Edmonton, Canada

What's happening

Hi everyone, Our upcoming even will be on April 27th , 6 pm at Guru Digital Arts College. This month we will be watching a presentation video from Jeff Parks on “Being Human is not quantifiable”. After the video, Jeff will join us over the skype for QA and a discussion on the topic (Being human is not quantifiable). Jeff Parks is the voice of Information Architecture and User Experience for the Boxes and Arrows Podcast, Radio Johnny over on Johnny Holland, and the i.a. podcasts, syndicated through iTunes. A world-reknowned conversationalist, Jeff has interviewed some of the most influential minds from Google, IBM, ClickTale Web Analytics, Apogee, Adaptive Path, Cisco, and more. With a global audience numbering in the thousands, Jeff’s collegial yet thought-provoking style has become the “must-download” resource of the industry since 2005. Jeff is also the President of i.a. consultants inc., one of Canada’s leading Information Architecture firms focused on providing context to web projects through content strategy, user experience, and human factors.

Here is a short agenda: Presentation video : 6 pm – 7 pm Discussion with Jeff : 7 pm – 8 pm You can RSVP to the event at http://www.facebook.com/#!/events/edit/index.php?eid=112964008736930&step=2

Hope to see you all there! Ammneh

A few blog posts about our previous book club meetups

July meetup

We had our first author call with the author Joshua Porter, author of the book Designing for Social Web. You can read more about that meeting here: http://nform.ca/blog/2009/10/edmonton-ux-book-club-designin

May meetup

8 members joined us in the group discussion for Designing everyday things. Everyone had their own insight of what works and what doesn't work for them when interacting with regular things in everyday life. We also talked about what they like and didn't like about the book, where majority came to the conclusion that despite the density of the book, they like the ideas and examples provided in the book. Mack Male also did a recap of recent UX event Web Strategy Summit which everyone really enjoyed.

March Update

10 people showed up at the Suede Lounge (downtown). We all met and discussed few ideas about the book club. Stella and I brought few books to the meeting. After voting on the books, the group decided on two book: Sketching User Experience and Don't make me think

April Update

10 people showed up at Vintage Lounge to chat about Don't make Me Think and Sketching User Experience. The book for the May meeting is The Design of Everyday Things by Donald Norman. Good deals to be had at AbeBooks. Public library copy has two holds on it so that's an unlikely option in time for the May 28 meeting. Time and place for May to be determined.

Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/group.php?gid=59071219138

At our April meeting one of our members Caroline Mills wrote a very thorough review of the book:

I`ve added that review on the wiki for our new members to catch up. Review for Don`t make me think

2 things in the book that really struck a chord`

  • Usability can be as expensive or cheap as you want it to be.
  • Stop thinking like a designer and start thinking like a user. When we start to create something we stop thinking like a user and start thinking like a designer and it is here that we sacrifice usability for design.

1 thing that you either hated, disagreed; or don’t understand.

  • I wanted to know more about how to compose the right questions for a usability test and that was never touched on.

What did you find surprising about the facts introduced in this book?

  • That usability testing is not as complicated as you think
  • Getting results that work can be easy and cheap
  • Small things that help and are often overlooked like:
    . Taglines
    . Positioning of components (arrow on a search bar)
    . Punishing users for not doing it your way (164)
    . Making usability work for accessibly will often make it work for everyone

How has reading this book changed your opinion of a certain topic?

I was unaware of how bad some sites are for people with disabilities. I find accessibility an intriguing topic because it is often overlooked but should be implemented more. If accessibility guidelines were put into practice more we would be benefiting more people and we would get used to it.

Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he or she achieve this?

Steve Krug practiced what he preached in the layout of his book. It was a great foundation book on usability and covered the basics to get a person started in understanding it. The book is categorized, with minimal content to be clear and effective.

If the author is writing on a debatable issue, does he or she give proper consideration to all sides the debate? Does he or she seem to have a bias?

The author does get his point across with examples. He constantly states that each scenario is different and there is no one given solution to every answer. He teaches how to find the solution through exploring the issues. He explains the psychology of all the team members involved in a project and tries to find solutions to meet everyone’s needs and avoid time wasting arguments that go no where.

How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

Definitely, I am also interested in the accessibility of sites because of this book.

Suggestions for Books

Enter your suggestions for books here:

Wired to Care by Dev Patnaik

The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web by Jesse James Garrett http://tinyurl.com/oduhz2

Communicating Design: Developing Web Site Documentation for Design and Planning by Dan Brown http://tinyurl.com/p99oen

Borrower and Lender List

Enter your names, book and borrower (Book, Name, Name borrower):

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