Technology

My top iPad app reviewsIn my last blog post I was talking about my latest purchase, the iPad. Obviously, the cool thing about the iPad / iPod / iPhone family is not the functionality of the device on its own, but rather the apps people make for it.

So, which apps would I, a web designer, project manager and information architect buy in my first week of buying the iPad? Let’s have a look:

My Top iPad apps – for work

2Do for the iPad (£2.39)

This is a great app, it integrates nicely with Outlook and allows for a number of nice features such as map locations, contacts, etc. The only thing it doesn’t do (and where it falls down) is the fact that  Continue Reading

Technology

My iPad and my catLast week I took the plunge finally and bought and iPad. Actually I bought two, one for me and one for my fiancee, but nontheless, I took the plunge. Unlike my iPod Touch purchase, this was a bit more of a gamble, purely because it is a lot more money for something that is “just a larger iPod”. Minutes after ordering it from the Apple online store I wondered: “will I enjoy the purchase? Will I make the most of it? and What if not?”

Well, last week the iPad arrived, together with a number of accessories (which I will discuss in more detail below), and I spent the last week looking at apps, reading up reviews and testing them to make the most of my day-to-day activities as a web designer, project leader and information architect.

So, read on for my thoughts on the iPad and accessory reviews…

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Usability & Accessibility, Web development

the trouble with supporting IE6 - whatwasithinking.co.ukOver the last week or so, the discussion “should we continue to support IE6” has been gaining more and more momentum. Digg, Mashable, Techcrunch and other websites ran features about why IE6 should be given the boot, websites like facebook and youtube are starting to phase out the browser, hinting users to upgrade their browser.

This sparked a long and heated debate in a number of web design agencies and clients I am working with (or have worked with / for), whether it would be worth just dropping the support for Internet Explorer 6 and ask users to upgrade their browsers so that they can enjoy the website to the fullest.

Coming from a usability, accessibility, SEO and web dev background, I thought it might be a good idea writing why I would recommend supporting (or not supporting) IE6 in the industry I am working for. Continue Reading

Usability & Accessibility

10 ways to improve the usability of your e-commerce websiteWith more and more consumers spending time on the web looking for online bargains (let’s be honest, if I see a game for £27.99 online but £34.99 in shops then I wouldn’t be thinking twice either) instead of shops, companies must ask themselves if their website is not only showing the right prices, but is also usable enough to order items from.

In 2005 there was a huge wave of online shops reworking their ordering processes to make them more usable and accessible to people, which was a sounding success for many companies. These days however more offline stores are trying to expand to the web and are asking for advice. Here are ten ways to improve the usability of your e-commerce site to maximise your conversion rate and help convert ‘browsing your wares’ into ‘placing an order’: Continue Reading

Usability & Accessibility, Web Design

5 steps for improving website usabilityUsability is a serious concern for many websites – what does the customer want when he arrives on your website? Does the user know where to go, what to do and how to ask questions or enquire / purchase?

Knowing the usability heuristics is already a very good start, but how can you make sure your website can be enjoyed by as many people as possible without causing headaches or frustration? Continue Reading

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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