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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Being open-minded

Came across an excellent article on being open-minded when seeking solutions to ideas and problems. It was written by Steve Portigal and appeared in Johnny Holland Magazine on June 19 2009. Title is "Let's Embrace Open-Mindedness.".

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Dilbert on User Experience

Came across these on Harry Brignull's 90 percent of everything web site and found them so funny and true, that they are worth repeating.

Check out Harry's site for more interesting material on usabiity and related subjects.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Australian Government forms review video

In April, Region 8 of the Business Forms Management Association had a live webinar at which I made a presentation on the work we've been doing with the Australian Government. Centrelink, the agency that handles all Australian social security payments, is conducting a corporate-wide forms review and we've been part of the project.

The webinar covered a summary of the lessons we learned about the way people use public- use forms and the form design guidelines we set up to deal with the issues.

Although the webinar wasn't recorded, we've now produced a video of the slides with a professional commentary overlaid.

There are two versions, which are both large files. Version 1 is in QuickTime format that will run on both Windows and Mac if you have QuickTime Player. The other is a much better quality standalone player that runs on Mac only and doesn't require any other software to run.

The slides were produced using Apple Keynote, a part of iWork, which I prefer to Powerpoint as it is much easier to use. The movie was produced with Boinx FotoMagico, a great Macintosh application. It is also very easy to use and amazingly versatile.

The movies can be downloaded from the following URLs.



Australian Usability Conference and Workshops

UX Australia is to hold a three-day conference and workshops in Canberra, the National Capital, from 26 to 28 August 2009.
Details are available from this link at UX Australia.

UX Magazine — Special Forms Edition

The latest edition of UX magazine is a special edition devoted to the usability of business forms. UX is the magazine of the Usability Professionals' Association.

I strongly recommend joining UPA for all forms professionals. Given the extensive usability problems associated with both paper and web forms, it is worth the cost of membership.

A video that covers my article on Centrelink is also available from our web site. See previous blog entry for details.

For Australian forms people (and those who would like to visit our beautiful national capital) there is a three day conference in Canberra in August.

Contents of this issue
  • Forms and Usability: Editor's Note. By Aaron Marcus
  • A Fascination with Forms: By Caroline Jarrett and Gerry Gaffney
  • Thoughts as Art. By Tema Frank
  • Making Forms Accessible: Accessible Forms Help all Users — deals with the design of a form for a handicapped student. By Gian Wild, Monash University
  • What do you mean? How to write good questions. By Jessica Enders
  • Redesigning Centrelink Forms: A Case Study of Government Forms. By Robert Barnett
  • Forms on the Go: Usable Forms for the Mobile Web. By Ben Green
  • Forms Management: What Forms Managers Think About — deals with the management of electronic forms. By Ray Killam
  • The ELMER Experience: A Standard for Government Forms [Norway]. By Tor Nygaard
  • Formally Speaking: Two guidebooks about Designing Forms. By Aaron Marcus
  • Ballot Forms. By David Kimball and Martha Kropf