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Link: TSA Admits Bungling of Airport Body-Scanner Radiation Tests | Threat Level | Wired.com →

March 15th, 2011 5 notes

In a snafu of epic proportions, it seems technicians, when testing radiation levels, sometimes forget a vital part of filling out a form, resulting in a massive calculation error. It looks like this may be a usability problem with the design of the form.

“It would appear that the emissions are 10 times higher. We understand it as a calculation error,” TSA spokesman Sarah Horowitz said in a telephone interview.

Rapiscan, in a letter to the TSA, admitted the mistake and is “redesigning the form” used by its “field service engineers” when surveying the Rapiscan Secure 1000 that is deployed to 38 airports.

“Oftentimes, the FSE will bypass the step of dividing by 10.” …

Design. It’s important.

Link: Tim's Musings: User Experience Metrics →

August 5th, 2010

Some really interesting and practical approaches to gathering and using standard metrics to assess the UX health of your product.

Link: Beyond Frustration: Three levels of happy design | UX Magazine →

June 16th, 2010 2 notes

By the title, I imagined this article was about happy designers and moving beyond frustration on the job — something I could use a bit of now and then. :)

It does touch on the part of a designer’s job that can be difficult and frustrating, the constraints, the pressures, the decisions that affect design decisions to the point where you almost forget what you’re designing for in the first place.

But mostly, Dana Chisnell, of usabilityworks.net, talks about three things you can take into consideration when designing an experience that will go beyond just making a site usable, and hopefully make users feel emotionally happy in some way for having used the site.

Beyond usability, this article discusses designs that encourage feelings of delight, deep engagement (flow), and add meaning to users’ lives, with some excellent examples and links for further research.

Link: iPad Usability: First Findings From User Testing (Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox) →

May 12th, 2010

Preliminary findings from the Nielsen group on iPad usability. Interesting stuff.

Photo

February 5th, 2010

  Stop nesting menus — two rivers flowing

I saw this one on the Twitter stream via @jmspool and I wanted to repost it because I vehemently agree that nested menus are a usability nightmare.

However, I don’t necessarily agree with the proposed solution — all those options on one menu doesn’t make finding and choosing an option much easier.

This is a tricky one. I recently started a new job where I inherited a nested navigation scheme, and, believe me, figuring out an alternative is not easy (nor a high priority with all the other work we’re doing.) But because these menus open on hover, I am constantly accidentally opening a different menu while mousing to the nested options.

I propose simplifying navigation, considering what the most important/common actions are, and making those accessible from the main screen. If that’s not possible, at least consider making the menu open on click rather than hover.

Stop nesting menus — two rivers flowing

I saw this one on the Twitter stream via @jmspool and I wanted to repost it because I vehemently agree that nested menus are a usability nightmare.

However, I don’t necessarily agree with the proposed solution — all those options on one menu doesn’t make finding and choosing an option much easier.

This is a tricky one. I recently started a new job where I inherited a nested navigation scheme, and, believe me, figuring out an alternative is not easy (nor a high priority with all the other work we’re doing.) But because these menus open on hover, I am constantly accidentally opening a different menu while mousing to the nested options.

I propose simplifying navigation, considering what the most important/common actions are, and making those accessible from the main screen. If that’s not possible, at least consider making the menu open on click rather than hover.

photo of Sarah A blog full of thoughts and observations on making the web a better place, collected by Sarah Harrison.

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