Archive for October, 2008

Using diagram-styles in OmniGraffle

October 30, 2008

Theory: OmniGraffle creates automatically a diagram from any OminOutliner file – just great for creating and iterating/changing sitemaps. You open the OO document in OG and you will be asked to select a certain diagram-style from a list that contains pre-defined or self-created diagram-styles (which is essentially a small sample of the model-diagram that you save in a particular format in a particular folder).

Praxis: This works fine if the diagram is rather small/simple AND if you are happy with either strict top-to-bottom or left-to-right arrangement. Auto-Diagramming is useless if you need to assign different arrangement directions for individual levels (a necessity to fit a complex sitemap on one page). If you create a diagram-style with both horizontally and vertically arranged layers, you will realise that these ‘subtleties’ will be ignored. Applying this style to a diagram will force all layers to follow (usually?) a top-to bottom arrangement. You will end up moving objects around, fiddling with automatically created connection lines and spending probably more time changing the diagram than you would by just creating one branch manually and copying/pasting/editing this branch to the remaining sections of the sitemap.

Google: Focus on the user

October 21, 2008

1. Focus on the user and all else will follow.

From its inception, Google has focused on providing the best user experience possible. While many companies claim to put their customers first, few are able to resist the temptation to make small sacrifices to increase shareholder value. Google has steadfastly refused to make any change that does not offer a benefit to the users who come to the site:

* The interface is clear and simple.
* Pages load instantly.
* Placement in search results is never sold to anyone.
* Advertising on the site must offer relevant content and not be a distraction.

By always placing the interests of the user first, Google has built the most loyal audience on the web. And that growth has come not through TV ad campaigns, but through word of mouth from one satisfied user to another.

From Google’s corporate information page

Card Sort vs. Affinity Diagramming

October 15, 2008

“Card sorting finds common patterns in the way different people group information, while affinity diagramming obtains a consensus result.”

From UsabiltyNet

Establishing intranet requirements

October 2, 2008

Exploring and establishing requirements for an intranet can be a daunting task. The following three headlines can help to ask the right questions and to sort requirements (e.g. in workshop, on questionnaire etc.):

  1. Find things out about …
  2. Get things done…
  3. Stay in touch with …

Eye tracking: session maps heat maps

October 2, 2008

“While a session map tells you a lot about the behaviour of an individual user, a heat map shows you the behaviour (i.e. visual focus) off an entire group of prople.”

Eye tracking demonstration video

Intranet definition

October 1, 2008

An intranet is a company’s internal website that disseminates information and facilitates communication and collaboration among its employees.