House-sitting for a friend has been cast as somehow scandalous by our friends over at Valleywag. These seasoned journalists deserve props for not only being able to write rhyming headlines, but for also clearly understanding how to leverage post-structural theory to avoid libel. Their marvelously vague terminology (the “latest name linked” to someone) puts the reader, rather than the author, into the position of construing/constructing the narrative: “since meaning can‚Äôt come from the author, it must be actively created by the reader through a process of textual analysis.”
At Safari Books Online we have started a monthly Usability Friday — and you should, too!
The idea came from Steve Krug who outlined this model of running usability evaluations at last October’s Voices that Matter conference. He proposed that usability evaluation should be: regularly scheduled, attended in person rather than via webcast, and relatively fun and easy to manage. By making the process lightweight and inclusive (rather than formal and ponderous and overly documented) the evaluations are likely to be continued as part of a standard business process, rather than as a once-a-year hullabaloo. Specifically, he recommended having a morning of usability sessions (mostly in the form of one-on-one task analysis) followed by a team lunch to review interesting takeaways and next steps.
Integrating regular usability review into your product roadmap makes sense — and this is a good way to start.
Photos from my trip back east are now on my photo blog, linoleumjet.com.
Educational technology of the future – unfortunately, this is pretty close to where we are with most online learning tools in 2008. (From boingboing.com)
Film Based Teaching Machine. Student pushes one of four buttons to give answers and his score appears on paper slip at upper right. Teaching machines, expected to boom in the next decade, usually operate on the principal of repetition until the pupil understands. They aim to speed up the learning process and relieve teacher of much paper work in the classroom.