Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Great Minds in Development: Designing your Applications for Usability - Jakob Nielsen

Thanks to James McDuffie for sending me this Jakob Nielsen talk (16 minutes) aimed at developers.

Designing your Applications for Usability - Jakob Nielsen
- why you programmers are not like users;
- use paper prototyping;
- do cheap low tech testing of the paper prototyping;
- ask users to 'think out loud';
- be conservative and not too whizz bang with new features;
- Jakob's nice sites: Yahoo - simplicity, easy to use; Amazon; Victorias Secret - glamour but has simple product page and add to cart;
- Jakob's bad sites - big companies and government; bigger the company the worse the websites;
- PDF bad for screen; dont want frozen fixed size fonts on screen; good for printing though; paging doesn't work; search is poor; not appropriate to online medium of browsing, etc.
- top thing that needs improvement is search. Search on websites is often terrible.

Other talks in the Great Minds series - notice Steve Krug has a talk on there too.

Monday, January 29, 2007

London IA group's Book Club - Great idea

What a great idea to start a book club for "nerdy books" we always plan to read but never do. I hope this is a massive success. I look forward to hearing more about it.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Costco Shopping Experience (from NY Times)

An interesting read about the design of the Costco shopping experience - thanks Dave Whitefield!

24 Rolls of Toilet Paper, a Tub of Salsa and a Plasma TV - Christopher Berkey for The New York Times

"SHOPPING at Costco often goes something like this: Customer comes to buy bulk necessities like toilet paper and dish detergent. Customer buys those items, as well as a pack of giant muffins, three cashmere sweaters and a power tool.

It’s more than impulse buying. It is a calculated part of the company’s business plan. Call it the Costco effect."

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Lexus Self-Parking Feature - An Amusing Consumer Demo

An amusing 'user trial' of the Lexus Self-Parking feature. Warning, this is funny but the language may cause offence (though most of it is beeped out).

Lexus Self-Parking Feature - Consumer Demo?