Category Archives: User Centered Design (UCD)

Theo Mandel invited to present Keynote at 2009 User eXperience Russia Conference

Theo Mandel, Ph.D., founder and principal of Interface Design and Development, LLC, has been invited to present a keynote session at the 2009 User eXperience Russia conference in Moscow on October 26-28, 2009. Mandel’s keynote presentation is titled “The (New) Golden Rules of Web Design.” User eXperience 2009 Russia Website Keynote Session Description: Following theContinue Reading

Finally – Usable, Real-World Products!

Ping Pong Door! Designed by Tobias Fränzel, this innovative door turns into a ping pong table when needed. After the game is finished, it goes back to being a regular door. Everything the techie or apartment-dweller needs!

Designers Who Wireframe: Pros and Cons

Most UI/usability/information designers/architects create various types of wireframes when we design. This article discusses the different types of wireframes and their pros and cons. The article also shows good examples of diffferent types of wireframes and the final website design. >> View Article

What makes a “User Experience expert”?

Good summary of what is a “User Experience” expert. Read the follow-up comments and posts your own comments.

Solution, or Mess? A Milk Jug for a Green Earth

Who says you can’t improve on years of well-established tradition? Wal-Mart and Costco have adopted a new gallon-sized milk container that looks to save the companies lots of money. However, there may be some usability issues they’ve overlooked! A New York Times article describes the following impressive improvements in business metrics: * 180% higher utilizationContinue Reading

T-Mobile Designs More Usable Phone Bills!

“Historically phone bills have been as bland as a tin of condensed soup but T-Mobile saw an opportunity to make its bills more valuable as a regular interface between its brand and its customers.” Good article about improving the readability and usability of one of those things we take for granted as being difficult-to-use –Continue Reading

The Employable Web Designer

Nice article from Andy Rutledge, titled “The Employable Web Designer. He describes the necessary skills and traits for a successful career in Web design. The article briefly addresses usability, but at least they are included as necessary skills: Usability & Affordance

Psychology: The Crowd Within

“A battle of ideas is going on inside your mind” From the, an interesting article about problem solving behavior” “Until now, psychologists have assumed that when people make a guess, they make the most accurate guess that they can. Ask them to make a second and it should, by definition, be less accurate. IfContinue Reading

UW Medical Center using surgical checklist to improve safety

Good article on the use of checklists in healthcare to reduce errors during surgery. Here’s a taste: Wednesday, WHO officials said preliminary results show the checklist nearly doubled patients’ chances of receiving proven standards of surgical care and substantially reduced complications and deaths. “It seems totally obvious,” Flum says. “They’ve been doing this in aviationContinue Reading

What the Internet is doing to our brains: Is Google Making Us Stupid?

Good historical article on how technology changes our lives and how we work. Very informative story about Friedrich Nietzsche, who bought a typewriter in 1882, and the changes that came about in his writing style as a result of using this new technology. Similarly, the author, Nicholas Carr, discusses how Internet technology, such as Google,Continue Reading

Lazy Eyes: How we read online

Fun, somewhat tongue-in-cheek article about reading/browsing online vs. paper. He uses Jakob Nielsen’s writings as examples and goes from there. Worth a read on Slate (Aricle by Michael Agger).

Dealing with Too Much Technology!

Good article in the NY Times about how technology companies are starting to deal with the loss of productivity from too much technology – e-mail, cellphones and instant messaging – being the biggest distractions. Some of the biggest technology firms, including Microsoft, Intel, Google and IBM, are banding together to fight information overload. Last weekContinue Reading

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

Business-Software Vendor Finds Business Software Impossible to Use

The Business Technology Blog in Wall Street Journal describes a software vendor’s study: IFS, a business-software vendor, sent us a report titled

Usability/User Experience Specialist – Best Careers for 2008 [US News & World Report]

US News & World Report on Best Careers for 2008: Usability/User Experience Specialist listed as one of the best careers! We continue to gain recognition for our contribution to the IT industry. The article notes one drawback about our industry, as we continue to face push-back from our (potential) clients: A potential downside of thisContinue Reading

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

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

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