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Slides and audio from UX Week 2007

Adaptive Path has made slides and audio from the UX Week 2007 sessions available.

I can especially recommend:

- Sketching in Code: Using Prototypes to Visualize Interactions (description / slides / audio)

- Learning Interaction Design From Everyday Objects (description / slides / audio)


  • The UX Week sessions Open link in new window
  • Access to all the podcasts via iTunes Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - September 20, 2007

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See also: Talks and presentations (18)  Audio and video (48)  Prototyping and wireframing (119) 



Testing how well a site communicates its value

In this episode of the UIE Usability Tools podcast, Jared Spool is interviewed about UIE's Inherent Value Tests. It's a test designed to reveal why new users struggle to see the purpose and value of some product or service when a large body of loyal users is complete devotees.

The test is a modified usability test broken into two pieces. First, loyal customers are asked to give you a tour of the site and tell you what they find valuable. Second, new users are given tasks to see if they come up with the same values. By comparing the two tests, we can see what it is that the new users don't get and why.


  • Usability Tools Podcast: Inherent Value Tests Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - September 19, 2007

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See also: Audio and video (48)  Usability testing (68)  Interviews (30) 



Card sorting isn't a silver bullet

According to Sam Ng, card sorting is a great method for understanding users and validating classification systems. But card sorting has limitations. In this article, Sam Ng shares some hard learned lessons:

- Card sorting can easily get out of control if we try to cover too large information spaces at once
- People expect card sorting to create classification systems, but reality is that it doesn't give us all the answers we need to do so
- Analyzing card sort data is messy and there isn't necessarily a single correct answer.
- The best way of doing analysis is to eyeball data.
- Online card sorting tools reduce administrative overhead and makes iterative card sorts easier
- Card sorts should be carried out in iterative cycles, starting at a high level and then drilling down into specific clusters of content


  • Card Sorting: Mistakes Made and Lessons Learned Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - September 17, 2007

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The 5-Second Test

In the fourth episode of the UIE Usability Tools, Jared Spool and Christine Perfetti talks about their 5-Second Test Method. By showing users a single content page for 5 seconds, you can tests whether a page clearly communicates its purpose.

In the podcast they discuss:
- Why 5-Second Tests should be used primarily to test a site's content pages
- Why 5-Second Tests aren't effective on most home pages
- How to conduct the test with users
- What some of the common mistakes design teams make when conducting a 5-Second Test
- How to recruit users
- How to combine 5-Second Test with other types of tasks


  • Usability Tools Podcast: 5-Second Usability Tests Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - September 10, 2007

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See also: Usability testing (68)  Audio and video (48)  Interviews (30) 



How to make useful and usable usability recommendations

In order to evaluate the quality of recommendations in usability reports, the CUE-4 study analysed reports from 17 usability teams who independently evaluated the usability of a hotel's website.

The study showed that only 17% of the recommendations were both useful and communicated in a comprehensible way.

In the light of their findings, the authors give the following recommendations:

- Communicate each recommendation clearly at the conceptual level
- Ensure that the recommendation improves the overall usability of the application
- Be aware of the business or technical constraints
- Show respect for the product team's constraints
- Solve the whole problem, not just a special case
- Make recommendations specific and clear
- Avoid vagueness by including specific examples in your recommendations


  • Making Usability Recommendations Useful and Usable Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - August 27, 2007

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See also: Research (129)  Usability testing (68) 



Tutorial on how to create dynamic PDF prototypes

Contrary to what many believe, we can do more with PDF prototypes than create links and forms.

In this article, Kyle Pero Soucy explains how we can use PDFs to:

- Add dynamic elements such as rollovers and drop-down menus
- Mimic Ajax-like functionality by updating only parts of the PDF instead of an entire page
- Embed audio and video files
- Validate form data
- Perform calculations and respond to user actions

The prototypes can be created with our favourite prototyping tool. Once converted to PDF, we can add interactivity, audio and video to the prototype using Adobe Acrobat Professional.


  • PDF Prototypes: Mistakenly Disregarded and Underutilized Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - August 08, 2007

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



Tutorial on how to create clickable prototypes with PowerPoint

One good reason for building prototypes with PowerPoint is that it's probably already sitting on your hard drive. Another is that anyone you want to share it with probably also has it.

In this tutorial, Maureen Kelly shows how to build working prototypes with PowerPoint by using its interactive features for creating hyperlinks, buttons, and dynamic mouseover effects.


  • Interactive Prototypes with PowerPoint Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - August 08, 2007

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



How to prioritize product features

If you got lots of ideas for product features, how do you decide which ones to prioritize?

Adam Polansky suggests using his Faceted Feature Analysis, which ranks features according to their business value, technical ease of implementation, and value for the users. In this way, all points of views are fairly considered and project requirements are not included or excluded simply because one person yelled louder than the others.


  • Faceted Feature Analysis Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - July 15, 2007

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See also: User research (23) 



Communicating designs through comics

Often, interaction designers must communicate complicated ideas to audiences of non- technical stakeholders. Rebekah Sedaca suggests using comics. They are an effective means of communicating difficult concepts, even in the most staid corporate environments and with the most serious topics.


  • Comics: Not just for laughs! Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - July 01, 2007

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See also: Envisionments (4) 



OmniGraffle wireframe palette

Michael Angeles has released a revision to his wireframe palette for OmniGraffle (a Machintosh diagramming tool).


  • Michael Angeles' OmniGraffle wireframe palette Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - June 26, 2007 - via Digital Web

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


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