Robert Hoekman, Jr, is interviewed in issue 218 of .net magazine. He’s the founder of Miskeeto.com and author of “Designing the Obvious“. He answers the question of how to get into user’s mind:
“…metrics: you can learn a lot about human behavior by looking at the factual numbers of what they’re doing”.
“…through usability testing”.
“…studying psychology”. “There are all sorts of research papers about how people act and why…”
“So between psychology metrics and usability testing you build a sixth sense about it, almost”.
Metrics, usability testing and research on psychology. I do agree but the problem is that metrics oftenly is done maybe by the SEO consultant and usability testing by the UX designer and checking up research papers in psychology was something you had time for at university. The designer, if you call him UX designer or information architect, should do a bit of all these things and if he or she gets time to complement usability testing with interviews or naturalistic observation it would be great.
From Business to Buttons is the name of a conference in Malmö held in June 14-15 and arranged by InUse and Malmö University. The focus is on usability and interaction design. Ben Jacobsen will hold a seminar with title “The impact of the Internet on everyday US life”. Ben let 13 households in USA give up internet usage for two weeks and their life was self-documented in different ways. Ben made an in-depth ethnographic study with the participants. Many studies of internet behaviour are conducted with quantitative methods such as surveys. Qualitative methods such as participant observation or naturalistic inquiry are more rare.
There are also a lot of other interesting seminars and workshops like a case study of a New York Times Redesign by Karen McGrane and Kevin Kearney and Practicing Design at the Yahoo! Media Group by Jens Jonason.
Verva – Swedish Administrative Development Agency, has published the third version of their guidelines for government websites called “the 24 hours web” [PDF]. Verva is responsible for coordinating the development of central government in Sweden and is one of the Government’s central advisory agencies.
I’ve been playing around with Google co-op and built a search engine specialized on information architecture, usability, interaction design, webdesign which I call IAfinder. If you find irrelevant pages I should exclude or you have suggestions of webpages or sites I should include, just write a comment.
My employer Umeå university is planning a totally redesign of their website. Lucky me they chosed the open source content management system (CMS) InfoGlue instead of proprietary Polopoly used by for example Dagens Nyheter and Stockholm university. Gothenburg university is using InfoGlue and has hired swedish company Modul1 to a lot of the programming of the modules etc in InfoGlue.
These programming efforts are now possible to take advantages of by other users, thanks to open source. At InfoGlue website there is a list of other companies, schools, universities etc using InfoGlue. If there are readers who know other users of InfoGlue, please contribute to the list.