All posts by: Rob Fay

a blog of ideas, links, and musings.

IA Summit 2008 Recap – A Week Later


This was the second IA Summit that I’ve attended. Last year I took my wife. It was great because, as parents of twin toddlers, it was a welcome vacation and respite from the responsibilities that parenting entails. Although I willingly chose to spend free time with my wife, I... Read more

ACU To Go Foward With iPhone Application Development


As a follow up to my previous post, Abilene Christian University announced that they will give iPhones or iPod touches to incoming freshman next year. What this announcement likely means is that there will be considerable pressure put on the university’s web developers to successfully integrate existing systems and... Read more

A Vision of Ubiquitous Computing


I know I am an Apple fanboy (still holding out for the 3G iPhone), but I was inspired by the vision put forth by Abilene Christian University. Here’s a portion of their vision: “In the spring of 2007, a group of educators, technologists, and administrators at ACU crystallized these... Read more

IxDA Presentations Online


A bunch of videos and slides are popping up from the recent Interaction Design Association conference. This is a good way to get some free training. Remember, it is free to join the IxDA. Tags: [IxDA, interaction design, user experience, Partial Recall] Read more

Apple Home Page Search


This morning I went to the Apple home page to find one of their commercials. I went to search and noticed that the behavior mimicked Apple’s own operating system and the “suggest” features available in browser search boxes. What I liked is that it not only offered suggested terms... Read more

Desirability Heuristics


One of the criticisms of the UX field is that often the concern is to have a product that is usable, but is that all that is needed? Shouldn’t people have a pleasurable experience as well? I haven’t quite found a way to measure this within a usability test... Read more

User Experience Professionals are Here to Stay


I’ve decided to pour through my Gmail account to delete and archive old emails that I’ve been too busy to move from my inbox. Sure, I really don’t have to perform this task when I can just archive everything, but I’m pretty anal about categorizing my emails, even if... Read more

LinkedIn Hover Behavior


I’m not a huge LinkedIn user, but I am impressed that they iteratively work to make their product better and better by targeting better social connection and better user experience. The other day someone invited me to connect (no, not my wife, like the picture depicts), and I was... Read more

Information Architecture Summit 2008


This year your peers and industry experts will speak about how topics such as social networking, gaming, patterns, tagging, taxonomies, and a wide range of IA tools and techniques can help as users ‘experience information’. – April 10-14, 2008 (Miami, Florida USA)” – (About the Summit) I went to... Read more

Edward Tufte iPhone Critique


Edward Tufte offers a critique of the iPhone’s interface design (includes video). Tags: [Edward Tufte, Tufte, iPhone, Partial Recall, Apple, interface design, GUI, interaction design, HCI] Read more

Apple Ad Blurs Old and New Media


An inspiring ad in today’s New York Times. Click play and see how the lines between old media (NYTimes ‘paper’ style view of front page) and new mix together beautifully. In case the ad moves, I tried to do a screen capture of it, but the voice is lost.... Read more

World Usability Day


Today is World Usability Day. World Usability Day was formed “to ensure that the services and products important to life are easier to access and simpler to use.” I was fortunate enough to be able to make a brief presentation to my company about the importance of usability. I... Read more

The Neverending Scroll


I’m not a big fan of the page scroll, unless it is absolutely necessary. The reason I oppose it is that it hasn’t tested well with children. According to Nielsen, “Children rarely scrolled pages and mainly interacted with information that was visible above the fold.” Armed with that knowledge,... Read more

13 Usability Guidelines for Using Tabs


Today, Jakob Nielsen published an article on how to properly use tabs. He uses Yahoo! Finance as his case study. Of note is how Nielsen contrasts guidelines from Apple OSX and Windows Vista. Personally, I too prefer title-style capitalization. Tags: [usability, Jakob Nielsen, usability guidelines, user experience, ux, web... Read more

UPA’s User Focus Conference


Just a quick note that the Usability Professionals’ Association (DC Chapter) is organizing a one day conference on Friday, October 12 in DC. This local area usability conference will allow attendees to: LEARN about important trends, cutting edge methods, and case studies in usability and user-centered design. NETWORK... Read more

Primary and Secondary Actions in Form Design


Forms guru Luke Wroblewski recently discussed the concept of primary and secondary actions in form design: After conducting some user testing, it seems as though button placement had more effect than using color to contrast primary and secondary actions. Although there was no clear winner, my vote would... Read more

Alpha, Beta, Gamma…Love?


Many bloggers are familiar with Flickr, a fantastic photo sharing site. They and many web 2.0 companies use the “beta” label, seemingly to avoid responsibility if there are bugs or customer complaints. Beta is fine, in my opinion, if the service is limited to a specific customer base and... Read more

What I Learned at Usability Conferences 2007


Yesterday, the local UPA DC chapter hosted,”What I Learned at the Usability Conferences – 2007.” I was part of a panel that represented the following conferences: Information Architecture (IA) Summit March 22-26, 2007, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Computer-Human Interaction (CHI) Conference May 2007, San... Read more