Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Struggling with HiPPOs Again

How often do I hear that we don't need to test because "We know our customers" or "We've been in the business for 'X' years" or, my personal favorite "We have come to the conclusion ... "

Coming to a conclusion, based on facts is one thing, but coming to a conclusion based upon personal judgment or intuition without direct testing is something else. I completely understand when time or budgetary constraints come in and the development team is "forced to go to war production with the army design they have." That being said the organization understands that mistakes in preparation have been made and that careful re-thinking of the application must be made. (Often times this re-thinking never occurs until the next hurried release is made. But that's another story.)

So, how does one deal with the HiPPO (HIghest Paid Person's Opinion) problem? It certainly can't be based upon your intuition that testing ought to be done. Ideally you would have a series of examples were the HiPPO had previously been surprised with user responses and be able to leverage that experience. Aside from that I have not had success. I have brought up examples from lecturers and articles to no avail. I would love to read about other's success rates.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What is Business Intelligence

A good presentation on business intelligence. For UI designers who think that UI work for financial companies is less demanding than for customer based sites - please take a look at data visualization and dashboard presentations.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Skype (changing default browser) and user admin design

I'm starting to use Skype more and more for work. When people send me links in the IM the link automatically opens up in Internet Explorer. I wanted to change the default to Chrome but could not find where to do so.

I went on line and found the answer: Skype opens up the device's default browser. You cannot make the change within Skype. You must go to your browser of choice and make the change there.

This begs the question: when designing user admin sections should IA professionals include information on settings that their app doesn't update? In this case it would have been very nice for Skype to have a tab " Update Default Browser" and tell me, the user, that I would have to go to Chrome and declare that my default browser.

Now, you may ask - why didn't I do that already? Because I unpinned IE from the Windows 7 taskbar. It wasn't part of my consciousness - that's why. :-)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Golden Ratio Debunked?

Keith Devlin takes a mathematicians eye to the claims made for The Golden Ratio and shows that the art and the architecture claimed to have been based on The Golden Ratio is simply not backed up by any evidence. The Golden Ratio does exist in nature but the most famous natural example, the nautilus shell, does not follow said ratio.

It's a long talk but, if you're interested in the Fibonaci sequence and The Golden Ratio, it's worth listening to. He recommends Mario Livio, The Golden Ratio, on which a lot of the proofs for the talk were based.

And now The Golden Ratio from a more spiritual perspective: