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Interview with Alan Cooper on personas

UXpod has published an audio interview with Alan Cooper, the guy who introduced personas to the universe of software development. He talks about where the idea of using personas came from, how personas are distilled from field studies, and how personas are used to inform design decisions.


  • Personas and Outrageous Software - an Interview with Alan Cooper Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - December 14, 2006

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See also: Interviews (30)  Personas (19) 



Is user-centred design working?

Donna Maurer has published a presentation and recordings of her talk "User centred design: Is it working?"

Here are some interesting (and quite provoking) points from her presentation:

- Lot's of clients are not satisfied with what they get from usability specialists. The work they do is shallow and the clients are left with the hard stuff that they meant to hire out.

- We have to stop selling usability. It doesn't have a value proposition. Usability is a quality aspect. Not a deliverable.

- A lot of the successful websites don't do traditional user research and usability testing. Their model is more about putting something out, see what happens, and modify it if needed.

- We have to stop designing by testing and focus less on user-centred and more on design

- Jakob Nielsen's stuff should be removed from the galaxy. All his rules lure people into a feeling that you can just get these rules and get it right.


  • Donna Maurer's talk User centred design: is it working Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - December 02, 2006 - via Usability In The News

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See also: Talks and presentations (18)  User research (23)  Usability testing (68) 



The paradox of having too many choices

In this one hour video, Barry Schwartz talks about his research on the impact of having too many options to choose from.

Having options makes us happy. But at a certain point, the number of choices exceeds our saturation point and we end up making no choice or making decisions based on very simplified criteria.

His talk is on consumer behaviour, but his points are highly relevant to interface design and how too many options affect usability.


  • Video with Barry Schwartz's talk on The paradox of choice Open link in new window
  • Luke Wroblewski's summary of the talk Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - November 28, 2006 - via

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See also: Talks and presentations (18) 



Apple interfaces are just...BOOM!

Steve Jobs, the co-founder and CEO of Apple Computer, likes to say BOOM! when he is thrilled about Apple software. Watch this video of BOOM! highlights.


  • The Steve Jobs video Open link in new window
  • The boom video remixed Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - September 30, 2006 - via Signal vs. Noise

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See also: Fun music and videos (13) 



Jared Spool on why good content must suck

Hear Jared Spool talk about how to design websites that suck people towards the content they want.

Everyone with the slightest interest in website design should listen to this. Jared is the most knowledgeable usability guy of modern time and in his talk he manages to cover most of his pet topics:

- How people need scent (links containing the words they have in mind) to get to what they are looking for
- How the best links are 7-12 words
- How people don't mind clicking through lots of pages if they just get what they want in the end
- How people love to scroll long pages
- How people love link-rich pages
- How people turn to search engines only when navigation fails

Download the two MP3 files and the presentation slides.


Henrik Olsen - September 27, 2006

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See also: Home pages (9)  Links (19)  Navigation (63)  Talks and presentations (18) 



User experience podcast

Tired of reading about user experience? Then you might enjoy listing to Gerry Gaffney's user experience podcast UXpod.

I can highly recommend the interviews with Jesse James Garrett about "Nine Pillars of Successful Web Teams" and Donna Maurer on card sorting.


  • UXpod Open link in new window
  • Interview with Jesse James Garrett about "Nine Pillars of Successful Web Teams" Open link in new window
  • Interview with Donna Maurer on card sorting Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - September 17, 2006

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See also: Blogs (12)  Interviews (30)  Card sorting (13)  The design process (24) 



Seth Godin on broken designs

Here's an entertaining video featuring Seth Godin talking about all the bad designs that surround us and why bad designs exist. The talk is from the Gel 2006 conference.


  • Seth Godin on broken designs Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - August 13, 2006 - via

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See also: Fun music and videos (13)  Bad designs (20)  Talks and presentations (18) 



Video about user experience design at Google

Here's a 30 minute video presentation starring Jen Fitzpatrick, manager of the Google user experience team. She shares examples of how Google have improve the design of their products through user studies, log analysis, and feedback from customer support.


  • The video The Science and Art of User Experience at Google. Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - July 11, 2006 - via Putting People First

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See also: Cases and Examples (28)  Talks and presentations (18) 



Video lecture about design thinking by Tim Brown from IDEO

Here's a one hour video starring Tim Brown from the design firm IDEO. He talks about how to fuel innovation by studying people and evolve and validate ideas through rapid prototyping and storytelling.


  • The video lecture Innovation Through Design Thinking Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - June 08, 2006 - via LukeW

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See also: User research (23)  Prototyping and wireframing (119)  Talks and presentations (18) 



Squidoo eyetracked

Seth Godin has published a video of an eyetracking study where you can see how users explore

"The biggest lesson wasn't news to me, but it might be to your boss: your prospects are not rational and organized and linear. You can't count on them sitting still and hearing your story from beginning to end. They won't."

"The answer is not to try to change human nature. It's to embrace the hunting skills that people are bringing online (and to their daily offline media consumption) and to make your media match their needs."


  • The blog post What I learned from eye tracking Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - May 30, 2006

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See also: Cases and Examples (28)  Eye-tracking (14) 


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