Posts concerning usability

Steve Jobs

23:47 09 Oct 2011

I wasn’t a big Steve Jobs fan; despite my working almost exclusively on Mac hardware for the last several years, I disagreed strongly with the direction I thought he was moving computing in. I was surprised to find myself feeling very sad at the news of his passing.

I’m not entirely sure what drove the extent of that sadness.

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iPad First Impressions: Consumption Machine

18:52 23 May 2010

I got an iPad for work on Friday, and have been playing around with it. I would not have bought one for myself, and have grave misgivings about the device, primarily due to its highly proprietary, locked-down, walled-garden approach.

That being said, I think it’s an extremely slick, well-designed device, and may represent the first steps towards a new phase in accessing computer and/or internet artifacts.

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Internet Illiteracy

12:40 11 Feb 2010

Rather widespread, apparently. When a ReadWriteWeb article on Facebook’s collaboration with AOL became a highly-ranked Google search result for “facebook login”, hundreds of Facebook users descended on that article and used the Facebook Connect button on that screen—which ReadWriteWeb provides so that people can leave comments using their Facebook account—and then became extremely confused, not understanding why they weren’t being brought to their usual Facebook home screen.

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Wells Fargo ATM UI Design

18:08 10 Jun 2008

I noticed earlier this year that Wells Fargo ATMs had a new user interface. I was quite skeptical of it at first, partly because it was quite different and I’d gotten used to the old interface, and partly because I tend to believe that many redesign efforts end up providing worse usability than the prior design (I’m an optimist, clearly).

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Legend Element Annoyances

23:53 19 Feb 2007. Updated: 00:59 21 Feb 2007

In Exploring HTML form elements, I wrote about semantic elements that improve form markup and usability. Sadly, the legend element has some significant problems.

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Exploring HTML form elements

22:58 15 Feb 2007. Updated: 19:53 20 Feb 2007

HTML form elements are richer than is generally understood. There are a variety of completely standard and semantically-useful elements that seem to languish in semi-obscurity, despite having been around since 1999.

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Improving Zipcar’s User Interface

23:45 05 Feb 2007. Updated: 00:20 11 Feb 2007

I’m on a big Greasemonkey kick at the moment, and have decided that I’m going to make a small project of improving Zipcar‘s user interface.

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Power to the Users

23:50 23 Nov 2006. Updated: 22:03 25 Nov 2006

I spent some time today creating a bookmarklet (copy the contents of this page into Firefox or another Gecko-based browser) and greasemonkey script for enhancing the magictraders.com pricelists. This kind of thing exemplifies what I love about HTML, and why I distrust less open technologies.

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Usability and Swiss Pairings

15:17 11 Nov 2006

Usability perfection, or even excellence, does not come easily. For example, a few years ago I created a sheet to guide Swiss pairings for 8 people over 3 rounds for the sfmagic group. I’ve tinkered with it a lot over time, and still find ways to improve it.

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