As part of an independent study course at the University of Washington, I spent time trying to improve the usability of Tor. Tor is a network that forwards internet traffic between several computers to who the user that is accessing the site is and what sites a specific user is accessing. My ideas on how to improve the network did not pan out, but my testing raises some interesting questions and it is best shared in an online format.Continue Reading →
Seriously, why can’t I just get all of this crap done automatically? Why the hell do I have to provide “proof” of insurance in the form of a paper card I could photoshop in a couple of minutes?
Tired of the sudo-racist attacks on Al Jazeera, I created this button nearly 2 years ago. Editable files and whatnot are below the fold.
We must also be a strong nation that also cares for the weak & forgotten.George W Bush
The “compassionate conservative” in 2000, showing how to frame the health care debate in a way that appeals to both conservatives and progressives.
As outlined in Part 1, the traditional style of documentation is antithetical to actual usage. Style is a major problem, but the delivery mechanisms are just as bad. At best, a manual can be oriented to predefined tasks and known problems, at worst it is a dense technical read with a broad overview intertwined with nitty-gritty details. Neither approach considers how people actually work with documentation. Firstly users never consult a manual unless they encounter a problem they cannot solveContinue Reading →
It has been over a month since my last post -testing has taken a backseat to reading research in social learning theory and technical communications. But now I have some more solid ideas I want to share in this 3-part series. Today I am going to talk about a typical users, how they learn, and the principals of minimalist documentation. If you want to skip the fluff, head to the minimalist style guidelines for Ubiquity’s documentation. Reasoning (skip this ifContinue Reading →
I don’t really need to make it perfect for my closed tests. If I were doing this for a real ad I would have a single, flowing sequence like search on Craigslist, check prices on Ebay, email it to a friend, and insert a map. I am working out some compression issues so I can put the iMovie project online to make remixing easier if you are interested. Suggestions are welcomed in the interim : )
There is a lot of talk about community building for the Ub command developers. My main concern is UI engineering; how can we help command developers create Humane commands? Earlier I blogged about the translate command, offering some suggestions, hoping it would help future command developers. Sadly, we can’t expect trained Usability professionals to review every 3rd party command. One of the things that I find interesting is how Apple has evolved their 3rd party developer ecosystem. While John GruberContinue Reading →
I have been running into two types of usability problems in my testing of Firefox Ubiquity. One set of problems is with Ubiquity itself, it’s discover-ability, the display of suggestions, help, etc. The other set of problems is with the commands. The Translator command caused a lot of confusion. It would change the contents of a page, and users didn’t know how to revert it. So instead, I thought up a translator lens that allowed us to visually communicate howContinue Reading →
Originally I was planning on having a surprise wedding for Vicki & Tim. They have been together for 20 years and I decided that Rein, the Zen monk from Amsterdam and killer Go player, would make a good priest. Thankfully John (my mentor) talked me out of it. But that didn’t stop me from coordinating a birthday party! So I got my brother to fly in from Germany, coordinated invites with Tim (my stepfather), the dinner with Pam & Kevin