“…no one is born a great cook, one learns by doing.”
– Julia Child, My Life in France
Or, to paraphrase the late great Julia — no one is born a great designer, one learns by doing (and testing). Cooks test out their recipes with an audience, and the same principle applies to new products and services. Usability testing is necessary to prove the product viability, alongside making sure that the proposed design will meet (and exceed) the user’s expectations.
Think of usability testing as the test kitchen for successful software design. You put together some great ingredients, follow the necessary steps carefully, and – voila! – a greater design emerges.
Read more on Test(ing) Kitchen: Assembling the Ingredients for Your Next Usability Test…
There are a lot of great mobile app user experiences out there these days. This is great — we’ve won! Unfortunately there are so many that some really great examples can get lost in the noise. As a follow-up to my previous post of iPad gems, here are some more amazing implementations of great user interaction I’ve found since then.
This is a writing app, but it’s a great example of breaking the mold of stale navigation through menus or flicking through master-detail lists. Read more on Stacks, Crumbs, and Keynote: iOS Interface Ideas…
As a designer, I’m a perfectionist. I enjoy solving problems, analyzing human intuition, and testing all the available research tools to turn ideas into something viable and realistically executable.
This heuristic, analytical approach to design was what shifted me from advertising into software in the first place. I enjoyed leading creative teams, driving process innovation, managing campaigns, and sharing with and learning from other designers. But ultimately, I didn’t find designing for advertising rewarding. There was something big missing: the dialogue that occurs when the customer interacts and reacts to the work I put in front of them.
Working in software, I can test my ideas and get honest feedback — on the spot. Nothing gets closer to the truth. The perfectionist inside me isn’t satisfied until I’ve created something that makes an impact, that actually helps a person (even in some minor way).
Read more on Why Usability Testing Matters: A Newbie’s Perspective…
Last weekend I went through another terrible online registration experience when trying to buy a ticket for a popular regional beer release. Over the last few years, I’ve had similarly poor experiences for high demand, online, mass registration events. I’m continually surprised that companies specializing in online registration services struggle to deliver positive customer experiences.
Atomic Object puts a high degree of focus on quality in our work, and we appreciate the work of other companies who do the same. By having an office in Grand Rapids Michigan, it was easy for us to become aware of the quality put into the craft brew made by Founders Brewing Company. Many Atoms have been fans of Founders for years.
Founders has grown in popularity as their distribution footprint has expanded. Their highly-limited, annually-brewed Kentucky Breakfast Stout has established a cult following that brings people throughout the midwest to Grand Rapids for its release. KBS is sought after in online communities throughout the year.
The KBS Release Plan for 2013
In 2012, Founders struggled to make the sale of KBS “fair.” People lined up for the beer’s release the day before sales started and waited for hours in the cold, early-spring weather. Despite standing in line, many people left without getting any KBS. Expectations were not managed well with respect to inventory and the demand represented by the people waiting in line.
Read more on Rethinking Online Mass Registration…
The other day, I was having a conversation with a colleague about some user testing she was looking to do on a project. “I need to get permission from the client,” she said, “and even once we do it, I’m not sure how much information it will provide. We’ve already done a few tests already; there may not be a lot of new things to learn.”
As designers, I think we all probably have had these thoughts from time to time. I know I have. But that’s the wrong way to look at it. Here’s why.
Read more on Test-Driven Design…
Last week Software GR hosted Dan Klyn from The Understanding Group, the world’s largest information architecture consultancy. Dan’s talk shared some background on where information architecture comes from and what it’s all about, and then went on to show us a tool he’s used successfully called “performance continuums.”
Catch the video after the jump.
Read more on Dan Klyn visits Software GR…