Tag Archives: user-centered design

old digital clock

A Tale of Two Clock Radios

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I recently had to retire my tried and trusty alarm clock radio. I never thought it was anything special. I didn’t keep it around because it had superior functionality, a great experience, great audio quality . . . . it was just the clock I had.

But in making a change to a new clock, I realized how good I had it before. It seems that attention to simple human factors principles was not a priority.

Special Ops Watch

Amazon Search Engine Trademark Infringement

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This trademark infringement case against Amazon is a great example of the importance of understanding the user.

MTM said it could be harmed because a potential buyer might be confused and believe there’s some affiliation between the company and the products listed, leading consumers to buy competitors’ watches.

Rolling Dice

What Does the Word Mean?

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There is currently a case in front of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals regarding sports betting in New Jersey. I heard a great discussion of it on Bloomberg’s law podcast (which I am addicted to), but they roll the stories off the web site after just a couple of days, so you will have to search iTunes if you want to listen. Here is a brief description that doesn’t do the nuance justice, but hopefully I will here.

A good portion of Tuesday’s oral arguments before the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals focused on the meaning of the word “authorize,” and whether New Jersey did that in striking the betting prohibitions.

Startup Brainstorm Meeting

Applying Human Factors to Organizational Management

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UX Magazine is always a good source of interesting ideas. Their recent article on using UX skills on the inside (i.e. internal management processes at work) seems to me to be something that we already knew, didn’t we?

Good change agents are nothing more than good designers. You already have good design skills. And if you are like Jane and trying to change things where you work, try applying those skills internally. Observe and you’ll make stuff happen. And by gaining a better understanding of the organization through this process, you’ll find yourself with more opportunities to affect bigger changes.

Hello, my name is sticker

What’s in a name?

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I often have Chinese students who will introduce themselves something like “Quian-Fung, but I go by Joe because Americans can’t pronounce my real name.” My response is always something to the effect of “Please teach me how to correctly pronounce your name. You deserve for me to show you the respect of learning your name, especially if I expect you to learn what I will be teaching in the course.” The student invariably gets a big smile, stands up a little straighter, tries a little harder, and learns a little bit more during the semester. Just from this one little symbolic gesture. I have never regretted the effort.

Soma coffee carafe

The Home Team/Away Team Version of User Centered Design

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I wonder what you think of the Home Team/Away Team style of User Centered Design described in this article. “The job of the Home Team is to quickly create designs, then update them based on customer feedback, which is gathered by the Away Teams. Our Home Team–made up of two industrial designers, one graphic designer, and one person who managed communication with the Away Teams–stayed in the office”…

Image of the MailChimp logo

Great Example of User Centered Design in Action

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I read the Mail Chimp newsletter, even though I am not a customer, because they occasionally have articles that talk about the human factors issues related to email newsletters. I enjoyed the latest issue because it narrated the story of their design process for Release 9.0, a mistake they made in modifying the functionality, and how they recovered from it…