Tag Archives: User Centered design

Auto-fill Your Taxes [Review]

Auto-fill Your Taxes [Review]

After having a miserable go at taxes last year, I vowed to make this the best year yet. I had heard about a new feature called “auto-fill my taxes”. So I signed up for an online account with the CRA. The Setup  The most difficult part of this whole process is the setup. There isRead more

Design easy-to-learn systems based on what users know

Design easy-to-learn systems based on what users know

Recently when discussing success metrics for a new design with a client, they indicated that they wanted it to be so simple that their grandmother could walk up and start using it. There are two issues with that kind of statement. First, their grandmother is not one of their users, so why would we everRead more

THE IPAD PRO – A VERY CONFUSED DEVICE

THE IPAD PRO – A VERY CONFUSED DEVICE

So being a bit of an (massive) Apple fan-girl, I was unbelievably excited when the new iPad Pro arrived in our office at the end of last week. There’s something about that simple white box and imagery that just calls to you and tells you that greatness lies within. I was a bit late whenRead more

Stepping Into Their world – How Improvisation Helps Us Become Better Designers

Stepping Into Their world – How Improvisation Helps Us Become Better Designers

A few years back I ran a workshop at a summer camp for high school students on the topic of user centered design (UCD), which probably doesn’t sound as fun as the workshop where they made ice cream with nitroglycerin. A large portion of the workshop was taken up by an activity where groups ofRead more

A shopping experience ahead of the rest

A shopping experience ahead of the rest

Shopping online can be daunting and frustrating, from un-useable checkout processes to boring visuals, most online shopping experiences are subpar. Personally, I now do 80% of my shopping online. I prefer it to in-store shopping because it is easy, low pressure and fast, saving me time to do other things. However, my online shopping experiencesRead more

GO Train – An Experience Review

GO Train – An Experience Review

I’ve recently relocated outside of the Greater Toronto Area and find myself commuting into Toronto on the GO Train quite frequently. In the early days, when I was first learning how the whole system works, I made my fair share of user errors; these errors were sometimes difficult to recover from.  For example, if youRead more

Ethnography Experience Mapping and IoT

Ethnography Experience Mapping and IoT

In a couple of weeks Akendi, along with our partners, will be hosting IoT613, in Ottawa.  IoT613 will be a gathering of those interested in designing and coding for IoT as well as the infrastructure, and social aspects of this technology. IoT, aka The Internet of Things, aka The Internet of Everything is a widely used,Read more

Stop “Improving” My Bathrooms

Stop “Improving” My Bathrooms

If the goal of technology is to make our lives easier, then why am I trapped outside of a bathroom by a fancy electronic door lock, unable to enter the password even when I know what it is? The large black screen stares at me in silent judgement as I repeatedly press my finger intoRead more

IOT and the Future of Bicycle Security

IOT and the Future of Bicycle Security

Like many of my teammates in the Toronto office, I cycle to work almost every day during the warmer months. It is hands-down my favourite way to travel and experience the city. Since my bicycle is my main source of transportation (and I average about 25km/day) I like to ride a good quality bike toRead more

Not All Errors Are the Same

Not All Errors Are the Same

While driving the other day I tried to switch the radio station using the controls on my steering wheel.  Instead, I accidentally redialed a friend.  Depending on the mode, the controls that are used to control the radio stations are the same controls that are used to control the phone.  It wasn’t a big deal,Read more

Smart Watch Design Heuristics

Smart Watch Design Heuristics

Interaction design can be a delicate balancing act between meeting the needs of the user and wrestling with the limitations of the technology you’re designing for.  This contrast is never more evident than when designing and developing for wearables. In the course of performing many heuristic evaluations on various devices and applications and running various UXRead more

Please Let Me Go – The Usability of Flight Booking Systems (Pt. 2)

Please Let Me Go – The Usability of Flight Booking Systems (Pt. 2)

Exhausted from your exploration of the WestJet flight booking system, you, Andrée Aumond, are looking for smoother sailing and greener pastures with Air Canada. You hope to find a good deal on travel to see your son’s family in Orlando, Florida. Before you can relax by the beach though, you have to battle online bookingRead more

An (Unintended) Exploration of Tax Software Usability

An (Unintended) Exploration of Tax Software Usability

I had the questionable joy this year of trying out, not one, not two, but three tax return applications online to file my Canadian taxes. This is not because I really like filling taxes, but rather, it took me that long to find a good application. Now, in years previous I’d always happily and easilyRead more

Designing Good UX Is An Ungrateful Job

Designing Good UX Is An Ungrateful Job

Recently somebody remarked that he didn’t understand what all the fuss around UX was all about. Surely this was not a professional discipline but you simply use your ‘common sense’ when designing. When asked why there is so much bad UX around, the answer was that this was designed by people who are simply not good enough. TheRead more

Wasted Code Reduction

Wasted Code Reduction

I recently read an article where Berners-Lee was quoted as stating that the world needed more coders as the shortage of coders is hurting progress and innovation. While I agreed with the gist of the article it made me think if this really is an obstacle to progress or if it could be that we reallyRead more

User-Centered Design Vs. User Designed: How to avoid building “The Homer”

User-Centered Design Vs. User Designed: How to avoid building “The Homer”

Like most people today, I learned most of what I know from television.  My first lesson in user research came in 1991 when I saw an episode of The Simpsons entitled, “Oh Brother Where Art Though’.   In case you don’t have that particular episode etched into your brain like I do, the basic premise isRead more