Category: IA & UX

Feeling Like An Unwelcome Guest on

I have a short¬≠cut to on the home screen of my Android phone. It‚Äôs there because I browsed the site a cou¬≠ple of times and Chrome‚Äôs app install ban¬≠ners prompt¬≠ed me to add it to my home screen, so I did. Some time lat¬≠er I launched the site from the short¬≠cut icon and it opened and loaded so quick¬≠ly that I actu¬≠al¬≠ly thought it had retrieved a copy from an offline cache. But it hadn‚Äôt, it was just very well opti¬≠mised. So ten points to the Medi¬≠um team for that.

Today I launched the site from the short¬≠cut again ‚Äď but this time the expe¬≠ri¬≠ence was some¬≠what dif¬≠fer¬≠ent. So dif¬≠fer¬≠ent that I have to take away all the points I pre¬≠vi¬≠ous¬≠ly award¬≠ed to the team. The prob¬≠lem is that when I launched the site today, I had the door emphat¬≠i¬≠cal¬≠ly slammed in my face.

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The Uncanny Valley and Realism in UI Design

Last year I began explor­ing the idea of the uncan­ny val­ley as it applies to cre­at­ing pro­to­types, using a pan­el from Under­stand­ing Comics as an illus­tra­tion. Lukas Math­is at UX Mag­a­zine has had a sim­i­lar idea, but explored it in much more depth and with greater clar­i­ty.

On the uncanny valley & creating prototypes

The uncan­ny val­ley is a term from the world of robot­ics, which states that when some­thing appears almost per­fect, it can cause a neg­a­tive reac­tion*. Or, to be more precise:

The uncan­ny val­ley hypoth­e­sis holds that when robots and oth­er fac­sim­i­les of humans look and act almost like actu­al humans, it caus­es a response of revul­sion among human observers.

Source: Wikipedia

I’m talk­ing about the uncan­ny val­ley in regards to cre­at­ing pro­to­types, so revul­sion may be too strong a term; but I think the prin­ci­ple still applies.

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Links Round-Up: Firefox, Microsoft, Yahoo

The last month has seen me com¬≠plete¬≠ly immersed in User Expe¬≠ri¬≠ence the¬≠o¬≠ry and Infor¬≠ma¬≠tion Archi¬≠tec¬≠ture for my new role, and it‚Äôs been a very hec¬≠tic time. While that has¬≠n‚Äôt stopped me from keep¬≠ing an eye on devel¬≠op¬≠ments on the web, it‚Äôs giv¬≠en me less time to write about them.

Here’s a quick round-up of a few links that have grabbed my inter­est over the past weeks; I’d like to write more about them, but time forbids.

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Understanding Comics and User Experience

I work as an Infor­ma­tion Archi­tect / Devel­op­er, and I’m a big fan of comics. For my IA work I refer fre­quent­ly to the work of Jesse James Gar­rett, espe­cial­ly his Ele­ments of User Expe­ri­ence book, and as a fan of comics I recent­ly read (again) Scott McCloud’s Under­stand­ing Comics.

I‚Äôm not say¬≠ing that to boast of my geek cre¬≠den¬≠tials, but to intro¬≠duce some¬≠thing I nev¬≠er imag¬≠ined I‚Äôd find: a con¬≠nec¬≠tion between the two.

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I‚Äôve updat¬≠ed my Speak¬≠ing page to include more con¬≠fer¬≠ences, more videos, and a lit¬≠tle on my speak¬≠ing require¬≠ments and pref¬≠er¬≠ences. I‚Äôm plan¬≠ning to cut down on the num¬≠ber of talks I give in 2014 (twelve is too many), but am always open to inter¬≠est¬≠ing offers and oppor¬≠tu¬≠ni¬≠ties, so please get in touch if you‚Äôre organ¬≠is¬≠ing an event.

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