August 22, 2002

The Wireless Lexicon
The Wireless Lexicon (PDF) is an attempt to codify the terms involved in the wireless user experience. It contains 228 terms. If you're not sure what some of these terms mean, you might want to check it out.

- Soft key
- 3G
- 2.5G
- baseband
- express key
- multi-tap
- T9

The document is intended for use by people working with the wireless platform, including: application designers, engineers, technical writers, and journalists. It is assumed that the reader has some familiarity with cellular phones and a basic understanding of web technology.

August 21, 2002

Why XP and UX have Something in Common
George Olsen shares his experience and opinions on how to get Extreme Programming (XP) and user experience design (UX) to play well together. As usual, George's thoughts are great -- I can see this being useful to anyone trying to instill UCD practices in an XP or Rational development shop.

"Refactoring - a key principle of XP - may work behind-the-scenes, but it doesn't work for what's visible. In fact a key tenet of refactoring is that doesn't change the observable behaviour of the software, it improves its internal structure. Which needless to say requires that the programming object be well-designed, even if it's first implementations are kludgy."..."While XP programmers understand this in terms of programming objects, we need to get them to understand this is true of the user interface. In essence the entire user interface is just a big collections of "objects" (screens), each with required inputs and outputs. These need to be well-designed before you start coding."

I got a chance to meet George briefly at CHI 2002, and had the pleasure of working with him (as editor) on a Boxes and Arrows article i wrote about that conference. You may also have seen some of George's other work previously:
- Interaction by Design - George's company
- UX Thoughts - George's articles and blog called Thumbnails
- Web Standards Project - George co-founded the WaSP in 1998
- An un-dated interview with George about the WaSP
- He's editor for Boxes and Arrows

As you can see, George needs to get out of the house more. :-)
Why are usability and interaction designers difficult to work with?
Someone in the Joel on Software discussion area asked about the value of working with usability or 'interaction design' professionals and wondered about difficulties of working with us.

Looks like so far I'm the only HCI person who is willing to respond in the JOS Discussion Forum. I didn't really think the questions were fair, as you'll see in my response. (Scroll down a ways or do a "Find" for 'Lyle'. there's no way to link directly to my comments.)

Joel on Software rocks.
I particularly liked a post he wrote on bloatware and usability.

[link via John at Webword]