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UserVue - a remote usability testing tool

TechSmith, the creators of the screen recording products Camtasia and Morae, has announced their new product UserVue. The product is a web-based service that enables usability researchers to conduct remote usability tests.

Key features:
- Connect remotely to users' own computers
- Observe as they navigate desktop applications and websites
- Communicate through phone or the build-in chat
- Invite observes to participate
- Use the recordings with Morae to do more in-depth analysis


  • TechSmith Debuts UserVue for Remote, Web-based User Experience Research Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - September 27, 2006

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See also: Usability testing (68) 



Hand-crafting prototypes in Visio

The Q3 2006 issue of GUUUI looks at how to hand-draw prototypes in Visio using a tablet computer or a pen tablet. It's a fun, fast, dirty and dynamic technique, which is most useful early in the design process, when we are trying out lots of alternatives.


Henrik Olsen - July 02, 2006

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See also: Prototyping and wireframing (119)  GUUUI articles (11) 



Usability Book of Knowledge

The Usability Book of Knowledge (BoK) is as site dedicated to creating a living reference that represents the collective knowledge of the usability profession. The of the project is to create a guide that contains core material supplemented by pointers to existing resources, and continues to evolve as the practice of usability evolves.


  • Usability Book of Knowledge (BoK) Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - May 19, 2006

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See also: Websites (11)  Glossaries (3)  The design process (24) 



Review of Axure RP Pro

The Q2 2006 issue of GUUUI is a review of the prototyping tool Axure RP Pro.

The good:
- Drag and drop widgets onto a grid (as you might know it from Visio)
- Generate prototypes in a format that behaves like real web pages (i.e. you can interact with forms and pages can scroll)
- Save time on repetitive changes by using custom widgets and templates
- Simulate rich interactivity by showing and hiding layers
- Automatically generate user interface specifications

The bad:
- You can't navigate your pages inside Axure by clicking links and buttons
- Somewhat expensive


Henrik Olsen - April 01, 2006

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See also: Prototyping and wireframing (119)  GUUUI articles (11) 



Axure RP Pro

Axure have released a version 4 of their dedicated prototyping tool Axure RP Pro. The tool is a very strong competitor to Visio.

Some great features:
- It has a adopted the basic concept from Visio, where you drag and drop widgets onto a grid
- The interactive prototypes are generated in real HTML, meaning that they behave like real web pages (i.e. forms are interactive and pages can scroll)
- It can automatically generate specifications in Word format
- With its Masters you can create custom widgets and templates to reuse in your pages
- With its Dynamic Panels you can simulate rich interactions by showing and hiding layers in response to users' actions

I can't tell if Axure is better than Visio, since I haven't used it for a project yet. But it sure looks promising. Download the demo to decide for yourself.


  • The prototyping tool Axure RP Pro Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - March 21, 2006

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See also: Prototyping and wireframing (119) 



How to use PowerPoint for prototyping

Jensen Harris from Microsoft has posted a small practical tutorial on how to use PowerPoint for prototyping. Paste screenshots of the different interaction states into PowerPoint, use transparent shapes as link areas and put a static frame into the master background, so that you only need to put the interface elements which changes on each slide.

In Harris' opinion, the technique has several advantages compared to paper prototypes. Prototypes build in PowerPoint feel somewhat interactive, they can be modified more easily, and computer enabled prototypes feel more natural to usability test participants.

Of course, this method is rather primitive compared to prototyping with Visio.


  • Prototyping With PowerPoint Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - February 27, 2006

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See also: Prototyping and wireframing (119) 



Easy site diagramming

Stephen Turbek shows how to save time on site diagramming using either Excel and Visio or Word and Inspiration.

"Use these lazy techniques and spend your time on better and more interesting problems than lining up little boxes!"


  • The Lazy IA's Guide to Making Sitemaps Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - February 01, 2006

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See also: Site and flow diagramming (6)  Information architecture (15) 



Idea generation methods

Martin Leith has published a list of all the idea generation methods he's encountered during the past 15 years. Each method is described and some have full instructions on how to use them to generate ideas.


  • The site All Know Idea Generation Methods Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - September 19, 2005 - via Column Two

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See also: Websites (11) 



Tools for Information Architects

The Information Architecture Institute has a nice section full of tools for Information Architects and Interaction Designers. You will find document and wireframing templates, process maps posters, presentations, introduction brochures, and other tools to help you in your practice.


  • The tools section at IA Institute Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - August 25, 2005

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See also: Personas (19)  Prototyping and wireframing (119) 



Review of Survey Monkey

Survey Monkey is an tool for creating online surveys. In his review Ken Westing from Digital Web Magazine has the following to say about it:

- Easy to use even for non-technical folks
- Flexible when creating questions and accessing survey results
- Offers e-mail lists for custom invitations
- Customization of the design is limited
- Lacks account for multiple users
- Great product for the price
- Offers a free limited account that stores 100 responses

P.S: My friend Jens Hørup would instantly stop hosting GUUUI if I dared to write about Survey Monkey without mentioning his survey tool Dubidu.


  • Review of Survey Monkey Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - August 23, 2005

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