Must read: the $300 Million button

You absolutely need to read this post about how making a tiny change to a very simple Web form resulted in a yearly revenue increase of $300 million for an online retailer.

It is a story about the power of:

  • the importance of the tiniest interface detail
  • observation and usability testing

You also absolutely need to learn this name: Jared Spool – and here’s why.

Hat tips to Twitter users @dtelepathy, @uie, @kellyndesigns – the post reached me through them.

Did you read this post? Please indicate by commenting, ranking, liking, etc.


Flow in user experience

As you read about use cases and task analysis, think about how interfaces sequence tasks and organize the user experience through design in order to create a state of flow.

Familiarize yourselves with the concept of flow and note interface examples that engineer an experience of flow.

Design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation

“In most people’s vocabularies, design means veneer. It’s interior decorating. It’s the fabric of the curtains of the sofa. But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.” – Steve Jobs


Post of the week: Oct 2-7

I’m probably doing injustice to a lot of other posts students wrote this week, but I ABSOLUTELY love Laura’s find, a brilliant illustration of Gestalt principles of visual perception.

What was your post of the week?

Class notes: Design process

The purpose of tonight’s class was to help you grasp:

  1. the big picture about the steps in the design process, and
  2. the use of various usability methods and tools throughout the process.

As promised, the slides I showed in class are embedded at the very bottom of this post. We will look at the individual methods and tools in a lot more detail in the following weeks. But before the slides, a couple of other resources I’d like to share with you:

  • Results of a survey of usability professionals show which methods and tools are used most frequently;
  • The video below is from the famous design company IDEO. It is a famous video that shows their design process:

Make your own heuristics

One of the biggest/hardest parts of your heuristic evaluation assignment will be to compile your own list of usability & design principles. Here is an example of heuristics written from a psychology perspective. Read, examine, adopt some or all, use as inspiration.

What do you think about this list of heuristics?
How will you approach making your own list of heuristics?

Let me know in the comments, or at the very least rate or like to indicate you have seen this post.

Assignment: Heuristic Evaluation

Please find below and on Blackboard instructions about the first usability report.

Please ask questions in the comments below.