We need to rethink affordances in interface design

Yesterday David Arno tweeted this:
“Use proper affordances — buttons should look like buttons” Why? How often do ppl press physical buttons compared with hitting touch areas? (source).

David hits the nail on the head. A touch area should look like a touch area – the button term in the “tactile transferred to touchscreen” is redundant. It’s redundant because the tactile button itself is pretty much extinct. Sure, there are physical buttons on kitchen devices etc., but many, many buttons today are placed on a digital interface.

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An epiphany: Usability testing on high fidelity prototypes

I love usability testing. There is something extremely rewarding and challenging about interacting with actual users who will show you what works and what doesn’t.

And so, I was very excited to hear the last talk at the Future of Webdesign, the amazing conference I participated in recently. The talk was by Dan Rubin – and it absolutely blew me away. I had never thought to approach usability testing this way, so I’m very excited to share my epiphany with you.

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FOWD #5: Dan Rubin on high fidelity usability testing

Dan Rubin – Blending usability testing with interface design, prototyping and rapid iteration
Dan’s talk was the last one of the conference for me – and he absolutely blew me away. He took us through a project he had been involved with where they had used something called inherent value testing and high fidelity prototypes.
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FOWD #2: Paul Boag on 5 skills for webdesigners

Paul Boag – 5 new skills every webdesigner must know
Paul’s talk was highly inspirational, fun and provocative.
One of Paul’s statements that I really liked and agreed with was this: For most webdesigners, being a specialist is not an option. You need to be a generalist – because your clients will expect you to help them in many different areas.
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The Future of Web Design conference – high points

It’s Friday morning on the 21st May 2010, the day after I returned home from the amazing FOWD conference in London.

I got to hear just about everyone on my Must-see list except for Denise Jacobs and Brad Haynes (because I decided to see Remi Sharp’s and Paul Boag’s talks instead). But the ones I missed I will be able to catch on video when I get home (if you missed the conference, you can buy a full video coverage from FOWD).

On this early, and very beautiful morning, I will give you my roundup on the highs and lows of FOWD. Actually, only the highs, as there really were no lows – Carsonified did a truly awesome :) job on this one.

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