Monthly Archives: March 2010

Aesthetic Usability Effect

The aesthetic usability effect is where a user will perceive an attractive product as easier to use than an ugly one. It doesn’t actually matter if they are easier to use or not they are perceived as such so users will make subconscious concessions and overlook many difficulties. The seminal work on this principle is [...]

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Reducing Damage Through Usability

I spent my weekend installing a new central heating system. When I unpacked one of the radiators (the largest one at 1.2m x 0.5m ) it was damaged. Most of the radiators had the odd dent in the grills but could easily bent back in to shape. This one however had been in the wars [...]

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Call to Action vs Mental Models

After reading John Gruber’s post An Ode to DiskWarrior, SuperDuper, and Dropbox over at Daring Fireball, I decided to give Dropbox a go.
So I went over to their site for a look:

Nice and clean looking. I watched the video and was sold – sign me up! But, this is where the trouble started. The service [...]

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Why We Test

The 2 buttons in the above picture are for a toilet flush. One button does a big flush using lots of water; the other does a smaller flush using less. Using a small flush when that’s all that is needed avoids wasting water and that’s a good thing.
As you can see the 2 buttons are [...]

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