A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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The Application of Model Matching Principle in User Interface Design: Part 2

For programmers, a programming language is a software tool. Its interface consists of its lexicon, grammar and semantic rules. From this view, using a language to do programming is actually using that tool to accomplish something. As we will see shortly, different languages vary greatly in the degree of how they get close to programmer's conceptual model.

Zhang, Liang. uiGarden (2008). Design>User Interface>Semantic


The Benefits of an Accessible Website, Part 1: Increase in Reach

Some organisations are making accessibility improvements to their websites, but many are seemingly not making the accessibility adjustments. Disabled people don't access their website, they say, so why should they care?

Moss, Trenton. uiGarden (2005). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility


The Benefits of an Accessible Website, Part 2: The Business Case

Some organisations are making accessibility improvements to their websites, but many are seemingly not making the accessibility adjustments. Disabled people don't access their website, they say, so why should they care?

Moss, Trenton. uiGarden (2005). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Business Case


Budgeting for Advertising and Customer Experience

The most effective companies realize that they can't succeed on advertising alone; the customer matters.

Hurst, Mark. uiGarden (2007). Articles>Web Design>Usability>User Experience


The Bull's-Eye: A Framework for Web Application User Interface Design Guidelines

A multi-leveled framework for user interface design guidelines of Web applications is presented. User interface design guidelines tend to provide information that is either too general, so that it is difficult to apply to a specific case, or too specific, so that a wide range of products is not supported. The framework presented is unique in that it provides a bridge between the two extremes. It has been dubbed the "Bull's-Eye' due to its five layers, represented as concentric circles. The center of the Bull's-Eye is the Component layer, followed by Page Templates, Page Flows, Interface Models and Patterns, and Overarching Features and Principles. To support this approach,requirements were gathered from user interface designers,product managers, UI developers, and product developers. Also, usability testing of the guidelines occurred on several levels, from broad guideline tests to more specific product tests. The guidelines and lessons learned are intended to serve as examples for others seeking to design families of Web applications or Web sites.

Beier, Betsy and Misha W. Vaughan. uiGarden (2006). Articles>Web Design>User Interface


Can Designers Save the World (and Should They Try?)

Designers are clearly more self-conscious about their social role today than they have been at any time in the last 20 years, yet the lack of substance of the critics who have come to the fore, and the issues on which it is chosen to take a stand, reflect a political agenda that is set elsewhere. There are many areas of life in which designers can make a real difference, but we need to look first at why they are taking themselves so seriously in the noughties.

Macdonald, Nico. uiGarden (2006). Articles>Graphic Design>Cultural Theory>Politics


A Car for All - or Mobility for All? Part I

Population aging and environmental concern are two important factors that will effect the design of vehicles in the future. In response to the potential conflict between them, the authors propose a shift in focus from individual vehicles to transport services, from '€˜A Car for All'€™ to '€˜Mobility for All'€™, and offer strategies, scenarios and case studies of how this might be achieved. New service and vehicle typologies are introduced and discussed, and an area of future research and development is identified.

Coleman, Roger and Dale Harrow. uiGarden (2006). Articles>Usability>User Interface


CEOs and Usability

As a usability professional, there are many reasons why you might speak with your CEO or other senior leaders. For example, you might need funding for a new laboratory or testing equipment. You might also need to justify current or future expenses, such as salaries, end user remuneration, or your travel budget. Most conversations are financial in nature.

Rhodes, John S. and Daniel Szuc. uiGarden (2006). Articles>Usability>Management


Chinese Banks Homepage Usability Research Report

The homepages of three leading Chinese retail banks are assessed for their usability.

Zhao, Ming. uiGarden (2006). Articles>Web Design>Usability>E Commerce


Co-Design, China, and the Commercialization of the Mobile User Interface

The mobile user interface is becoming a key differentiator for mobile telephony devices and services. The increased focus on usable, emotive, and branded user interfaces is the result of three key drivers.

Williams, David M.L. uiGarden (2006). Articles>User Interface>Ubiquitous Computing>China


Color on Web Design

Psychologically speaking, different color has different meaning. From this point, this article focuses on the relationship between the background color and content of the web interface.

uiGarden (2005). Design>Web Design>Graphic Design>Color


The Concept of Universal Design

The idea that environments can support human function is not new to designers. But, the perception that design can enable one’s abilities and participation in society is something relatively new from a consumer perspective.

Steinfeld, Edward. uiGarden (2008). Design>Usability>Accessibility>Universal Usability


Crafting a User Research Plan

Every piece of user research is part of an ongoing research program, even if that program is informal. However, making a program formal provides a number of advantages: It gives you a set of goals, a schedule that stretches limited user-research resources, and results when they’re needed most. It also helps you avoid unnecessary, redundant, or hurried research.

Kuniavsky, Mike. uiGarden (2005). Articles>Usability>Methods


Cultural Considerations and Applicability of Western Usability Guidelines in the Design of Chinese E-commerce Websites

The key to the success of e-businesses is to understand what entices people to buy things online and to provide them with the means to carry out these shopping transactions. E-business Web page designers must also have a sound understanding of the consumer behaviors in the targeted markets. Research to understand the psychology and expectations of online shoppers will not only help consumers and e-businesses but also the makers of the equipment and telecommunication infrastructure which supports these businesses. This paper discusses some of the issues in our research to i) understand what motivates Chinese consumers to buy online and ii) whether the Web usability guidelines derived in the West are appropriate for Chinese consumers.

Tham, Ming-Po, Guomei Zhou and Xiaolan Fu. uiGarden (2005). Articles>Usability>Localization>E Commerce


Culture in the Further Development of Universal Design

By now most readers of Design for All India have a healthy grasp of Universal Design. Many, perhaps most, have become highly competent in its application as is evident from the articles appearing in past volumes and today. Beyond technical mastery of the Seven Principles, knowledge of best-of-breed solutions, and familiarity with allied concepts such as Visitability, Adaptive Technology, or anthropometrics there is a cultural component to this design approach that is unquantifiably – but undeniably – transforming Universal Design. By systematically and thoroughly examining this cultural component in the coming decade we will discover the true nature of Universal Design to be social sustainability.

Rains, Scott. uiGarden (2008). Articles>Usability>Cultural Theory>Universal Usability


Default Thinking: Why Consumer Products Fail

Short Message Service (SMS), or texting, is a typical killer application. It is not only popular but profitable, bringing in significant revenue to network operators. There is even a strong after market selling RingTones, info alerts and crude interactive games. A great technological irony is that such a successful product is so under appreciated. For all of the frenzied SMS marketing discussion, the product has hardly changed over the last few years. Given its success, you would think the industry would put more effort into understanding the value SMS offers to consumers and then produce new services that extend this value.

Jenson, Scott. uiGarden (2005). Design>Usability>User Centered Design


Design for Emotion: Ready for the Next Decade?

The experience profile of a product can be described in terms of these experiential components. Once such an experience profile has been properly defined, it must be translated in all product properties the designer can affect. It has an effect on the sensorial aspects of the product, but also on the way it functions, it affects the way people operate the product and even the way the product is marketed. In sum, the profile has an impact on all aspects that together shape the human-product interaction.

Hekkert, Paul and Pieter Desmet. uiGarden (2007). Design>User Interface>User Centered Design>User Experience


Design for People with Disabilities in Japan

Design for people with disabilities sometimes works fine. However, without involving everyone, i.e., unless it will benefit everyone in the society, such design will remain as a kind of orphan technology and will eventually fail to be applied widely. The direction of design therefore should be universal/inclusive.

Kose, Satoshi. uiGarden (2008). Design>Accessibility>Regional>Japan


Design for the Dream Economy

After the eras of the Commodity Economy, the Manufacturing Economy, the Service Economy and the Information Economy, we have now entered the era of the Dream Economy. The key to success in the Dream Economy is an in-depth and holistic understanding of people. It's not only about meeting people's practical needs, but also about meeting their aspirations and providing a positive emotional experience.

Jordan, Pat. uiGarden (2007). Design>User Centered Design>User Experience


Design, Technology and Their Roles in Social Changes

Christina Li interviewd Nico Macdonald on aspects of design, technology and society. Nico offered his insights from his own experience of working in political compaign and design consultancies.

Li, Christina. uiGarden (2006). Articles>Technology>Design


Developing Your Site for Performance, Part I: 20 Tips for Client-Side Code Optimization

This three-part article outlines a common sense, cost-effective approach to Web site acceleration according to the two simple laws of Web performance: send as little data as possible; send it as infrequently as possible.

Powell, Thomas A. and Joe Lima. uiGarden (2004). Articles>Web Design>HTML


Developing Your Site for Performance, Part II: Optimal Cache Control

Focuses primarily on sending that data as infrequently as possible by means of better utilization of caching on the Web. Once you start to design your sites with an eye towards effective caching control, you will dramatically reduce page load times for your users - particularly your most loyal, repeat visitors - as well as lower your overall bandwidth consumption and free up your server resources.

Powell, Thomas A. and Joe Lima. uiGarden (2005). Articles>Web Design>Usability


Dimensions of Usability: Defining the Conversation, Driving the Process

Have you ever wondered if your colleagues or clients really understand usability? Too often, standards or guidelines substitute for really engaging our business, technical and design colleagues in a discussion of what usability means. By looking at usability from five dimensions, we can create a consensus around usability goals and use that definition to provide the basis for planning user centered design activities.

Quesenbery, Whitney. uiGarden (2006). Articles>Usability>User Centered Design


Early and Often: How to Avoid the Design Revision Death Spiral

One lesson we've learned over the past several years here at Cooper is that on the vast majority of our projects, intimate client collaboration is a critical ingredient for success. This is a lesson that we have sometimes learned the hard way; collaboration can be messy, unpredictable and has often forced us to compromise what we thought was a supremely clear and elegant vision.

Cronin, Dave. uiGarden (2007). Design>Web Design>Redesign>Collaboration


Easy, Intuitive and Metaphor, and Other Meaningless Words

A vital skill for designers is to notice fine detail in the other designs which form part of the technological ecosystem in which their design will live. For example, on Mac OS there are now two different styles of text entry fields for forms. One has square corners, and is used for general data entry. The other has rounded ends, and is used for entering searches. I was recently outraged to find a piece of software which used the rounded style for data entry. This kind of design vandalism muddies the rules which users would otherwise learn, and devalues all software on the platform.

Bagnall, Peter. uiGarden (2007). Articles>User Interface>Human Computer Interaction



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