Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Funny e-commerce evaluation

Funny and astute cartoon; if you're not offended by a bit of swearing check out's "How to make your shopping cart suck less".

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Prototyping - video examples

Johnny Holland has pulled together a collection of interesting examples of prototype experiences communicated via video. All are pretty short, informative and inspiring - so well worth a look.

When not to listen to users

Jakob Nielsen advises watch what people do, don't listen to what they say. Which is fair enough in the sense that your customers aren't designers. This article by design company Sliced Bread is worth a read as it goes through the kinds of things that customers can tell you that are actually useful, and what you should definitely ignore and why.

Keep online surveys & forms short as possible

There are always exceptions with particular audiences and scenarios, but the general rule seems to be the longer your form or survey, the less likely people are to complete it. And if they do they spend less time thinking about later questions.

Style Guides & UI Guidelines

A long list of corporate style guides and user interface guidelines. Some for websites - branding and editorial - and some for application user interfaces.

Bloated websites attract the wrong visitors

Gerry McGovern again makes the case for cutting back your content and focusing on what's really important to your key website visitors. Avoid the cult of volume. More website visits does not equal success.

US university social media activity

This article is presented as a top 100, but I found it useful just as a means to see what other universities are doing with social media.

How quickly do website users form an impression?

Very quickly is the basic answer. Both in terms of how they feel about the aesthetics, and in terms of how long they take to decide if they're in the right place. Opinions on the former are made much more quickly than on the latter though, it must be said!

How many customers should you test with?

Jakob Nielsen famously wrote about "Why you only need to test with 5 users", and Steve Krug gave a similar variation in his book "Don't make me think". Jeff Sauro digs deeper. He's really into his numbers, so if statistics and probability are a turn off for you, just skip to the conclusion.

Only the publisher is interested in the format

A nice little article from Gerry McGovern where he reminds us that the customer just wants to do what they want to do. The format or the medium they do it through is distinctly secondary. One well worth sharing with colleagues next time the "We must start using [insert the current big thing]" directive comes up.

US HE mobile websites - technical review

An interesting overview of who is doing what in the US university sector with websites developed specifically for mobile devices.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Great social media posts

If you're blogging or tweeting or posting to Facebook, you should be doing it to promote traffic to your website which is where the business happens. This article provides useful tips on creating effective 'link bait'.

Why don't usability problems get fixed?

So you've run some usability testing. You've summarised what you found, and possibly even recommended ways to make things better. Then what happens? Nothing? This is a great article looking at why recommendations don't get taken on and the problems everyone knows are there stay in place.

Friday, 15 April 2011

UPA accessibility session 24th May

The next Scottish Usability Professionals Association (SUPA) event is 24 May. The session, led by David Sloan from the University of Dundee focuses on the challenge of engaging industry and the public sector in accessible, inclusive design.

Free prototyping & balsamiq workshop for UK university sector

On Tuesday 17 May, I'm contributing to the JISC Usability and User-Centred Design Day. It's a free event based at the University of Edinburgh.