Recent Posts

Interview: Neuro Web Design with Dr. Susan Weinschenk

Book cover for Neuro Web DesignAt Internet User Experience 2009, Tim Keirnan interviews Dr. Susan Weinschenk about her new book, Neuro Web Design: What Makes Them Click. How does the human brain process website use, and what can Web design teams do to better design websites for the subconscious as well as conscious mind? Recorded on April 1st, 2009, Dr. Weinschenk provides a brief overview of her book’s themes and answers Tim’s questions from her presentation earlier that day.

Dr. Weinschenk’s website for the book is

Make sure you visit the Fun Stuff tab to find her podcast and blog!

Susan works at Human Factors International, which you can find at

Finally, Deanna wrote to tell listeners about Zero Ink, an innovation for printing full color without the need for ink because the paper contains the colors. There’s a contest ongoing for all you print design professionals at

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Redesigning the Blog Page Part 1

Design Critique album artThis is the first episode in a series wherein host Tim and listener/volunteer Colin redesign the blog page for the show at  Our process for this “case study in the making” is:
1. Colin designs a new look and feel using only his impressions as a long-time listener of the show, with no input from “the client” (Tim). Tim wants to see what Colin would do without any input from “the client”.

2. Colin interviews Tim to ask questions he normally would ask a new client (this here episode, in fact) regarding branding opportunities for and background of Design Critique.

3. Colin iterates his “client-free” design based on what he learns in this interview.

4. Tim, still not having seen Colin’s first two designs, tells Colin his own goals for the new blog page, including both big picture concept and nitpicking details.

5. Colin creates a design based only on Tim’s (the client’s) needs.

6. Tim views all three designs, which will be shared with the listeners.

7. Colin and Tim debate the merits of the three designs and invite listeners to help evaluate their strengths and weaknesses through several UX methods.

8. A final design is iterated and put into production.

You can find Colin’s website at

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Interview: Sam Ng on the Optimal Workshop

Logo for the Optimal WorkshopTim interviews Sam Ng from New Zealand’s own Optimal Usability about the design and development of Optimal Workshop. This UX design suite combines three applications, including OptimalSort which we talked about in DC42, and we hear how a UX research and design consultancy becomes a product developer. What’s it like to walk the UX talk we tell our clients when they create products? Listen up and find out!

Optimal Workshop is at

Optimal Usability is at

New Zealand isn’t just about cool accents, great UX practitioners, and beautiful sights, though. No sirree. There’s a whole tradition of innovative and very top-quality music from this small country at the bottom of the world.
Hear ye! We close this episode with a full song from a great New Zealand musician, Phil Judd. His self-published “Novelty Act” album in 2006 is still the best album Tim has heard in a very long time. Phil Judd co-founded Split Enz in the mid-70s with Tim Finn, was the driving force behind later bands The Swingers and Schnell Fenster, and has done terrific soundtracks as well. “Falling Off A Cloud” is one of Phil’s more upbeat numbers, but the amazing “Novelty Act” album is full of classic Judd variety: fun poppy weirdness, hard-rockin’ weirdness, sensitive and tragic ukelele weirdness… just catchy, infectiously complex pop genius.

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Interviews: World Usability Day 2008 at Michigan Tech

Logo for Michigan TechRecorded live at the poster session of Michigan Tech’s first World Usability Day event! Tim Keirnan interviewed the student teams about their posters, the projects behind the posters, and the processes they followed to ensure that project deliverables were useful and usable for end users.

The date was November 13, 2008. The place was Michigan Technological University’s Memorial Union. Listen to this episode with headphones and feel like you’re really there…yep, this episode’s in stereo.

Thanks to the students who talked to Design Critique about their projects. Thanks also to Karla Kitalong and the WUD-U.P. volunteers, Bob & Evie Johnson, Chad Esselink, and the Ford Motor Company.

Finally, here’s the Wikipedia entry on Yogi Berra, whom listener Brian in Colorado mentioned in his email.

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Interview: Design of the DeWalt Worksite Radio with Brian Matt of Altitude, Inc.

Photos of the WorkSite Radio from several angles.Brian Matt, founder and CEO of product innovation firm Altitude, Inc., joins Timothy Keirnan for a discussion of how Altitude designed the award-winning Worksite Radio for DeWalt.

You can find Altitude here:

DeWalt DW911 Worksite Radio/Charger links include the following:

Recorded October 14th, 2008.

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Interview: Jeff Patton at UI13 on User-Centered Design in Agile Projects

Tim Keirnan interviews Jeff Patton at User Interface 13 in Cambridge, MA, on October 15th, 2008, after Jeff’s full-day seminar “Bringing User-Centered Design Practices Into Agile Development Projects”.

You can find Jeff at

We conclude with email from Jan in Germany, Francisco in Portugal, and Andy from England. You can learn about UXLondon at

Finally, Jan’s video blog, IA Television, is here:

Thanks to User Interface Engineering for sponsoring this particular episode.

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Happy New Year for 2009

Photo of Tim in front of MINI Cooper with Christmas lights glowing on it.Hi everyone,
Thanks for listening to Design Critique over the past year. 2008 was fun and I have three episodes in post-production right now for 2009. The photo is from the holiday card I sent this December to family and friends, and I thought why not share it with the listeners. I don’t know who all of you are or where you are, but I appreciate that you’re out there. I wish a useful, usable, and enjoyable new year to all of you.

Best regards,

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Interview: Dana Chisnell at UI13 on Usability Testing in the Wild

Tim Keirnan interviews Dana Chisnell at User Interface 13 on October 14th, 2008, regarding her presentation “The Quick, the Cheap, and the Insightful: Conducting Usability Tests in the Wild”.

Dana is coauthor of “The Handbook of Usability Testing 2nd Edition” with Jeff Rubin.

Plus we have email from Aydincan in Turkey, from Cecil about shaving and the Twinplex Stropper, and from Jorg on Amazon’s new frustration-free packaging:

Thanks to User Interface Engineering for sponsoring this particular episode.

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Interview: Karen Bachmann on the UX Watercooler

Forum banner from the UX WatercoolerKaren Bachmann joins Tim Keirnan for a discussion of the UX Watercooler, a new online community for anyone interested in User Experience research and design. Please check it out at:

Listener emails about shaving UX conclude this episode.

Don’t forget World Usability Day on Thursday, November 13th! Learn more about the world-wide learning celebration at:

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Interview: Ginny Redish, Author of Letting Go Of The Words: Writing Web Content That Works

Cover of Ginny's new book.Ginny Redish joins Tim Keirnan and SpecialSecretSuperSurprise Guest Cohost for a freewheeling discussion of her newest book Letting Go Of The Words: Writing Web Content That Works. Ginny’s ground-breaking career,  books, presentations, and many articles have been very influential on Tim’s and Cohost’s professional development in user experience research and design.

You can find Ginny’s website at

Ginny’s other two books that Tim mentioned were:

User and Task Analysis for Interface Design (with JoAnn Hackos)


A Practical Guide to Usability Testing (with Joe Dumas)

Karen Bachman wrote to tell us about the UX Watercooler at

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