Archive for the ‘News’ Category

October 2010 News

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

Our Agile UX & UCD course was well-received in Brussels. We are running it again in London and Hamburg in November. Also, two of our courses have been accepted for the CHI 2011 programme in Vancouver next May – Card Sorting for Navigation Design and Agile UX & UCD. See our courses schedule page for more details.

September 2010 News

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

We still have places remaining on our Web and Intranet Usability Course on 13 September in central London. This course is ideal for development teams, managers and those wanting to move into or already getting started in usability. For experienced usability practitioners, the course provides practical activities that can be used with teams to help sell the case for usability and user-centred design.

Our two people-skills courses have been combined into a single day, focusing on communicating and negotiating with emotional intelligence (Gordon Brown could have done with this according to Tony Blair’s autobiography!)

We recently completed an interesting usability and user experience evaluation of a SharePoint collaboration site for a European Central Bank. It involved a design review and usability testing with internal users. We discovered some challenging issues around terminology and people’s perception of some of the solutions (‘a blog? I couldn’t possibly use that for a serious project at work’). Get in touch if you need usability, accessibility or user experience expertise.

July 2010 News – Additional course dates, venues and free reports

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

We’ve been making arrangements over the past couple of months to go pan-European (at least on a small scale) with our UX and UCD courses. I’m pleased to be able to add dates in Brussels and Hamburg to our regular London series for later in 2010. Plus, for London and Brussels, you can book three places across any of the courses and only pay for two. See our course schedule for more details.

Also, we’ve recently released our User Experience Benchmarking Report on US and UK clothing e-tailers (the top 6 of each according to traffic figures). It was a close-run contest between the two sets of sites, with the UK coming out just a bit ahead on average scores. However, if it weren’t for the USA’s top performer, the results would have been heavily in favour of the UK contingent. (I have tried very hard not to take sides – I was born and raised in the US and have been living in the UK since the mid-1970’s.) Download the full report to read the exciting details – a small taster is given in the overall summary chart below.

Click for full benchmarking reports

Click for full benchmarking reports

UCD/UX/Usability Course Series – Card Sorting First Up

Monday, May 31st, 2010

We are running a series of UCD/UX/ Usability courses in London along with associated soft skills courses tailored for IT and New Media staff.

The first of these is our new full-day card sorting course focussing on navigation design, developed for the Nielsen Norman Group Usability Week conference in Las Vegas last year. This covers a wide range of topics – both our own sorting tools and other resources – including online sorting services. Attendees will receive a free license for our analysis software, Syncaps V2, which normally sells for £150. (A user in Texas recently wrote to us saying “we love the capabilities”). The course is scheduled for 5 July with an early booking discount available up to and including Friday, 11 June.

Best of all, a three-places-for-the-price-of-two discount is available both within and across the whole series of courses. The full list includes:

  • Card Sorting for Navigation Design
  • Web Design for Usability
  • Communicating with Emotional Intelligence
  • Agile UCD
  • Persona-Driven Design
  • Negotiating Skills
  • Ajax Design & Usability

Further details and online bookings are available at ww.syntagm.co.uk/design/courses.htm

CHI & UPA 2010 Conferences

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

We ran two courses at the CHI conference in Atlanta – Card Sorting and Ajax Design & Usability. The latter coincided with news from Morgan Kaufman that they will be publishing my book on Ajax UX later next year. I also attended a couple of interesting courses while I was at CHI, the only down side to the whole conference being that I got diverted to Belgium on my return and had to spend a couple of days in Brussels followed by a very expensive (but quite short) train ride from Brussels to London. I did fare better than those who stayed on until the end of the conference, as many were stuck in Atlanta for an extra week. (No offence to Atlanta, but it isn’t really a two-week holiday destination unless you rent a car.)

The very first UPA conference to be held outside of North America starts in about 10 days. On Monday evening (24 May) we’ll be running our Ajax course again, followed by a full day course on Web Design for Usability. I’m keeping an eye on alternative routes for returning from Munich, but hopefully flights will be running as usual.

Finally, if you like to let us know what courses are of interest to you at conferences and as one-day events, please fill out our brief survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LY8KSKX before 22 May 2010.

You can also enter our raffle for a GBP 35/USD 50/ EUR 35 Amazon voucher by completing the questionnaire. It will only take a few minutes.

March 2010 UK UPA Talk

Monday, March 15th, 2010

William is giving this months UK UPA talk in London on 18 March, based on his reduced empathizing skills paper presented at the CHI 2009 and British HCI 2009 last year. The UPA talk is entitled The psychology of nerdiness and its implications for user-centered design and is a light-hearted look at some of the important issues raised by the paper. Slides and a video will be available from the UK UPA site after the event.

The original paper, Reduced Empathizing Skills Increases Challenges for User-Centered Design,  is available here.

Card Sorting Software Price Reductions

Friday, January 29th, 2010

SynCaps V1 is now free. V2 has been reduced to £150. See our SynCaps comparison chart for more information on their differences.

Las Vegas, Berlin and World Usability Day

Monday, October 26th, 2009

We presented two one-day courses – Ajax Design and Usability and Card Sorting at the NNG Usability Week Conference in Las Vegas. The weather was great, but we were inside most of the time (I also thought that would be very convenient but being couped up all day is not such a great idea). We will be presenting Ajax Design and Usability again in Berlin next month (see http://www.nngroup.com/events/berlin/agenda.html).

To celebrate World Usability Day on 12 November, we are planning some special offers. Be sure to visit our site during the week commencing 9 November.

Dates study, user experience benchmarking and more…

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Many thanks to the hundreds of people who took part in our dates study. We had almost 1,000 responses in a one week period. I have written a full report of the study and put it in the resources section of our site – www.syntagm.co.uk/design/datesstudy.htm – but read on for a headline summary. Respondents who used month-first order were torn between ‘8/2/09’ and ‘August 2 2009’ with the former slightly ahead. Those who used day-first ordering had a strong preference for ‘2 August 2009’ while a very small number of respondents used the ISO date standard: 2009-08-02. Having said that, the thing I really wanted to know was whether people used leading zeroes without being asked. The answer is pretty much ‘no’. 76% of all responses used no leading zeroes in the day or month. Read the full report to find out why this is interesting (to me, at least).

Having spent 7 years benchmarking intranets, it is now the turn of e-commerce sites. The first in our new series of user experience benchmarking reports addresses the UK mobile phone market and covers 12 of the leading vendors: Argos, Carphone Warehouse, Expansys, mobiles.co.uk, O2, Orange, phones4u, Tesco, T-Mobile, Three, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone. There were some big surprises in the ratings – see our overview at www.uxbench.com. Also, join our UX benchmarking email list to have a chance to win a personal copy of the report. Just send an empty email to subscribe-uxbench@listman.syntagm.co.uk (unsubscribing is easy too).

Finally, a reminder of our upcoming courses. We are running our full-day card sorting and Ajax interaction design courses in London, Las Vegas and Berlin in the Autumn (the later two venues as part of the Nielsen-Norman Group conferences). See www.csadvances.com and www.ajaxusability.com for further details (and to book the London dates).

Card Sorting and Ajax Usability Courses in London, Las Vegas and Berlin

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

We have been asked by the Nielsen-Norman Group to present our card sorting and Ajax usability courses at their Usability Week conferences later in the year. (The half-day versions were well-received at CHI 2009 in Boston and will appear at HCI 2009 at Cambridge University in September – see http://www.hci2009.org).

So here is the current Autumn schedule:

ADVANCES IN CARD SORTING (FULL DAY)

  • 5 October 2009, London
  • 11-16 October 2009 (part of NNG Usability Week), Las Vegas

AJAX DESIGN AND USABILITY (FULL DAY)

  • 6 October 2009, London
  • 11-16 October 2009 (part of NNG Usability Week), Las Vegas
  • 15-20 November 2009 (part of NNG Usability Week), Berlin

The dates for the Nielsen-Norman Group presentations have not been fixed yet, but will appear on their site in due course (http://www.nngroup.com). I would be happy to answer any questions about the content of these courses, but all practical arrangements will be through NNG.

For the London courses, you can book directly through our web site. Discounts are available for groups of three bookings or more. A further discount is available (on the one-day price) for places on both days.

Visit:
http://www.csadvances.com for Advances in Card Sorting (5 October, London)
http://www.ajaxusability.com for Ajax Design and Usability (6, October, London)

Both days can be booked from either page. All of our courses (including the above) can be found at http://www.syntagm.co.uk/design/courses.htm