Usability: Turning Technologies into Tools


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Citado por Preece, Jenny et al. Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley, ; p. Y Bailey, John H. London: Taylor Graham, Journal of Documentation. The Futurist. Across the board. En: Pfleger, S. Berlin: Springer, ; pp. Massachusetts: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley, International Journal of Man-Machine Studies. IEEE Computer. New York: Academic Press, ZDNet Developer. MIT Technology Review.

Madrid: Nerea, En: Guindon, Raymonde ed. Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley, New York: McGraw-Hill, Citado por Landauer, Thomas K. Massachusetts: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, ; p. REW, Russ K. Oxford: Oxford University Press; ; pp. En: Preece, J. Hemel Hempstead: Prentice-Hall; , pp. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 1. System design. User interfaces Computer systems I. Adler, Paul S. Winograd, Tern'. S88U73 The book you are holding, for example, is the product of a personal computer used to type the text, a telecommunications network used to coordinate the revisions, photocopiers and printers used to produce copies, and manufacturing equipment used to fabricate the paper and apply the binding, and much more.

Gone are the mechanical typewriters and the manual production processes that would have been used not so long ago. This technological mutation has led to great improvements in productivity and quality in many types of work; but if our tools have become more powerful and flexible, it is because the technologies embedded in them have grown more complex, and as a result the challenge of designing effective tools has become more difficult. For users to exploit the full range of the new tools' potential function—indeed, to use them successfully at all—"usability" must be a high priority in the process of designing these tools.

This book proposes new approaches to the "design for usability" challenge. The chapters of this book began as contributions commissioned for a seminar on "Technology and the Future of Work" conducted at Stanford University in March The seminar brought together senior managers and union leaders from U. The present volume focuses on the technology design issues and brings to a wider audience revised and edited versions of the contributions focused on design for usability.

The seminar was conducted under the auspices of the Stanford Integrated Manufacturing Association. Funding was provided by several Association sponsors: Apple Computer, Inc. Susan Sweeney's help with the logistics and Cecilia Wanjiku's secretarial support were indispensable. Greg Tong provided invaluable editorial help in refining successive drafts of the chapters.

Thanks too to Don Jackson and Herb Addison at Oxford, for their consistent encouragement and support. Above all, we must thank the contributing authors. Their patience and responsiveness made the editors' role a pleasure. Tarzana, Calif. Stanford, Calif. November, P. Contents Contributors, ix 1.

The Usability Challenge, 3 Paul S. Adlcr and Terry Winograd 2.

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Rheinfrank, William R. Hartman, and Arnold Wasserman 3. Morse, and Dcbra Cash 4. Martin Corbett 7. He began his education in Australia and moved to France in , where he received his doctorate in Economics and Management while working as a research economist for the French government.

JMIR Publications

Before joining U. Brown received his bachelor's degree in math and physics from Brown University, his master's of mathematics from the University of Michigan, and his Ph. She has a longstanding interest in modern cultural and intellectual history and is a regular contributor to M. Previously, she worked in the Human Factors Department at Digital Equipment Corporation, where she was involved in the application of human factors to the design of computer systems. Martin Corbett has a background in organizational psychology and studied at the Universities of Leeds, Lancaster, and Bath before joining the "Human Centered Technology" research team at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology.

He then became a research fellow with the Medical Research Council at the University of Sheffield and is currently lecturer in organizational behavior at the University of Warwick Business School. He has a Ph. Since the mids, he has been active in the field of skill-based participatory design through a variety of projects including the DEMOS project, the UTOPIA project with newspaper workers, a repair shop, a warehouse, and a steel mill.

Bjerknes and M. Kyng, M. Greenbaum and M. Kyng eds. Design at Work Hillsdale, N. Bill Hartman holds an M. Most of his experience is in the areas of product engineering and product and technology design and development. Charles D. Kukla is a system designer responsible for defining and applying user interface technologies in manufacturing for Digital's Computer Integrated Manufacturing and Product Development Group.

He has spent over 15 years in various roles as an operator, project manager, and designer in manufacturing organizations. He holds a B. Robert S. Morse is a principal of Da Vinci Group, a human factors consulting firm. He worked previously as a senior human factors engineer at Digital Equipment Corporation, where he was involved in human factors research and design of computer systems.


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John Rheinfrank holds a Ph. He is an executive vice president at Fitch RichardsonSmith and an affiliate research scientist with the Institute for Research on Learning. Harold Salzman received his Ph. He was a research associate at the Center for Technology and Policy and an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at Boston University. Arnold Wasserman holds an M. Terry Winograd is professor of computer science at Stanford University.

He has published widely on natural language understanding by computers. He is a board member and consultant to Action Technologies, a firm developing workgroup productivity software, and has served as the national president of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, of which he was a founding member. To the extent that businesses do plan for these implications, their approach is often governed by two related myths—the idiot-proofing myth and the deskilling myth.

In each, technology plays a heroic role, rescuing efficiency from a workforce presumed to be unreliable. In the idiot-proofing myth, the hero is a machine so perfect that it is immune from the limitations of its users. System design based on this perspective is more concerned with how to keep operators from creating errors than with enabling operators to deal with the inevitable contingencies of the work process. The deskilling myth extends the idiot-proofing myth, offering a system so idiot-proof that the business can presumably get along not only with proportionately fewer workers, but also with workers who are on average less skilled and less expensive.

Contradicting these myths, an emerging body of research suggests that in the vast majority of cases, new technologies will be more effective when designed to augment rather than replace the skills of users. The key challenge in designing new technologies is how best to take advantage of users' skills in creating the most effective and productive working environment.

We call this the usability challenge. To meet the usability challenge, industry needs to develop more appropriate usability criteria and to implement more effective processes to assure usability. This book provides a background of concepts and experiences that can offer insight into defining these criteria and processes. This introductory chapter situates the usability challenge in its organizational context, develops some core concepts of usability, and outlines the subsequent chapters' contributions.

Our first task is to articulate more clearly what we mean by usability.

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The premise of this volume is that we need a concept of usability that goes beyond the traditional model because this model suffers from at least four interrelated limitations. While physiological issues will always be relevant, the development of new technologies has forced us to focus on the cognitive and social aspects of users when designing equipment. As work has become less physical and more mental, the key criteria of effective worker performance have shifted from the speed or range of motion of their limbs to the quality and flexibility of their thinking.

Unfortunately, the cognitive theories used in most human factors work focus on the lower levels of cognitive functioning— such as character recognition and mnemonic abbreviations—and are ill suited to understanding the higher cognitive functions of complex reasoning processes and social interaction. Second, the perspective usually adopted in human factors practice is one in which the human is viewed as a system component with a particular repertoire of actions and potential for breakdown.

This view conceals the active role that people take in interpreting situations, in learning and adapting in their work, and generally in performing higher-level functions of monitoring and changing the system. Design techniques suited to maximizing the throughput of a speed-limited processor are simply irrelevant to the task of augmenting the capacities of the worker to act as an observer and designer of actions.

While the first two limitations constrain our understanding of the usability objective, the third and fourth limitations of traditional human factors pertain to processes for ensuring usability. The traditional human factors approach takes as given the basic form of the technology and asks how the details of a device can be modified to fit better the limits of human function. As a result, the typical human factors effort is given low priority among a design team's objectives.

Usability issues are often left to the latest possible date, by which time modifications are more expensive to make. This traditional industrial practice has shaped the human factors field: human factors engineers are more at ease in responding to a proposed design than in articulating usability criteria for, and contributing directly to, the initial design concepts. Finally, the human factors process has typically accorded the central role to engineering experts. Users appear in such a usability process only as parameters of human performance identified in laboratory studies and summarized in handbook tables.

The traditional approach allows that, in extreme cases, the technical novelty of the system being designed might take the engineer beyond the envelope of prior research. In such cases, some user testing might be required to ensure usability. These expert-centered approaches may have made sense when the key usability issues were primarily physiological and lower-order cognitive ones. But when the effectiveness of a system depends on how well it supports higherorder cognitive activities and social interaction, there is often no substitute for direct user participation in the design process.

The traditional criteria and processes may have sufficed at lower levels of automation, when there were often only a few ways to implement a given capability. With computer-based systems, however, usability is often the primary consideration in whether the design will be effective in use. For companies whose business is designing and selling new equipment, usability often determines market success or failure; for departments designing equipment for in-house use, efficiency and quality of use can have important competitive repercussions. By relegating usability to its traditional place, the conceptual design effort fails to come to grips with key issues that will govern the ultimate success of the equipment being designed.

It is thus hardly surprising that seventy-five percent of companies that implement advanced manufacturing technologies do not achieve the performance they anticipated because of unforeseen problems with the interaction of human and machine Corbett, Chapter 6 of this volume, citing Majchzrak, The pace of technological change today makes usability assurance both more important and more difficult. The expanding functionality of new generations of systems—especially computer-based systems—widens the gap between the performance of well-designed systems and that of poorly designed systems.

At the same time, the increasing complexity of the new systems reveals the limits of our current understanding of what constitutes usability and how to design for it. Designers have long been encouraged to assume that the most effective designs 6 USABILITY will be those that minimize reliance on users' skills and users' involvement in the production process. This belief is encouraged first by its consistency with the widespread deskilling myth, and second by the sociopolitical pressures that shape design.

First, viewed as an engineering and economic problem, this idiot-proofing approach reflects a commitment to the deskilling myth. It heels to the belief that automation will typically reduce not only the number of employees per unit of output, but also the average level of skill required of the users, and thus reduce the average per-hour labor cost. Although such a double gain can be obtained in a small minority of cases, a growing body of research shows that, in the majority of cases, the effective use of new technologies requires a workforce that is more skilled, not less Adler, The most profitable way to use most new technologies appears to be two-pronged: invest in user training and broaden job responsibilities.

The resulting improvements in productivity and quality greatly outweigh the added per-hour labor cost. Second, viewed as an organizational problem, the design of work and equipment is strongly influenced by the sociopolitical realities of industrial life. In practice, involving users in the design process is difficult: It takes time, and users' input is often contradictory.

Moreover, as argued by an important stream of research following from Braverman's seminal book , asymmetric distribution of economic rewards, status, and power between managers and employees creates great tension in all aspects of job and equipment design. For research on designing for usability to benefit industrial practice, we must be sensitive to the organizational context in which the research results might be implemented. In order to better understand the forces shaping this context, let us describe a prototypical situation—one that is depressingly common—in which employees resist and even sabotage the implementation of new technology, and managers insist that work design and equipment design minimize user skill requirements and job responsibilities.

In this hypothetical situation, managers see employees as recalcitrant and unreliable. Whatever the accuracy of this perception, it leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy. Managers adopt policies and behaviors that give employees every reason to act in recalcitrant and unreliable ways, thus confirming managers' beliefs Walton, Managers' distrust of employees is mirrored in employees' distrust of managers. Employees contribute to tensions when they fear that their work will be deliberately regimented by new technologies and that they may be laid off as a result of investments in automation.

Managers fear that any guarantees to protect workers against layoffs will weaken the effectiveness of the sanctions they use to buttress their managerial authority. Without such protection, employees become very reluctant to accept flexibility in job assignments. The union, on the defensive, therefore clings to existing job definitions and skills and opposes reorganization. Usability in this context is reduced to a simplistic concept of "user friendliness" as measured by the time it takes for operators to learn the rote routines that they are expected to use.

As a result, new technologies can realize only a fraction of their potential benefits. By contrast, in organizations that have established a different set of assumptions to guide management-employee relations, work design and equipment design take on a quite different logic and the business payoff can be enormous. By building a context of mutual commitment, employees and managers can use technology to enhance user capabilities rather than to deskill—to "informate" rather than to "automate" tasks Zuboff, The papers brought together in this volume revolve around a common, powerful thesis: The key criterion of a system's usability is the extent to which it supports the potential for people who work with it to understand it, to learn, and to make changes.

Design for usability must include design for coping with novelty, design for improvisation, and design for adaptation. Usability thus construed assumes a communications dimension. The technology itself, even when it is not intended as a communications product, serves as a communication medium between user and user and between designer and user. A realistic characterization of work—even routine work— is that it is essentially entwined with communicative actions generated to deal with the novel situations that continually arise and with the need to interpret the intentions embodied in the machines.

The user needs to learn the machine's potential and to deal effectively with the breakdowns and contingencies that inevitably occur.

Make a usability checklist

Several of the chapters in this volume take a communications perspective explicitly, speaking of "design languages," "conversations," and "user-orienting design. As the case studies demonstrate, this kind of communication is embedded in every kind of artifact. Through their structure and appearance, designed objects express more or less effectively what they are, how they are used, and how they are integrated with the embedding context.

Users read the artifact in much the same sense as they read a road sign or a book. They interpret symbols relying on cues from both the tool and the context, to understand the state of the sys- 8 USABILITY tern, the potential for acting on it, and the results of those actions. The user thus bridges "gulfs" of interpretation and action between the device and the field of perceptions and actions Norman, When our perspective shifts from viewing users as mechanistic "human components" to viewing them as dialogue partners, the key design criteria shift to those of communicativeness.

We begin to consider how the design contributes to understanding, learning, and helping users go beyond narrow definitions of what needs to be done. Carrying this further, we start to look beyond the particular system being designed to the larger technical world in which it has emerged, with its background of design languages that are already prevalent. New design evolves not in isolation but by adopting and extending these already understood languages.


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  7. The innovative is understood in terms of the familiar. This applies to all areas of industrial design, and is nowhere more evident than in the world of computer interfaces, where a primary concern for any new application program is the way that its interpretation by users will fit de facto standards, such as Lotus and the desktop metaphor of Apple's Macintosh computers. Another aspect of the communications perspective on designing for usability is the dialogue among users.

    An important characteristic of newer computer-based systems is the way they tend to link work across traditional physical and organizational boundaries. Systems often link planning, production, finance, logistics, and other business processes. Many key work processes in industry today especially those dealing with nonroutine issues hinge on communication among previously discrete activities.

    In designing the work of an individual in a such a setting, we cannot take the traditional Tayloristic approach and minimize interdependence. When interdependence is a central feature of organizational effectiveness, we must design from the outset for collaborative rather than individual work. For new technologies to be effective in such organizations, they must support users' efforts to coordinate their work with others and support the work group's efforts to learn and adapt. Current practice in system design tends to emphasize formalized information flows and preplanned communication patterns.

    The significance of informal and adaptable communication patterns is often neglected by computer professionals. In part, this is due to the difficulty of making such processes visible and predicting their evolution. Traditional design practice also reflects the prevalence of the older models of technology and organization, models we have argued are increasingly obsolete. The chapters in this volume argue for a new emphasis on the collective dimension of work.

    To treat usability as a dialogue among many parties, one must know how and when the dialogue begins, and how it is carried out through the course of the design process. One point on which there is broad agreement is that usability assurance efforts will be most effective when they begin early in the design process, rather than take the form of a supplement at the tail end. In many cases, system usability is largely determined by early decisions because they reflect basic assumptions that then pervade the details of design.

    A naive observer might hypothesize that the flexibility of software would make early intervention less important in the design of computer-based systems than for purely mechanical technologies. However, even though the local details of software designs are often very plastic, usability depends less on such local details than on the fundamental structure of the design, and this structure is very difficult to modify once a design project is underway.

    Not all design projects require extensive usability input in the early phases. When the system is a mere extension of an already proven design, usability considerations in the early phases of design can take the form of explicit or implicit standards or guidelines, and usability can be assured by downstream tests and minor modification.

    But when the new design is more novel, there is less past practice to act as guide, and the active and explicit consideration of usability in the earliest phases becomes essential. If usability is to be integrated into the early phases of design, it will no longer suffice for usability experts to evaluate designs submitted to them. Design for usability must play an active role in determining design objectives and early conceptual designs. Usability experts must assume new roles and use new skills. As an analogy, consider how an architect works with a client in developing a plan for a house or building.

    The work involves bridging between what can be built, given the engineering and economic constraints, and what would be useful, given the client's needs. The architect stands with one foot in the technical engineering domain and one in the human social domain. Equipment design needs to involve a similar new "mediator": the automation architect who can bridge engineering and social demands in the design of computer-based technological systems Hooper, The formal languages of system analysis are foreign and opaque to users.

    In their place, designers must develop a variety of other techniques, such as mockups, profession-oriented languages, partial prototypes, and scenarios that provide an extended "language" for communicating with people who are familiar with the work context and who can best anticipate how the new system might change it. This multimodal dialogue is the context in which designers and their clients together can go beyond the traditional usability approaches.


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    It adds to a growing literature that approaches questions of design and usability from points of view such as cognitive psychology Norman, ; Norman and Draper, and the sociology of work and technology Adler, , Suchman, ; Zuboff, The chapters also reflect, in varying degrees, the increasingly sophisticated work in practice-oriented subdisciplines such as work-oriented systems design Ehn, ;GreenbaumandKyng, ;Winograd and Flores, , computer-supported cooperative work Greif, , and human-computer interaction Laurel, ; Helander, ; Shneiderman, The present volume is unusual in that it spans these diverse perspectives.

    Our objective is to highlight the ways they enrich each other. Most of the papers collected here were commissioned as background briefing for a seminar titled "Technology and the Future of Work" conducted at Stanford University on March , Two hundred leaders from industry and fifty researchers, including the paper authors, attended the seminar.

    Their enthusiastic response encouraged us to believe that the set of issues was well defined and that the papers deserved wider circulation. A companion volume Adler, presents papers on the impact of new technologies on work organization, training, employee relations, and business strategy; the present volume focuses on the design of new technologies. Our approach has been multidisciplinary, since researchers from a variety of fields—both those concerned with tool design and those addressing the broader context within which new tools are designed, introduced, and used— have much to contribute to our understanding of usability.

    The following chapters will therefore be of interest to researchers in computer science, mechanical engineering, design studies, and human factors, as well as in sociology, organizational behavior and human resource management, industrial relations, education, and business strategy.

    This volume also addresses the industrial practitioner community. A distinguishing feature of the assembled authors is their relatively "real-world" — as opposed to purely academic—orientation. We have organized the chapters into three sections. The first section focuses on case studies that illustrate the broad dimensions of usability and the major themes of the book.

    The core of this broader concept of usability is to provide users of copiers with a "glass-box" view of the system, one that enables them to manage the various contingencies that inevitably arise in photocopying. Their design process exemplifies the use of artifacts such as models and mockups in communicating new design possibilities to people outside the design team, in this case, Xerox management as well as potential customers.

    Usability: Turning Technologies Into Tools by Paul S. Adler

    The authors argue that as operational environments become more dynamic, traditional design approaches are increasingly inadequate because they are blind to how workers contribute to making operations smooth and safe. The approach proposed by the authors is distinctive in the importance it accords to integrating the modeling of the production process and the operational environment with a rigorous analysis of workers' conversational structures and the role they play in dealing with the nonroutine aspects of production.

    This approach is demonstrated in action by a case study of the design of a chemical processing plant. The second section presents three chapters that draw on multiple case studies to draw some general conclusions about the relationship between technology design and the nature of work and skills.

    Hal Salzman Boston University , in his chapter on "Skill-based design: productivity, learning and organizational effectiveness," presents one of the first large-scale empirical studies of the penetration of what he calls "skillbased design" principles in equipment manufacturing.

    He argues that the design process that best capitalizes on automation's potential will embody a commitment to using the full range of worker skills to improve the overall production process. Salzman believes that the traditional approach, in which workers are considered only as unreliable system components, is in conflict with strategies that require greater worker involvement to improve quality and productivity. He shows how the traditional approach is articulated in design textbooks, and then, through a survey of design policies and practices in U. Ehn discusses the key role played by unions in supporting a "work-oriented" design philosophy and argues that, without an institutionalized voice, workers' participation in design quickly loses significance and momentum.

    To conceptualize the role of the designer in the new process, he builds on Wittgenstein's ideas on language games. He presents design as a process in which designers and users must develop a new, shared language game. The chapter by Martin Corbett Warwick Business School , "Work at the interface: advanced manufacturing technology and job design," summarizes a series of University of Manchester and ESPRIT projects designed to identify general criteria of usability and to specify a collaborative design process capable of assuring that usability in advanced manufacturing systems.

    His paper focuses on five key problem areas: the allocation of functions between worker and machine, the design of the overall system architecture, the control characteristics of the interface, the informational characteristics of the interface, and the allocation of operating responsibilities. In "Enacting design for the workplace" they address several of the topics we have introduced in these opening pages.

    They reflect on the folly of idiot-proofing, the insights offered by thinking of using new technology as like reading a book, the analogy between product design and building architecture, and most of all, the importance of focusing on learning in product design. Like several of the earlier chapters, they argue that new tools should be designed to support learning through use; and they go on to argue that learning to use a new tool is a process of becoming a participant in a community of users.

    Good design should support this community-centered process. Moreover, since designs "enact" a certain view of the world, organizations need to understand that designers contribute to—or detract from—the organization's innovative capability. Usability must be elevated to the same priority as functionality. The old assumptions allowed designers to circumscribe their task very narrowly, and within the boundaries of these assumptions they could reasonably hope to reach their objectives. Once we abandon these assumptions, the design task becomes much less well defined, and the design objective may seem frustratingly remote since the designer must simultaneously design the equipment and the work organization in which the equipment will serve.

    To do so we must revolutionize established design criteria and procedures. Indeed, the term usability assurance is inadequate to capture the nature of the task at hand. Assurance is too reassuring a term because it implies that we understand more than we really do about usability. We believe that a more open-ended usability challenge confronts industry and researchers alike, and that this challenge requires a fundamental shift in our thinking and practice. This shift puts a premium on designing for learning—learning at three levels. First, we need to design equipment that supports the kind of learning in which users come to understand how and why the system works as it does.

    Second, the equipment needs to be designed to support the kind of learning in which users discover how to adapt and extend the technology to satisfy the demands and contingencies of their work better. And finally, we need to create a design process that allows us to learn how better to tackle these daunting usability challenges. In essence, the "usability challenge" is therefore one of contributing to the design of the "learning organization" —an organization that takes change as the primary constant, and is explicitly concerned with inventing and supporting equipment and processes by which it adapts to a continually changing world.

    Braverman, H. New York: Monthly Review Press. Ehn, P. Work-Oriented Design of Computer Artifacts. Falkoping, Sweden: Arbetslivscentrum and Hillsdale, N. Greenbaum, Joan, and Morten Kyng eds. Greif, I. San Mateo, Calif. Helander, Martin ed. Handbook of Human-Computer Interaction. North-Holland: Elsevier Science Publishers. Hooper, K. Architectural design: An analogy, in D. Norman and S. Draper eds. Hillsdale, N. Laurel, Brenda ed.

    Majchzrak, A. The Human Side of Factory Automation. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Norman, D. The Psychology of Everyday Things. Reprinted as The Design of Everyday Things paperback. Cognitive engineering, in D. Shneidcrman, B. Reading, Mass. Suchman, L. New York: Cambridge University Press. Walton, R. Boston: Harvard Business School Press. Winograd, T. Flores Norwood, N. ZubofiF, S. Well-designed artifacts tell people what functions they perform and how they perform them—this is why they have been designed, not merely produced or created.

    Jakob Nielsen answers the question of how users' perception of artificial intelligence products and their user experience may be impacted by the way these services are promoted by vendors. Skip to Main Content. September 22, Article: 8 minutes to read With an abundance of digital workplace tools available today, organizations must carefully approach tool curation to preserve employee productivity and their workplace experience. Tools for Unmoderated Usability Testing September 22, Article: 4 minutes to read Many platforms for unmoderated usability testing have similar features; to choose the best tool for your needs, focus on the type of data that you need to collect for your goals.

    Discount Usability 30 Years September 20, 3 minute video For 30 years, the recommendations have remained the same for improving usability in a UX design project on a tight budget: simplified user testing with 5 users, early test of paper prototypes, and heuristic evaluation. Good Customer Experience Demands Organizational Fluidity September 15, Article: 7 minutes to read Old processes and technologies can keep established organizations from creating exceptional user experiences and achieving future growth. Where Should UX Report? Incentives for Participants in UX Research September 13, 3 minute video Tips for deciding between monetary and non-monetary incentives for people recruited as test users in usability studies and other UX research.

    The 3 Types of User Interviews: Structured, Semi-Structured, and Unstructured September 13, 3 minute video We explain the difference between the 3 main types of user interviews, and at what stages of a UX design process it makes the most sense to use each. Usability Introduction to Usability January 3, Article: 4 minutes to read What is usability? Empathy Mapping: The First Step in Design Thinking January 14, Article: 6 minutes to read Visualizing user attitudes and behaviors in an empathy map helps UX teams align on a deep understanding of end users.

    When and How to Create Customer Journey Maps July 31, Article: 6 minutes to read Journey maps combine two powerful instruments—storytelling and visualization—in order to help teams understand and address customer needs. Design Thinking July 31, Article: 6 minutes to read What is design thinking and why should you care? UX Mapping Methods Compared: A Cheat Sheet November 5, Article: 5 minutes to read Empathy maps, customer journey maps, experience maps, and service blueprints depict different processes and have different goals, yet they all build common ground within an organization.

    F-Shaped Pattern of Reading on the Web: Misunderstood, But Still Relevant Even on Mobile November 12, Article: 8 minutes to read Eyetracking research shows that people scan webpages and phone screens in various patterns, one of them being the shape of the letter F. Service Blueprints: Definition August 27, Article: 5 minutes to read Service blueprints visualize organizational processes in order to optimize how a business delivers a user experience. Comparison Tables for Products, Services, and Features March 5, Article: 13 minutes to read Use this versatile GUI tool to support users when they need to make a decision that involves considering multiple attributes of a small number of items.

    How to Conduct a Heuristic Evaluation November 1, Article: 12 minutes to read Heuristic evaluation involves having a small set of evaluators examine the interface and judge its compliance with recognized usability principles the "heuristics". Customer Journey Mapping May 10, 2 minute video The 5 components of a journey map and the benefits of using this qualitative method as part of a UX design process to discover, document, and share the bigger picture of what users want.

    Usability Heuristic 6: Recognition vs. Recall in User Interfaces May 3, 3 minute video 6 of the top 10 UX design heuristics is to design user interfaces to facilitate memory recognition which is easier than recall because there are more cues available to facilitate the retrieval of information from memory. Too Much UX Success April 26, 3 minute video What to do when a UX team becomes too popular and too many projects want UX help with their designs, overwhelming the available capacity to do good work.

    Top 5 Mistakes in Running UX Workshops April 19, 4 minute video Workshops are a useful tool in the user-experience design process, but mistakes are common when the workshop facilitator didn't prepare right, causing the team to waste time. Why Users Feel Trapped in Their Devices: The Vortex April 5, 3 minute video Many users report anxiety and lack of control over the amount of time they spend online.

    April 5, 2 minute video Jakob Nielsen answers the question of how users' perception of artificial intelligence products and their user experience may be impacted by the way these services are promoted by vendors.

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