bookmark_borderDangers of Modal User Interfaces

See also: Usability and being human blog

Modes can be dangerous in a user interface, especially if the UI does not make the modes and their states clearly visible. This is often heard advice about UI design. I collected snippets of this advice/heuristics here.

If you have a different point of view or know scientific articles or textbooks that further discuss this, I would love to hear about it!

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bookmark_borderProduct and framework thinkers: When developers and UXers don’t get each other

See also: Usability and being human blog

Developers and UX professionals often seem like beings from different planets. I’ve found that shared understanding about software project goals can sometimes be hard to achieve.

Product and framework thinkers is a helpful way to reason about this (Reichelt, 2009).

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bookmark_borderGetting Twincat XAE to function on MacBook Pro

I finally got sick and tired of all my windows laptops breaking physically one way or another. First there was ThinkPad Edge, then there was the ultrathin Sony Vaio (bought just before Sony sold the business and discontinued the thing).

Computer Says Yes: Intel Processor Identification Utility Says Yes

Developers, Linus Torvalds included, online seemed to agree that MacBooks are the best hardware on the market.

So bought one, and installed Windows 10 with Bootcamp. All was swell, until I decided to try the Beckhoff TwinCAT XAE environment for PLC (programmable logic) programming.

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bookmark_borderThe temptation to avoid usability work

See also: Usability and being human blog

At Fluxitek, I am involved not only in the design of the overall user experience, but also in implementation. The temptation to skip UX work is sometimes great for our team.

So: I, too have to keep convincing myself why usability work is absolutely crucial to our product success. I’m now trying to find a succint enough way to express the basic needs for the work.

This is what I’ve got now:

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bookmark_borderTest driven development and usability testing

See also: Usability and being human blog

Robert Martin spoke charismatically about test driven development in RailsConf in 2009. (Video link expired)

He promotes the idea of having automated tests (unit tests) and running them all the time to prevent your code from becoming an enormous, unholy mess. When you have tests, you are not afraid of making changes. (In fact, you are effectively improving the user experience of programming1.) You can play all you want, because you know exactly when anything in your code breaks as a result of you changing the code.

Guess what? It applies to UX, too. Three points:

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