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Articles & Interviews

When we choose the topics for our conference, we pick those areas that people tell us they want more in-depth information. As we prepare for the conference, it's helpful to get our thoughts into articles and interviews, so we can get our head around what's really happening in the world of interaction design. Take a look at our latest feature articles.

Usability Testing

CUE: A Usability Testing Bake-Off
In 1998, Rolf Molich held what we could call the first usability testing bake-off. He called it a Comparative Usability Evaluation or CUE. The CUE can help you improve your own usability practices by learning how others test their interfaces.

Looking Back on 16 Years of Paper Prototyping
Jared M. Spool discusses the lessons we've learned from practicing paper prototyping for 16 years. He'll share what's new about this valuable technique and what's still the same.

Usability Testing Best Practices: An Interview with Rolf Molich
UIE's Christine Perfetti asked Rolf Molich his thoughts on the best practices surrounding usability testing. Here's what they talked about.

Usability Testing: Learning from the Work of Others
Rolf Molich has conducted two experiments comparing the work of different usability teams, examining their practices, and looking for patterns and differences. His experiments provide extremely valuable material for sharpening individual usability practices.

Preventing Usability Problems from the Get-go
UIE has been researching how designs are created in the first place. Our goal is to identify those places where usability problems are first put into the design and to come up with ways to prevent it from the outset. In the successful teams, the same three techniques pop up again and again: field studies, personas, and usability testing.

Information Architecture

The Importance of a Customer-Centric Design Approach: An Interview with Gerry McGovern
UIE's Christine Perfetti recently talked with Gerry about the importance of a customer-centric approach to design. Here is what Gerry had to say about his experiences.

Web Navigation Is About Moving Forward
The primary purpose of web navigation is to help people to move forward. It is not to tell them where they have been, or where they could have gone.

Lifestyles of the Link-Rich Home Pages
What's the difference between a helpful home page and a common site map? Jared M. Spool suggests not much, and predicts that home pages with few links will soon become a thing of the past.

Web Content Management is Not Data Management
Web content management and data/document management require very different approaches. Data management is about storage; web content management is about using content to make the sale, deliver the service, and build the brand.

The Right Information
In our work, we often see many sites deliver information to the users, but it's not the right information. The absence of the right information takes many forms, but it always has the same results -- users can't accomplish their goals. To be successful, design teams must look beyond the navigation and links, and think about how users are going to use the information to accomplish their objectives.

Centralize Your Information Architecture
Gerry McGovern discusses why centralizing your Information Architecture can help you save your company money and win friends at the same time.

Information Architecture Made Simple -- and No Simpler
Right now is a great time to be approaching the redesign of a site's information architecture. The Web is not so new anymore. So much has been learned and figured out about what works and what doesn't work. Your job can be so much easier by adapting best practices.

Words Drive Action: An Interview with Gerry McGovern
UIE's Christine Perfetti and Joshua Porter recently talked with Gerry about the importance of an editorial perspective in a web development process.

Business Strategy

Building and Managing a Successful User Experience Team
UIE’s Christine Perfetti recently interviewed Sarah Bloomer and Susan Wolfe, two premier User Experience experts, to discuss how organizations can make their UX practices a success. Here’s what they had to say.

Identifying the Business Value of What We Do
Resources in our organization are usually tightly constrained -- not enough time, money, or people to accomplish everything we want to improve. Knowing how to identify and communicate the business value of a project will substantially help it get approved and supported by the organization. Jared talks about the key five business value areas and how to relate design improvements into the overall success of the organization.

Persuasion Architecture

Thinking Beyond Conversion
Jeffrey Eisenberg discusses how teams need to change their design strategies to see dramatic improvements in site conversion rates. They must recognize that while their goal may be conversion, their practice must be persuasion.

Web Development Approaches

The Quiet Death of the Major Re-launch
Sites re-launch all the time in spectacular fashion. But this is starting to change. Jared points out how the best design teams are slowly evolving their sites, not drastically overhauling them.

Designing Powerful Web Applications: An Interview with David (Heller) Malouf
UIE's Joshua Porter recently interviewed David (Heller) Malouf, a premier Interaction Designer, to discuss the issues involved when development teams are thinking about designing web applications using AJAX and RIAs.

Where Visual Design Meets Usability -- An Interview with Luke Wroblewski, Part I
UIE's Joshua Porter catches up with Luke Wroblewski about the intersection between visual design and web site usability. Here is what Luke had to say.

Web 2.0: The Power Behind the Hype
Jared M. Spool challenges the myth of Web 2.0, uncovering APIs, RSS, Folksonomies, and Social Networking, which suddenly give application developers a new way to approach hard problems with surprisingly effective results.

Using Ajax for Creating Web Applications
By combining the sophistication of screen-based apps to the relative ease-of-implementation of paged-based apps, Ajax is a solid alternative for new interface development.