Archive for the ‘Design Practice’ Category

Agile and the importance of cultural understanding

Friday, April 16th, 2010



Image courtesy of  Stewf

  Though I work in UX, a core interest of mine is not so much the practical application of tools but the importance of the organisation of the teams behind creating the best products and being aware of the cultural makeup of those teams.

Getting this right allows us to concentrate on the production of the best ideas and solutions and generates momentum and further inspiration.

The challenges and changes in digital design

Thursday, February 25th, 2010


Clamshell_iBook_G3   After 10 years of job title changes we come back to being designers, albeit ‘user experience’ designers for users and for people.

In 1999 it seemed to be so very new and we were on the same page, but now we see the different disciplines needing to embrace and unify before they fragment completely.

It needs to change soon, to move on with an admission of guilt for the turf wars, the inflated egos and finally gain some appreciation for each other’s craft.


Changing online banking

Monday, November 30th, 2009

piggy banks

Photo courtesy of Daniel Y. Go
  Before I moved to Denmark I used HSBC for fifteen years. Their online banking system was adequate initially, and has grown better over time with improvements to its functionality and speed. But its amazing what you take for granted when you are forced to use an alternative.

My bank here in Denmark, though not Danish, is courteous and helpful in the physical world but digitally they are atrocious. Their online banking system is a world apart from HSBC and I can only think its because of an overtly paranoid view of security.

UX Design Framework – Visual Design

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Previously I introduced a UX framework and wrote about the first element – content.  This post is about visual design, perhaps the most immediately emotive ingredient to user experience. Seeing is believing, and what our eyes see immediately tells us if we either like or dislike what they are receiving. It has a sway on the other 5 elements of the UX framework as it is something that is very tangible and creates instant feeling in a person. As UX designers we need to be aware of the importance of visual design as a doorway to incorporate the other equally important facets in our work. Visual design, like it or not, is still king when it comes to the first few seconds that a user interacts with a product or service.

3524670137_80dd4cfc58 Saul Bass, the legendary graphic designer and film maker, described design as ‘thinking made visual’. In many ways visual design should communicate the more complex considerations of a solution in an immediately accessible way.Aesthetic usability
Think about a website that you like and there will probably be a good deal of visual design that helps you in understanding its content better, what it offers and how easy it is for you to use.

Aesthetic usability is a quality that arguably Apple have made very much part of their product offering. Consider their most successful devices, (iMac,iPod and iPhone) and there is an immediate attraction to getting to know the product, even before you really know what it can do.

As there is an emotive connection (one of delight or intrigue) it affords the product a level of forgiveness within the user when the product or system fails.


Usability is dead….the write up

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

A title as loaded as Usability is Dead needs some sort of explanation that a presentation can’t really convey.

SmallK KForum – a Danish site serving all those involved in communication, gave me an opportunity and asked for a write up. You can read it here (in English).

Hopefully the article goes some way in describing how as a UX community we need to start collaborating more and moving away from formulaic thinking.

Creativity is back in a big way, fuelled by context and relevance…

Usability is dead…

Friday, June 19th, 2009



On Wednesday (17 June), I attended the SIGCHI Interaction Design Day at Copenhagen’s ITU. It’s an impressive building and apt to host an event about technology and our interaction with it.


I also did a talk about Usability and user centred design and how user experience is always key in what we make.


You can see the presentation on SlideShare here and I will be writing an article about it published next week. I have placed the notes here


Engagement and optimisation: Defining behaviours

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009



Photo by Nicholas Nova


The second of a seven part post about optimising a site to create a more engaged audience. Here we look at user behaviour and how methods used help ensure you address user needs.

Previously: Success metrics


Engagement and optimisation: Success Metrics

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009
sale You hear alot about engagement, and not just in the UX community.

How do you engage your website users? What exactly constitutes the different parts of a website’s content that will attract people and make the website an enjoyable experience for them and a profitable one for your business?

In the first of seven parts, I’ll take a look at what goes into creating an engaged website audience and an optimised site.


Holistic concept models: an ROI blueprint

Sunday, November 30th, 2008


process    I read a post recently that illustrated how concept models are rarely used in the right way and are often  misunderstood. Are they really worth doing at all?


Now seems a good  time to expand on the tool that Dan Brown has popularised through his book Communicating Design. Not as simply a stand alone tool but one that can provide a blueprint for giving solid ROI on design, analytics and testing.