Some bookmarks added by Alex Horstmann on January 28th

I bookmark a lot of pages and sites which I find interesting, inspirational and informative every day! I’d like to share some of them with you here. In general they are about user experience, usability, UCD, accessbility and design. In general, but not always!!

  • The Affinity Diagram (KJ Analysis)
    Some problems are really messy. You have lots of pieces of information that do not seem to fit together. To make matters worse, much of the information is scattered around the place and is probably not written down. People disagree about what the real problem is (if the get that far) and meetings achieve nothing, breaking up in disarray.
    This kind of problem is something of a quality professional's nightmare. There is seldom any solid quantitative data available to nail things down – it is all snippets and pieces of qualitative gossip and opinion.
    The Affinity Diagram is just the tool for solving this kind of mess, and KJ is the most common way of building the diagram.
    It is also useful as a way of organising the results of a Brainstorm, where you start with a creative idea in mind and generate number of possible ideas around it.
  • Fundamentals of Leadership: Communicating a Vision
    Today's business climate of outsourcing, in-sourcing, virtual teams, and ROI-driven objectives can leave a manager at any level feeling powerless. Yet, we often see examples of those who can elicit unwavering support from their teams, driving highly effective projects, and getting the best performance from employees despite ever-increasing workloads. What is it about these individuals that makes them stand out as great leaders? Generally, the answer is the difference between a strict management model and one that includes basic principals of leadership. There are recognizable characteristics in great leaders and simple strategies anyone can adopt to improve employee performance and change the work environment for the better.
  • Focus Groups Reconsidered
    Focus groups have a poor reputation in the design community. They’ve been around since the 1940s and look increasingly old-fashioned against the prevailing wave of ethnographic techniques now in vogue. If you sort through a pack of IDEO method cards you’ll find focus groups omitted with prejudice.
  • The Differences between Usability and User Experience – InsideRIA
    "Usability refers to the ease with which a user can accomplish his or her goals using any tool. (…) Somewhat in contrast, user experience refers to the way a user perceives his or her interaction with a system. User experience design encompasses both interaction design and visual design and seeks to promote an interface that is pleasing to the user." (RJ Owen – InsideRIA)
  • ignore the code: Realism in UI Design
    The history of the visual design of user interfaces can be described as a gradual change towards more realism. As computers have become faster, designers have added increasingly realistic details such as color, 3D effects, shadows, translucency, and even simple physics. Some of these changes have helped usability. Shadows behind windows help us see which window is active. The physicality of the iPhone’s user interface makes the device more natural to use.

Please do feel free to suggest other related (and unrelated ones)!

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