By Leif Roy and Trent Mankelow
In April and May, we spoke at and attended two conferences on opposite sides of the globe – UX London 2012 in London and Service Design 2012 in Melbourne. Here are our highlights.
Service Design 2012
Attended by Trent Mankelow
I liked the intimate feel of this conference. With only 120-ish people it made the whole thing feel really friendly. The local case studies and content (there was nary a mention of Apple) helped to create a “we can do this” attitude. Read more »
Going to Webstock is like eating breakfast. A very large breakfast. Think crispy hash browns, creamy mushrooms, plump poached eggs, grainy toast, small but perfectly formed sausages. And slow-roasted tomatoes. And hollandaise.
Of course, the trouble with so much food is the inevitable food coma that follows. So it is with Webstock 2012. My brain is stuffed full of new ideas, and I’m going to be spending the next couple of weeks waddling around, digesting what I learnt.
There were a lot of highlights: the quality of storytelling (hardly a bulletpoint in sight), the mixture of melancholy and mirth, the down-to-earthness of everyone there. Also, Kapiti black doris plum ice cream. Read more »
By Trent Mankelow
The first time we conducted usability testing on a mobile device was in 2005 for Vodafone. The technology we used to run the testing was primitive, complicated and fragile. Here are a couple of photos to show you what the setup was like.
These days, our approach to mobile usability testing is very different. The whole process is much more guerrilla and lightweight, and we rarely test indoors. Given our recent growth in mobile testing projects, we thought we’d take a step back and share with you some of the lessons we’ve learnt. Read more »
My wife and I went out to dinner recently, and I couldn’t help but notice the couple at the adjacent table both using iPads in-between forking food into their mouths. I’m not passing judgment – I think that smart phones, widespread broadband, and social media are all changing the way I behave too. As a society our attention is fracturing: at the dinner table, while we watch TV, as we shop.
So for our final newsletter of the year I thought I’d share with you some recent statistics that highlight how digital technology is changing our lives Read more »
In the mid-80s, a new radiation therapy machine called the Therac-25 was introduced to treat people with cancer. During treatment the machine would often show cryptic error messages like “malfunction 47″ and “vtilt”. These messages would occur up to 40 times a day, and they rarely involved patient safety.
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I’ve just got back from a holiday in Bali, and had time to read a couple of books about applied psychology while I was poolside. So for the last newsletter of the year, I thought I’d share with you some of the fun facts I’ve learnt.
Have a great Christmas!
Trent Read more »
I read this week that the Web is now 18 years old. It has gone through the awkwardness of adolescence and reached adulthood. However, there is a lot more maturing still to be done.
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In May I was lucky enough to attend UX London. I thought I’d share some of the notes I took from four of the sessions I attended. (More speaker slides are available.)
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This time last year we ran a series of talks on How to Create Government Websites That Don’t Suck. We hit a nerve, and the slides have subsequently been viewed over 6,000 times.
This year we have decided to take a different angle. We want to talk about government websites that inspire and delight us, in other words, government websites that rock. The breakfast briefing is happening on the 23rd of June in Wellington, but in the meantime, I thought it would be fun to share a half-dozen of the websites that we’ve researched.
Pay Car Tax (online service, UK) Read more »
At Optimal Usability our vision is to help transform our clients into providers of world-class customer experiences. But it turns out that it’s really hard to transform organisations. So lately I’ve been reading up on ‘big D’ Design, how organisations can build design into their DNA, and I thought I’d share a few ideas that have stood out.
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