I’m speaking at Chi Sparks!

Inclusive design is the area of HCI where we aim to empower users through products and services that match their capabilities. Zoon, Cremers, & Eggen offer a toolbox, consisting of an app and a book, that helps designers in practice to find suitable research methods for a range of specific groups of users, such as elderly people, or people with low literacy.

Include – the Movie

(I apologise for not being able to show the video or the prototype anymore)

To celebrate finishing the final prototype of Include, the toolbox for inclusive design and user research, here’s a video showing the app.

Also have a look at the working prototype and check out the methods!

2013 Blog Stats – Happy New Year

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 17,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

The Joy of Cooking Methods

I was quite inspired by a talk by Ron Wakkary of Simon Fraser University. Although his comment was about tutorials for DIY projects such as Instructables, I found it useful to see my user research methods from that perspective as well.

A cookbook is an integral part of cooking. Recipes follow a clear structure which has evolved over years and years of practice, giving it quality. DIY tutorials have not gone through that evolution yet, and there are no clear guidelines on how a tutorial is set up. This makes them sometimes very hard to follow and impossible to compare – Ron Wakkary, October 22 2013, Eindhoven

So I asked him afterwards, if their research had produced some criteria that make a recipe ‘good quality’, and if these criteria could be applied to tutorials. Of course I am also thinking that if there is a set of rules to follow that produces easy-to-follow recipes and DIY tutorials, they must have some positive impact on the description of user research methods. Ron said:

The best structure of a recipe is perhaps shown in ‘The Joy of Cooking‘ cookbook. It starts with the ingredients. You need to know how much output will be generated. The ingredients are ordered in such a way, that by just reading that list you can almost know how you should make it. The recipe mentions how much time each part will take. What the sequence of actions is, how to source materials. It is almost like programming. It also has to do with understanding what tools are available in a standard kitchen. For example, old cookbooks often start with a chapter on what utensils should be in your kitchen - Ron Wakkary, October 22 2013, Eindhoven

Naturally I am going to use these insights to improve the way the methods in my toolbox are structured. And my idea of a ‘user research cookbook’ also popped back up. But perhaps the biggest impact of these ‘rules’ will be to guide the users of the toolbox, when they add their own new methods, in such a way that they are easy to follow for others.

And of course now I will have to buy the The Joy of Cooking!