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61

More magnetic interface widgets

Not long ago, GuiMags brought the magnetic interface widgets for whiteboard prototyping back. Now a competitor, GUIMagnets, has entered the marked with magnets that seem to be a bit cheaper (if you can do without the case that comes with GuiMags).

Links:

Henrik Olsen - August 24, 2008

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See also: Tools (106)  Prototyping and wireframing (119) 


 

62

ISO standard for usability of everyday products

ISO has released a new standard for developing and testing the usability of everyday products, such as ticket machines, mobile phones and digital cameras. The standard outlines a five step process for design teams to follow and methods for testing the outcome of this process.

Links:

  • Article about the ISO standard by David Travis Open link in new window
  • The ISO standard Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - August 11, 2008 - via Via the product usability weblog

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See also: Usability testing (68)  Guidelines and Standards (15) 


 

63

How to moderate usability tests

Jared Spool has published a two-part podcast on moderating usability tests. He covers all the steps from greeting the participants and making them feel comfortable, getting tasks done, keeping observers posted about what happens at the screen, and ending the session.

Links:

  • Usability Tools Podcast: Moderating Usability Tests, Part 1 Open link in new window
  • Usability Tools Podcast: Moderating Usability Tests, Part 2 Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - August 11, 2008

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See also: Audio and video (48)  Usability testing (68) 


 

64

Fireworks - from interaction design to visual design

In this article from Adobe Developer Connection, Nick Myers gives a walkthrough of how he and his colleagues at Cooper used Adobe Firework to evolve a design from a bare bones interaction design to a visually refined one.

According to Nick Myers, working in Fireworks throughout the design process has many benefits:

- You use one tool for both interaction design and visual design

- It encourages teams to be more collaborative as work is passed back and forth between the different people involved

- You can work much faster as you don't have to recreate things or check work against each other's files

- It reduces mistakes as you don't manage multiple versions of files

Links:

  • Designing interactive products with Fireworks Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - July 14, 2008

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See also: Cases and Examples (28)  Tools (106)  Prototyping and wireframing (119) 


 

65

Demographics is secondary when recruiting test participants

In this podcast, Jared Spool and Dana Chisnell, co-author of the Handbook of Usability Testing, discuss how relying on demographics when recruiting participants for usability test can be problematic.

In usability tests, we can learn much more from people that are motivated to carry out the tasks than from people that go though the tasks in a mechanical way without understanding what they are doing or why. Demographic, such as age, gender and occupation, might be helpful in narrowing down potential participants. But they don't say anything about peoples' motivation. In order to recruit motivated people, we should focus more on peoples' interests in the subject.

Links:

  • Avoiding Demographics When Recruiting Participants: An Interview with Dana Chisnell Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - July 09, 2008

Permanent link Comments (1)

See also: Usability testing (68) 


 

66

Firefox wireframing tool

Pencil is a free tool for sketching user interfaces. Since it's a Firefox 3 extension, it runs on virtually all platforms.

The tool has many of the features you would expect from a decent prototyping tool. But unfortunately, it lacks the ability to work with even basic interactivity, such as creating interlinked pages

Links:

  • The Pencil Project Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - July 06, 2008

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See also: Prototyping and wireframing (119)  Tools (106) 


 

67

The online prototyping tool ProtoShare

ProtoShare is a new online prototyping tool. With the tool, we can build functional prototypes online that can be shared with teammates and clients.

The feature list is quite amazing: drag-and-drop widgets, automatic navigation, and potent specification and collaboration tools with annotations, discussions, to-do lists and what have we.

The only downside is that the tool is somewhat slow to work with compared with an off-line tool.

Links:

  • The online prototyping tool ProtoShare Open link in new window
  • See demo videos Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - June 05, 2008

Permanent link Comments (1)

See also: Tools (106)  Prototyping and wireframing (119) 


 

68

How to build prototypes using Flash

Alexa Andrzejewski has written a thorough step-by-step tutorial on how to create high-fidelity prototypes using Flash.

According to Alexa, creating a basic click-through prototype in Flash takes the same time and effort as with other popular prototyping tools, while the flexibility and potential for extending the prototype is far greater in Flash.

Links:

  • Quick and Easy Flash Prototypes Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - June 01, 2008

Permanent link Comments (1)

See also: Prototyping and wireframing (119)  Tools (106) 


 

69

The top 8 mistakes in usability

According to Mark Hurst, these are the eight major mistakes that companies make when investing in the usability of their website:

- Not conducting any customer research
- Making decisions based on made-up user profiles
- Conducting the wrong type of research
- Using predefined tasks in usability tests
- Not inviting stakeholders to attend usability tests
- Not prioritizing findings from usability tests
- Not relating research to business objectives
- Missing the larger strategic picture

Links:

  • The top 8 mistakes in usability (and companies investing in it) Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - May 21, 2008

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: User research (23)  Usability testing (68) 


 

70

OverSite - a prototyping tool

I just stumbled upon this interface prototyping tool called OverSite that works on Windows, Mac and other platforms. I haven't tested it on a real project, but it seems like a quite reasonable tool.

Like other prototyping tools, it allows us to create interfaces with drag-and-drop widgets, link screens together, and export the whole thing to HTML. It even has a build in browser that allows us to test the interaction flow before exporting the project.

A quite interesting feature of Oversite is the ability to create multiple versions of a page. This is a nice way supporting the creative process of exploring different design directions.

Links:

  • The prototyping tool Oversite Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - May 13, 2008

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Tools (106)  Prototyping and wireframing (119) 


 

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