Posts filed under ‘User Experience’

UxCamp Vancouver Impressions: “Developers Have User Experiences Too ….”

Just came back from a very enjoyable Ux Camp Vancouver. ( #uxcv09 ). Met amazing people, had great conversations. It was a most stimulating look over the fence, as topics ranged from nuts and bolts (Ux Tools of the Trade) to what from a geek’s perspective can only be described as eclectic (use of improv theatre to gain perspective / deepen understanding of user experiences).

One theme which kept emerging in every presentation, panel discussion and fishbowl was the need for ongoing dialogue between the various folks who create systems.  We are getting better at making QA an integral part of the development process but it feels like we are nowhere close when it comes to integrating user experience design. I feel that Ux could be far more explicit: At the moment, “Agile Usability” is assumed to somehow emerge as  test driven development and continuous integration allow us to react faster to changing requirements. Domain Driven Design concepts like the Ubiquitous Language have enormous potential to lead us to world-class user experiences, but where are the DDD folks when there is a Ux user group meeting? Where are Ux practitioners while we are safely cocooned in code and acronym-laden isolation, agile or otherwise?

Another perspective of SCRUM, TDD and continuous integration is that it’s about “Developer Experience Design”: How do we organize teamwork, structure code and deploy systems to be as “usable” as possible for the folks who build them? The goal is to arrange things in a way which minimizes the time from specifying a feature to getting QA feedback on the feature, enabling rapid  change. User experience does not stop at the user interface.


December 6, 2009 at 9:55 am Leave a comment

Just Say No: IT Cost Of Ownership’s Dirty Secret

Maintainable software applications are The Right Thing:

  • They take the gut-wrench out fixing bugs and adding features, theoretically keeping us sane.
  • In an entropy-sodden world, they are very hard to build.
  • Writing code has nothing to do with it. OK. Maybe a little. Perhaps 50%.

There are times when it feels as if deciding what to build is maybe half the picture.

The rest is saying no to building The Wrong Thing .

Building The Right Thing cuts maintenance work because there is no need to change The Wrong Thing. It makes for a decent chance that new features are requested for The Right Reason:

Users LOVE the application and want more.

As opposed to The Wrong Reason:

It doesn’t work right.  This pig is is going to need a lot of make-up.

Let Usability Rule.

July 4, 2009 at 1:33 pm Leave a comment

Building The Right Thing: “I wanna talk to my usability guy…”

Just came off an assignment which involved a usability assessment and walkthrough for a “90% complete” system. In the event, we were able to identify some low hanging fruit which should result in better usability without excessive re-writes.

Continue Reading June 19, 2009 at 1:09 pm Leave a comment