Usability/User Experience/UI

Part I: A look into usability

Working in software product management, you often here the word “Usability” thrown around, though rarely do we examine the term and principals behind it. Lets examine usability a little further. Usability means that the software can be used by the targeted users and help them complete their tasks effectively, efficiently, …

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Use Cases 101: Let’s Take an Uber

I was recently asked to prepare a handout giving the basics of use cases for an upcoming training session. It struck me as odd that I needed to start from square one for a model that seemed standard. Use cases, once ubiquitous, have largely been replaced by process flows and …

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Built to Kill

During a conversation with a lead engineer working on the Google self-driving car project, it was mentioned that the car would be programmed to consistently break the speed limit. On average, the car will travel 10 mph over any posted speed limit. Why design a car to deliberately break the …

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Business Analyst Tip: Template Usability

Many of us produce document templates using Microsoft Word. In addition to the heavy lifting–the content–you should consider the usability of the templates. My basic approach with templates is that they should take care of the bells and whistles once so each user doesn’t have to. Applying the tips below …

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Understanding User Needs: Creating the User Persona

Project success hinges on creating a solution that ultimately meets the user’s needs. Oftentimes there is a large population of users for whom a solution is targeted, each having various needs, desires and tendencies that must be accounted for in the project solution. In order to achieve a successful solution, …

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Business Analyst Tip: Typography Resource

Perhaps I shouldn’t admit this, but I learned to type on a typewriter. One of the rules I learned in typing class was to put two spaces after the period ending each sentence. I still do it by habit, even though the standard seems to have changed to one space. …

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Gesture Mapping for Mobile Interfaces

Look around you. Many of the tasks we once relied on a desktop or laptop to perform are now done on our phones and tablets. While that’s great news for our airplane carry-ons, it isn’t necessarily the best news in terms of usability. Anyone who has attempted to view or …

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Measuring the Effectiveness of a Feature

There are two possible outcomes: if the result confirms the hypothesis, then you’ve made a measurement. If the result is contrary to the hypothesis, then you’ve made a discovery. Enrico Fermi There are four key factors that determine how effective any feature is in achieving its design objectives. They are: …

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When Replacing Legacy Applications, Performance is Key – Part 3

“‘How did you go bankrupt?’ Bill asked. ‘Two ways,’ Mike said. ‘Gradually and then suddenly.’” – Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises As I’ve written in earlier posts, legacy replacement projects need software requirements that take performance into account. And the Ernest Hemingway quote above pretty much sums up the …

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