Blogs are no good

…for understanding who you are designing for. I’ve been involved in too many discussions about a design (either after a usability study or a review or during the design process) when we are discussing something that doesn’t work or doesn’t feel right. Maybe we ran a usability study and observed that nobody could complete a…

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Innovation and design

I just read a great article by Alain Breillat describing the Apple design process: http://www.pragmaticmarketing.com/publications/magazine/6/4/you_cant_innovate_like_apple There are a couple of things that stood out for me: A real design process. The article says that Apple designers create 10 different mockups of any new feature they are working on. These are then narrowed down to three…

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There are many ways to skin a cat

I’ve observed this phenomenon quite a few times in different API usability studies and thought it would be worth discussing. It’s not uncommon for an API to offer multiple ways of accomplishing the same task. For example, the following two lines of code show two different ways of creating a StreamWriter that will append text…

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Interacting with templated controls in a Silverlight based Windows Phone 7 app

I have been struggling all day with trying to figure out how to refer to a templated control in a Windows Phone 7 app. The solution I ended up with was nothing like the solution I spent all day trying to figure out. I wanted to write this up for my own benefit so I might…

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Bricolage, tinkering and gender differences in programming

There’s a great essay at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703989304575503730101860838.html describing how great ideas often don’t come from “momentous ideas transcending their surroundings, a gifted mind somehow seeing over the detritus of old ideas and ossified tradition”. Instead, many great ideas come from a process of tinkering with the materials or ideas at hand and combining them in interesting and novel…

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Edinburgh Windows Azure Briefing

We’re holding an event on Windows Azure on October 12th in the Edinburgh office. Full details and signup info is here.

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Windows Phone 7 Developer Event

Gergely did a great job last night demonstrating how to build applications for the Windows Phone 7 device. He has put his slides here. If you attended and have any comments you would like to share about the event, please drop me a note.

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