Category Archives: General UX

The Misconception of Age & Tech Savviness

The Misconception of Age & Tech Savviness

  When we think of tech-savvy users, we probably imagine a younger person. This misconception is due to the incorrect belief that older users do not want or cannot use technology. But from my time conducting research at Akendi, and from academic papers, I find that this notion is incorrect.  So where did the misconceptionRead more

The Big Friendly Giant of UX

The Big Friendly Giant of UX

  You have a BIG project with lots of problems to analyse and solve. Your nerves are buzzing and you need someplace or something reassuring and friendly. Your computer is too time-consuming and paper is too restrictive. You don’t hesitate to leave your desk and make your way to the giant whiteboard. You feel determined andRead more

Creating a Space for Design Thinkers, Part 3

Creating a Space for Design Thinkers, Part 3

Nothing gets work done like a good, solid deadline. Menial tasks tend to get left aside, and sometimes, large projects get postponed due to their daunting and stressful nature. The Akendi Ottawa office move was no different. We allocated time to figuring out plans, ordering some new furniture, and coordinating construction with the landlord. WeRead more

Not Choosing Sides: Customer Experiences vs. User Experiences

Not Choosing Sides: Customer Experiences vs. User Experiences

Ok, we’re all humans. It is a label that encompasses us all. But in experience research and design we rarely, if ever, create for or try to understand the human. It’s usually the different types of humans we’re interested in.  Because once we understand who they are, we can list and prioritise these groups ofRead more

Web Typography: Top 3 Tips

Web Typography: Top 3 Tips

Have you ever come across a website with absolutely terrible typography? Chances are you didn’t stick around too long. Following some basic steps and guidelines will help designers make sound decisions when it comes to web typography.   Over the past decade we’ve seen major advancements in typography for the web and the playing field isRead more

The Art of Asking Questions

The Art of Asking Questions

Surveys, interviews, usability tests and other UX research methods are meant to elicit information to help us clearly understand a user/customer, their needs and their experience when using a service/product; to find the best design/redesign recommendations for a service/product; and in general, to help companies figure out the best possible way to serve their users/customers.Read more

Don’t let the old stop the new!

Don’t let the old stop the new!

A little while ago Michelle wrote on this blog how bad usability nearly turned her to crime and I am sure she is not alone. However, good insight-driven UX can also prevent crime. Take music streaming. I don’t know whether you have noticed but the music industry has become quiet lately. What a change fromRead more

It is not child’s play

It is not child’s play

Last Fall, I happened to be in San Francisco the same time as my (design) friends. They took us to an exhibition in Menlo Park. The exhibit was designed by teamLab, a collaborative group of artists specializing in digital experimentation. We unanimously agreed that the kids’ section of the exhibit was by far the mostRead more

Lamenting Over Fermenting: How Brewing Kombucha Relates to UX

Lamenting Over Fermenting: How Brewing Kombucha Relates to UX

I’ve recently acquired a starter kit to brew my own kombucha, given to me by my colleague Amanda Billark. During lunch one day, Amanda gave me and other Akendians a taste of the fermented effervescent tea that is supposedly super good for you. It was delicious! And it tasted better than the store-bought variety. TheRead more

Is Pretty Food Good Food?

Is Pretty Food Good Food?

A few months ago, a colleague of mine told me Uber was going to start a delivery service: UberEats. We were excited. As soon as the app became available in Ottawa, we placed our first order for our Akendi Friday Lunch. We browsed the clean, simple webpage with fantastic pictures of various restaurants in theRead more

Why UberEATS Is Ruining the Restaurant Experience

Why UberEATS Is Ruining the Restaurant Experience

Growing up in the suburbs of Toronto, we would get dinner delivered every couple of weeks when my parents were too tired or busy to cook.  In those days the dinner options were limited. You either ordered Chinese, or pizza.  Now, thanks to food delivery services like UberEATS, Foodora, and Just Eat, I can haveRead more

Transit Usability Issues Force Me to Turn to Crime

Transit Usability Issues Force Me to Turn to Crime

I have a confession to make. I’m a little obsessed with transit systems. Though at this point I think it’s a time honoured tradition at Akendi: NYC, GO Transit, and TTC. I recently went to visit my sister in Sydney, Australia. I spent some time surfing and admiring kangaroos, however I spent even more timeRead more

Closing Communication & Workflow Gaps with Technology

Closing Communication & Workflow Gaps with Technology

The original title I was going to give this post was:  “Better Communication or More Tools?  Pick One.”  I chose the other title because I think it’s less flippant and often when gaps in communication and workflow are addressed with technological solutions, like knowledge repositories, workflow and messaging systems, project management systems to name aRead more

Designing for Devices (Adaptive Design for the Rest of Us)

Designing for Devices (Adaptive Design for the Rest of Us)

Creating a design that works well on desktops, tablets, and mobile devices is often seen as a daunting and intimidating exercise. Clients worry that there will be an overwhelming number of decisions to make, and they often become confused or sidetracked by pre-conceived notions about what “responsive” and “adaptive” design means. At Akendi, we’ve figuredRead more

Innovation? Fast follow that Uber taxi instead!

Innovation? Fast follow that Uber taxi instead!

It has finally happened. Uber made it to Cambridge. Some, like myself, were looking forward to this. Others like Cambridge’s taxi firms, cannot have been, but the arrival of Uber in Cambridge cannot have been a surprise to established taxi firms and that bugs me a little bit. Why? Because existing taxi firms seem toRead more

Made in Greece

Made in Greece

In September I visited my home town of Thessaloniki, Greece, after being away for almost three years. Although I wanted to start writing this article as soon as I got back, I decided to wait a bit so that I’m a little less biased and emotionally charged as possible. For the most part it wasRead more

Grow Up!

Grow Up!

As someone on the front end of UX projects, I spend a lot of time talking with clients and prospects about their specific project.  I’ve grown into this role because I really do enjoy meeting new people, hearing about new technology and helping advise companies on service design. I can tell you that selling UXRead more

Empathy in UX

Empathy in UX

Empathy is a popular term in user experience design nowadays. Many recommend that designers need to empathise to create better experiences. And I’d wholeheartedly agree with that. But what I read in these conference talks, blog posts and other publishing places differs greatly from what I hear when designers talk to each other. The differenceRead more

Collaboration is a team sport

Collaboration is a team sport

If there is one topic that stands out in my mind in the last few months, it would be the topic of collaboration. We have been asked to help others collaborate and we ourselves also desire greater collaboration in our work. Why is collaboration so needed in our workplace? Why do talent searchers look forRead more

What Does Your Brand Colour Mean?

What Does Your Brand Colour Mean?

The colour of a brand says a lot about who a company is. In this post we’ll explore the psychology of colour and how brands use this to create a deep connection with their customers. In design school, you learn about basic visual principals line, shape, texture, form, value, space and colour. In my firstRead more