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  • community can take advantage of this opportunity at the Usability Professionals Association International Conference in Atlanta on the 22nd June We ve set up a short survey on Facebook ahead of our presentation with a little help from our friends Techlightenment Their new social research platform helps us create sophisticated research environments in places like Facebook Take part in our UX Social Quiz to see how this works and to help us understand perceptions of the use of social media in usability user experience and design The quiz explores how the UX community uses social networks so if you re reading our blog it s probably very relevant to you Please allow access at the end of the poll so that we can share the great insights we gather with you after our talk in Atlanta 0 0 0 0 Related content Here s a selection of other articles you may like from the frontiers of user experience or view all in Thinking Old friends of Foolproof By Marc Oldman Foolproof acquires One to One global in Singapore By Foolproof Foolproof ranked in The Drum Digital 100 By Foolproof Elsa Plumley As Experience Design Director I oversee the quality of

    Original URL path: http://www.foolproof.co.uk/thinking/take-part-in-our-ux-social-quiz/ (2016-02-14)
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  • Obituary for Smartphones – Premature, yet inevitable?
    traction not only in B2B but also in the consumer sphere at first fulfilling a supporting role as accessories within the current smartphone eco system and eventually replacing that system entirely What makes me such a firm believer 1 Imagine carrying a 24 display in your pocket In all his wisdom Steve Jobs underestimated our craving for ever larger displays in both smartphones and tablets providing an opening for Apple s arch rival Samsung The broad range of display sizes is one of the reasons for Samsung s stellar growth in recent years However there is a limit to the size of a display which can be accommodated in a hand held device and still make it portable and user friendly This is where smart eyewear like Google Glass really shines The optical technology used in these wearable display devices provides a diagonal field of view or virtual display size of anywhere between 14 to 24 with a corresponding increase in image resolution Granted conventional displays are evolving in the direction of flexible organic materials which potentially enables them to transform from a small handheld to a larger form factor But unlike the micro displays used in wearable display devices organic displays are still some years away from becoming sufficiently reliable and rugged as a consumer product 2 Big Data Augmented Reality and 360 Actionable Awareness Cloud computing with its virtual universe of data following users wherever they go has become a reality How to bring this flood of data down to the level of the individual consumer on the go and turn it from data noise to actionable information and awareness has become the real challenge for the likes of Google Apple and Amazon Here again wearable technology seems to offer the optimal enabling interface platform Early pioneers of this trend such as Nike the Nike Apple collaboration using on body sensors have already proven the popularity of wearable solutions with health and fitness conscious consumers New and exciting augmented reality applications currently being developed by the Google Glass application developer community will further strengthen this trend and make wearable technology with their associated applications increasingly indispensable to consumers At some point in the near future wearable technology will not only supplement the host device universe of smartphones but completely replace it The traditional computing and processing done on current smartphones is gradually being replaced by cloud computing providing virtual processing of what are today downloaded applications This in turn will lead to the eventual elimination of expensive and bulky processors and a commensurate reduction in the size of batteries enabling all the remaining smarts to be built into light and elegant wearable gadgets 3 The natural evolution of all things technological The evolution in smartphone technology is fast approaching a leveling off in its degree of innovation There is a palpable sense that the industry is reaching an inflection point anticipating a paradigm or eco system shift that will either break away from or even disrupt current platforms

    Original URL path: http://www.foolproof.co.uk/thinking/obituary-for-smartphones-premature-yet-inevitable/ (2016-02-14)
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  • time and the user s location but also data such as their heart rate We could then deliver content suitable for consumption in the user s stressful environment full of distractions as we can assume their decision making capabilities might be temporarily degraded as a result of a high heart rate In the subsequent discussion some even suggested we could change the delivery medium dynamically to suit the context e g from textual to auditory or even tactile for eyes busy situations where sound is not inappropriate Next generation user interfaces Eray Basar presented a good overview of the next generation user interfaces that are either already on the consumer market or hitting it soon We first looked at novel ways of facilitating user input Leap Motion sparked lots of interest last year when it launched its first product the pocket sized gesture input device Myo is another interesting product a gesture control armband that already picked up more than 25 000 pre orders and plans to ship in early 2014 And finally Meta View which currently tantalises us with a concept video promising an immersive gesture controlled 3D augmented reality For novel output methods we looked at the much discussed Google Glass and a virtual reality gaming headset Oculus Rift Both of them should be available in just a few months A new era of interaction design challenges is certainly upon us Exciting times Although to cool down the excitement a bit there are still a number of design problems to solve Unintentional hand movements input disruption and noise suitable navigation controls and menus discoverability of gestures and facilitating text input are some of them Overall Eray expressed some scepticism around the ability of these devices to deliver on the exciting future painted vividly in the promotional concept videos

    Original URL path: http://www.foolproof.co.uk/thinking/ux-camp-europe-2013/ (2016-02-14)
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  • Windows 8 1 release codenamed Blue to address customer feedback that they have collected We do not yet know the extent of the changes but rumour suggests that the update is intended to address the problematic join between the new Windows 8 interface and the more familiar Windows desktop style This is no surprise When we asked typical users to try out Windows 8 last year a major issue was the way that users were unexpectedly switched between the two radically different interface styles This can t be seen as anything other than a major embarrassment for Microsoft and provides a timely lesson to brands about good user experience design We live in a highly connected world where the impact of even the tiniest product flaw risks being greatly magnified via social media Perceived problems in a product can gain an unstoppable momentum of negative publicity with a direct impact on the brand reputation and share price of the world s largest and most powerful corporations Many businesses continue to release new mobile apps devices or websites that fail to meet customer expectations User experience should be elevated to a strategic level by all businesses as a way of managing this risk User experience research and evaluation is the way to identify and address potential flaws as early and inexpensively as possible It s not just the sensible option for businesses who care about their customers it s an inextricable part of the design and development process and all businesses should be investing in it An effective UX strategy ensures businesses test their assumptions and correct significant mistakes before a high profile launch and then continue to optimise the experience based on customer feedback View our original research here Is planet earth ready for Windows 8 Author John Waterworth 0

    Original URL path: http://www.foolproof.co.uk/thinking/windows-8-update-to-address-customer-feedback/ (2016-02-14)
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  • a result creating the Me generation hell bent in the pursuit of wholeness Today the Smart Self movement encompasses a growing industry in personal health and fitness technologies digitally customisable clothing that the wearer can code or which interprets your emotions and signals to others how you re feeling at any given time The evening introduced a host of guest speakers such as Francesca Rosella the co founder of Cute Circuit Paul Landau the CEO of Fitbug and Daniel Hirschmann a co founder of Technology will Save Us Across the discussion panel there were a variety of opinions a hot topic in particular was the future of the self improvement industry and which of the current offerings were more likely to make a huge impact on how we live our lives let s just say they didn t pull any punches One thing was unanimous technology is the future Luckily we ve jumped headfirst into the digital era leaving behind the not so distant and embarrassing memories of trying to keep up with the likes of Jane Fonda in the privacy of our own homes The possibilities are now endless and at this rate technology is set to revolutionise our lives from informing us on what to eat how to exercise to how to prevent that Monday morning blues feeling Capturing invisible data about ourselves seems to be the easy bit if you can afford it however how customers view interpret and action this vast amount of information is an altogether more challenging aspect for the industry If providers can t get this right their product offerings and hard work may all be in vain Brands need to consider how to deliver meaningful data to the end users Do they want more than a device that monitors their performance and

    Original URL path: http://www.foolproof.co.uk/thinking/future-human-wearable-tech/ (2016-02-14)
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  • the result they want It also moves common actions into what are called app bars a charms bar pic right and hot corners that users must reveal to use These changes left many of our participants confused and not knowing how to complete the most basic tasks They missed important features because they weren t sure how or even if they could interact with them For example several participants did not realise that text fields were editable when writing emails or when sharing content from the charms bar Users that couldn t find the new charms bar struggled with basic search tasks such as finding new apps to download in the store That wasn t a natural place to go look for search If I was using a friend s computer I d get frustrated The app bar was also a challenge for many participants In the Modern UI version of Internet Explorer users must right click to reveal the address bar and their tabs whereas our participants expected these to be available all the time and did not expect to right click to reveal the app bar If I was on here clicking things this would disappear and then I d have to click back to get the bar back I was going to move onto keyboard shortcuts next but the last thing I was going to think of would have been the right click to bring that up Harder to switch between full screen apps In the Modern UI most apps are full screen As there is no longer a tray showing the list of running apps our participants found it difficult to get an overview of what they were doing when moving from one full screen app to another Sometimes you feel like you can lose things when you come out of them You don t know where they go On normal Windows they are down at the bottom Users who could not find the hot corner that revealed the app switcher pic above left were often stranded with no clear way to escape the current app I m not quite sure how you get back to the tiles I want to go back to the colourful thing and I can t seem to eventually finds the start button That was very tucked away in the corner not very easy to find Closing the current app was also a problem To close an app the user must drag from the top of the screen to the bottom At some point in their session most participants asked Where is my X in the corner Users must combine the Modern UI with the old Desktop UI In Windows 8 moving to the Modern UI or sticking with the traditional desktop UI is not an either or choice For regular tasks users must move between the two The Start screen and the built in apps follow the Modern UI while Office and most other apps remain in the Desktop UI

    Original URL path: http://www.foolproof.co.uk/thinking/is-planet-earth-ready-for-windows-8/ (2016-02-14)
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  • a wide range of published designs or work with a designer to create something unique to us Many specialist designers offer their services to individuals and businesses When we see that our friend has a new watch or handbag we ask who designed and made it rather than where they bought it What people said This scenario produced the most positive comments This will allow us to move away from the standard of mass production into the details of mass personalisation From open software to open hardware Trend may start with pebble watches where you design your own watch face Reminds me of Nokia X Press On covers Yes Making not manufacturing will provide us with the objects we care the most about Maker movement and social making Moving from economies of scale to economies of locality responsiveness and personality Mobile Wearing your phone Mobile technology continues to reduce in size and grow in power and connectivity Smartphone use accelerates to reach a majority of the world s population Smartphones collect more functions from payments and tickets to health monitoring and personal security Smartphones break up into a cluster of wearable devices and sensors such as glasses contact lenses earpieces earrings badges necklaces bracelets and belts The devices we wear take their power from our movement and body heat Wearable devices and smart prosthetics break down the barriers of disability What people said Of the scenarios this produced the most divergent comments Exciting times I remember the first mobile phones Your digital devices will be your life concierge prompting you on everything you do Must happen The phone is regressing to the brick Not for this where s the downtime Not far enough phone electronics will be inside you Emotion sharing on clothes the wearable self Do I ever get a break Workplace Work swarming Routine business operations are increasingly automated and outsourced The remaining work has short term objectives requires a variety of skills and is focused on exploration and change rather than production and stability Business divides into multi nationals and local and specialist enterprises with rapidly changing alliances and partnerships Most workers do not have fixed responsibilities They come together to form short lived teams around specific initiatives Teams rely on collaboration technologies to work effectively across distances languages time zones and organisational boundaries The ability to navigate such fluid organisations and quickly gel with new a team are essential and valuable skills What people said Some people felt inspired by this scenario Excellent Will spark creativity that happens when a new team comes together Will encourage individuals to think up new initiatives and business to invest in them Good for the developing world Always an opportunity to learn something new We no longer work 9 5 We need to be there for our customers wherever in the world they may be And others were dismayed Will customers forget the times when we spoke to humans not automated systems No People you know trust and compliment are

    Original URL path: http://www.foolproof.co.uk/thinking/2022,-future-scenarios/ (2016-02-14)
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  • recently attended a Windows 8 UX workshop at Microsoft s Victoria Street office to get a better idea of what that means One operating system to rule them all The workshop was presented by Andrew Spooner a Creative Technologist working at Microsoft One of the first things that he shared with us was that Windows 7 has an incredibly big piece of the operating system pie Mainly due to Windows being used across businesses worldwide but this definitely means it can t be ignored The biggest change in Windows 8 is that this is now one operating system for all devices meaning that every Metro style app you develop can run on all devices Yes for desktop laptop tablet and mobile That s a very powerful proposition for businesses that are currently struggling to introduce iPad devices and applications to their workflow The design principles Andrew Spooner is obviously passionate about how these apps are created and as a designer I understand Whatever we create we want the final execution to be as beautiful as it is in our minds So understandably Microsoft has developed some design principles to help designers create these apps with a consistent style and functionality These define the keys concepts you should keep in mind throughout the app design process UX Booth has a comprehensive article on d esigning using these Windows 8 design princples alongside an interesting case study too Create your own The workshop gave us the opportunity to try out these design principles first hand by creating our own Windows 8 news app It was a good challenge to help us understand how to implement the design princples as well as the navigational patterns Microsoft want to help support and encourage designers and developers creating Windows 8 apps possibly hoping to create

    Original URL path: http://www.foolproof.co.uk/thinking/the-brave-new-world-of-windows-8/ (2016-02-14)
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