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Scent, Search, and the Pursuit of User Happiness

Jared M. Spool has made his presentation Scent, Search, and the Pursuit of User Happiness available online. Download a MP3 and a PDF, listen to the presentation in its entirety and see all the examples using the presentation handout.

Spool shares practical design strategies from effective web sites and shows:
- How the best teams allocate their resources by focusing on the most important content on the site and how this affects every page
- Proven design techniques, such as persona-based design, to help teams understand what users need from the site
- Why the most effective sites never relaunch, yet manage to always have fresh designs
- How we can utilize the scent of information and how people search for their content to give your site a huge advantage


  • The presentation Scent, Search, and the Pursuit of User Happiness

Henrik Olsen - December 09, 2005

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See also: Navigation (44)  Personas (13) 



Projects should start with interaction design

Traditional system development starts with abstract system specifications and ends with interface design. To Jason Fried, this is backwards.

"Functional specifications documents lead to an illusion of agreement. A bunch of people agreeing on paragraphs of text is not real agreement. Everyone is reading the same thing, but they're often thinking something different. This inevitably comes out in the future when it's too late."

Instead we should start from the user interface and build out from there.

"...the interface is the functional spec. First with some quick and simple paper sketches, then directly into HTML. Unlike paragraphs of text that are open to alternate interpretations, interface designs are common ground."


  • The article Getting Real, Step 1: No Functional Spec

Henrik Olsen - February 15, 2005 - via UI Designer

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See also: Wireframing and prototyping (29) 



What is usability?

Donna Maurer has written a nice overview of what usability is – and what it's not. She outlines the process used during a user-centred development project and defines the qualities of usable systems.

To Maurer, the primary disadvantages of user-hostile systems are:
- If the system is difficult to use, people won't use it
- If people have to use a difficult system, they will do so as little as possible
- People will waste time
- More support is necessary
- A user-hostile system is likely to require changes


  • The article What is usability?

Henrik Olsen - November 03, 2004

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See also: Cost-justification and ROI (18)  Primers (8) 



Usability basics

This article from the magazine IEEE Software is a nice introduction to usability, which covers core usability principles and common design techniques.


Henrik Olsen - April 21, 2004

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See also: Primers (8) 



User research techniques in comic book form

Dan Willis has created a condensed overview of some of the core techniques used in information architecture. The descriptions are in a comic book form and serve as entertaining reminders of some of our development options. Willis one-pagers cover sitepath diagramming, topic mapping, free listing, card sorting, and personas.


  • IA Classics: Tools of the Trade in Comic Book Form

Henrik Olsen - April 28, 2003 - via Usability Views

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See also: Site and flow diagramming (3)  Posters (5)  Card sorting (8)  Personas (13)  Usability testing (29) 



Approaches to User Experience Design

George (interactionbydesign) Olsen has expanded on jjg's Elements of model.

The main addition is an immersion-orientated strand that runs through the middle which highlights creativity, choreography, mise-en-scene (arranging the scene) and the visual-sensory design.

This is accompanied by an Article on Boxes and Arrows.


ben hyde - March 11, 2003 - via InfoDesign (to surf the community)

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See also: Posters (5) 



Improve Web Development Lifecycle through RUP©

The Rational Unified Process© (RUP©) provides an extensive and an industry standard framework of best practices to organize software and web development projects in terms of disciplines and phases.

The RUP© provides guidelines, examples, and templates based on experience from thousands of projects, and creates a roadmap for the whole team involved. Suitable for both small and large projects.

The iterative approach integrates Interface Design and Usability Engineering smoothly. Therefor the RUP© can contribute to increasing awareness and/or understanding of the benefits of User-Centred Design.


Pieter-Jan Pruuost - February 10, 2003

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The design process behind BBCi

When redesigning large websites, you need to do a lot of research etc. Useally the site owners will not pay for extencively work in research, but sometimes people is doing it right!

Matt Jones has released the 86 page document "The Glass Wall", which describes the research methods used in the redesign of BBCi and what an interesting paper it is.


  • The Glass Walll
  • Hørup's Technology Log entry

Jens Hørup - January 12, 2003 - via Hørup's Technology Log

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See also: Cases and Examples (12) 



Usability requirements: how to specify, test and report usability

This web site provides a guide for how to specify, test and report usability requirements as part of a contractual relationship between a supplier and acquirer.

It includes the downloadable report, and case studies of four trials carried out in Europe by the EU-funded PRUE project.


  • The PRUE Project website

Pieter-Jan Pruuost - January 07, 2003

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Cost effective User Centred Design - Winning strategies

This resource describes simple user-centred methods recommended by the TRUMP project to improve the usability of end products and systems.

The TRUMP project has successfully raised the usability maturity of two large organisations and is providing information to help other organisations achieve similar results.

TRUMP provides methods, case studies, various resources, and even real humans one can get in touch with.


  • The TRUMP Project website

Pieter-Jan Pruuost - January 07, 2003

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