Archive for the 'Usability' Category

Confirmation bias on the web

Friday, September 12th, 2008

There’s such a diversity of opinion on the web that you’ll always be able to find a point of view that matches your own. Add to this our innate tendency to weight evidence that supports our POV and discount contrary evidence (“confirmation bias”), and I’m left thinking that we are probably innately unable to research […]

New year tip

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

Maybe it’s a bit late for the new year, but here it is: Turn off all notifications that you’ve received an email. No de-duh noise, no envelope in the system tray, nothing. Get email back on your terms. I’m not quite brave enough yet to turn off Outlook completely, and only check for mail at […]


Monday, October 8th, 2007

To reach the essence of things, all non-essential elements must be eliminated – Dr. Koichi Kawana. This is a lesson that most web content publishers would benefit from. Interestingly, it had never occurred to me before that the word ‘essential’ is rooted in the idea of ‘essence’.

Usability and ROI

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

Interesting (and short) podcast on usability and ROI. It’s common for clients to ask for figures that quantify the improvements they will see if they spend their budget on a user-centred solution. But usability simply doesn’t work that way. This podcast offers some great defensive arguments for me to keep up my sleeve. My notes […]

Choice paralysis

Friday, March 2nd, 2007

Today I watched an excellent Google lecture on the paradox of choice – why more is less, by Barry Schwarz (who’s book I’ve just bought). I’m in the middle of designing an interface where this issue is particularly relevant, so finding this vid (via governomics) was perfectly timed. It’s fascinating. In a nutshell, the more […]

Shut-down stories

Thursday, December 21st, 2006

Some interesting and intertwined stories relating the issues around the shut-down menu have surfaced recently: Joel on the new Windows Vista shut-down menu Every time you want to leave your computer, you have to choose between nine, count them, nine options … The more choices you give people, the harder it is for them to […]


Friday, September 15th, 2006

A browse through this week’s history folder yields more of the good stuff: Official seal generator. Mine below Ultimate Ears custom ‘personal monitor’ headphones. They take a cast of your inner ear and mould the driver housing for a perfect fit. $900. Colourplayer media player. Train it to associate musical styles with colour, then pick […]

Web Credibility

Saturday, August 5th, 2006

Note to self: memorise Stanford Guidelines for Web Credibility Make it easy to verify the accuracy of the information on your site. Show that there’s a real organization behind your site. Highlight the expertise in your organization and in the content and services you provide. Show that honest and trustworthy people stand behind your site. […]

Web dogma ’06

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006

Boxes and Arrows interviews Eric Reiss on Web dogma ’06 – his 10 web design principles. I wanted to quote one, but they’re all so brilliant, so in tune with what I feel, that here they all are: Anything that exists only to satisfy the internal politics of the site owner must be eliminated. Anything […]

Neilson interview

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006

Jacob Neilson interviewed at Guardian Unlimited Technology. First time I read his name I mentally pronounced it ‘Yacob’, and now I’m stuck with that. On web 2.0: …at one end you have pure data and information on the web, and on the other the full applications. Most things exist in the middle. Information-only websites are […]