Articles and Downloads
Storytelling for User Experience: Crafting Stories for Better Design
co-author Kevin Brooks. Rosenfeld Media, April 2010
We all tell stories. It's one of the most natural ways to share information, as old as the human race. This book is about how to use something we already know in a new way. Stories help us gather and communicate user research, put a human face on analytic data, communicate design ideas, encourage collaboration and innovation, and create a sense of shared history and purpose.
Personas and Narrative
in The Persona Lifecycle by Tamara Adlin and John Pruitt.
Morgan Kauffman, March 2006.
Available on Amazon. Publisher's site.
The first how-to book on personas, filling a gap for anyone interested in using personas in their practice. My chapter explores the relationship between personas and the stories they tell.
See other articles on personas and storytelling.
Dimensions of Usability
Content and Complexity: Information Design in Technical Communication, edited by Michael Albers and Beth Mazur. Erlbaum, 2003
Available on Amazon. Chapters overview (45K PDF)
Full text in GoogleBooks
A look at the 5Es (effective, efficient, engaging, error-tolerant, easy to learn) of usability and how they can help guide a design project from setting initial usability goals through design choices and evaluation techniques.
"All of (the chapters) are interesting and useful in their own way. But I must admit that I think Whitney Quesenbery's chapter on the Five Dimensions of Usability (aka, the "5 Es of Usability") is going to be on just a few syllabi in the fall." - Beth Mazur, ID Blog
Usability Standards: Connecting Practice Around the World
in Connecting People with Technology: Issues in Professional Communication,
edited by George F. Hayhoe and Helen M. Grady, Baywood Publishers, 2008
Available on Amazon. Publisher's site
Do usability methods, process and practice depend on context and country? Is it enough to have a common approach, or do there need to be formal standards to connect practice around the world? This chapter looks at the successes (and failures) of usability and accessibility standards.
Storytelling, personas, and theatre
Storytelling for User Experience Design blog
Posts on storytelling and its uses at Rosenfeld Media
Designing Theatre, Designing User Experience
ACM Interactions, March/April 2005, p55-57
A few lessons from the theatre for designing the user experience.
Virtual Communities: Weaving the Human Web
STC Intercom, January 2004, p 26-28
Lessons on how to help people suceed with search, from usability research with consumers using online health information.
When the show must go on, it's time to collaborate or die
Boxes and Arrows, March 2002
What I learned about UI design while working in the theatre.
Storytelling: Using Narrative to Communicate Design Ideas
Presentation at the 48th Annual Conference Society for Technical Communication, 2001
Making Personas Part of Your Team (slides) - with Ginny Redish
Putting Personas to Work
Usability techniques workshops
Three ways to help users understand your information
Center for Plain Language workshop with Ginny Redish and Kate Walser (November 2010)
Letting Participants Choose Their Own Tasks
STC Summit 2009, Atlanta, GA
Make your usabilty tests more engaging by tailoring the usability tasks to participants' interests.
Choosing the Right Usability Technique (Getting the Answers You Need)
User Friendly 2008, Shenzhen China (with Daniel Szuc)
A look at usability methods by starting from the question you are trying to answer.
Conducting a User-Centered Expert Review
STC 2007 (with Caroline Jarrett)
A technique for conducting an expert review that starts with users and their goals for using the site or application
Getting More Out of a Usability Test
User Friendly 2006 Hangzhou, China
Taking notes during a usability session to make analysis and reporting easier and more effective.
Reporting Usability Results
User Friendly 2005 Shanghai, China
What makes usability reports useful? Updates from the international standard on reporting summative usability results (CIF) and information from a workshop on more informal reporting.
Making Personas Part of Your Team - (workbook |slides)
User Friendly 2008, Shenzhen China (with Ginny Redish)
An introduction to personas, how to collect data for them, create them, and use them for design and innovation
Putting Personas to Work
STC Rocky Mountain Chapter
This workshop focused on how we can use personas to design products, documentation and web sites
How to look at a form - in a hurry
with Caroline Jarrett, UPA 2006: Usability Through Storytelling, Broomfield, Colorado, US
What do you do if you only have a day, or just thirty minutes to evaluate a form. A quick technique that work for any expert review.
Interaction Design: Helping Users Work Better
User Friendly 2004 Beijing
A user-centered view of different models of interaction design.
Usability doesn't stop when you write the content
Apogee, May 2008
Too often, user-centered design stops where the content begins. But plain language is part of user-centered design; easy-to-read content makes sites more usable and accessible.
Applying usability principles to content for
with Caroline Jarrett and Ian Roddis. HCI 2006: Engage, London, UK
What we learned when re-writing
content for teens and audiences new to university: avoid long
blocks of text, create informative headings, and provide navigation options within the content.
More Alike Than We Think
UXmatters, March 20, 2006
Finding common ground in the usability needs of teens, older adults and low literacy
Language and Usability
(Proceedings notes, Presentation slides, 中文 - Chinese translation)
A keynote presentation at the 2004 Tekom conference in Weisbaden, Germany, November 10, 2004
Usable accessibility | Universal usability
Accessibility First—for a Better User Experience for All
Usable Accessibility: Making Web sites work well for people with disabilities
Creating a Univeral Usability Agenda
Why People Matter
5Es: Dimensions of usability
Balancing the 5Es
(中文 - Chinese translation)
Cutter IT Journal - February 2004, pp 4-11
Also in "Software Usability: Strategies for Meeting Business Goals and Users' Needs"
Functional requirements answer the question, What does this program have to do? Usability requirements answer different questions: How do users approach this work? How do they think about the tasks? How do they judge a successful experience?
Dimensions of Usabilility: Opening the Conversation, Driving the Process
Proceedings of the UPA 2003 Conference, June 2003
Using the 5Es to start a conversation about usability within a product design team.
What Does Usability Mean: Looking Beyond Ease of Use
Proceedings of the 48th Annual Conference Society for Technical Communication, 2001
This paper accompanied a panel with Caroline Jarrett, Judy Ramey and Ginny Redish and introduces the 5Es concept of dimensions of usability.
Designing for search: making information easy to findWorkshop from User Friendly 2009, Shanghai
Designing for search: case studies from the Open University
Three papers look at different aspects of how we improved the user experience of a large university web site through user-centered design and search analytics.
- Designing for Search: Making Information Easy to Find
with Caroline Jarrett, Ian Roddis, Viki Stirling, Sarah Allen, STC 2008
This paper looks the role
that good content design plays in making information
easy to find. Examples from the Open University web site
illustrate how the design of the content works
with the design of the web site to make information easier
to find, easier to understand, and easier to use to meet a
goal (or answer a question).
- Search is now normal behavior. What do we do about that?
with Caroline Jarrett, Ian Roddis, Viki Stirling, Sarah Allen, UPA 2008
Some say "Search represents a failure of navigation”. This case-study challenges that idea with an
intensive analysis of a large university web site. The result is a view of search as part of user experience, and how the site design
can work with this reality.
- Using measurements to inform development
of a complex web site used for complex tasks
with Caroline Jarrett, Ian Roddis, Viki Stirling, Sarah Allen, HCII 2009
The role of measurements - usability testing, search log analysis, and web traffic analysis to inform site design. The paper describes an example of triangulating
data taken from all three sources to help make design decisions.
Designing a Search People Can Really Use
STC Itercom, December 2003, p 18-21
Lessons on how to help people succeed with search, from usability research with consumers using online health information.
Who is in Control? The Logic Underlying the Intelligent Technologies Used in Performance Support
Technical Communication, Volume 49, Number 4, November 2002 (Frank R. Smith Outstanding Journal Article Competition - Outstanding Issue 2002)
Intelligent agents, information visualization, search engines, collaborative filtering and how they related to performance support.
On Beyond Help User Assistance and the User Interface
Technical Communication, STC. April 2001.
Winner 2001 Frank R. Smith Outstanding Journal Article
Designing for different user approaches to search and finding information
What do we mean by user friendly?
- Meeting expectations for e-health applications (PDF version)
A talk at Informatics for Consumer Health: Summit on Communication, Collaboration, and Quality, November 6, 2009
Learning about Clinical Trials: The importance of viewpoints (PDF version)
User Experience (UPA), Volume 6, Issue 4, 2007
What we learned in research about how cancer patients and their families look up information about clinical trials
Models of Healthcare Consumers' User Experience
A workshop at UPA 2008
Voting, elections and public policy
This report, by the Brennan Center for Justice, looks at the impact of poor design and instructions - on paper and electronic ballots - on elections.
Connecting Usability and Accessiblity in Elections
Testimony at the EAC Roundtable on Usability and Accessibility, March 27, 2008
The Machinery of Democracy: Voting System Security, Accessibility, Usability, and Cost
This four-part report, by the Brennan Center for Justice, is the final product of the first comprehensive, empirical analysis of electronic voting systems in the United States. I co-authored the usability section, and contributed to the accessibility section.
Creating a Univeral Usability Agenda
Article in UXmatters discussing how we used a series of resolutions on human factors and privacy to create an agenda for our work on the federal VVSG 2005 - Voluntary Voting System Guidelines
Oops! They Forgot the Usability: Elections as a Case Study
Keynote at the Michigan State University Conference on Usable Information Technology, October 26, 2004
Putting People First: The Importance of User-Centered Design and Universal Usability to Voting Systems
with Sharon Laskowski, NIST.
National Academies of Sciences (NAS) project on A Framework for Understanding Electronic Voting, October 2004
Starting from People: Designing Usable Voting Systems
NIST Symposium on Building Trust and Confidence in Voting Systems, December 10-11, 2003
What We Don't Know About Internet Voting and Usability
Georgia Tech Research Institute workshop on Internet Voting, November 13-14, 2001
Voting and Usability: Lessons Learned from the 2000 Presidential Election
STC-PMC News & Views, November 2001
Voters Learn the Importance of Usability
Usability Interface, STC Usability SIG, January 2001
Forward to Usability Success Stories
edited by Paul Sherman, Ashgate 2006
This book is a collection of great case studies sub-titled "How Organizations Improve By Making Easier-To-Use Software and Web Sites"
The Politics of Design
AARP/Bentley College conference on Aging By Design, September 28, 2004.
Looking beyond the craft of design to the politics behind good design and design process
Why People Matter
UXmatters, November 3, 2005
The social benefits of human-centered design
Trust and Blame
UXmatters, February 20, 2006
Why is it that the only humans who seemingly make errors are the people who are trying to use a product?
Choosing the Right Channel for Communicating with Customers
with Daniel Szuc, Apogee, October 2005
Usability Half-Way Round the World
uiGarden.net, 7 March 2005 (中文 - Chinese translation )
What's in a Name?
Design Matters, STC Information Design SIG. May 2001
A short article looking at the various titles and how they relate to the different skills needed for usability.
Applying a UCD Process to Implementing a UCD Process
Proceedings of the 48th Annual Conference, Society for Technical Communication, 2001
UPA 99 Workshop Report: Crossing the Chasm - Promoting Usability in the Software Development Community
Common Ground, UPA, Vol 10 No 1, March 2000
Styleguides and standards
Towards the Design of Effective Formative Test Reports
with Mary Theofaonos, NIST. Journal of Usability Studies, Issue 1, Volume 1, November 2005, pp. 28-46
A report on an industry project to identify best practices in reports of formative usability evaluations.
Usability Standards: Connecting Practice Around the World
Proceedings of the IEEE International Professional Communication Conference (IPCC), July 2005, pages 451-457
Building Blocks to a Body of Knowledge for User-Centered Design: To Certify or Not to Certify
Usability Interface, STC Usability SIG, April 2002
A report on activities investigating certification for usability professionals.
Building A Better Style Guide
Proceedings of Usability Professionals' Association, 2001
A report on ways of using style guides to build consensus within a design team
Using a Style Guide to Build Consensus
Usability Interface, STC Usability SIG, April 2001
A short introduction to the social aspects of style guides.
Prototyping and interaction design
Prototyping and Usability Testing with Visio
with Karen Bachmann
Society for Technical Communication, 2001
earlier versions Society for Technical Communication, 1997, 1998
Designing for Interactive Television
Published online, 1997
The Basics of Graphics That Really Do Work Online
with Paul Hoffman
Hyperviews (STC Online SIG) Vol 3 No 2, Summer 1996
UI Design - Keys to the Interactive Kingdom
IEEE Multimedia Conference, Washington DC, May 1995
Online documents and hypertext
Lessons from the InfoWeb - Creating a Successful Knowledge Management System
Hot Trends for Communicators - STC Region 5 Conference. October 1999
Get Smart: Interface Design and Production Meet Editorial on a New CD-ROM Magazine
Proceedings of the 43nd Annual Conference, Society for Technical Communication, 1996
An American Journey: Designing the Interface for an Electronic Document
Proceedings of the 42th Annual Conference Society for Technical Communication, 1995
Documentation's Holistic Role
Journal of Computer Documentation, ACM-SIGDOC. Vol 23 No 4, November 1999
Designing Library Reference CD-ROM Interfaces for Usability
Common Ground, UPA, Vol 7 No 4, October 1997
De-Confusing the User: A Taxonomy of Tools, Needs and Approaches for Effective Online Documents
Rensaelear Polytechnical Institute Symposium The Five Year Horizon: Skills and Education for the Information Technologist September, 1997
Steps to Success: Applying an Interface Design Methodology to Electronic Documentation
Spectrum 94, Rochester, New York. March 1994
Going Online: Developing a User Interface for an Online Document
STC-PMC News & Views, Vol 29, No 3, November 1993
Interface Design for Online Documents
American Association of University Publishers, June 1993
Hyperties User's Guide for Version 3.0
Cognetics Corporation, 1991