10 things to do for the success of your web site – the practitioner view

1. Know what is important. 1. Bring users to your site, 2. Ensure usefulness and usability, 3. Maximize trust. You will make much more money trying to bring users to your site and ensuring good usability than trying to have beautiful flash and look. Most users care only about finding rapidly what they are looking for and achieving their goals. They don’t care Continue reading 10 things to do for the success of your web site – the practitioner view

On the Size of Font

Just back from SanFrancisco, I was trying to find an address in Montreal.
I had to slow down in order to read the street name. While slowing down, a car almost hit my back bumper! Hope it doesn’t sound familiar but I am sure it happens frequently. Continue reading On the Size of Font

Human Error Part 1: De la Concorde Overpass

In September 2006, a bridge collapsed in Laval (a Montreal suburb), resulting in 5 deaths. An inquiry, the Johnson commission, is trying to understand this event and prior incidents.

As always, multiple factors are involved in this accident: bad design, shoddy construction, poor repairs and substandard construction materials. These factors are always boiled down to human errors: a design, planning, executions or maintenance errors.

Continue reading Human Error Part 1: De la Concorde Overpass

Innovation Par 1: Why Silicon Valley

LeRoi Gourhan, a French Anthropologist, observed that during pre-historic times there was a close relationship between the evolution of the human brain and the hand. In science, the experimentation plays the role of the hand. There is a close relationship between new observations and new scientific ideas.

Continue reading Innovation Par 1: Why Silicon Valley

Sketching User Experience

I just finished the book « Sketching User Experience » by Bill Buxton. This book in my view is an important book. It will have a profound impact on the designer community. They will say:

“WOW, I should have used this or that sketching technique and I would have saved huge amounts of time and money instead of building those expensive prototypes”.

It broadens the concept of sketching to the user interaction or in other words user experience.

In Wikipedia, a sketch is defined as a rapidly executed freehand drawing that is not intended as a finished work.

The objective of a sketch is to verify an idea rapidly and cheaply. Bill extends the concept to user experience. He describes a multitude of sketching techniques such as Wizard of Oz, Video, and paper mockup as a way to test user experience rapidly and cheaply.

Continue reading Sketching User Experience

Michel Leblanc Conference

I recently assisted at a speech given by Michel Leblanc at the Big Bang on may 17, 2007. This is certainly one of the best speeches I have ever attended. I can assure you I have seen some, I have just arrived from the CHI 2007 conference in San Jose.

Continue reading Michel Leblanc Conference

Usability versus Usefulness

You have to provide your friend with driving directions to come to your home. All of a sudden, your are struggling. Is it two or three stops before turning right? Providing a direction can be very difficult even if you take that route everyday.

Cognition is distributed. Because our memory is optimized, our knowledge is ingrained within our Continue reading Usability versus Usefulness