Sample usability report. This is a brief expert product review of the online catalog about a local library system. It points out strengths and weaknesses of the application and has recommendations for improvement. (Reports for client engagements have more detail as
well as rankings for the recommendations.) Download
the sample usability report (PDF).
Description of Group Design Workshops. Describes a technique that we use in the Discovery Phase to uncover assumptions held by members of a design
team. Discussing use cases and sketching out solutions provides dedicated time for thinking hard
about design. It's enjoyable and gives a great starting point for
design projects. Read about it online and download
the case study about Group design workshops (PDF).
Usability study of sports highlight analysis for recorded events. A report on another usability study done at MERL, where we observed sports fans working with a sports highlight playback system. It identifies highlights in a recorded sporting event based on audio analysis. Participants liked it, even when they found problems. Download
the research report (PDF).
color in UI design. I
had a wonderful experience a few years ago, working with Ati Gropius
Johansen. She teaches a course called Dynamics
of Color, which I took. I wound up teaching a workshop with her and
article on using color in UI design; it's based on Josef
Albers' ideas about color. Ati is the daughter of Walter Gropius, founder
of the Bauhaus School, and was a student of Albers. She's a great teacher.
the user's model of a task. Understanding
the user's conceptual model is the basis of our design process: what
concepts and tasks does the user have in mind already? How will that
affect how she uses your product?
This article is a case study of user research from consulting
the user model document (PDF).
of Web sites. A workshop that I ran identified four types
of Web sites. Each has its own uses and design requirements. The workshop
is summarized in a report on the different types of Web sites and their
requirements. Download the workshop summary (PDF).
a home page. Your
home page may be the most important part of your Web site. It's the first
thing that many visitors see, and it has to get your message across
quickly. People are always looking for the next thing to click on,
and won't spend time interpreting
long text or unclear marketing messages. Read
tips on creating a home page.