Usability & Accessibility

Usability Heuristics Explained - Whatwasithinking UKI bumped into a former student of mine this evening – pleasant surprise. We had a quick chat about work and life, and he asked me if there was a quick way to explain the Usability Heuristics to someone in his company that would not involve a lot of reference material.

“Heuristic evaluation” means identifying usability problems with your website by checking the website (layout, design, outer template, content) against 10 so-called best-practice guidelines published by Jakob Nielsen. Even after reading these “10 commandments of usability” you may end up a little confused as to what they mean and how to relate to them in the real (web) world. So let’s have a look at them… Continue Reading

Usability & Accessibility, Web development

10 reasons to learn web standardsI was just talking to an acquaintance of mine (a php developer) about website design when we started discussing accessibility and usability. His response was:

Accessibility and Usability? Is that this web standards stuff people are all so afraid of? Nah f*** that, who needs to learn those anyway.

Well, so why are web standards beneficial, here is my top 10… Continue Reading

Usability & Accessibility, Web Design, Web development

FireFox extensions roundup February 2009 - The Best FireFox extensionsThose of you following me on twitter know I tend to spend a bit of time every couple of days in finding new extensions for FireFox (and sometimes Thunderbird) which are making my life as an Information Architect, Web Designer or Project Development Manager easier. These extensions may be some all of us have been using for ages but never really realised we had them installed, or some we really wanted to see or use for some time, but never really spent the time researching whether these extensions are actually available. This is the list of February…
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Web Design, Web development

Rising Star Games has been redesignedThe new website of Rising Star Games, the Japanese publisher with European roots, has just been put live.

The website features a lot of new content, from news, game profiles and blogs over to forums, user profiles, members exclusive content and more! Plus, the sushi bar concept is working really nicely and displays latest information from the blog, the forum, news and upcoming releases

The website was designed and developed by Melon Design & Marketing on their in-house CMS Engine.

Visit RisingStarGames.com

Happy days!!! 😀

Information Architecture, Web Design, Web development

Strategies for working with developersWorking in a busy office is one of the best parts of being a designer or information architect – you can bounce off ideas, discuss projects with others and get their input, and you can generally have a good laugh.

That is until the time comes where a new project is being started or requirements are being updated. Usually then some sort of “rivalry” will ensue, and in 90% of the cases it will be between a designer or information architect and a developer or development coordinator. Scope was not fully explained or defined, the design is too complicated to build, or data is not coming from the sources it was meant to.

In those times frustration can quickly result in stress and lack of commitment to a project. Let’s see what we would do to remedy that…
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Flash Development, Web development

Google Ocean has been released, first commercial layers on their way!Google Earth’s latest update – Google Ocean – adds a plethora of underwater maps for users to take a dive beneath the water surface and explore the 3D terrain (no more 2D relief maps!) of the world’s sea floors, completely with underwater elevations. Users will be able to explore underwater volcanoes and shipwrecks, and even video footage from the most famous diving spots across the world.

And to make sure you have plenty to look at Google added 20 content layers containing information from the world’s leading underwater researchers, ocean explorers and scientists.

The virtual earth is coming more and more alive…and new layers for travel websites are already in development! Continue Reading