The Straw that Broke the Camel's Back

The risks of dismissing minor usability issues

As a human factors psychologist, I am often asked to predict where users will (or have) run into problems with a product by evaluating its usability — the measure of its ease of use and ease of learning.  At the conclusion of these evaluations, I categorize the issues I’ve found by severity on a scale […]

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Pittsburgh’s World IA Day 2019

Earlier this year members of our design team attended World Information Architecture Day 2019 in Pittsburgh, a day-long event of thought-provoking workshops and presentations given by remarkable speakers. World IA Day is an annual, global, conference that celebrates the field of Information Architecture, with local events coordinated by volunteers and all following the same theme. […]

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​Notoriously ​notched X not iPhone’s ruination

According to a click-bait link to Slate, and a slew of articles elsewhere, iPhone X sales are “abysmal”. However, the 3rd party data in the Slate article​, data that says 30% of Apple’s iPhone sales come from the X, 40% from the 8’s, and 30% from the rest, prove that it is a VERY valuable product […]

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Irredeemable 2-spacers (aka teaching outmoded skills)

A little while back, our office had a rather lively email debate about how many spaces should be typed after a period—no, I’m not joking, this actually happened. Anyway, about half of those chiming in claimed it should be a single space and the other half insisted on two. It must have been a slow […]

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Are we just biological robots?

In the last month there have been a couple articles about the bacteria in our bodies that caught our attention. The average human body contains about 6 pounds of bacteria. That much bacteria has over two million genes, completely dwarfing the 23,000 genes in the human genome. ‘‘We are, at least from the standpoint of […]

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But we’re all designers!

Sooner or later, everyone who works in design hears something along the lines of but we’re all designers – usually from a Project Manager who didn’t agree with the designer and wanted to go in a different direction. Of course, it’s true. We do all design. Most of us have designed the layout of the furniture […]

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Selecting a microcontroller

These days product design typically involves sensors, LEDs, displays, buttons or a touch screen, sound, data logging, and wireless connectivity. The lowest cost, lowest power, most flexible, and most compact approach to implement all of this is almost always a micro-controller. A microcontroller is a processor – a computer – that includes its program, memory […]

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Designing for the age enhanced: touch and proprioception

When I started our Designing for the Age Enhanced series, I thought the articles would informative and fun to write. But, since I’m in my 40s, I have to admit that being reminded about how bad my eyes and ears are already getting, what’s going to happen to my senses of smell and taste, and […]

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Why do design research
Part 2:
How to get design research on a dime (and a deadline)

In Part 1, “Why do design research: Deconstructing the excuses,” we examined the reasons people often give for eliminating design research from product development when budgets and schedules get tight. We’ve hopefully shown you why those reasons are flawed and why design research is a critical step in the process. However, knowing the criticality of […]

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Designing for the age enhanced: taste and smell

Welcome to the latest article in our “Designing for the Age Enhanced” series — which internally we’ve started referring to as the “Getting Older Sucks” series. We’ve already talked about what happens to our senses of sight and hearing as we age and some of the mental slowdowns that we experience, and, of course, how these […]

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