All posts filed under “Usability

dConstructing a workshop

dConstructing a workshop

A couple of weeks ago, at dConstruct 2011 in Brighton, 15 brave participants took part in my full-day workshop ‘Influencing behaviour: people, products, services and systems’, with which I was very kindly assisted by Sadhna Jain from Central Saint Martins. As a reference for the […]

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frog design on Design with Intent

frog design on Design with Intent

Robert Fabricant of frog design — with whom I had a great discussion a couple of weeks ago in London — has an insightful new article up at frog’s Design Mind, titled, oddly enough, ‘Design with Intent: how designers can influence behaviour’ — which tackles […]

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The ‘You Are Here’ Use-mark

The ‘You Are Here’ Use-mark

Who really needs a “You Are Here” marker when other visitors’ fingers have done the work for you? (Above, in Florence; below, in San Francisco) Use-marks, like desire paths, are a kind of emergent behaviour record of previous users’ perceptions (and perceived affordances), intentions, behaviours […]

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Instructable: One-Touch Keypad Masher

Instructable: One-Touch Keypad Masher

It’s been a long time since I last wrote an Instructable, but as I’ve resolved that 2009’s going to be a year where I start making things again (2008 involved a lot of sitting, reading and annotating, and in 2007 most of what I made […]

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Eight design patterns for errorproofing

Eight design patterns for errorproofing

Go straight to the patterns One view of influencing user behaviour – what I’ve called the ‘errorproofing lens’ – treats a user’s interaction with a system as a set of defined target behaviour routes which the designer wants the user to follow, with deviations from […]

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Angular measure

Angular measure

A few years ago I went to a talk at the RCA by Alex Lee, president of OXO International. Apart from a statistic about how many bagel-slicing finger-chopping accidents happen each year in New York city, what stuck in my mind were the angled measuring […]

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Heating debate

Heating debate

Central heating systems have interfaces, and many of us interact with them every day, even if only by experiencing their effects. But there’s a lot of room for improvement. They’re systems where (unlike, say, a car) we don’t generally get instantaneous feedback on the changes […]

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Staggering insight

Staggering insight

I’ve mentioned a few times, perhaps more often in presentations than on the blog, the fact that guidelines for the design of pedestrian crossings in the UK [PDF] recommend that where a crossing is staggered, pedestrians should be routed so that they have to face […]

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Invitation to participate

Invitation to participate

For the last few weeks I’ve been setting up and running the first few trials of the ‘Design with Intent Method’, the design/innovation tool I’ve (embarrassingly sporadically) talked about on the blog over the last year. It’s essentially an innovation method to help designers given […]

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Thoughtful Acts

Thoughtful Acts

Above & below: ‘Push’ Table by Jennifer Hing. Jane Fulton Suri‘s wonderful Thoughtless Acts? chronicles, visually, “those intuitive ways we adapt, exploit, and react to things in our environment; things we do without really thinking” – effectively, examples of valid affordances perceived by users, which […]

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Hard to handle

Hard to handle

British Rail’s drop-the-window- then-stick-your-hand-outside- to-use-the-handle doors puzzled over by Don Norman in The Design of Everyday Things are still very much around, though often refurbished and repainted as with this delightful/vile pink First Great Western-liveried example. I’m assuming that this design was intended to introduce […]

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