Recent Posts

Interview: TechSmith on Designing Snagit for the Macintosh

Tim Keirnan interviews the design & development team for TechSmith’s upcoming Snagit for Macintosh. Items discussed include:

* How and why did TechSmith decide to do a version of their popular Snagit for the Mac OSX platform?

* What is the design process of Snagit for Mac?

* How is Snagit for Mac related to Snagit for Windows?

* Why did TechSmith decide to try an open beta process and how is it helping their design process?

So check it out before you listen, or while you listen. You can find the Snagit for Macintosh free beta at the following addresses:

www.techsmith.com/snagitmac/

www.snagit.com

www.techsmith.com

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Five Year Anniversary Episode with Jared Spool of User Interface Engineering

Jared Spool of User Interface Engineering joins Tim Keirnan for Design Critique’s 5th anniversary episode. That’s FIVE years, folks!

The guys discuss some favorite UX-related new media audio and video shows, debate the effectiveness of advertisements in new media shows, and generally engage in freewheeling talk that never takes itself too seriously.

We close with a promo for UIE’s User Interface 15 conference to be held in Cambridge, MA this November. Links:

www.uxpod.com

http://johnnyholland.org/category/radio-johnny/

http://iatelevision.blogspot.com/

http://www.ted.com/

http://5by5.tv/bigwebshow/1

http://www.uie.com/events/uiconf/2010/

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Interview: Pt 2 of Jeff Smith on Gathering User Feedback from Internal Sources to Supplement Formal Usability Studies

Jeff Smith of IBM’s Hardware Experience Design Group presents part two of our “director’s cut” of the presentation he gave at the 2009 HFES conference, “Gathering User Feedback from Internal Sources to Supplement Formal Usability Studies”.

In part two, Jeff details the ways in which the following internal departments of employers and clients can help us get informal user feedback to supplement our primary data:

* Marketing

* Sales

* Support

* Test Engineers (QA)

* Manufacturing

Each of these areas can supply a user experience professional with invaluable insights and observations of customers/end users. Jeff tells us the promise and the limitations of using their data in our own work. Jeff’s coauthors on the presentation were Daniel P. Kelaher and David T. Windell.

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Interview: Pt 1 of Jeff Smith on Gathering User Feedback from Internal Sources to Supplement Formal Usability Studies

Jeff Smith of IBM’s Hardware Experience Design Group presents a “director’s cut” of the presentation he gave at the 2009 HFES conference. Tim liked it so much in San Antonio that he wanted to hear an expanded version on Design Critique so here it is, titled “Gathering User Feedback from Internal Sources to Supplement Formal Usability Studies”.

In part one, Jeff

* Describes his job as a human factors engineer with IBM,

* Tells his interpretation of the field combined with IBM’s corporate values,

* Discusses the essential nature of communication to both clients and coworkers

* Shares his “elevator speech” of what he does for a living, and

* Emphasizes the importance of field research if you’re able to do it on a project.

In part 2, Jeff will explain the methods of using internal sources to supplement formal user research. Jeff’s coauthors on the presentation were Daniel P. Kelaher and David T. Windell.

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Critique: Microsoft Zune players, Zune 4.0 software, and ZunePass Music Service

If we were a commercial show, we’d sing something like “All we are saying is give Zune a chance.” Computer programmer (and rumored private detective) Matt Hard joins Tim for a discussion of the user experience of Microsoft’s Zune media players, Zune 4.0 software, and the Zune Pass music rental service. Born in ridicule, the Zune ecosystem has matured into something so good that Tim did not want to return Matt’s kindly lent Zune8GB and ZuneHD players. Intrigued? Read on…

* Both guys preferred the Zune flash player to their old iPod Nanos. Listen to find out why.

* The ZuneHD has a terrific screen and touch user interface that Matt likes, but that Tim isn’t so keen on. Listen to the reasons for their widely differing perspectives.

* The Zune 4.0 software is terrific for music, but stinks for podcasts. Hear how a dreadful installation experience almost made Tim give up on even trying the Zune.

* The Zune Pass service is more rent-to-own than rent, a great idea that was almost ruined by a terrible trial experience that Tim rants about.

You can find out more about the Zune at www.Zune.net. You can try the software for free to see what we’re oohing and ahhing about.

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Interview: Anne Gentle on the Social Web for Documentation

Instructions are an integral part of the user experience of products and services. Anne Gentle from JustWriteClick joins Tim to talk about the social Web’s impact on creating technical communication in the 21st century.

You can download a free chapter from Anne’s new book, Conversation and Community: The Social Web for Documentation, at

http://justwriteclick.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/free_chapter_conversation_and_community.pdf

Anne’s blog is at www.JustWriteClick.com.

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Interview: Silverback Utesting App and UX London 2010 with Andy Budd of ClearLeft

Andy Budd from ClearLeft joins Tim for a discussion about Silverback, a guerilla usability testing application for Macintosh computers. Andy also informs us about the upcoming UX London conference to be held in May of this year. You can find information about Silverback at www.SilverbackApp.com You can find information about the UX London conference at http://2010.uxlondon.com/

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Critique: Betty Crocker BC-1957 Waffle Iron

Serena Rosenhan and her husband, Blair, join Tim for a critique of the Betty Crocker BC-1957 waffle iron. Part one of this episode is a very informal, out-of-the-box usability test recorded live in the Rosenhan kitchen on a sunny Saturday morning as Serena and Blair cooked brunch for Tim.

Part two, which occurs around 42 minutes into the episode, was recorded several months later when Serena had used the waffle iron again and could join Tim via phone for a “longitudinal review” as we like to do here on Design Critique. Even something as simple as a waffle iron has numerous areas of needed improvement or, in the case of the vertical storage ability of this unit, areas of impressive innovation.

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DC65b Three Iterations of Blog Redesign Discussed

Colin from Canada returns to discuss his three iterations for the Design Critique  blog page redesign. Because this project is not “real” in a commercial sense, we tried three iterations with increasing levels of client involvement just to see how the designs might differ.
Design 1 was purely from Colin’s perspective as a listener to the show, wth no involvement from Tim.
Design 2 was derived from Colin’s interview questions that he’d normally ask an actual client.
Design 3 included Tim’s general vision of what he wants in the new page design, plus Colin’s executing the details.

Remember to see episode DC654a for the PDF file of Colin’s three designs, or look at them on Colin’s own website at
http://www.finkle.ca/firebrand/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/DesignCritiqueBlogPage-3Designs.jpg

Listener Tom from Maryland asks some very important questions about hackintoshing, end-user license agreements, and the poorly implemented and supported EFI-X module.

The “Why Does Apple Allow Personal Hackintoshes” article is at
http://www.applematters.com/article/why-does-apple-allow-personal-hackintoshes/

The “It’s time to bring the EULA madness to an end!” editorial is at
http://blogs.zdnet.com/hardware/?p=5783

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