Thursday, 18 March 2010

Web usability trends

Usability issues change as the users become more experienced. We all know this and can trace differences in approach to the issues over time on the various iMedia devices. Engaging with your users in meaningful ways now drives design far more than it used to. Understanding your market either happens because you have a track record in developing for the niche, or you build in time/money in your project's development to define the users' behaviour.

So, it came as no surprise for us to find an interesting research project on specific reactions to interactive devices for defined childrens' age ranges (0-6 and 6-12) on behalf of the BBC. They want to employ a psychologist who has experience with eye tracking interpretation to help assess reactions particularly from pre-school aged children. This group of children present great difficulty for researchers as they find it hard if not impossible to put their feelings into words. (The job deadline has just passed if you were interested.) See

Human Computer Interaction is an exciting field. It has come of age with the plethora of interactive devices coupled with the growth in use of the devices, and the understanding that making interaction usable and accessible can mean added value. This happens through increased sales, or, buying into a brand because of a connection with what it offers, or, faster comprehension of the content on offer - whatever makes the difference between competitors.

You may like to dip a toe into this HCI world if you’re not already party to it. There's a conference coming up in April in the USA with presentations on such aspects as: Making meaning in large displays, Understanding Cool, Avatars and virtual environments, Seniors using technology, Pixels and perception, Designing User Interfaces for Multi-touch and Surface-Gesture Devices, HCI in China, etc.

See the full advance program at

Exciting developments, don't you agree? How would you define your company's expertise in such matters? Do you collaborate with specialist companies?