ISO have released a new standard for measuring the usability of every day products, like ticket machines, mobile phones and digital cameras. This standard, ISO 20282, includes test methods for quantifying the usability of consumer products to ensure they meet a pre-defined quality level. This development is exciting because the standard's focus on usability measurement reflects a sea change in the evolving practice of usability.
domingo, agosto 31, 2008
jueves, agosto 21, 2008
viernes, agosto 15, 2008
It’s an exciting day for us at Directed Edge. Today we’re finally putting our Wikipedia-based technology preview out there for people to play with. Before you click over to it, here’s a little about what you’re looking at.
As our name implies, we’re graph theory nerds. We look at the roughly 60 million links between the 2.5 million English Wikipedia pages, and with a few extra cues from the content, figure out pages related to the current one and put that in a little box in the upper left (as evident from the image on our home page). In some cases, if we’re able to pick out what sort of page it is, we also drop in a second box with just other pages of the same type.
jueves, agosto 14, 2008
The game features black & white cel-shaded graphics, except for the blood blobs wich are in brilliant red.
MadWorld is announced to be released in early 2009.
Talking To Pirates
A few days ago I posted a simple question on my blog. "Why do people pirate my games?". It was an honest attempt to get real answers to an important question. I submitted the bog entry to slashdot and the penny arcade forums, and from there it made it to arstechnica, then digg, then bnet and probably a few other places. The response was massive. This is what I found
martes, agosto 12, 2008
Wiki + Spreadsheet at Labix Blog
The underlying concept is very simple: spreadsheets are a way to organize text, numbers and formulas into what might be seen as a natively numeric environment: a matrix. So what would happen if we loosed some of the bolts of the numeric-oriented organization, and tried to reuse the same concepts into a more formatting-oriented environment which is naturally collaborative: a wiki.
IT Mill - Rich Internet Applications
IT Mill Toolkit comes with a large collection of RIA components, suited for all types of applications. Each component is thoroughly tested in real-world applications to ensure high quality.
Getting KDE on an n810. | kdedevelopers.org
Since Nokia will be giving 100 n810 devices tomorrow at the Embedded and Mobile day at Akademy, I thought it would be a good idea to describe a bit how you can get KDE working on your brand-new device. Since it is already quite some weeks ago I first did this, I might be missing some crucial steps, so if you have any questions after reading this/playing with your n810, feel free to ask me, I'll be at Akademy for the entire week. Writing this I've discovered how bad I am at writing any kind of howto/documentation, but hopefully it will still be a bit helpfull, and else you should just ignore it Smiling
lunes, agosto 11, 2008
Some warning signs that you may be subjected to social engineering:
- The person starts using your first name without you having ever met.
- The person refers to an authority figure in a jocular/friendly way, in order to make you draw the conclusion that the authority figure knows and trusts this person.
- They will try to appeal to your vanity. E.g. they may imply that they called YOU because you're so friendly and helpful. Ask yourself whether, if it really was this urgent, they would be calling you instead of those whose job it is to deal with this sort of situation. If you believe for one second that it's because of your demeanor, you're not only stupid but vain too.
- They mention a common foe. "You know how accounting is..." Yeah, everyone knows that accounting are bastards to anyone not in accounting, in every company in every country. That doesn't lend credence to you being on the same side.
- They mention an interest of yours. "I had planned to take my son fishing this weekend, but I guess I'll be working, trying to fix this". Why would they tell that to a stranger? (Especially if you have a sticker saying "BITE MY BASS" on your car.)
- If face to face, the person smiles a lot. Nothing disarms suspicion as easily as a smile.
domingo, agosto 10, 2008
Where do personas come from?
Personas should always be based on data collected about users. As Alan Cooper, who developed the concept of personas for software design, formulates it, personas and their goals are not "made up", but they get "discovered as a byproduct of the investigation process. In the case of the BasKet Usability Project, there have been two surveys in which users of BasKet were asked about personal informations, their computer experience and their general computer and BasKet usage habits. These informations were structured and categorized into different groups of users, from which skeletons were formed. Skeletons are lists of distiguishing details for each category of users. They are handy for making a preselection of user groups to design for, prioritizing them and discussing about target groups. Not every skeleton will be develop into a persona, and skeletons may be merged if appropriate. It was not possible to conduct user observations or interview users one-on-one because I simply do not know anyone who is using BasKet for a longer time.
viernes, agosto 08, 2008
Your New Excuse to Get an Xbox - Boxes and Arrows: The design behind the design
Attributes of websites vs. video games
Websites Video games
Hand-eye coordination: digital Total body coordination: physical
Usable Learnable, playful, discoverable
One level of difficulty Multiple levels of difficulty
Social content Social interaction
Web development Product development
Needs are user-centric: satisfy the user Needs are engendered: satisfy the player
2 to 15 minutes Hours to days
Task, transaction and information Entertainment
Sticky, at best Addictive
Cheap to design and build Expensive to design and build
Superficial customization and personalization Considerable customization and personalization
Design for Emotion and Flow - Boxes and Arrows: The design behind the designAttention and Flow
The elements associated with the flow state can be classified into the three areas; 1. Causes of Flow 2. Characteristics of Flow 3. Consequences of Flow (Novak, Hoffman and Yung, 1999).
miércoles, agosto 06, 2008
The Pencil Project
The Pencil Project's unique mission is to build a free and opensource tool for making diagrams and GUI prototyping that everyone can use.
* Built-in stencils for diagraming and prototyping
* Multi-page document with background page
* On-screen text editing with rich-text supports
* PNG rasterizing
* Undo/redo supports
* Installing user-defined stencils
* Standard drawing operations: aligning, z-ordering, scaling, rotating...
* Adding external objects
* And much more...
The sitemap provides an overview of all pages and the linking.
Implementing a Selective Undo Framework in Python
I've implemented in Python the undo algorithm found in ``Undoing Actions in Collaborative Work: Framework and Experience'' by Prakash and Knister [cite PK94]. Their approach helps structure the objects that make up a ``document''. Those same objects are well suited for use in an embedded language like Python: with them you can write scripts that can be undone! I've implemented standard file operations as a simple concrete example of using the framework.
SMARTedit is a text editor that lets you program text-editing macros by demonstration. SMARTedit stands for Simple MAcro-Recognition Tool editor.
Macros in ordinary text editors, such as emacs, are difficult to use: they're tricky to get right the first time, hard to debug and visualize, and brittle (they don't always work on new cases).
On the other hand, people faced with repetitive text-editing tasks badly need a way to construct simple programs to automate parts of their work. Yet as soon as the tasks get more complicated than simple search-and-replace, the poor user is faced with learning a programming language such as Visual Basic in order to control the application.
SMARTedit addresses these problems by using robust machine learning technology to allow non-programmers to construct complex text-editing programs without writing a single piece of code, simply by interacting directly with the interface. SMARTedit learns programs in a simple yet expressive programming language with constructs such as "move to the beginning of the string tag" and
KDE 4.1 PyKDE API Reference
This is the reference to the KDE API as it appears to Python programs using PyKDE. This is just reference material, additional information about developing KDE applications using Python and the API in general can be found on the Techbase and in the Python section. The reference for PyQt 4 is here.
I've just been given 20 invites to beta-test True Knowledge, a semantic search engine based on a logic knowledge base. I've been fairly impressed by its ability to utilize user-provided knowledge and its overall good usability, although I've also seen potential for great misdeed by malicious users.
It's mostly a cross between Google and Wikipedia: users provide "facts" about the world, that are stored in a logic format. The interface allows to ask questions that are translated to formal queries over the knowledge expert system, which uses limited reasoning to try and answer the question. This is all quite classic Artificial Intelligence, but the highlights are because of the easiness of use:
- if the query fails, it reverts to a classic keyword-based search. So the user is almost always given some relevant information.
- the process to add new facts is (almost) newbie friendly, which is something really hard to achieve in the dry world of AI
- there is a quality control/assesments of the facts by the users, so that assertions that don't make sense can be voted on and rejected by other users.
martes, agosto 05, 2008
No son jeroglíficos ni signos al azar, sino símbolos de reciclaje. Los envases o productos que los llevan nos recuerdan que pueden ser o que han sido reciclados, y nos ofrecen información tan diversa como el tipo de material con que están fabricados, o el lugar concreto donde deben depositarse para su conveniente reciclaje. Gracias a ello, los consumidores pueden concienciarse de la importancia de reciclar, un hábito que ayuda a ahorrar energía, materias primas y en el proceso de recogida y eliminación de basuras.
* Autor: Por ALEX FERNÁNDEZ MUERZA
* Fecha de publicación: 4 de agosto de 2008
lunes, agosto 04, 2008
MobyGames - FAQ - Design Goals and Manifesto
MobyGames is the working name of an extremely ambitious project: To meticulously catalog all relevant information about electronic games (computer, console, and arcade) on a game-by-game basis, and then offer up that information through flexible queries and "data mining". In layman's terms, it's a huge game database.
In addition to documenting much game information for historical posterity, anyone can contribute a rating or a review to voice their opinion about a particular game. Every rating and review in MobyGames was contributed by a real person who plays games just like you do. If a game is rated high or low in MobyGames, it is because the voting public put it there.
What might not be obvious from the above is the concept of a completely cross-referenced database, allowing practically anything you see on-screen to be a link or query to more information. From any game "rap sheet" (a comprehensive summary of that game's information), you can mine further into (and out of) the data.
viernes, agosto 01, 2008
Is it better Wikipedia because a single obscure fact was better sourced in it? No. It's better because it was *much, much easier* to correct and properly source a wrong fact in Wikipedia than in Citizencium. When Guido found his old mail and published it just yesterday, it was easy for me to
Sure, prior to that Wikipedia was stating that the term was taken from some random script from the Monty Pythons,
the Citizendium editor asserted (unsourced) that Homesteading... was the first appearance, which is no better that what the Monty Python fan did at Wikipedia.
The Little Books in Oz | Lambda the Ultimate
My latest postings into this gray area are translations of the remaining Little Books to Oz - consisting of The Little Schemer, The Seasoned Schemer, The Little MLer and A Little Java, A Few Patterns (previous LtU post on The Reasoned Schemer in Oz). The Little Books are the antithesis to recipe books. There's not much code here that can be plugged into a project. The aim is to systematically teach programming thought processes.