Category Archives: usability

Speed matters

Performance is huge. We think of it as a feature. Speed is the best feature your product can have. Last year Google introduced these performance enhancements to Picasa to make flipping through photos faster, and the usage more than doubled. … Continue reading

Dogs don’t buy dog food

A customer is someone who buys software. A user is someone who uses software. When it comes to enterprise software, these stop being the same person. This is why enterprise software is so bad.

Getting to Consistency

I just found slides from the SXSW Interactive Panel I moderated back in 2007. Making software predictable and consistent makes it much easier to use. This session will explain UI consistency and point out examples of failures and their consequences. … Continue reading

Disc name as user interface

I recently installed Windows 7. Having installed Snow Leopard many times, I was curious to see how it would compare. Before you even get started, you see an example of the little details Apple pays attention to, but Microsoft is … Continue reading

SXSW Interactive Panel Proposal: Abort? Retry? Failwhale? Making Error Messages Suck Less

I’ve proposed a panel for SXSW Interactive: Abort? Retry? Failwhale? Making Error Messages Suck Less. Here’s how I described it: An unknown error occurred. Call your system administrator. Abort/retry/fail? Bad errors are everywhere. Sure, complain on twitter. But how do … Continue reading

How many usability engineers does it take to buy a light bulb?

For those of you who just want the answer, here you go: Range hood bulb: 10 Watt G4 In-oven bulb: 50 Watt 130 Volt GY6.35 Head to your corner store and pick one up. Now, on with the story. == fail

Store hours? What store hours? The Gap web site was clearly not designed by anyone who actually wanted to shop. It might have been designed by people who wanted to sell things, but that doesn’t help me. So what’s wrong? … Continue reading

Screens around town: Yahoo, Fuzz

[title blatently stolen from 37signals.] Over at Yahoo, it seems some people just don’t know where they are: Fuzz, on the other hand, has a sense of humour, gently prods its users to fill out their profiles:

Design roundup: PC Financial, Canada Post

My favourite Canadian bank, PC Financial added a brilliantly designed feature to their ATMs: No more addition mistakes. Enter checks one at a time, and let the ATM do the math. So smart! Why didn’t anyone think of that before? … Continue reading

Understanding user needs…in Africa

Jakob Nielsen, look out. Parker Mitchell has a few things to say about the importance of understanding user needs: In particular, we will propose that the efforts of people in this room ensure that technology development efforts better incorporate the … Continue reading