Simplicity is the Ultimate Enabler

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” – Albert Einstein Simplicity is among the ultimate of pursuits.  It’s one of your most efficient and effective tools in your toolbox.  I used simplicity as the basis for my personal results system, Agile Results, and it’s served me well for more than a…

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Dive Right In: The Art of Menu Design in Action

I’ve updated my menu at Sources of Insight to make it easy to dive into hot topics including Innovation, Leadership, Personal Development, Productivity and more. (here is the full Topics pages.) I made them front and center on the top menu bar: I’ll be testing the effectiveness of this new menu for the next 30…

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How I Learned to Use Scenarios to Evaluate Things

I first learned to use scenarios to evaluate things when I was working on security guidance for the Microsoft platform.   It was the most obvious way to really get hardcore:  Map out the most important scenarios that people perform, and use those as tests to evaluate. I know “scenario” is an overloaded term, but in…

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10 Tips on Better Design by David Straker

If you’re into change leadership or persuasion, you might know David Straker from ChangingMinds.org, where he’s put together a massive knowledge base of concepts, techniques, principles, and theories on the art and science of change leadership.   David is also the master mind behind CreatingMinds.org, where he has put together an arsenal of content and tools…

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Any Activity Can Be Turned into a Game

Any activity can be turned into a game, if it meets the right criteria.  Wise words from Dan Cook:      “If an activity can be learned…      If the player’s performance can be measured…      If the player can be rewarded or punished in a timely fashion…      Then any activity that meets these criteria…

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Test-Driven Product Design

One way to drive more effective product design is to start with scenarios.  One way to think of this is “Persona-based scenarios with goals.”  You can use the scenarios as test cases.  The scenarios can help you evaluate the design and they can help you evaluate implementation.  Simply put, “Can the persona or user perform…

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Expert Reviews Using Heuristic Evaluation

Heuristic evaluation is one of the most common types of expert reviews for Web sites.  It was developed by Jakob Nielsen.  In the book, The Design of Sites, by Douglas K. Van Duyne, James A. Landay, Jason I. Hong, the authors explain heuristic evaluations. What Is a Heuristic Evaluation Van Duyne, Landay, and Hong write:…

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Paper Prototypes Over Computer-Based Tools

When it comes to prototyping Web site design, paper prototypes tend to have an advantage.  In the book, The Design of Sites, by Douglas K. Van Duyne, James A. Landay, Jason I. Hong, the authors explain some of the advantages. Iterate and Explore the Design with Paper Prototypes Van Duyne, Landay, and Hong write: "Research…

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Site Maps, Storyboards, and Schematics for Site Design

When you’re prototyping sites in the early stage, the three main artifacts are: sitemaps, storyboards, and schematics.  In the book, The Design of Sites, by Douglas K. Van Duyne, James A. Landay, and Jason I. Hong describe the three artifacts as follows: Sitemaps – a high-level diagram showing the overall structure of a site.  You…

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Information Architecture, Navigation Design, and Graphic Design

There’s often confusion over the distinction between information architecture, navigation design, and graphic design.  One of my favorite books that explains what these terms are and the distinctions is the book, The Design of Sites, by Douglas K. Van Duyne, James A. Landay, Jason I. Hong. Van Duyne, Landay, and Hong define the terms as…

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