholas Negroponte to provide laptop PCs (costing $100 or less) to school children in developing nations. One of the interesting aspects of the new computer is the user interface. The user interface, called Sugar, may turn out toContinue Reading

Call to designers: Consider the user first!

Las Vegas — Developers for the consumer market should worry less about wowing users with gizmos and features, and more about how consumers actually use the devices, speakers and papers concluded at the International Conference of Consumer Electronics (ICCE). Attendees heard repeated calls for a change in their approach to design. “We are part ofContinue Reading

Computer Tech Support Parody: “Introducing the book”

Great video highlighting the usability of “new” technology and tech support. Imagine the usability problems that surfaced when books were first created! “This video makes fun of moderns newbie computer users by illustrating – in a way fully understandable to them – how silly some of their questions are by creating a similar problem 500Continue Reading