Thoughts on product design + user experience

Hourly: Time tracking and invoicing on the Macintosh (video)

Written by bbb on July 10, 2007

If you’re in a profession where “billable hours” comes up frequently in conversation, you’re likely familiar with various methods and tools for tracking time. Very few of them are pleasant, at least based on my 10 years experience in consulting. In fact, even though I left the billable-hour game 6 months ago, I’m occasionally hit…

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YouTube rudely observes that I have no friends

Written by bbb on June 28, 2007

I recently signed up for a YouTube account. Today, I scrolled down my profile page for the first time and got a virtual slap in the face when the following notice prominently slid into view: Ouch! I have no friends? Yeah, well, you, I dunno… you’re UGLY, YouTube!

User-centered design and agile development at NCR (video)

Written by bbb on June 28, 2007

As more organizations adopt agile development methods, folks who practice the various disciplines related to user-centered design are forced to adapt. At the 7-Minute Soapbox in Waterloo on June 14, we heard one such story of adaptation from Christina Wood and Craig Miller, from the usability team at the local office of NCR. Christina and…

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Tips for integrating user experience and agile development (video)

Written by bbb on June 26, 2007

At last week’s 7-Minute Soapbox in Waterloo, Declan Whelan of Whelan & Associates talked about how to fit user experience/design/usability into an agile development process. I’ve had the pleasure of working as a UX designer with Declan on an extreme programming (XP) project and can vouch for his ideas: thanks to his leadership, that project…

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An agile alternative to the ponderous usability test (video)

Written by bbb on June 18, 2007

I have a love/hate relationship with usability testing. I love the feedback it generates, but I hate the administrative make-busy work that surrounds it, especially when a test takes on a life of its own and becomes <shudder> an Event. When that happens, teams begin treating usability as an end in itself instead of as…

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Download an example persona used in the design of a web application

Written by bbb on June 8, 2007

Despite a wide-ranging interest in personas (aka user profiles) by web and software designers, concrete examples of actual personas are surprisingly hard to find. So I’m happy to contribute an example here, from a chapter I wrote in the book User-Centered Design Stories. Click the thumbnails below for full-sized images, or download a printable PDF….

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User-Centered Design Stories

Written by bbb on June 7, 2007

In a few days, the UPA 2007 conference will kick off in Austin, Texas. It’s here that many people will get their first glimpse of User-Centered Design Stories: Real-World UCD Case Studies, a new book by Carol Righi and Janice James. Carol and Janice have assembled an impressive collection of real-world case studies from 22…

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New Interaction Design Association Face-To-Face in Waterloo, Ontario

Written by bbb on June 6, 2007

I mentioned in a previous post how I’ve been working with Navid Sadikali to kick-start a professional interest group in our area around the topics of design and user experience. The response to our initial events has been terrific, so I’m pleased to announce today that when we kick off our new season in September…

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Get off it, designers: Microsoft Surface IS in fact a big deal

Written by bbb on May 30, 2007

Am I in an alternate universe here? Twice in one month, I find myself actually excited by new Microsoft products. At MIX07, I watched from the audience as Silverlight was announced; today, I wake up to the news that Microsoft is launching a 30-inch touchscreen table with a gestural interface. This new product, called Surface,…

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Event: The 7-Minute Soapbox on User Experience Design

Written by bbb on May 22, 2007

For the past two months, I’ve been working with Navid Sadikali from Agfa here in Waterloo to kick-start a community of people interested in user experience and product design. So far so good: our first two events have seen just over 40 people come out of the woodwork to get involved. We’re wrapping up this…

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