Archive for May, 2009

Card Sort

May 20, 2009

Card sort is a method used to discover the cognitive structures or constructs in people’s heads: how they group, categorise and prioritise content. Outcome: dentograms or ‘construct maps’

A card sort exercise is a method to discover patterns in the way people are thinking about a subject. In practice, a pile of cards with keywords or phrases covering the given topic as a whole is shuffled and shown to participants. They then organise these cards in groups and give every group a distinct label. The result can be analysed to establish patterns in the way people have organised the items.

Task Categories for Governmental Sites

May 20, 2009
    Users that go to a governmental site have probably one of the following tasks in mind:

  • Understand a topic, policy etc. [subject] label alteratives: ‘Find out about’; ‘What is’; ‘How to?’
  • Find a library, leisure center, person etc. [place]
  • Report a fly tip, street damage etc [transaction]
  • Apply for a passport, planning permission etc. [transaction]
  • Calculate / Find out my eligibility, my contributions etc. [transaction]
  • Register for … [transaction]
  • Submit information about tax, newborn children, other … [transaction]
  • Pay for … [transaction]

Wisdom of crowds requirements

May 20, 2009

According to Surowiecki (Wisdom of crowds, 2004), four requirements need to be met in order to achieve intellectual synergy from a group:

  1. Diversity of opinion
  2. Independence from other people’s opinion
  3. Decentralization of knowledge
  4. Method for gathering the crowd

OmniOutliner (v 3.5) Printing Problems

May 13, 2009

I love OmniOutliner and it has saved me lots of valuable time for all the projects I’m working on. A really annoying bug, which the Omni guys haven’t been able to fix in version 3, is printing (either to PDF or on paper) a document that has multiple columns. In some instances, what you will get is only a SUPER MACRO view of the upper left corner of your document. I haven’t figured out the logic behind this bug, but it occurs again and again, and it happens when you have changed the Page Setup from portrait to landscape or vice versa. You won’t be able (?) to fix the bug with just changing settings.

Workaround:

  1. Change Page Set-up to the format that you need.
  2. Export the document in OmniOutliner 2 format
  3. Close the document and open the exported document in version 3 (you will be asked to upgrade the document)
  4. Voila. When you print now, you The only annoying thing is that you might have to fix design issues caused by down/upgrading.

Modal Window vs. Pop Up Window

May 13, 2009

A modal window (e.g. Ajax Lightbox or Greybox, see http://orangoo.com/labs/GreyBox/) will interrupt the workflow to allow a subordinate task, e.g. watch an image, confirm feedback, look up help etc.
‘A modal view strengthen’s the user’s perception of entering a separate, transient mode in which they can accomplish something
‘Use a modal view when you need to offer the ability to accomplish a self-contained task related to your application’s primary function.’
(Apple iOS Human Interface Guidelines)

A pop up window presents related information or tasks in an additional panel floating on top of the main content. Pop-ups in Web sites are problematic with regard to accessibility and usability (see Nielsen’s top ten of mistakes) and are often blocked by the browser. Pop ups are a common feature, however, in controlled environments such as Flash, Silverlight, and in applications.