Frustrated with the lack of local UX events, I’ve decided to run one. Thanks to support from both the Creative Quarter and my colleague Wayne Moir we have now got a UX event in Nottingham. UX Notts has its first event on the 19th November and the Pavilion on Lace Market Square. Which will be looking at Agency vs In-house design. Previously I’ve been involved in running events like Nottingham’s… Read More »New projects – UX Notts
Web & UI Design
Latest trends and themes within the web design, both technically and aesthetically.
Games UI Series
For some time I have written about both my professional and social interests on this blog; covering user experience and gaming, but I want to combine them and look at user interface design in games. I think this is an oft-neglected part of games, especially with the usual budget and time constraints, however as with any software design the usability of the user interface can have a profound effect on the user’s experience.
An advanced user experience on World of Warcraft
Usability in games is not restricted to on screen interactions, there is a such diversity of ways to interact with your gaming platform of choice; be it joypad, keyboard, touch screen, or no controller at all. This makes the platform and method of interaction a key part of the user experience in games, as such I will explore the strengths and weaknesses of these human-computer interfaces.
Some games designers and developers think that creating games is completely different to creating other software, because they are creating entertainment rather than tools. However recently as we have seen an increasing overlap between games and applications e.g. Epic Win we can see that these lines are far more blurred than previously considered. Software development has only recently realised the commercial value of user experience, but games developers often consider themselves the audience as well as the creators, failing to realise that their familiarity with their game hampers their ability to see their product impartially; perhaps more frustrated by the focus groups that require them to “dumb down” games than they are in the issues that may cause that confusion in the first place. While games do need to offer challenges in order to evoke a sense of achievement, these challenges should be designed and deliberate and not a hurdle of a poorly designed interface.
I was delighted to see that Edge has added to its staff Graham McAllister; the CEO of Vertical Slice, the UK’s first usability testing company to focus solely on games. This recognition of the need for usability in an industry leading publication can only help raise the profile of the value of understanding your users.
I’m hoping to write a series of game reviews, which look specifically at the UI and give a heuristic review on their strengths and weaknesses as well as offering possible alternative solutions where appropriate.Read More »User Interfaces in Games
I recently acquired a HTC Desire running Android 2.1 and it has significantly changed the way I use my mobile phone. The primary reason for this can easily be attributed to Android. I knew when selecting a new phone that the apps would make or break it. So why not go with iPhone? Because HTC make the best hardware on the market. [more] Hardware vs Software I have been a… Read More »Android and HTC: The mobile power couple
Pivot is a tool for browsing large collections of data, such as Wikipedia, and really shows the value of a good API and semantic data. It contains a filtering system on the left to help you dig into and out of the data, combined with a smooth zoom interface as we’ve seen implemented before in Seadragon and Photosynth and some very familiar browser elements such as tabs, most visited history… Read More »Pivot – interesting data navigation from Microsoft Labs.
Project Natal was announced by Microsoft at E3 as new interface peripheral for the Xbox 360, which removes the need for a joypad, instead body movement, facial recognition and voice are used for interaction. We have seen similar innovations with the EyeToy for the PS2 and the notion detection in the Wii, but both have severe limitations. The EyeToy is a single lens camera, so it is easily affected by… Read More »Project Natal
I loved the Google Wave demo, but probably for all the wrong reasons. I loved the fact that it was an honest demo, ok so that means it breaks, but I prefer to forgive a few bumps in the demo than see canned demos that are so slick I'm left wondering if it was all faked up. Google Wave made a lot of noise when the demo video was released,… Read More »Google Wave
Online Event Registration – Powered by www.eventbrite.com At last the ball is rolling… I'm really excited that at last I have managed to get the ball rolling and Girl Geek Dinners are back up and running in Nottingham. I have to say a massive and huge thank you to everyone who has been really supportive. I've never run an event like this before, but what I lack in experience I… Read More »Girl Geek Dinners is relaunched in Nottingham
If you are reading this then you are probably already aware of Ada Lovelace Day, but just in case; it is a day dedicated to blogging about women we admire in technology: I'm choosing to write about Molly E. Holzschlag, and why I admire her. (Disclaimer: fangirl moments are therefore to be expected). I've been working with the web for all of my professional career and it became very clear,… Read More »Ada Lovelace Day: Molly E. Holzschlag
Microsoft have released a demo of Photosynth that allows you to create your own experiences. It still only works in Internet Explorer and requires a plugin to view. But I've been waiting for ages to have a play with this technology. It is amazingly simple to use, you just add a selection of photos of your subject and you are away, there is no labourious stitching of photographs required, it… Read More »Create your own Photosynth
Microsoft has released it's first iPhone application and its a good one. Some of the more interesting things that are coming out of Microsoft labs are Photosynth and Seadragon, you can see an excellent demo of this at a TED talk from 2007: In brief Seadragon allows you to zoom quickly and smoothly through a great deal of visual information, so much information infact that when I originally saw the… Read More »Seadragon on the iPhone