Archive for 2006

Objects and actions analysis is a method of documenting what data (objects) need to be manipulated and what functions (actions) can be performed on the objects. A key benefit of the analysis is representing system functionality without consideration of how the interface needs to look or behave. At Blink we have found that conducting objects… Read more

One of the most important parts of planning for any type of user research or usability testing is a clear set of research questions: what do you want to find out as a result of the study? It seems like an obvious step, yet sometimes this is overlooked. For usability testing, a common starting place… Read more

Complicated page layouts confuse users and cause them to overlook important content. Avoid this fate by following a few key design principles. An overlooked source of long task times and task failures is a destination page that is so poorly laid out that the user can’t find what they are looking for—even when they’ve landed… Read more

We have a few methods at Blink to pencil in future functionality, but still optimize your users’ initial experience. During an interaction design project, our wireframes are typically reviewed by clients both for what can be done and what should be done. One of our greatest challenges is keeping track of functionality that our clients… Read more

At Blink we create behavioral profiles, along with key scenarios, to characterize users and usage. If you have been around system design in the past several years, you have no doubt encountered personas: bright, whole, wholesome (and entirely fictional) users complete with family members, college degrees, cars, and recreational interests. Personas are created to help… Read more

Many sites are going wider, but should yours? There are several issues to consider before making the switch. Recently, several well-known news sites (cnn.com, espn.com, cnet.com, nytimes.com) have increased their page widths to 1024 pixels (more accurately 984, accounting for browser chrome). This naturally leads to the question: Should we increase the base resolution of… Read more

Approximately 8% percent of Caucasian males have some type of color blindness (more correctly referred to as color deficiency). Despite this fact, major sites rely on users' ability to distinguish red. Read more