Can Usability be measured?

How does one measure Usability? In human-computer interaction, the clarity with which an end-user interacts with a computer application (typically a web site) denotes its usability. The end-user is usually a lay-person who is not associated with the development or administration of the application. Expert knowledge should, ideally, not be a pre-requisite for successfully using…

Seeing what is not there (yet)

Last week, I read an article in Newsweek about 400 children who were monitored over a period of 50 years well into adulthood. Professor E. Paul Torrance measured their creativity in 1958. Here is the interesting part, and I quote the article: "What’s shocking is how incredibly well Torrance’s creativity index predicted those kids’ creative…

A luta continua: What should the ‘struggle’ really be about?

Nic Dawes gave a remarkable keynote address at the opening of the M&G Literary Festival on 3 September 2010 on the highly current issue of unfettered free speech vs. a media tribunal + potentially draconian legislation. His carefully presented, logically argued and brilliantly elucidated argument evoked in me pleasurable feelings of intellectual stimulation. As a…

User experience in one word

Someone posted an interesting challenge today on LinkedIn - how would you describe user experience in a word? Some of the replies extravagantly mention return on investment (ROI), many had customer satisfaction and so forth. Hmmm... I'm afraid 'customer satisfaction' is a generic catch-all phrase and may perhaps be misleading. Most designers mean client satisfaction…

The latest craze is ‘virtual real estate’

Now that the real estate market is in the slumps, certain property gurus in South Africa have started offering webinars in flipping 'virtual' real estate. Now, that is just another way of saying 'web sites'. Internet real estate is a virtual commodity that can be bought and sold in much the same manner as property…