Archive for the 'objects-in-mirror' Category

The history of UX

August 8, 2013

If I were to sum up the history of UX in a few short sentences, it might go something like this: villains of industry seek to deprive us of our humanity. Scientists, scholars, and designers prevail, and a new profession flourishes, turning man’s submission to technology into technology’s submission to man.

Leah Buley in UX Booth: Where UX comes from

Quality of designs > quality of life

August 5, 2013

We are each the product of our experience. The things we do, the places we go, the people we meet, and the things we use all influence who we are. Over time, as we interact with more and more technology to live our lives, we will spend more of our time looking at screens, and the quality of the design of this technology will have ever greater influence on the quality of our lives.

Victor Lombardi: Why We Fail

Museum’s audio guides

April 12, 2013

Found this review on tripadvisor:

“Be careful with the audio guide at Bowie exhibition.”

Reviewed 2 April 2013
I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the Bowie exhibit, but there’s one thing which spoils it. When the rooms are full, you can’t get close enough to the exhibits for the right audio to kick in, which means if you’re looking at Space Oddity, you’re still getting ‘Underneath the Arches’ from the Gilbert and George piece on the way in! It’s hugely annoying as you’re jostling for position, trying to get into the right catchment area for the right audio.

I appreciate that this probably works perfectly with a few people, but with a few hundred it doesn’t – and you start wondering whether what you’re hearing IS what you should be hearing! And you become aware of other people walking about moving their heads like Balinese dancers trying to get their heads into the right space, as it were.

I think a simple ‘Press 1’ might not be as sexy, but it works!

Too many people

June 12, 2012

“When there are too many cooks in the kitchen all you get is a mess. And when too many people have product input, you’ve got lots of features but no soul.”

Michael Arrington: Digg’s Biggest Problem Is Its Users And Their Constant Opinions On Things

Drone music

January 24, 2012

‘Drone music is a minimalist musical style that emphasizes the use of sustained or repeated sounds, notes, or tone-clusters – called drones.’


Kranzberg’s laws of technology

June 20, 2011

Melvin Kranzberg’s six laws of technology state:

  1. Technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral.
  2. Invention is the mother of necessity.
  3. Technology comes in packages, big and small.
  4. Although technology might be a prime element in many public issues, nontechnical factors take precedence in technology-policy decisions.
  5. All history is relevant, but the history of technology is the most relevant.
  6. Technology is a very human activity – and so is the history of technology.

From Wikipedia

The most annoying OS X UX failure

February 19, 2011

For years and years the same frustration. Why is it so difficult to tell me WHAT TO DO in order to release the item? Even more annoying if you close every single application and the error persists.

Wave ahhoi

August 4, 2010

Google will stop developing Wave. Wasn’t it a bit 90ies anyway? Why converging different communication applications into one while the Web appears to disintegrate into discrete apps (and a walled garden called facebook)? It appears that people prefer using dedicated channels depending on recipients, contexts, topics … One person alone might already have many personas with different communication needs. So not really a surprise that people considered Wave to be clumsy, incomprehensible, and rather pointless.

Simplifying sensibly

August 4, 2010

Simplicity is a prime user experience principle. Making simple things, however, is actually quite difficult. Particularly because most clients usually are not willing to compromise on features and functionality. Instead of building simple things from scratch, more often than not, I find myself making things difficult first. Then I simplify carefully and (to the best of my knowledge) sensibly. This gives me sufficient control over trade-offs and design decisions to be made. Also, a simplified version can easily be scaled back to its original size, if necessary (there is still a client).

This is how it works for me:

  1. Get a complete picture of business requirements, user needs, context, specified functionality, given dependencies, and core content/data objects.
  2. Establish priorities for user experience, functionality, and content. Find out what users consider as ‘simple’ for this particular product.
  3. Design a high level model that fully accommodates the needs. Quickly prototype the application.
  4. Review the prototype. Identify potential for simplifying things: secondary content/data/functionality; unnecessary hierarchies; competing calls to action and interaction paradigms. Then get out your tools:
  • Discard: Remove irrelevant content, functionality, menus, items.
  • Consolidate: Merge content, calls to action, sections. Be careful not to create unwanted new hierarchies.
  • Streamline: Declare primary mission of a product/section/screen and make everything support this mission.
  • Flatten: Remove doorsteps, speed bumps, and stairs. Example: Navigation tabs are only necessary, if you have more than three navigation items. If it’s two, use a toggle button.

BBC news redesign – the verdict

August 2, 2010

Ok, I’ve used the site for a couple of weeks now. Here’s my verdict:

  • It works. But I cannot say it works better than the previous design.
  • Where is the style sheet? The site needs skinning. Looks like high def wireframes went online. White space is useful if employed in a controlled manner.
  • Definitely have a problem with top navigation. Why having UK and England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales as top labels?? (Ok, I know why, but I don’t agree.) Also: if I’d come up with the labels ‘Sci/Environment’ and ‘Entertainment & Arts’ I’d most probably got sent back to my desk.

I still find it kind of embarassing to see BBC news with an inconsistent global BBC banner.