Thoughts on the Google Wave Beta

Google Wave Screenshot

I recently joined a wave of about seven user experience professionals, with all of us participating and discussing, in real-time, the merits of Wave. In fairness, if you send seven UX snobs to review almost any interface, you can expect some berating. And this is a closed “preview” (read: beta) version. But what occurred was an absolute evisceration. In this post I attempt to distill the feedback by providing three criticisms and three suggestions about how Google Wave can be improved. Continue reading

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AxureWorld 2009

Like using Axure as much as I do? Check out the first Axure-centered conference, AxureWorld 2009, on October 10. It’s all online, and completely free.

I’ll be presenting two panels: Variables and Conditional Logic; Raised Events, and Axure Tips and Tricks. There are a bunch of other great panels hosted by Axure ninjas: Fred Beecher, Jeff Harrison, Luke Perman, Mark Johnston, Dhawal Shah, and a Q&A session with the Axure folks themselves.

And a huge thanks to Ezra Schwartz for organizing the whole thing.

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Social Widget Library for Axure

social_widgets_ss

Web applications and sites these days are using many social features. This library, compatible with Axure versions 5.5 and up, contains many of the standard widgets you will need to prototype basic social functionality.

You’ll find a lot more than nice looking stencils – these widgets have polished interactivity, for your prototyping and usability testing needs. And always feel free to contact me if you have any requests or additions!

Preview | Download the Widget Library

(place the .rplib file in \My Documents\My Axure RP Libraries\ for it to load automatically when you start Axure) Continue reading

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Texas Learns: Usability Testing Can Save Millions

Need a case study to help justify the ROI of performing even the most basic user testing? Look no further: The Dallas Cowboys’ new $1.2 billion stadium includes a vastly expensive, 180 foot HD screen that, besides its intended uses, hangs so low that punted footballs hit it (video). The estimated costs to fix this vary (one places the cost at $2 million), but it’s pretty easy to see the value of some perfunctory usability testing here.

When you’re building a football stadium, put football players in it and let them play. This also shows why user testing your own designs isn’t sufficient: I doubt Jerry Jones can punt a ball high enough to hit that screen.

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Engagebig.com Axure Prototype

ss-bigproto
I continually see folks asking for examples of Axure wireframes. We just relaunched engagebig.com with a fresh design and some simple interactions. The prototype for the site is now here for your perusal:

Engagebig.com v2 Prototype Continue reading

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