Monday, December 22, 2014

UXCheck: Great quick & dirty tool for evaluating your website

Ever in doubt about the usability of your website?  Here is a quick & dirty tool to help you suss out where your impediments to your users "grokking" your system. The heuristics are based on the Nielsen Norman Group list of 10.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Apple baby iPhone for Women?

Rumors out of Asia swirl about a new "baby" iPhone 6 that will still fit in a handbag.  I see the allure of smaller when the newest phone size will not fit in your skinny jeans and "phablets" require you to have a hiker's backpack to carry.  It all reminds me of the Bic Pen debacle...

Via ITWire

Women want an Apple watch? Why, Yes, we do!

High fashion and wearables are a match made in heaven! Apple's watch is in vogue. Jonathan Ive gave a personal "how-to" for Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld.  It was also featured on the cover of Vogue China.   How do you make a wearable desirable? Make it useful, beautiful, and coveted by the hoi polloi.

Via Mashable

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Haptics make us happy!

My sixth grade teacher, Mr. Brightbill, had asked us to write an essay about what we see for the future. I wrote that someday we would be able to wear gloves that would take someone's temperature, "see" their blood sugar level, and take their vital signs.

Some kids wrote about space adventures and monsters. I wrote about what would impact our health. Mr. Brightbill thought I was a way ahead of my time. Turns out not by much. Haptics are becoming very prevalent in the medical field.

I think haptics will have so much more impact for accessibility.

Look what it can do for the visually impared with the iPhone interface.

There is even haptics research and use for Second Life!

I think Mr. Brightbill would have proclaimed this Genius.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Augmented Reality and Foursquare

I just signed up for Foursquare and navigated to my favorite Mexican restaurant in Austin and left a tip for folks.
I am really excited about how AR and mashups can really work. What if I left a note about the margaritas? Not to get the salt?

Someday, will the afore-mentioned notes/reviews/tips hover over the margarita glass? Or our beef in the supermarket?
Will the product information overlay the meat giving me fat content and where the cow came from? What if you could get real-time reviews over-layed on the product? The possibilities are endless!

My thesis was about using the electromagnetic fields around a theremin to control a huge art exhibit of student submissions. We defined the range of the theremin signals and depending on how close/far you were to the theremin electromagnetic field - that is how rapidly you could source through the artwork.

I also used an electromagnetic plate to program the weight and electronic field of an apple moving up/down and away from the plate. Depending on the state of the apple and how far/near it was to the field- certain audio files were triggered. It also affected the rate of play of the audio files.

I love the idea of using our surrounding space to check on our correspondence, products, friends!

Monday, October 12, 2009

If you are going to quote a Usability Expert...

... at least get their name correct. We had a obscenely compensated consultant give us a demo of Microsoft's Sharepoint's capabilities for our company intranet. The consultant was as confident in his usability knowledge and skills as he was loud. We hired him from "X" consulting firm in South Austin. They are a very highly regarded Microsoft solutions consulting firm. The only problem is he kept referring to Jakob Nielsen as "Neils Jakobsen" with the emphasis on the Nordic soft pronunciation of the "J". Very pretentious. Very wrong. Actually, lame.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

HOW Design Conference: Austin: 2nd Day: Afternoon: Last session

My last session of the day was "Craft + Activism = Craftivism" by Kate Bingaman-Burt. Finally, someone who knew how to project to an audience! Kate gave a brief overview of the current craft community and her family ties to the late 70's/early 80's movement. She hoped that after seeing the movement ebb and flow that people would adhere to the strong tenets of making handmade items. She was afraid with the popularity of the "look" of hand-made items there would come a backlash against the production and philosophy of one-of-a-kind items. The ubiquity of a hand-made "style" in stores (yes, Wal-Mart and Target included) begs for a requisite recoil. Her delivery was fresh and she wanted to remind folks that the exact reason crafty items came into being was to be "anti-consumerism". Her work on "Obsessive Consumption" chronicles her work and how she fosters craft thinking/making. She also created the neat illustrations for "Handmade Nation", which was a book and then a subsequent documentary on the craft arts movement.