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Toolkit for creating personas

George Olsen has developed a persona toolkit, which can help you build detailed profiles of users, their relations to a product (e.g. a website), and the context in which they use a product. The toolkit is pretty extensive, but intended to be based on a pick-and-choose approach.

George Olsen also gives advice on how to collect information. Ideally, personas should be based on interviewing and direct observation, but you can also get useful information from alternative sources, such as domain experts, research, and artefacts that reveal information about the users' context.


Henrik Olsen - April 04, 2004

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See also: Personas (13) 



Zoomify: Fast and powerful web application for high-res image interaction

Zoomify has developed a series of impressive products (Mainly Flash-based technology) that make high-quality images fast and interactive to author, publish, and view online.

Their products meet the high-resolution imaging needs of creative professionals, digital appliance companies, and image-centric businesses such as science/healthcare, education, entertainment, real-estate,...

Zoomifyer EZ is a FREE tool. I find the medical demo of the Zoomifyer Enterprise product very impressive!


  • Zoomify Home Page
  • Free Zoomifyer EZ Web Tool
  • The Zoomifyer Enterprise Medical Demo!!! (Edit features disabled for demo)

Pieter-Jan Pruuost - March 19, 2004

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Screen reader simulation

Ever wanted to know how blind and visual impaired people surf the web with their screen readers. Here's your chance. WebAIM has designed a screen reader simulation of a fictional web site, which includes a few tasks that you can try out. It's designed with some common accessibility errors to illustrate what users of screen readers have to put up with.


  • The screen reader simulation

Henrik Olsen - December 16, 2003

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See also: Accessibility (10) 



Calculate web page display speed

The company Web Site Optimization, LLC offers an online service, where you can calculate the size of a web page and its estimated download time at various connection rates. It also gives you recommendations on how to improve page display time.

Web Site Optimization, LLC is founded by Andrew King, author of Speed Up Your Site: Web Site Optimization.


Henrik Olsen - September 25, 2003

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Magnetic interface design toolkit

Building prototypes with this tool might not be ideal, but it could be useful for workshops and brainstorms - if it's big enough. Anyway, here you can buy your very own Magnetic Interface Design Toolkit maybe just for the fun of it.


  • The Magnetic Interface Design Toolkit

Henrik Olsen - May 21, 2003 - via EASE

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See also: Wireframing and prototyping (29)  Funny tools and games (9) 



Analysing search engine keywords

Wordtracker is a online tool for analysing how often people search for specific keywords at a number of search engines, and how many competing sites use those keywords.

Wordtracker is a commercial tool, but they have a limited free trial version, which will analyse you queries against Altavista only.


  • The online search engine tool Wordtracker

Henrik Olsen - May 11, 2003

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See also: Search engines (7) 



New Version of DENIM Available

Berkeley's Group for User Interface Research have released version 1.1 of DENIM, a visual prototyping system for early stage website design. The two changes of note are that the input system (SILK) is much more responsive and you can now print the prototypes. DENIM is designed for sketching of prototypes - a graphics tablet is highly recommended.


Tim Lucas - April 30, 2003

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See also: Wireframing and prototyping (29) 



Accessibility Extension for Dreamweaver MX

UsableNet and Macromedia have released a accessibility extension to enhance the current options that come with Macromedia Dreamweaver MX.

The extension combines Section 508 with W3C priority 1 & 2 accessibility guideline testing and repair advice.


  • Download the accessibility extension for Dreamweaver

Henrik Olsen - April 16, 2003

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Google diagnostics with Poodle Predictor

To quote one of my colleagues: "Usability begins at the search engines."

Richard Bennett and his mates have developed a tool, which will let you see pages as Google does. It gives you a rough idea of how a page's listings will look, which links Google will find, and how efficient the HTML coding is at feeding Google the right keywords.


  • The article Poodle Predictor - See your site like Google does
  • Poodle Predictor
  • About Poodle Predictor

Henrik Olsen - April 08, 2003

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See also: Search engines (7) 



A test of screen recording systems

Karl Fast has made a thorough test of three screen recording systems to decide which is most suitable in usability testing settings.

His conclusions:
"ScreenCam had the best performance of any program tested, but the lack of support for Windows 2000 and XP makes it hard to recommend."

"Camtasia offers the best blend of performance, features, and ease of use among the programs tested." "The only drawback is price, but at $150 it's still within the range of almost every budget. Highly recommended."

"My first impression of HyperCam was that for $30 I was getting what I paid for. But once I fiddled with it and found the "secret" of using Camtasia's TSCC codec, I was entirely satisfied. Unless you need the extra features of Camtasia, HyperCam will probably do the job..."


  • The article Recording Screen Activity During Usability Testing
  • Lotus ScreenCam
  • TechSmith Camtasia
  • Hyperponics HyperCam

Henrik Olsen - April 06, 2003

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See also: Usability testing (28) 

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