Jakob Neilsen Awards Xero as One of the 10 Best Application UIs of 2008

Jakob Neilsen has written about the 10 best application UIs of 2008. And NZ-made Xero comes in at #10! First of all, congratulations to Xero, the Team and Rod Drury!

Neilsen is recognized as one of the leading usability, analysis and UI design experts in the world. So his recognition of Xero, from little old NZ, is significant. He went one step further and used Xero as an example of how to implement lightboxes / modal dialogues well. He also gave Xero extra kudos for the emotional design, given that Xero targets a traditionally 'dry' audience:

Scaling Up Usability Testing In Drupal

Still not sure why usability testing is important? See what a linux hobbyist found in an informal usability test on Ubuntu.

Usability testing (hereafter "UT") is getting a lot of attention in Drupal -- and rightly so IMHO. If we aim to have "100%" test coverage on Drupal's code and functionality for Drupal 7, it stands to reason we also need test "coverage" on Drupal's usability. If not, it's far too easy for bad interfaces to be developed that pass all the functional and unit tests, but fail miserably in the real world!

Jimmy Berry (aka boombatower) of GHOP fame plans to take the initial (but giant) steps in this direction in the Google Summer of code 2008.

UMN Usability photos, Arrival in Boston, It's Snowing! US Culture

I arrived in Boston yesterday afternoon, absolutely exhausted after Usability testing at UMN -- which was amazing. See the report at 9am on Monday to hear why. It was snowing heavily here this morning. Today I need to prepare for my presentation on Scalable Theming and my parts of the Usability presentation, and try open another US bank account.

Here's my photoblog to date:

To Core Developers; I Need You, Please. :)

Logo of Season of UsabilityI still haven't been able to establish a technical mentor for my SoU project. I need a Drupal developer with a fair amount of Drupal karma and a small interest in usability, for this project to be successful. I'll be plain; I'm directly asking Dries, core developers, and other similarly-respected folk in the Drupal community, for someone who can commit about 3 hours per week for three months. This is a sizable contribution to Drupal and will result in considerable usability improvements.

Usability in Drupal 6; 50 golden eggs need some love!

Chris Messina's (aka Factory Joe) review of drupal 6 is a big contribution to drupal usability. I have highlighted about 50 actionable issues that have been raised and/or discussed through this review. Most of them are trivial changes for drupal 6, but are key usability improvements. Many are simply improving the help text. Some are larger tasks that require more work and changes and should probably wait for drupal 7.

Recommended article on web usability and eye-tracking

This great article on web readability and usability based on results of eye-tracking analysis was fairly unsurprising for me, except for this snippet;

Parallels Coherence weirdness

Parallels coherence is even better in the newest versions. Each Windows window is an individual application window on the OSX desktop too -- meaning you can have expose for windows too! However the drop shadows are kind of hackish and break usability sometimes. I'm not sure if it was like this in tiger or not -- I upgraded to Leopard recently...

User errors; stupid user or ignorant developer?

This one come's from a great article from humanized about usability in floss:

User errors are a sign that the interface is inhumane, not that the users are dumb. To dismiss these errors as signs of user stupidity is to ignore the very information that should be telling you how to improve the design. “The status quo is good enough” is not an attitude that has ever lead to progress.

Programmers don't create good graphical user interfaces

I think this came from an article on UXmatters:

Databases are one of the ways of organizing information. And it's really popular due to the specifics of computers. Computers work great with numbers. Slicing data into small parts, organizing it, and indexing is what computers do great and fast.

iMac won't get touchscreen?

11:25AM: "[You] introduced multitouch on iPhone, what about for the Mac?"

Steve: "Makes sense for the iPhone, not sure it makes sense in the Mac. Classify that as a research project."

From Engadget: Apple's summer Mac product press conference

WTF? How can such usability revolutionists not realize the potential of putting multi-touch technology on the desktop?

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