Flashback: This Week in the Past on Tyner Blain [Feb 23]

the past

A look back at the best from this week in the past.

User Centered Design and Bridging the Canyon of Pain

bridge

There is such a thing as too much choice. For new users, too much choice (or control) is too much. For experienced users, too little choice is a problem. Ease of use usually comes from reduced control – but users don’t stay “new” for long. There’s a “canyon of pain” to quote Kathy Sierra in that transition from “new” to “experienced.” We call them “competent” users and we have to help them cross the canyon of pain.

Project Dashboard Icons

traffic light

We create project dashboards all the time to show status, or to give upper management an update. Dashboards and scorecards are great for giving us a “quick view” into the health of a project – they give us a way to drill down. Many of us use the colors red / yellow / green, with a stoplight metaphor. The problem is that some of us are colorblind. Johanna Rothman gives us a GREAT tip. We give you a set of icons / images.

Measuring the Cost of Quality

measuring

Should we test our software? Should we test it more?

The answer to the first question is almost invariably yes. The answer to the second question is usually “I don’t know.”

We write a lot about the importance of testing. We have several other posts in our series on software testing. How do we know when we should do more automated testing?

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