Category Archives: Users

“Connecting” Video on the future of Interaction Design and UX

Thought-provoking video on Vimeo about the future of our field – The follow-on comments are just as interesting as the video.

Here’s the summary:

The 18 minute “Connecting” documentary is an exploration of the future of Interaction Design and User Experience from some of the industry’s thought leaders. As the role of software is catapulting forward, Interaction Design is seen to be not only increasing in importance dramatically, but also expected to play a leading role in shaping the coming “Internet of things.” Ultimately, when the digital and physical worlds become one, humans along with technology are potentially on the path to becoming a “super organism” capable of influencing and enabling a broad spectrum of new behaviors in the world.

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

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

New Users for the iPad – Iggy (a cat) investigates an iPad

You knew this would happen sooner or later. Now that there is a large touch-based tablet, little kids and pets are now experimenting with this new user interface! YouTube is now getting flooded with videos of pets playing with an iPad. Here’s one of many. Enjoy! >

We Have Met the Enemy and He Is PowerPoint

It’s official – “PowerPoint makes us stupid.”  In an article for the New York times, many high-ranking officials are taking shots at Microsoft’s PowerPoint program. Gen. James N. Mattis of the Marine Corps, the Joint Forces commander, said at a military conference in North Carolina. (He spoke without PowerPoint.) Brig. Gen. H. R. McMaster, whoContinue Reading

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

“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

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

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, 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

Let’s take back the beep from cell phone companies

Please join David Pogue’s effort to organize users everywhere to tell cell phone companies to turn off their gratuitously long voice mail intro-messages (“At the tone, please record your message. When you have finished recording, you may hang up, or press 1 for more options.”). These messages are a complete waste of time for millionsContinue Reading

The iPhone Myth: Mobile Web a throwback to the ’90s

Interesting article in USA Today on Jakob Nielsen’s group (NNG) research on the mobile web. Their results show it is much slower and less accurate to use the web on a mobile device: A study to be released Monday by the researchers

Gadgets that Kill: Drivers and Legislators Dismiss Cellphone Risks

Despite human factors and other research that highlight the dangers of using cellphones while driving, few laws are being passed to address the deadly problem. Extensive research shows the dangers of distracted driving. Studies say that drivers using phones are four times as likely to cause a crash as other drivers, and the likelihood thatContinue Reading

Hospital system tries letting patients read physicians’ notes

Electronic medical records and a push for consumer involvement make it more acceptable — and imperative — to release more information, say Beth Israel project backers. Interesting study on how to improve the patient-physician experience. Also interesting to see the negative reactions by physicians: When Lisa Gilbert, MD, an internist at Beth Israel, was askedContinue Reading

National Federation of the Blind and American Council of the Blind File Discrimination Suit Against Arizona State University

It was bound to happen soon…Companies and universities implementing new technology that should enable all users to use the technology, yet has not fully addressed accessibility issues…and they are now caught in the act and are rightfully getting sued. In a new Press Release: Lawsuit against Arizona State and complaints against Princeton, Reed, Pace, DardenContinue Reading

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

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

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