User Interface Design

October 10, 2013

The Five-Second Test: A Wealth of UX Data


The Five-Second test — also known as “timeout test,” “exposure test” and/or “memory test” — is one of the easiest and most convenient rapid testing methods available.  Displaying a visual or informational design for five seconds and asking what aspect(s) were recalled most easily or vividly can help pinpoint (a) what stands out most about a design or product, and (b) how the viewer’s perception of the overall design is impacted.

However, the method’s value can be compromised by ignoring its restrictions, and by designing the tests to encourage empty or unhelpful responses.  After participating in dozens of such tests using widely available unmoderated testing tools, I found myself giving far too many responses like “I have no way of knowing this” or “I cannot answer this after only 5 seconds of exposure” — and getting far too many similar responses to my own tests.

Convinced there was a better way, I set out to examine the method more closely — how it become an established UX method, how it has evolved in light of new technologies, and whether users are using the tools effectively. – Read More –

August 27, 2013

Why a dazzling User Interface can cause failure

I have discovered that I may have lost work to more dazzling portfolios. This concerns me, but not at the potential loss of work. It concerns me because the people hiring UX designers are often looking for “rock-star” portfolios. I won’t even get into the fact that “rock-star” implies to me: ego that exceeds talent, focus on the irrelevant or unimportant  areas of strength, and the idea that being great at one thing presumes that talent automatically spills into another area (particularly one that seems unrelated or tangential at best.) The focus has become more about visual, marketing and sales impact at the cost of a good user experience. – Read More –

August 13, 2009

The 65 Most Annoying things about the Web Today

Using the Web can still be a very annoying experience!

Using the Web can still be a very annoying experience!

We’ve come a long way on the web today. Or have we?  While we’ve innovated in many areas, we’ve also continued to disregard pre-existing issues. And in some cases, we have also created new ones. Here is my list of the top 65 most annoying things about the web today. They’re in no particular order, but I have organized them into what I consider core groups. – Read More –

July 1, 2009

The 10 Commandents for Designing Less Evil Forms

Ah yes, the four-letter F word. Lets not beat around the bush here, we all hate the form. Well let me be more accurate with that statement. We all hate completing forms.  But as we go about our everyday lives on the web, we’re confronted by these annoying SOB’s relentlessly and mercilessly on every turn – Read More –

May 5, 2009

Protoshare: Collaborative Web-Based Interactive Wireframes and Prototypes

Protoshare is a web-based collaborative prototyping tool that helps teams quickly build, discuss, and refine clickable wireframes. If you’ve ever been involved in the website design or creation process, you know that it can be a pain for developers, spec creators, and internal or external clients to communicate in an efficient manner. Protoshare’s nifty web-based – Read More –