Apple, Steve Jobs, Innovation and Iphone

Apple is as hot topic in the business these days because of the Iphone. Apple’s innovation success is on the front page of The Economist July 9th edition.

The Economist retains 4 lessons from apple:

  1. Innovation can come from outside. In the case of Apple, the GUI (graphical user interface) was invented at the Xerox Park by a group that included Larry Tesler who later went to Apple to work on the Apple Lisa and the Mac. The Ipod OS (operating system) was designed by Pixo, an external firm. To do so, making a Continue reading

Sketching User Experience

I just finished the book « Sketching User Experience » by Bill Buxton. This book in my view is an important book. It will have a profound impact on the designer community. They will say:

“WOW, I should have used this or that sketching technique and I would have saved huge amounts of time and money instead of building those expensive prototypes”.

It broadens the concept of sketching to the user interaction or in other words user experience.

In Wikipedia, a sketch is defined as a rapidly executed freehand drawing that is not intended as a finished work.

The objective of a sketch is to verify an idea rapidly and cheaply. Bill extends the concept to user experience. He describes a multitude of sketching techniques such as Wizard of Oz, Video, and paper mockup as a way to test user experience rapidly and cheaply.

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Usability versus Usefulness

You have to provide your friend with driving directions to come to your home. All of a sudden, your are struggling. Is it two or three stops before turning right? Providing a direction can be very difficult even if you take that route everyday.

Cognition is distributed. Because our memory is optimized, our knowledge is ingrained within our Continue reading

What is Usability?

Usability expresses the ease with which people can employ a particular tool or object in order to achieve a particular goal. Usability can also refer to the methods of measuring usability and the study of the principles behind an object’s perceived efficiency.

In human-computer interaction and computer science, usability usually refers to the efficiency or ease of learning with which the interaction with a computer program or a web site is designed.

Usability can be extended to multiple contexts such as consumer electronics, written instruction or mechanical objects.

Usability metrics are essentially:

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