February 22, 2002

The Krugmeister, Krugeroonie, Krugster...
Okay, I don't know Steve Krug that well...I mean I know him a bit...alright, I had to pay for his book, and I've emailed him a couple times -- he even emailed me back once and didn't mention a restraining order.

Anyway, you should check out an excellent interview with Steve on an Irish site called webBusters. I think the things that've made Steve an instant hit are his sense of humor, practicality, and tone. He connects with people actually practicing usability and design in the trenches on real-life projects. Put simply, he doesn't claim to be a guru and knows how to have fun. Those of us practicing or selling usability can learn from the way Steve presents his material and opinions.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the interview:

"I wrote my book in hopes that I could make life a little easier for people who've been handed the job of designing a site, by teaching them how to think like a usability expert, an information architect, and an interaction designer. (It's really unpleasant to be doing a job when you don't feel like you know what you're doing.)"

On accessibility:
"...the people building the sites are between a rock and a hard place. If they want to do the right thing, they have to get educated about how to do it, which is not easy. ... And then they have to do all this on top of the design, which they don't have enough time for in the first place. ... I think the real solution in the long run is probably improvements to browser and screen reader technology so they work together better."

When asked which web sites will be around in 15 years:

And if you happen to be someone involved in web projects who'd like to get started just understanding what usability is about, READ STEVE KRUG's BOOK: Don't Make Me Think. Stop by sometime, I'll let you borrow my copy.

February 18, 2002

Requirements gathering is like sex
Peter Van Dijck's take on how clients fantasize about their conceptual applications. This short post is really great -- I think he's right on target. Of course, the analogy makes you feel a little dirty, and after reading it I don't think I can ever use a certain quote from the movie "Field of Dreams" in a client meeting again.
Elegant Hack redesign
One of my favorite sites, Elegant Hack, has recently been redesigned. Not sure I like the new home page -- kinda boxy, but cool photos. Anyway, Christina's style and content are top-notch, especially her blog: "Gleanings". (Come to think of it she also has great names for both, as well as a slick, IA-geeky logo.)

And yes, Christina, you can put "mentat" on your business card. More people in the biz world would probably know what mentat means than "information architect"...plus mentat is much cooler sounding.