The 10 most common design mistakes on the Web

  1. Not understanding the nature of the Internet.  Too often, design teams think of the Internet as a pushing media such as television or radio. Users’ behavior on the Internet is different than when they are reading books or newspapers, listening to the radio or watching television. For example, when browsing, users have goals and look for information.  If they don’t find what they are looking for, they will leave the page after 8 to 12 seconds.  Users scan web pages.  They don’t read.  If something looks like an ad, they will rapidly look someplace else.
  2. Continue reading The 10 most common design mistakes on the Web

The Mechanics of Politics in IT: Part 1

Last year, the government of Quebec asked Cognitive Group to do a heuristic evaluation (expert evaluating usability with a list of usability heuristics) and usability testing of their web portal. First, heuristic evaluation is not reliable because:

  1. Continue reading The Mechanics of Politics in IT: Part 1

The Irony of Project Management: the practitioner’s view

I was recently hired by an important financial institution from Canada to help them assess their strategy for a transition to a new a version of their content management software. Content management software is a portion of an imaging system that allows users to scan documents, index an image, retrieve and view image documents. Continue reading The Irony of Project Management: the practitioner’s view

Simplicity: the Jawbone web site

In the: 10 things to do for the success of your web site – the practitioner view, I wrote in 8. Don’t reinvent the wheel: A simple menu and the browser’s back and forward button are Ok for most of the cases. Here is a sublime example of Web site simplicity. Jawbone, designed by FuseProject, one of the most innovative design firm based in SanFrancisco. Users can grab all elements in less than two seconds.

Jawbone

Say a lot with less!

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

Human Error Part 2: Management Error

You arrive at home after a long day and you rush to prepare food. You turn-on the burner but oups !, you realize that you activated the wrong burner. You feel frustrated and tell yourself “I should have paid more attention”. If it is a new stove, you might tell to yourself “I should have look at the instructions”. Some might even blame themselves for this error.

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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

Apple, Steve Jobs, Innovation and Iphone

Apple is as hot topic in the business these days because of the Iphone. Apple’s innovation success is on the front page of The Economist July 9th edition.

The Economist retains 4 lessons from apple:

  1. Innovation can come from outside. In the case of Apple, the GUI (graphical user interface) was invented at the Xerox Park by a group that included Larry Tesler who later went to Apple to work on the Apple Lisa and the Mac. The Ipod OS (operating system) was designed by Pixo, an external firm. To do so, making a Continue reading Apple, Steve Jobs, Innovation and Iphone

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.

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