Ideas & Issues

Introduction

If you paid any attention to video game news in the past year, you will have no doubt heard volumes about the Star Wars Battlefront 2 Loot Box controversy. In essence, the publisher of the game, Electronic Arts, utilized a micro-transaction model in the game’s multiplayer. This was widely frowned upon due to exploitative way in which it was implemented.… Continue Reading »

Good Intentions ≠ Good Research: Identifying & combating cognitive bias in usability research

Image credit: KnowYourMeme.com

Ignorance is not bliss

There’s an old saying you might have heard. It goes something like this: “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” Usually, this is said after a series of betrayals by a friend, a family member, or a loved one. But could it reach into UX research as well?… Continue Reading »

Design Critique: Calm (iOS app)

Calm is an app that aims to reduce anxiety and stress through guided meditations, nature sounds, and sleep stories. A wide range of preferences are accommodated: hurried users can quickly launch a 10-minute “Daily Calm,” while users seeking specificity can pursue 30-day programs centered around a particular theme. Named Apple’s 2017 App of the Year on iPhone, a staggering 5-10 million users have downloaded the app.… Continue Reading »

Design Story: FUBU (For Users, By Users)

About the Project

This project was done in Pratt Institute’s Information Architecture and Interaction Design taught by Craig MacDonald. For this project, my group and I were given the task of redesigning the information architecture for Sesame Workshop (www.sesameworkshop.org) that would make the site’s interface much more user friendly, increasing its usability through improvements of its navigation, layout, and how its contents were displayed.Continue Reading »

Visual Lies: Usability in Deceptive Data Visualizations

Designers can utilize usability principles to create products that may greatly enhance our everyday lives. From smart phone apps to non-Norman Doors, the application of usability principles has given us wonderful tools, games, and digital interfaces. But what about the dark, deceptive uses of these principles?

In a previous post, I explored ways in which online notices for terms and conditions are often designed in ways to be deceptive to internet users (that post can be found by clicking here).… Continue Reading »

Universal Design: An Accessibility Solution for Digital Humanities?

Accessibility has recently become a crucial talking point in digital humanities. Some scholars have argued that the best way to account for accessibility is to implement universal design principles when developing DH projects. This post considers positive and negative aspects of universal design in DH and advocates for a more practical modified solution.

Accessibility, or “how a disabled person accesses or benefits from a site, system[,] or application,” has become a topic of great importance in the digital humanities (DH) community, as evidenced by its appearance as the main theme of the international DH2017 conference.… Continue Reading »

Design Critique: Spotify (iOS App)

Discovering music has never been easier now that people can carry millions of songs in their pockets using apps like Spotify, a digital streaming service that allows users to search, discover and play songs. Although Spotify’s iOS app can be used effectively, it has room to improve its usability and discoverability.

 

Song-Specific Menus

Spotify’s song-specific menus give users good discoverability through mapping and effective feedback.… Continue Reading »

Design Critique: Splitwise (iPhone App)

Splitwise (version 4.4.12 for iOS 9.0 or later) is an Apple iPhone application designed to “split bills and expenses the easy way.” This app functions as a bill splitting and record-keeping tool for roommates, friends, or any group of individuals with shared or borrowed expenses. Splitwise provides an appealing and simple digital interface that makes bill creation quick and easy but requires some additional work to be an effective record-keeping app for bills.… Continue Reading »

Design Critique: Goodreads (iOS App)

This design critique is for the mobile iPhone application for Goodreads.com. Goodreads is a site that helps users keep track of which books they have read and those they want to read. This critique focuses on four different attributes of the app: the scanning feature, the search function, the “want-to-read” button, and duplicate editions.

The scanning feature is a feature on the app that utilizes the iPhone’s camera to scan a book’s ISBN number.Continue Reading »