ted boren archives

An excellent article from Louis Rosenfeld: Stop Redesigning And Start Tuning Your Site Instead. You and your key stakeholders need to read this.

posted by ted 4 hours ago

Dennis Wixon, my first “UX Boss” at Microsoft and co-chair of my masters thesis committee, will be speaking at UPA 2012. Looking forward to hearing him speak!

posted by ted on Friday, Apr 27, 2012

I liked this article on Breaking the UX Status Quo. Some good thoughts on enlivening various design deliverables by integrating personas and related information throughout.

posted by ted on Tuesday, Apr 24, 2012

I like the subtle design changes to the banner area on LDS.org that have gone out over the last few months. This week’s Easter messages have been a good example. (I also appreciate that they got the title and alt attributes fixed, so the thumbnails on the right are more accessible to blind readers—and others who want some text to describe what they’ll get.)

posted by ted on Friday, Apr 06, 2012

I’m always amazed at people who can take such beautiful notes… These are Benjamin Norris’s notes from the LDSTech Conference last week.

posted by ted on Thursday, Apr 05, 2012

“Subjecting all designs to usability studies before shipping is prudent risk-management.
Radical innovation is extremely risky. Yes, you might invent the next iPhone. But you’re more likely to invent the next Newton.”
From a good article by Jakob Nielsen on
A/B Testing, Usability Engineering, Radical Innovation: What Pays Best?
The contrasts between A/B testing, usability activities, and just turning a genius loose to invent the next Big Thing are clearly drawn. I would temper Nielsen’s position a bit by emphasizing his final point—that there’s no reason you have to pick just one. If you have a genius on staff, subjecting his ideas to A/B testing and usability testing will only polish his or her brilliance to an even greater sheen…

posted by ted on Monday, Mar 26, 2012

“We’ve found the most successful teams are those that spend as much time in each iteration measuring their designs as they do implementing it.”
Jared Spool, in an interesting article on making agile iterations… agile! I have found the situation he describes over and over again—agile teams organizing a series of sprints, but never really iterating. They are basically doing waterfall planning, just on very short timescales. This article gives direction on how to get out of that rut. And no surprise, it relies on robust design and user research processes.

posted by ted on Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012

Here’s a great article by Christian Holst on an frequent need: designing country selectors. What I love most is that he’s gone beyond describing the challenges, to designing a working solution—which he then makes open source! You can try out his redesigned country selector and download the jQuery plugin.

posted by ted on Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012

“The problem with business today isn’t a lack of innovation; it’s a lack of empathy.”
Great quote by Dev Patnaik, cited in a UX Booth article called
Invisible Armor: Protecting Your Empathy at Work.
I enjoyed this (sometimes corny) article and related to a lot of the points.

posted by ted on Tuesday, Mar 13, 2012

Speed and agility are the most important attributes any design team can have, even beating out creativity and innovation.
This is because a fast–moving process that iterates frequently gets to take advantage of the natural evolution of the design, whereas a slow moving process needs to discover innovation out of the gate, which is much more difficult.”
Jared Spool, in
Prototyping’s Resurgence: Communicating the Designer’s Intent

posted by ted on Thursday, Mar 08, 2012

I’m excited to be registered for UPA 2012. Lots of great user research presentations, but also more on UX and Design in general than I’ve seen in the past. (It’s been a while…) Curious who else is going… Let me know: borenmt at ldschurch org !

posted by ted on Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012

“We are becoming symbiotic with our computer tools, growing into interconnected systems that remember less by knowing information than by knowing where the information can be found.”
Betsy Sparrow, quoted by Tim Minor in an interesting article on
memory and design on UX Booth.

posted by ted on Wednesday, Feb 01, 2012

Colleague Carrie Fox called this a “wordle on steroids.” Interesting interactive word cloud from CNNMoney on the best places to work and why employees think so. Make sure to click around a bit… I like both the presentation and the data…

posted by ted on Monday, Jan 30, 2012

“The most profound thing is that when something crazy happened, they paid attention. They didn’t throw the idea away as most of us would.”
Scott Berkun on the “accidental invention” of Post-it Notes, Nutrisweet, and other cool stuff, in a really good post on the importance of working hard and paying attention.

Innovation is not Luck, even when it seems like it.

posted by ted on Monday, Jan 30, 2012

“Count this “guru” as caring less about what’s new and more about what works. (If it happens to be new and works better than what came before, then I’ll be the first to add my praise.)”
Mark Hurst, in
Using what you have (and when to change)

posted by ted on Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012

Do you rely on users setting up your software just so, and think defaults don’t matter much? Then you’d better read, “Do users change their settings?” (The short answer is No.)

posted by ted on Wednesday, Dec 28, 2011

Check out the World Usability Day Bundle on UXPunk. Big savings on some good research and design tools.

posted by ted on Wednesday, Nov 09, 2011

An article describing a recent “true intent” study for LDS.org was just posted on LDSTech. It describes how we created an affinity diagram out of over 800 freeform survey responses to help discover why people came to LDS.org and what their biggest problems were. A very informative activity. Some of the high-level results are also reported there, with permission.

posted by ted on Wednesday, Nov 09, 2011

“Myth #3: People don’t scroll.”
From an interesting “UX Myths” site. Some interesting user experience myths de-bunked. Thanks Christian Smith for pointing me to this!

posted by ted on Friday, Nov 04, 2011

I liked this illustration of the Knowledge Gap in Jared Spool’s recent newsletter article, Riding the Magic Escalator of Acquired Knowledge.

To close the knowledge gap, you either ride the user up the escalator via training, or you bring the target knowledge down the escalator by simplifying the design. Those are really your two main choices, 99% of the time!

posted by ted on Wednesday, Nov 02, 2011