Showing posts from 2009

Two talks by Roger Martin - Design vs. Business

In a global economy, a good design, with a high utility, usability with a high respect of user and customer experience and expectation, is becoming a critical competitive advantage. Trouble is, most business folks don't think like IA, UX, UE. IxD and design people and all to often also consulting by this folk / by us. User experience planning and user experience design powerful impact on business strategy will require a whole new way of thinking. Business can do a better job at innovating and advancing knowledge — if they include UX and design thinking.

When you have time and your interested on a more holistic view and great thinking you should listen and think about those two talks / videos:

the first one (Length: 1:18h) you can watch here or on youtube ...

and the second one (Length: 28:41min) you can watch on ...

Help – How, When and what ...

What is help? What do we recognize as helpful? What will user require and identify as help and as helpful – helpful in the best way of meaning – not advisable, educational in a negative way or character? In almost every case our / your help should appear like a good friend or guide not the “big teacher” – that’s the character and just one side of the dice – And there are several more.
You have to deliver ... Content-relevant helpWork-process and context-sensitive helpUser- and role-centric helpUnderstandable helpFriendly, respectful and polite help... You have to serve the accurate information to the particular people in a suitable way! Sounds familiar? I hope so – but all too often it’s not that way. To offer a content-sensitive help you have to ask what is the individual context and what will be the potential circumstances. And if you ask why you should make all these efforts of planning, researching, developing – It’s not because “we or you are so pl…

2nd to 4th day of the UXintensive - Washington DC

I liked the informative, enlightening and creative atmosphere we had. It was so great to learn from and with this creative people.
The last day started with this video …

… well and what should I say – the some fun you can see in this video was the same fun we had again and again throughout the days and especially at the last day. ( by the way @ Andrew your heart is or should be on the left side :-)
We pass the three further days of the UXintensive. If I’m honest I had expect more and different issues and topics throughout the second and third day. But what I’ve heard were a positive affirmation to me and my work that I done in the last few years. I hoped that I would become acquainted with a new and or so far unknown tool or method. However, these issues and topics enable me to be aware and to recollect of these tools and methods in research and IA.
The whole days forced us to focus on the vital aspects of UX, the goal of designing a user interface and to do this by the methods of user ce…

1st short Review of the UXintensive Event in Washington DC

I’ve been extremely excited to be attending to the Adaptive Path’s 2009 UX Intensive event in Washington DC, started today
We had a great first day with Henning Fischer. He pointed up that strategy planning is about saying „NO“– Sounds familiar? I hope so – but all too often we all have to go through the opposite. That’s pretty the same with statements “Our strategy is to be the best” – Being “the best” might be the target but it couldn’t never be a strategy. I’m firm believer that design processes will always fail to succeed unless they aren’t supported by a fundamental business strategy and a professional approach.

Henning mentioned again and again a quote by Eliel Saarinen (Architect) I’ve never heard before
“Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context - a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan.”
May you know it already - I am an architect and town planner and I never heard of Eliel Saarinen or this excellent …

Why personas matter and how to utilise ...

I do not know whether you know it, but a lot of creative people and colleagues doesn’t like or work with personas. And several people say personas are just a trend or whim in the design industry and or design history.
I would like to make two points very clear …
… Personas are well known and used since decades
… Personas are powerful tools - but it isn’t a must for each project
The intention of a persona is to help you and the whole design team makes decisions about user guidance, utility, usability, design and appearance – personas can help you at quite a lot of levels of design and phases of your project.
Clear communication within the project and development team and between the developers and clients is a crucial factor in the development process - and it’s often the key to the success of any project.

No matter how you call the organization of data and knowledge of users and customers, without it the project team works with a collection of ideas and thoughts out of context and makes con…

Why and how to use Personas - Comic by Brad Colbow

As all of you know I'm a firm believer in Personas. Personas are a powerful tool for helping the whole project team to better understand the needs of their customers and users. Brad Colbow drew an awesome comic. In this comic, drawn exclusively for Think Vitamin, you'll learn more about Personas and how they'll revolutionize the way you design and build web sites.

How to Understand Your Users with Personas
> read more

Beyond advertising

As I often said client, enterprises, media and entertainment companies and also agencies need to start moving beyond traditional advertising and information processes - they have to concentrate on becoming more consumer centric.
Significance of UCD, IA and UE (User centered utility and usability)
Beyond advertising and interesting study by IBM

Digital formats such as social media, online video, mobile communications, gaming
and advanced TV enable companies to simultaneously meet transactional and brand-building objectives. Four primary trends blur the boundaries between traditional brand advertising and direct marketing:
Consumer adoption of new distribution formats – Consumer behavior has changed forever: They are more digital-savvy, willing to provide personal information in return for perceived value, and increasingly ready for permissionbased advertising.A shift in advertiser spend – Spending is moving from traditional advertising toward measurable, interactive marketing. Combined wit…

The Art of Community - Now Available For Free

The Art of Community by Jono Bacon - Now Available For Free Download

While the book is ready to download right now, the book is available to buy in print, on Kindle, and other electronic book formats and Jono Bacon would like to encourage you to buy a printed copy of the book for a few reasons:
Firstly, buying a copy sends a tremendous message to O’Reilly that they should continue to publish books (a) about community and (b) under a Creative Commons license.Secondly, it will encourage O’Reilly to invest in a second edition of the book down the line, which will in turn mean that communities around the world will have a refreshed and updated edition that is available to them.Thirdly, aside from the voting-with-your-feet side of things, it is just a really nice book to own in print. It is really well made, looks stunning and feels great to curl up with in a coffee shop or on the couch.
You can download the The Art of Community here:…

Great presentation by Jonathan Jarvis

His talk is called:
Learn How Design Can Make Complex Concepts Clear and Provide New Roles for Designers

> former articles related to this topic and author

User behavior of mobile devices and apps

Lately I have carefully looked at my own and other observations (notes and tests), studies and researches of user behavior and goal, aims and purpose concerning their use of mobile devices, services and applications. Users often have very altered aims that they wish to achieve when using their mobile devices than on PCs. People use their mobile phones, devices and smartphones for very different things and needs when they are on their way.
And I would estimate that just 1% or less of users would use their mobile device to look at a web site if they have a larger monitor or more suitable interface available.

> more images

Evaluations on automotive, electronic and financial products and services sites on mobiles had shown as you would have thought no user wanted to use his mobile to research complex products, but they were keen to prove the value, price or rates of products when they are on the move. Often mobile users are just interested to look for / to search for a contact detail, whi…

MS Surface at the new Hard Rock Cafe

The new Hard Rock Cafe on the Las Vegas Strip draws people with the usual attractions, but is also debuting some new Microsoft technology.

Visions - upcoming and current capabilities

I do not know whether you know it, but ... I intent to show my clients best and or new ways to improve their business and to spread their communication channels - There is so much more than PC, Mac and Laptop to use interactive services and applications ...

Quite a few of these features and function you’ll see in the videos are already possible to a certain degree.
If you’re interested - take a step into the future and explore how technology can improve the way you manage work and life - I'd like to help, support and to improve your business - because There is so much more than PC, Mac and Laptop to use interactive services and applications ...






WIKITUDE Drive - AR Navigation:

Touch screen from behind ...
... allows the user to use buttons without to cover the areas they like to use - that's the reason why I prefer qwertz-keyboards currently - the second reason is it doesn't reduce the interface by the keyboard

and wh…

POI and pedestrian navigation apps for the iPhone 3GS

Bionic Eye visualizes Points of Interest located in the nearby environment - currently only for New York and Chicago. It also offers a kind of pedestrian navigation by an "Augmented Reality" feature - but it's only usable by the iPhone 3GS - as far as I know.

POI databases include
Fast FoodRestaurantsCoffeesLeisureAccommodationSubway stations


and here is another one app for London:

Capacitive Touchscreens from Atmel - maXTouch

Atmel released its optimized, new maXTouch - a powerful, high-performance touchscreen solutions. maxTouch supports an unlimited number of unique simultaneous touches with a high video-quality screen refresh rate. It supports the development of full zoom, rotate, handwriting and shape recognition functionalities.
Take a look as I often said there is so much more than surface - I like surface but we all have to keep our mind open.
Video: Maxtouch - Werbevideo von Atmel (8:15)

New Search Opportunities

Microsoft released a new visual search feature for Bing that displays search results in a grid-like image gallery format instead of the standard text links.

The new visual search feature is one of several Microsoft plans to tack on to its engine in the upcoming months. Check out the above video demonstration for a look at it in action or just hit the link below to try out Visual Search for yourself.


Fast Flip is a new reading and search opportunity that brings together the best elements of print and online articles. Fast Flip allows you browsing sequentially through recent news, headlines and popular topics. As the name suggests, flipping through content is very fast, so you can quickly look through a lot of news until you find something interesting.
Fast Flip also personalizes the experience for you, depending on your choices you get more content from sources and topics that you seem to like.
Nice new Feature!

Ray Kurzweil - Talk about Singularity University

I do not know whether you know it, but ...
Ray Kurzweil held a great speech at TED.

Please take the time for 8 minutes listen and reflect for yourself.
And if you have the time - read the interesting discussion - I greatly enjoy reading the comments.

And I found a more or less similar speech of the same topic by Ray Kurzweil

it's also just a few minutes long


I do not know whether you know it, but ...
This is the second part of a series about design, analysis and creative techniques.

Beforehand I would like to say a few words about Brainstorming. Brainstorming is long-established way to generate ideas and classic technique. On the one hand it's well-known on the other hand it's all too often misinterpreted.
Brainstorming, however valuable it is, will fail and will not succeed before it is put to action correctly and in a approved manner.

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Brainstorming is a great technique for generating creative ideas. The aim is to come up with as many ideas as you can. Quantity is top, not quality is what you are should hunting for. Limiting or restraining the ideas concerning the number or content will cause people to start rating or holding back thoughts and opinions. When participants start to judge their ideas, they are using their inner critic and starting to put, what they think are, …

Card Sorting

I do not know whether you know it, but ...
This is the first part of a series about design techniques and analysis techniques.

The following article belongs to an upcoming series – A series on developing approaches to problem solutions with systematic use of creative techniques. I want to comply with this article and series to wishes and requests of friends and colleagues.

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Card sorting is a categorization technique where users sort cards describing and giving their picture, their understanding and their mental picture of concepts, workflows and information and knowledge.

There are a number of benefits using card sorting - Card sorting is …
Quick and easy – It allows a lot of users to be involvedSimple – It’s a familiar and common behaviorInexpensive – If we are honest and make a good job in general, the only added cost are the preparation effortsDependable method Variable technique – to…

Significance of UCD, IA and UE (User centered utility and usability)

I do not know whether you know it, but initial integration of UCD and Usability Engineering, Design and Planning into the development process of applications from web applications to software to GUIs of hardware and other devices will affect the business, project and efforts in many ways.
UCD is an approach developing interactive system that focuses particularly on developing systems with a high utility and excellent usability.
Each product, each business possesses explicit goals that we can and should achieve.
There are a lot of benefits …
… UCD and Usability can improve:
Development efforts Product and market qualities and revenue Quality of work and increased productivityOptimized return of investSatisfaction and loyalty of users, consumers and customersConversions of systems, processes and tasksEmployee productivity and efficiency (software, intranet and web apps)…
… UCD and Usability can decrease:
Frustration, disappointment and irritationsMaintenance costs of processes, applications an…

“criteria ” for UCD, UXD and UXP

There has been various debates in the past few months and years about setting up a precise and exact “criteria ” for UCD, UXD and UXP all around the user experience. Well – here is a quite good approximation, interesting article by Fred Beecher: Nine Essential Characteristics of Good UX Designers

Explain things in plain words and sketches

I really love these kinds of explanations. The real big benefit of giving form to a complex situations is to quickly supply the essence of the situation to those unfamiliar and uninitiated.

FIRST a nice little video about social media. I think it’s good for clients/customers also because this video comes in an unbranded "presentation style" ...

If you like to know more about these video or if you're looking for a custom video - visit:

SECOND a short and easy to understand story of the credit crisis:

If you like to get more information about this video and about the developers - please visit: BTW - you can watch the 1st and 2nd part in one video :-)

Words vs. Communication

I do not know whether you know it, but ...
everyone who knows me will know this sentence: "Words are unfit to communicate!"
Because words are just signs. They are just vehicles / carts to transport identities, values and meanings. But these characteristics aren't part of the word itself - because everyone of us has different experience and put this words into or out of different context, We have no fixed standards and interpretations to understand the word - Every person is different and has its very own typical unique interpretation and understanding.
There are always the sender and recipient. The sender has to code is thoughts, ideas and message into word and than the recipient will have to decode these words. And in best case both have the same "understanding" without any lack.
I always use the example "apple". If I say: "I bought an apple this morning!
What kind of apple was yours?
A green one? ... a red one? ... sweet? ... sour? ... Granny Smith…

My new mobile device? The HTC Hero?

HTC announces another Android handset, the HTC Hero

If you looking for a new smartphone, but felt that the HTC Dream and Magic didn't have the features you desired, the new Hero announced by HTC might just be the one for you.
What I like about the new HTC Hero ...
... is , according to HTC, "the first Android phone to ship with support for Adobe® Flash® Platform technology". What this means is that you can finally view most flash based content, such as streaming media, without the need for third-party applications.
... is , according to David Wadhwani, vice president and general manager, Platform Business Unit at Adobe, "the new HTC Hero represents a key milestone for Android and the Flash Platform. With close to 80 percent of all videos online delivered with Adobe Flash technology, consumers want to access rich Web content on-the-go."
... possesses the "Sense" GUI - Multitouch and two finger features
... possesses a Teflon coating and oleophobic surface


Book - Search User Interfaces

To make this book available to as many readers as possible, the author, with permission of Cambridge University Press, has placed the full text online free of charge. - - Search User Interfaces - -

"Search is an integral part of peoples' online lives; people turn to search engines for help with a wide range of needs and desires, from satisfying idle curiousity to finding life-saving health remedies, from learning about medieval art history to finding video game solutions and pop music lyrics. Web search engines are now the second most frequently used online computer application, after email. Not long ago, most software applications did not contain a search module. Today, search is fully integrated into operating systems and is viewed as an essential part of most information systems."

Or buy the book:

Understanding for and of social interacting, networking and computing

We all have our own vision and understanding of collaborative working in information “worlds”.
A vision that involves collaboration …
… between various persons and departments,
… around different aims, tasks and interests,
… linking different forms of content, functions and context,
… around various forms of information from documents to projects,
but in the perspective of a framework designed / planned to have a high regard for business and IT requirements. Particularly in the case of enterprise worlds it’s a powerful and often unexplored topic.

Aren’t there again and again discussions via e-mail or chats during a rest with valuable ideas and thoughts? I won’t take them away – I won’t record them – but wouldn’t it be great to share the ideas and the knowledge? Let us benefit from the bottom up creativity and potentials. We should encourage and push invention, creativity and development by the sharing of knowledge and information resources. We should all have a sense for the critical pock…