April 2010

The UX of Axure Part II

It’s been almost a month of using Axure.  It’s not all roses and sunshine, but it definitely is the best click-able prototype creation tool I have used.  With that said, it still leaves ALOT to be desired.  Here are some of the things that bug me on a daily basis. Labels Some background:  If you want to add interactivity to a page, you have to add onClick “cases” on the page.  The wizard looks...

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Easy Magic and Hard Magic

A conversation with Merlin: Me:  Hey, can you conjure up a cow? Merlin: Sure [POOF].  Easy. Me: Cool!  How about a purple cow? Merlin: Oh, hmm.  That’s hard.  Yes, but it will take a while. A conversation with an engineer: Me: Hey, can you make the data come back in date order? Engineer: Sure [clicky clickity].  Easy. Me: Awesome!  How about in order of relevance to the search? Engineer: Oh....

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Scarface – The Elementary School Play

Say hello to my little friend: And I thought the point of school wasn’t meant for learning.

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The UX of Waiter.com

At work, they hooked up with Waiter.com to provide lunch delivery.  I just used the waiter.com site to register.  I am not saying this is the worst site in the world.  However, Waiter.com is freakishly bad. Look, if you are a website application/service, you have to understand how important it is that people are not horrified by your site.  Usability equals sales in this case (or lack thereof).  Take a look at...

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The Point of School

I wish someone had told me this as a child. The point of elementary school is not to learn.  The point is not to train you for an adult life.  The point of elementary school is to practice following instructions. Let’s jump to high school.  The point of high school is not to learn.  The point of high school is not to train you for your adult life.  The point...

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Should a designer be a SME?

SME stands for Subject Matter Expert.  It means that you have extensive experience doing tasks in a particular field.  The question is “If you are looking for a designer, should you try to find one that is also a SME for the target domain?”  The answer may seem counter-intuitive, but experience doesn’t help, it usually hurts a design. Every single thing I have ever designed in my career has been...

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UX Technique: Main Street

There is a technique I use alot when thinking about the architecture of a SaaS product.  It’s called Main Street.  It comes from when I visited Disney Land.  The technique makes an analogy of building a product to designing a theme park.  You have to decide where everything lives and how the roads interact with each other.  Envision your product as a physical place with different “streets”. Think of Main Street as...

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Storyboards or Prototypes?

What is the best method for a designer?  Storyboards or Prototypes? Storyboards These are used to tell a specific story.  You can not click wherever you want.  It’s just a series of screens in a chronological order. I have used Visio, PowerPoint, Photoshop, Whiteboard, Paper and Balsamiq to make these in the past.  They are usually quick to produce, low-fidelity and are designed to communicate to engineering the requirements of...

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The UX of Giving Up

When do you give up? Let’s put that another way, When do you realize you made a mistake and try something different?  Yes, that sounds much better.  Yet, it’s the same thing.  I have seen so many companies refuse to acknowledge the truth of a bad situation and stop the madness. When something is going horribly wrong, you need to be able to be objective and look at it without...

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April Fools, 2010

I love April Fools.  It is permission to have a sense of humor once a year.  It takes time to come up with a good joke.  It should be clever and not too mean.  One year I told my dad that we were pregnant with our fourth child.  He got really angry.  I don’t have a good joke this year.  I feel like I let myself down.  However, I try...

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