UX Is Not A Verb | UX Magazine
“Okay, so how long to UX it?”
This question is asked of me in just about every estimating meeting we have.
Sure it’s a joke, and I laugh. But I also cry just a little each time because, like any good joke, it has an element of truth to it.
One of the more annoying things about iOS is its notification system. Modal alerts are so arcane, intrusive and annoying, I am actually shocked that they are still the standard method of notification in iOS as of version 4…
Looks like there are some underground movements (requiring jailbreaking, of course) to change that. Here’s a little commentary by Sebastiaan de With (@cocoia) that I found interesting:
There’s some discussion on Apple-centric and tech news websites about a video that’s doing the rounds with a new approach to notifications for iOS. While the system in the video is really nothing new (there’s been at least one alternative notification system in the App-Store-for-jailbroken-phones “Cydia” since 2010) it is getting a lot of attention, presumably because iOS users are quite satisfied with almost all the interactions of the OS except those dang stacking modal dialogs that interrupt your game of Angry Birds every time you get a text message.
So while I am not a jailbreaker (and never will be), my hope is that Apple and its designers and developers on the iOS team will take notice of this and do something about it in a future version of iOS.
As a nice perk, the company at which I am currently employed provides complimentary Peet’s coffee. While this a very nice daily benefit, and is entirely welcome, there seems to have arisen a fundamental usability problem.
This morning I just made the observation that, as far as I can tell, every coffee station here at the office seems to have a pair of scissors — since the coffee packets are so difficult to open!
Somebody better tell Peet’s that coffee packets have users too! I’m sure if it was a financially viable option, and if they made a commercial-grade machine, companies might just switch to Keurig over it.
With the ingress in the market of products like Nintendo Wii, Apple iPhone and Microsoft Kinect, developers finally started realizing that there are several ways a person can control a computer besides keyboards, mice and touch screens. These days there are many alternatives, obviously based on hardware sensors, and the main difference is the dependency on software computation. In facts solutions based on computer-vision (like Microsoft Kinect) rely on state of the art software to analyze pictures captured by one or more cameras.
Creating designs that are intuitive and easy to use is something we should continually strive for if we want our sites and applications to be visited and used by as many people as possible. Ultimately, making those sites easy, as well as enjoyable, to use is a critical part of helping them be successful and it starts by abandoning outdated opinions on what users can, and cannot, understand. It starts by giving our users some credit and realizing that they are not ‘idiots.’
This phase can be very frustrating for any creative person. If you don’t recover within a few days, a creative block can destroy your self-confidence. The fear that you will never again be able to produce good work drives you to desperation. You try harder and harder and end up exhausting your mental faculties. This makes the situation worse. Therefore, it is very important to deal with this delicate phase of creative block with a lot of patience and care. Only you can get yourself out of it. Designers all over the world face this problem and don’t know what to do. There is actually no reason to panic. Let’s look at a few ways by which you can get rid of your creative block.
Prototyping is key to any successful design. Paper prototyping is usually the first step, but does it fit into a world where mobile devices are king? Yes, but not using the conventional method. Combine the physicality of the device and the power of paper prototyping and you have a solution that’s fit for the new era of computing.
Mockapp.com has created both Keynote and PowerPoint templates of iPhone UI elements, and has made them available as free downloads. Say you had a dream in the middle of the night about the most awesome iPhone app that, to your surprise, no one has thought of yet. Instead of waking up in a deep sweat and scribbling said ideas on paper, you could dream them up on Keynote.
After mapping out your concept on Keynote, you could then pitch it to others in a Keynote presentation. The Keynote and PowerPoint templates include alerts, the iPhone keyboard, arrow icons, buttons, as well as a host of other UI elements.
Debugging messages are for developers/engineers, not for humans (I can say that since I’m a developer). But I can’t believe that it’s 2009 and I still encounter things like the following example…
Every time I log into one of my online banking systems, I get a message like the following:
This is just intrusive and rude behavior (as Alan Cooper might say). First of all, the message first off tells me when the last unsuccessful attempt was made to access the account… HUH??? Then it tries to be helpful and tell me when the last successful attempt was made.
It just makes no sense at all to me why this message exists at all. Why would I ever care about these particular statistics, and even if I did care about them, is it really necessary to pop up a message box every time I log in???
I vote no.
Fine. If you want to have that information accessible, provide a log of all accesses tucked away in my account settings or somewhere I can get to if I think I have a security concern. Don’t show this message to me, please. What this message boils down to is a debug-ish message in the clothing of security (I could be wrong, but that’s what it smells like to me).
Interestingly, as a side note, I happen to know that this system is from a company that is now owned by Intuit (my former stomping ground), and in the two or more years since that acquisition, this message box has surprisingly still not disappeared.