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All Blog Posts (378)

The Washing Machine That Ate My Sari: Mistakes in Cross-Cultural Design

We are excited to be featured on the cover of the January/February, 2009 issue of Interactions magazine:

The Washing Machine That Ate My Sari - Mistakes in Cross-Cultural Design

by Apala Chavan, Douglas Gorney, Beena Prabhu, Sarit Arora

Designers face unique challenges when adapting designs for emerging markets. Considering cultural differences is essential for avoiding mistakes.…


Added by Apala Lahiri Chavan on January 19, 2009 at 5:30pm — No Comments

Focal Points of Design

Based on the book HFI-Certified Usability Analyst Program: Glossary of Usability Terms and my research I have created this document to provide a clear understanding on the 4 focal points of design, i.e. Navigation, Content, Presentation and Interaction design.

I am still in process of updating it and shall post the updated version in near future.

Meanwhile, I invite your comments/feedback.…


Added by Anshul Gupta on January 13, 2009 at 9:00am — No Comments

The Future of Publishing (and content)

Just finished reading an interesting article on the effects of the internet/web on academic publishing in SEED.

The focus is on the academic publishing paradigm and how that's changing given recent changes in academicians' ability to openly publish their ideas via the web. The ideas in here, however, apply more broadly to how we all will be using the web down the road.

A key… Continue

Added by Jeff Horvath on January 8, 2009 at 4:28pm — No Comments

Role of CIO / CTO in Usability

Eric Schaffer and I have been featured in an article in Dec, 2008 edition of a prominent IT magazine in India for CIO and CTOs - Intelligent Enterprise

The Usability Challenge

Though usability engineering isn't a direct responsibility of the CIO, a good CIO can actually help institutionalize the idea in an enterprise.

by Rajendra Chaudhary

As an increasing number of applications continue to adopt Web-browser based… Continue

Added by Hitesh Agrawal on January 6, 2009 at 11:30am — 1 Comment

Pagination or Lazy Loading or Interactive Lazy loading

I have been thinking this for quite some time.

We had (have) pagination for showing large data set ...

Then we have lazy Loading which we can successfully use in certain situation like Google Reader.

I haven't seen interactive Lazy Loading anywhere yet but am sure will be available some where implemented.

What I mean by Interactive Lazy Loading is that, the page concept will not be there, but the data will not be loaded on scroll as well, as done in Lazy loading.… Continue

Added by Suman Paul on December 26, 2008 at 12:30pm — 4 Comments

ResearchDriveby: Positive Deviance says amplify and extend the successes of a few to solve the problems of many.

OK, so I'm a few weeks behind ... and just now getting to the NYT Mag Year in Ideas.....

Positive Deviance seems to be one of the more interesting ones....

The insight is that effort to defining, explore and create new solutions for problems that afflict the majority is not all that efficient. Instead, we should look at the thriving few, figure out what they are doing that is different ... and working.

For example, to effect change in a poor starving village,… Continue

Added by kath straub on December 21, 2008 at 12:30pm — 4 Comments

Long Forms

I usually come across forms in banking application specially which has very long forms.When I say long form, I am talking about forms containing more than 50 fields. During user studies I noticed people get actually irritated filling such long forms. To give an extreme example one Indian Bank has 200 filed long form to fill for a Loan application. And sadly the person who actually use this form use the same form all day long. He has to apply for 100s of loans per day. That adds up to 10,000… Continue

Added by Suman Paul on December 20, 2008 at 10:38am — No Comments

ResearchDriveby : Pointing out minor problems with your own story makes your big assertions more credible.

Williams, Bourgeois and Croyle shows that lawyers and expert witnesses are believed more credible when they point out minor problems with their own stories before arguing the more compelling differences. This approach of arguing against your own self interest seems to also hold in retail advertising. Consider these very successful campaigns: Listerine is the taste you will hate (3 times a day), Loreal is more expensive (but you are worth it) and, of course, Progressive shows you lower rates… Continue

Added by kath straub on December 18, 2008 at 5:16am — 1 Comment

iPhone Strengths and Competitive Opportunities

Informa’s Mobile Device and the User Experience conference was held in London on the 10th - 12th of November, 2008. It was a gathering of some of the world’s most influential mobile usability leaders. My talk was about the strengths and challenges of the iPhone. It’s noted for it’s sexy animation, but there are also some glaring user interface inconsistencies, such as how the Back button is… Continue

Added by Scott Weiss on December 17, 2008 at 3:44pm — No Comments

New open-source tool to create talking documents

I came across this article about a new open-source tool developed by Microsoft and Sonata Software that converts Word documents into talking documents, thus making the digital world more accessible to the visually impaired. It was forwarded by a friend. I thought of sharing it with all on HFI Connect.


This page also provides you with a link to download… Continue

Added by Sudeshna on December 17, 2008 at 8:33am — No Comments

Are you in control of what you buy?

Of course, we all like to think that we're in complete control of what we buy and when we buy. Put a bit more generally, we like to think that we're in complete control of the decisions we make. However, no matter how reflective or rational we think we are or try to be, we are influenced by the design decisions of others. Our brains our hardwired to react differently to different situations. These reactions have evolved over time in order to keep us safe and happy. Remember, we've only been… Continue

Added by Jeff Horvath on December 10, 2008 at 11:16am — 1 Comment

Usability of Electronic Medical Records

We are pleased to report on a recent paper we wrote that summarizes user experiences with Electronic Medical Records (EMR) systems. Implementing EMRs is a popular solution to high health care costs, with the side benefit of providing better care. Unfortunately, 30% of EMR implementations fail, often because physicians cannot use the EMRs efficiently.

User inefficiencies emerge from a fundamental mismatch between the style of work of physicians and the tools and task flows offered by… Continue

Added by John Smelcer on December 9, 2008 at 4:37pm — 3 Comments

There's Free and then there's FREE

Recently I set up trial accounts for two web services. One was Constant Contact and the other was efax. Constant Contact (www.constantcontact.com) lets you create or import email lists, create emails or surveys, send them out and manage the results. Efax (efax.com) is for sending and receiving faxes on your computer.

Both services have free trials. But free is a really different experience at each site. The Constant Contact web site is easy to use and VERY persuasive. The free trial… Continue

Added by Susan Weinschenk on December 8, 2008 at 7:00pm — 1 Comment

What if I'm Taking the CUA?

Jill Asked:

How does this relate to someone currently enrolled in the CUA certification program? The CXA up-sell language makes the CUA certification seem obsolete. I have taken the first CUA course and am enrolled for the Design course that is being offered in a few weeks. Is there any plan to have courses from one program count toward the other? As you say, "usability is no longer enough." How are these two programs (CUA, CXA) so different? I won't be able to afford both…

Added by Eric Schaffer on October 29, 2008 at 5:00am — 7 Comments

Is PET design Really New?

I’ve got a few great questions that ask (often with great passion) if this PET Design is really new. They suggest I am churning up old stuff and claiming it is a new wave of the information age (for purposes of wealth, fame, and perhaps acclaim from my Mother). So let's be clear. PET design is not an all new skill set HFI suddenly invented. John Watson applied psychology to persuasion at JWT in the 1920s! In fact I personally published on the topic on online PET design in 1981. The area of… Continue

Added by Eric Schaffer on October 25, 2008 at 6:00pm — 3 Comments

Sharp Webcast re-broadcast questions

Here are three really exceptional questions that came in during the rebroadcast of the ‘Usability is no Longer Enough’ Webcast. Let’s give them a whirl:

Question: If usability alone is not enough, does it means PET design is needed AFTER the usability is done?

You need BOTH classic usability and PET design. So that way users CAN DO the tasks and will also be persuaded so they WILL do them as well. Now HFI offers SEPARATE processes for Classic UCD and ‘PET design™’.… Continue

Added by Eric Schaffer on October 9, 2008 at 1:00am — No Comments

MP3s of the Future. Is it a need or a want?

Today I was teaching the PET design course in New York. As usual it was great to see the usability educated stretching and grabbing the new perspective. But an issue came up that was great. Our parents tell us that there are 'needs' and 'wants'. We learn that the 'wants' are not really that important.

But in the persuasion space, the emotional wants are VERY important indeed. Fulfilling the need for CONTROL has been shown to extend lives for people in nursing homes. So is that… Continue

Added by Eric Schaffer on September 25, 2008 at 9:30pm — 1 Comment

Why usability is no longer enough: the need to design for Persuasion, Emotion, & Trust (PET)

HFI's PET design offers a new approach to help companies influence and deepen their interactions with online customers through Persuasion, Emotion, and Trust. This methodology is the result of extensive research, pilot programs, and client engagements with Fortune 500 companies over the past several years.

Whether a website is e-commerce, informational, or transactional, its mandate is to establish deeper relationships with customers. Understanding how and why people make online… Continue

Added by Eric Schaffer on September 12, 2008 at 11:30am — 1 Comment

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