31. August 2010

The Advantages of Using CSS Sprites Along With a Few Tips | Design Reviver

There are many techniques in CSS to achieve certain results in different ways, CSS sprites being one of them. CSS sprites is a technique used where you can have a large single image containing a set of images that can be broken down using CSS to separate the image into multiple.

30. August 2010

The Creativity Crisis - Newsweek

The accepted definition of creativity is production of something original and useful, and that’s what’s reflected in the tests. There is never one right answer. To be creative requires divergent thinking (generating many unique ideas) and then convergent thinking (combining those ideas into the best result).

29. August 2010

Doing More with Remote Research: Exploring Physical and Social Contexts | UX Magazine

Chances are, you've encountered remote user experience research. Perhaps you've read about it in an article or have seen the book. Everyone from the scrappiest startup to the most established corporation is beginning to incorporate remote methods into their research arsenal. Currently, the most common remote research protocols incorporate screen sharing and task analysis, often employed at a late stage in the product development process. While screen sharing is a relatively new technology, task analysis has been the standard usability method for 30 years. But since then, user habits and behaviors have changed significantly to accommodate the tech-filled world we live in.

28. August 2010

The Web Design Community Offers Advice To Beginners - Smashing Magazine

At one time or another, we are all newbies. That’s right: you can deny it all you want, but not one of us got into this game with a full deck stacked in our favor. We entered as newbies, born fresh after the start screen loaded. However, unlike in a game, we are not immediately launched into a tutorial level to learn the ropes in this new world — what to avoid, how to progress, etc. And if we feel overwhelmed by our newbie status, we may not be able to find our way to the tutorials and guides that the community has put together to help us sort all of this out. So, feeling very alone in all this is easy.

27. August 2010

Call phones from Gmail

So, jetzt hat mein geliebtes Gmail auch noch ein Telefonanschluss. Ich frage mich was noch alles hinzu kommt, bis die Sache völlig unübersichtlich wird.

Dennoch ist Gmail der beste Mail Client out there. Ich verstehe nicht, dass es noch immer so viele GMX- oder Hotmail Nutzer gibt...

Mobile Web Design: Best Practices

The explosion in user adoption of mobile devices has revolutionized the web. Though designing for the Mobile Web follow similar principles to designing websites, we must consider some notable differences. For one, current mobile device networks don’t run in the same speed as broadband devices. In addition, there are also a myriad of ways our mobile web designs are displayed in, from touch screens to netbooks, which make even the smallest desktop monitors look like giants.

26. August 2010

Liquid Information Navigation – A New Paradigm? Experiencing Information

In Chapter 1 of Design Web Navigation, I consider the fundamental need for web navigation. I question: People don’t particularly want to navigate and risk getting lost. They come to a site to get answers or accomplish a task. As such, web navigation can be considered a means to an end. But is it a necessary evil? If navigating isn’t fun, why impose a burden on people with something that could potentially confuse them? One fairly obvious reason we need it: navigation provides access to information. (No duh, Kalbach). That’s stating the obvious, for sure, but it’s how you provide access that makes a difference. I then present different models for accessing content. In additional to traditional hierarchical style web navigation schemes, there’s also hypertext content linking, keyword searching, filtering, and something called “liquid information, ” the subject of this post.

25. August 2010

Smart Tips to Help You Create User Friendly Content | Design Reviver

A major problem with many new websites today is that their content is geared toward a different topic from what their site initially started up as. For example, let us say a website starts up geared toward gadgets and technology reviews. For the first few months, you are getting exactly what you came for, technology and gadget reviews. However, as time progresses the reviews begin to widen to internet technologies such as web development, emailing, and the likes immediately.

24. August 2010

Usability Evaluators: Reliable as Radiologists?: Measuring Usability

Chances are you're not qualified to answer the first two questions but probably able to provide some answers about the third. This image comes from the Hotel Pennsylvania website. It was the subject of the Comparative Usability Evaluation (CUE-4). Seventeen usability teams independently evaluated the website and generated few overlapping problems.

23. August 2010

Extractable - Extra! Extra: In a website redesign, you should always maintain (ideally improve) your SEO standings.

When we consult with companies to redesign their web presence, there are often key goals we work towards including increasing leads, increasing sales, improving support, etc. When considering all of these goals, an overarching pillar should not be overlooked: with content re-writes, changing URLs, and updated navigation – ensure that past achievements in organic SEO are not lost.

22. August 2010

Eight Principles of Information Architecture (PDF) / Cameron Moll

Information architecture, a field in relative infancy and constantly rediscovering itself, does not yet have a well-established theory that drives the design of structures for websites. You can pick up two books on graphic design and see the same topics covered in each. Why is there no such agreement for books on information architecture? Indeed, information architecture has yet to normalize, and the constant new demands on our work make progress toward that goal challenging. While the industry has yet to settle on a standard theory, there are a handful of principles I keep coming back to – principles that guide my design decisions but don’t dictate a particular approach.

21. August 2010

Design for Conversion

Die Design for Conversion Eventreihe kommt nach Deutschland! Am 23. September 2010 findet in Köln die 4. Design for Conversion statt.

Wo: Club Bahnhof Ehrenfeld
Wann: 23.9.2010 ab ca. 9:00 Uhr
Kosten: 175 Euro (Early Bird bis 23. August, danach 200 Euro)
Wer: 100 Plätze für UxD, IA, eCommerce-Manager, Business Analysten, Web-Analysten, Marketing-Experten,…

Die DfC ist eine interaktive (Un-)konferenz mit fester Struktur und geladenen Rednern. Inhaltlich dreht sich alles um (User) Experience, Persuasive Technologies und Evidence Based Marketing. Das Thema der 4. DfC wird „Authentizität“ sein. Die DfC Cologne wird veranstaltet vom Better Experience e.V. in Kooperation mit CHI Niederlande.

Alles festgelegt und doch eine Unkonferenz? Kein Widerspruch, denn die wahren Stars der DfC sind die Teilnehmer. Jeder Teilnehmer wird in Teams einen Tag lang an Lösungen für spannende Aufgaben aus dem echten Leben arbeiten. Die Teams werden so zusammengestellt, dass Teilnehmer aus verschiedenen Professionen zusammenkommen. Team Captains unterstützen die Teilnehmer und die Redner liefern zwischen den Sessions kluge, spannende und vergnügliche Präsentationen. Alles endet mit den Final-Präsentationen und der anschliessenden Party. So wird das Ganze in etwa ablaufen: http://slideshare.net/daslutz/dfc-in-a-nutshell

Als Redner werden unter anderen Persuasive Technology Expertin Kath Straub (USA) und Paul Hughes (NL) Creative Director bei Lava.nl dabei sein.

Info: http://designforconversion.nl/4th-dfc-cologne
Tickets: http://designforconversion.nl/4th-dfc-cologne/tickets/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/dfcworld offizieller Hastag: #dfccgn

Event auf XING: https://www.xing.com/events/design-for-conversion-cologne-2010-535679
Event auf LinkedIn: http://events.linkedin.com/Design-Conversion/pub/361992
Event auf Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=143717255657919

33 Best Photographer Portfolio Website Designs | Dzine Blog

In this post you will actually find two sources of inspiration: photography (which you must admit is indispensable to any graphic artist), and a specific type of design: that for photographers’ portfolios websites. Right from the start you will surely notice that the photographer’s sites are quite different from all the other creative portfolio sites that we’ve looked at so far. For a photographer, the site should be an almost invisible, in any case, non-disturbing, frame for his photography. This is why extremely minimalist design is preferred or photos tend to expand all over the screen and create the graphics of the site in themselves. Probably because of the nature of photography, which is like capturing frozen memories of fleeting, shifting moments in time, most photographers seem to have a preference for static websites, where you can take your time to concentrate on individual frames or pictures.

20. August 2010

Are We Taking CSS Too Far? :: Echo Enduring Blog

CSS is a remarkable technology, capable of doing things that I wouldn’t have even dreamed of when I was first introduced to it. And, with added support for rounded corners, box shadows, text shadows, rotation and a wide range of other possibilities, web designers and developers can accomplish all sorts of amazing things when it comes to applying a design to a website.

19. August 2010

Experience Matters: Making Personas more Personable

Love them or hate them, personas are an established way to put more of the user in the user-centered design process. When utilized properly personas get you out of your own head, designing for the target to make their lives easier and make the experience extraordinary. As humans we are inherently biased, and it can be easy to fall into the trap of making design decisions based on our own preferences, opinions, and proclivities. However, depending on the products or service, the actual users may be nothing like you. Choices that would work for you using your own design could just as likely frustrate and confuse your target audience. This may sound obvious but we all see far too many examples of poor user-experience planning in the products, customer service, marketing and packaging we encounter every day. According to the consulting firm Accenture, “almost 95 percent of electronic goods that are returned are not faulty and 68 percent of customers just that they can’t figure out how to use them!” Just think about any TV remote you’ve ever used.

18. August 2010

Conversion Room: Free online training courses in the Google AdWords Online Classroom

Today we wanted to remind you about the free online training modules available from Google in the AdWords Online Classroom. The modules cover a variety of topics and below we've highlighted some conversion related courses that we think will interest Conversion Room visitors. There’s a range of 15-20 minute long courses available on demand, so you can learn from a Google expert at a time that's convenient for you! Some of the on demand conversion related courses that may be of interest to you include...

17. August 2010

Does Google Censor Tiananmen Square? How To Create an Internet Hoax � Aza on Design

I’m using a search query that looks like one thing but is, in fact, another. This particular search query uses unicode characters that look identical or similar to normal characters. In this case, I’ve replace one of the “a”s in Tiananmen with look-a-like character from the Cyrillic alphabet. Nobody uses such a tampered string when writing about Tiananmen Square so Google naturally doesn’t find any results. Hence, it looks like they are censoring. As long as you don’t delete the entire query and start again, modifying the query in place will continue returning results that appear “censored”.

16. August 2010

Lessons from Google Wave and MSFT Kin by Scott Berkun

I’m a fan of things going wrong. It’s only when things go wrong that anyone pays attention enough to really learn something, or get the courage to try something new. Recently there were two high profile failures, at two Fortune 500 tech companies. Microsoft’s failed cell-phone Kin, and Google’s hard to define Wave. I thought it’d be fun to compare and distill some lessons.

15. August 2010

Blogging Innovation: Innovation is Interrelated and Interdependent

One of the most illuminating comments I heard recently in a training program we offered was one participant’s realization that innovation, especially bringing a new idea to fruition, might require more than just product innovation. It may involve innovating the way the firm thinks, the way it works, how it manages and how it performs. In other words, when you are just starting out in an innovation effort, you may have to innovate and invent new methods, new processes and new ways of thinking to bring a new product to life.

Getting Real Feedback For Your New Design, Usability Testing

Getting feedback is very important in each work, because it really can improve our works, see do others react and understand your design the same way you do and of course to let you understand how your readers,visitors think. There are really many websites by now already helping each other to critique artworks, get suggestions, create like demo websites and check how people react on them ( a/b testing), this showcase is focusing on showing you places where to get real people feedback and responses.

14. August 2010

Six Sure Fire Ways to Remain Focused as a Designer | Design Reviver

Sometimes, we all begin to deviate from a project we are working on due to finding something that we may find interesting or the cause of distractions from devices or services. However, such deviation or procrastination may cause delays and possibly lead to lies and angry clientele. Furthermore, deviation or procrastination is a general symptom among designers and freelancers alike that hits us on occasion. Moreover, we discuss six methods or tips that can help you stay focused as a designer to avoid deviation and or procrastination.

13. August 2010

The Content Strategy Noob Taxonomy: A “Disambiguation”

It’s the job of information architects to work all these intricacies out. The skills for designing the taxonomy and associated metadata are extensive and precise. The content strategist helps to define the content domain and the language that will best represent it, but the IA will be able to build an organizational framework that links the content domain with the technical wizardry that serves up the user experience.

Case study of agile and UCD working together - Boxes and Arrows: The design behind the design

Large scale websites require groups of specialists to design and develop a product that will be a commercial success. To develop a completely new site requires several teams to collaborate and this can be difficult. Particularly as different teams may be working with different methods. This case study shows how the ComputerWeekly user experience team integrated with an agile development group. It’s important to note the methods we used do not guarantee getting the job done. People make or break any project. Finding and retaining good people is the most important ingredient for success.

Eyetracking Studies

Liebe THS-Leser, das hier ist doch mal genau die richtige Wochenendlektüre, wa? 8 eyetracking studies from the web’s biggest blogs.

One of the most difficult (and arguably most important) metrics to accurately measure online is the actions of your users. Knowing how your readers move around online is paramount to increasing conversion rates, revenue and the overall success of your site. Over the years I’ve seen a number of heat mapping and conversion optimisation tools for attempting to measuring that sort of data, and even toyed with the beginnings of a solution for my own use.

Netter Beitrag, mit den eyetracking-typischen Bildchen.

12. August 2010

UX Africa

Sabine hat mir neulich dieses sehr schöne Bild geschickt. Das hier ist die Story dazu...

Namibia, Caprivi-Strip, eine Familie verkauft Holzschnitzereien am Straßenrand, wie viele andere Familien auch, leider gibt es nur wenige Touristen, die kaufen. Besonders phantasievoll sind bei dieser Familie die Flugzeuge und Landrover in Holz im kleinen Maßstab, leider zu zerbrechlich für unsere Reiseart. Aber wir kaufen zwei Hippos (eins davon fast einen halben Meter lang) und eine Holzschale für 150 Namibische Dollar, ungefähr 16,50 Euro. Davon kann dann die ganze Familie, ca. 20 Personen, die ganze Woche leben. Leider gibts nur Maispampe, daher der dicke Bauch des Jungen, Mangelernährung, wenn auch kein Hunger. Aber eine sehr sehr freundliche Familie, wir schwätzen bestimmt eine halbe Stunde mit ihnen.

Sabines Reiseblog (Kuestenblog) ist wirklich eine sehr lohnende Lektüre. Surft mal vorbei, wenn Euch mal wieder das Fernweh packt...

Breadcrumbs – Showcase

Ich glaube, diesen Beitrag wollte ich schon immer auch noch mal bloggen, habs aber dann doch nie geschafft: How to Enhance Your Website Using Breadcrumbs – Showcase.

On large websites and websites with hierarchically arranged pages, breadcrumbs are a really great way for users to navigate around the web site. They are a type of secondary navigation scheme which indicates the exact location of a user on a website. They greatly improve the findability of a web site’s sections and pages. Breadcrumbs, in the simplest form, are horizontally arranged text links separated by a greater than symbol (>). Using breadcrumbs on your website can be really beneficial. It provides a convenient way for users to navigate around the website and also allows users to establish their location on the website.

Schöner Artikel. Lohnt sich, da mal kurz drüber zu lesen.

11. August 2010

Designing with Keynote

Das hier ist eine sehr gute Folge von The Conversation: Episode 28: Designing with Keynote?

Luke Wroblewski is an internationally recognized digital product design leader who has designed or contributed to software used by more than 700 million people worldwide. He is the author of Web Form Design and Functioning Form. He is an extremely popular speaker at leading web design conferences. After long stints as Chief Design Architect at Yahoo! and Lead User Interface Designer of eBay Inc.’s platform team, he is currently Chief Design Officer and co-founder of a stealth start-up. Learn more about Luke Wroblewski. By day Travis is the User Experience Practice Lead for Improving Enterprise; by night he makes cool things like KeynoteKungFu and Trailheadapp. Previously, Travis lead design for viewzi.com and radiotime.com; and he spent some time pleasing the corporate overlords and wearing slacks at Sabre Travel Network & Travelocity.com. Learn more about Travis Isaacs.

Man kann die Show als Video schauen, ich empfehle aber die Podcast Variante. Ist gut für den Weg zur Arbeit.

I, Robot

Ich habe I, Robot zu Ende gelesen. Wow. Immer wieder gut. I, Robot ist definitiv eines der Bücher die man gelesen haben muss.

The three laws of Robotics: 1) A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm 2) A robot must obey orders givein to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. 3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. With this, Asimov changed our perception of robots forever when he formulated the laws governing their behavior. In I, Robot, Asimov chronicles the development of the robot through a series of interlinked stories: from its primitive origins in the present to its ultimate perfection in the not-so-distant future--a future in which humanity itself may be rendered obsolete.

Ein anderes Buch, das ich auch schon zig-mal gelesen habe ist Candide oder Die beste aller Welten. Aber achtung: es ist sehr brutal.

10. August 2010

Design Critique with Timothy Keirnan

Ich bin ja ein großer Fan des Design Critique Podcasts. Timothy Keirnan hat immer sehr interessante und hörenswerte Shows auf Lager.

Umso erstaunter war ich gestern, als ich gerade im Gym auf dem Stepper lag und beim Podcast-hören in der Konzepter-Brigitte blätterte, als im Gespräch mit Jared Spool (Autor von Handbook of Usability Testing: Howto Plan, Design, and Conduct Effective Tests) plötzlich mein Name viel und die beiden kurz über meinen kleinen Video Blog namens IA Television sprachen.

Ach, warum fängt nicht jede Woche so schön an?

Also, wer den Podcast noch garnicht kennt, sollte sich zumindest diese Episode anhören... ;)

9. August 2010

IA Konferenz 2010 - Erste Audio-Files Online

Sodelle, wir haben endlich die ersten Audio-Files der diesjährigen IA Konferenz online gestellt.

Ich hoffe ihr kommt mit diesem Yahoo-Player zurecht. Ich finde ihn halbwegs brauchbar.

Viel Spaß beim Hören :)

Kick Some Shit

Liebe THS-Leser, jede Woche beginnt mit einer gehörigen Portion Meetings und oft ist am Anfang der Woche auch eines dieser Kickoff Meetings dabei in dem die Gleise für den gesamten Projektverlauf gestellt werden... Daher empfehle ich den Montag mit folgendem ALA-Artikel zu starten: Kick Ass Kickoff Meetings.

Before the meeting: arm yourself! To make sure you actually have an understanding of that problem beforehand, do stakeholder interviews and gather requirements immediately following this initial core team meeting, but before the larger, official kickoff meeting. It sounds obvious, but it rarely happens. Eagerness on the part of the client or the project team leads to a meeting characterized by an uninformed round table of introductions, boring icebreakers, and purposeless conversation that, at best, provides only slight clarification to project direction and goals.

Sehr lesenswerter Beirag.

Ein starker Aufschlag bei einem Kickoff Meeting ist enorm wichtig. Und wie sagte House of Pain einst so treffend? I'll serve your ass like John MacEnroe.

8. August 2010

Integrated Approach to Product Strategy

Das hier ein wirklich sehr lesenswerter Artikel: Toward an Integrated Approach to Product Strategy and Design - Part 1 of 3.

Product development and user experience design are two fields that should, but rarely, collaborate effectively to design and define products that consumers will find delightful to use. There exist many natural synergies between the two disciplines, and each field’s strengths complement the other’s weaknesses. Despite this, product development and user experience teams often work in siloed circumstances with insufficient communication and collaboration and sometimes with quibbling. The current modus operandi leads to loss of productivity, longer time to market, higher costs, and products that fall short of their full potential. User experience design is a relatively new field that has gained mainstream recognition in the past decade, and consequently, there has not been a lot of time to establish best practices for product development and user experience design to work most effectively together. The good thing is that it does not take a huge paradigm shift but rather an evolution of the current model to attain a more integrated approach to product strategy and design.

Eine gute Sonntagslektüre. Schaut mal rein, wenn ihr Zeit habt.

6. August 2010

EuroIA in Paris

Liebe THS-Leser, denkt daran, dass heute der vergünstigte Early Bird Tarif der diesjährigen EuroIA Konferenz endet.

Paris im September, kann es was schöneres geben?

5. August 2010

World Usability Day 2010

Liebe THS-Leser, so langsam (na ja, ganz langsam) steht mal wieder der nächste World Usability Day vor der Tür. Hier geht es zum Berliner WUD: mobile communication.

Der World Usability Day wurde vom internationalen Usability-Berufsverband, der Usability Professionals' Association (UPA) ins Leben gerufen. Er soll das Thema Usability auch außerhalb des Fachs bekannt machen. Usability ist sowohl als ein neues Berufsbild als auch als eine Forschungsrichtung zu verstehen. Die UPA wurde 1991 in den USA gegründet, seit 2002 gibt es das deutsche German Chapter der UPA. Die UPA veranstaltet gemeinsam mit den regionalen Vertretern, Einzelpersonen und Unternehmen den World Usability Day in Berlin.

Ihr könnt Euch sowohl als Sponsoren als auch als Referent bewerben. Der WUD ist eine tolle Veranstaltung. Es lohnt sich jedes Jahr aufs neue hin zu gehen.

Ach so: Ich bekomme seit einiger Zeit Anfragen, ob ich hier oder da beim WUD 2010 präsentieren könnte. Ich bin leider schon für den diesjährigen WUD ausgebucht.

The Development of the Robot

Ich habe angefangen mal wieder I, Robot zu lesen. Diesmal auf Englisch. Lässt sich sehr gut verstehen-und die Geschichte ist ja bekanntlich großartig.

The three laws of Robotics: 1) A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm 2) A robot must obey orders givein to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. 3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. With this, Asimov changed our perception of robots forever when he formulated the laws governing their behavior. In I, Robot, Asimov chronicles the development of the robot through a series of interlinked stories: from its primitive origins in the present to its ultimate perfection in the not-so-distant future--a future in which humanity itself may be rendered obsolete.

Die Geschichte ist wirklich klasse und eigentlich auch Pflichtleküre... und natürlich ist das Buch ganz anders als der Film.

3. August 2010

EuroIA Konferenz in Paris

Liebe Freunde der Europäischen Informationsarchitektur, diesen Freitag endet der Early Bird Tarif der EuroIA Konferenz (24. und 25. September).

Hier geht es zum Konferenz Programm.

Die diesjährige EuroIA findet in Paris statt. Klasse, was?

2. August 2010

Attractive Intranets

Ach ja, Intranets sind ja immer ein großes Thema... eh, oder kanns jemand etwa nicht mehr hören? Wie auch immer, evtl. interessiert Euch ja doch noch dieser Beitrag: What attractive intranets look like.

At a basic level, intranets need to have a clear brand and identity of their own, distinct from the public-facing site and providing continuity as the organisation evolves and restructures. As intranets are hidden within organisations, it is hard to know what good intranet design looks like. This article shares a few examples from across the globe, not as definitive ‘right’ designs, but as inspiration for other teams to follow. While very different in their design approaches, all the showcased intranets have elements to learn from.

Netter Beitrag. Schaut mal drüber, wenn Ihr Zeit habt.

1. August 2010

Landing Page Infographics

Liebe THS-Leser, das hier ist ein guter SEO Artikel der, wie so oft, auch für uns Informationsarchitekten interessant ist: The 12-Step Landing Page Rehab Program.

Study the 12-step infographic to see where each step in the program should be applied to the conversion funnel.

Der Blog-Beitrag ist wirklich reich an Infos und Anregungen. Schaut unbedingt mal rein.