July 24, 2013
Can wearable devices be helpful? Absolutely. But they can also be horrid. It all depends upon whether we use them to focus and augment our activities or to distract. It is up to us, and up to those who create these new wearable wonders to decide which it is to be. Article available at Technology Review.
March 6, 2013
Apple keeps doing things in the Mac OS that leave the user-experience (UX) community scratching its collective head, things like hiding the scroll bars and placing invisible controls inside the content region of windows on computers.
February 6, 2013
The iWatch will fill a gaping hole in the Apple ecosystem. It will facilitate and coordinate not only the activities of all the other computers and devices we use, but a wide array of devices to come.
November 19, 2012
Hidden features, reduced discoverability, cognitive overhead from dual environments, and reduced power from a single-window UI and low information density. Too bad.
November 5, 2012
Product quality has to be judged in the context of human tasks, and reviews should emphasize real use—not raw numbers.
May 7, 2012
Reasonably big monitors have finally become the most common class of desktop computer screen, dethroning the 1024x768 resolution that was long the target for web design.
January 30, 2012
'Chrome' is the user interface overhead that surrounds user data and web page content. Although chrome obesity can eat half of the available pixels, a reasonable amount enhances usability.
December 27, 2010
Inconsistent gestures, invisible commands, overlooked warnings, awkward dialog confirmations. But fun to play.
July 1, 2010
The "New" Google News referred to in this article came out in June, 2010. It was dreadful. They have since, as the altered title of this article suggests, backed off on many of its worse features.
May 1, 2010
Many have suggested that market forces will ultimately force Apple to abandon its hyper-control, and that may well happen. While it took Microsoft more than a decade to copy the Mac, it took Google a matter of months to copy the iPhone and begin to eat away at Apple's potential market share.
April 29, 2010
In bringing that original Mac to market, Steve Jobs hit on a formula that worked for him. It worked for the iPhone, and it worked for the iPad, too. Here are the necessary elements.
June 23, 2009
Usability suffers when users type in passwords and the only feedback they get is a row of bullets. Typically, masking passwords doesn't even increase security, but it does cost you business due to login failures.
October 23, 2006
A study of the benefits of big monitors fails on two accounts: it didn't test realistic tasks, and it didn't test realistic use. Productivity is a key argument for workplace usability, but you must measure it carefully.
October 25, 2004
Internet scams cannot be thwarted by placing the burden on users to defend themselves at all times. Beleaguered users need protection, and the technology must change to provide this.
June 7, 2004
The 6 remote controls required for a simple home theater illustrate the problems caused by complexity and inconsistency in user interfaces.
September 15, 2003
The IT industry is maturing. Hopefully, this maturity will result in a slower introduction of new features, which in turn will let companies focus their attention and resources on making existing technology work better for users.
August 19, 2002
Tiny text tyrannizes users by dramatically reducing task throughput. IE4 had a great UI that let users easily change font sizes; let's get this design back in the next generation of browsers.
February 3, 2002
PCs do not need to be commodities: a focus on quality can differentiate both products and services. Software has great potential for getting better, as shown by an under-appreciated feature in Windows XP that can save users $2,000 per year.
December 9, 2001
Designers of DVDs have failed to profit from the lessons of previous media. DVD menu structures are baroque, less usable, less pleasurable, less effective. It is time to take DVD design as seriously as we do web design. The field needs discipline, attention, to the User Experience, and standardization of control and display formats.
October 28, 2001
Software bugs and system crashes result in huge productivity losses and undermine users' ability to form good models of how computers work. Website designers can help improve user confidence by prioritizing quality and robustness over features and the latest technology.