User Experience & Cognitive Pleasures (there’s easy, and then there’s *experience*)

Jenga

User experience and usability are two different things. And usability does not always imply a system or interface that does not require any learning, or any enquiry, or any challenge on the part of the user.

I constantly find myself trying to walk a balance between using ‘convention’ where it is most appropriate, but also looking for ways that we can look to use new forms of interaction to solve user experience problems. I can’t understand how people who do IA and UxD can find their work fulfilling if they are constantly wheeling out the same old solutions to problems that they face on their projects.

I don’t understand how we expect our profession to develop, how we are going to create *better* user experiences if we are not always testing new approaches, giving new solutions the opportunity to prove that they are feasable, efficient, ergonomic and pleasurable, rather than ruling them out wholesale because there’s nothing in a textbook to say that the approach is ok.

‘ooh, that’s innovation for innovation’s sake’, I hear from these people who are overly besotted with convention. Well no. It’s innovation so that I can continue to do *better* work, and so I don’t become an automaton. ‘show me the research that says your approach works’. Well, there is none.. yet. Let’s do some! ‘Tags, schmags. That’s fine for Flickr, but we’re not Flickr’. It’s difficult to argue with someone as obtuse and uninterested as that.

If you’re any good at your work and if you’ve been doing this UxD stuff for a while now, then you *can* almost do it in your sleep… if you’re content with taking an uninspired and boring approach to your work. Is that very respectful of your users?

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nerdy blog post (cool stuff for bloggers)

got a blog? this might interest you. Have you heard that Feedburner now support email subscriptions? Just copy and paste a little code into your template and they’ll do the rest. I signed myself up and received one of my own emails this evening, and it was a very satisfactory experience. So, if you want to get emails from here on, scroll down the homepage and you should see my little email signup form. Nice one Feedburner :)

But wait, there’s more. Do you have a WordPress blog? Would you like to get your Google Analytics and Feedburner stats all pulled together nicely into your WordPress Admin site? Well, clever Joe Tan has built us a plug in that does just that. Works beautifully. Good one Joe :)

links for 20 April 2006

oooh, we’ve got *lots* of juicy goodness in todays links. (Lots of research for me today!).

Enjoy :)

bloggers disproportionately influential (SMH)

interesting piece in the SMH this morning suggesting that bloggers and ‘internet pundits‘ are ‘exerting a “disproportionately large influence” on society….. “They’re not representative of the larger audience, but what they’re saying does matter” . Makes me wonder about the ethical responsibilities for people with disproportionately loud voices. Then makes me wonder whether, as there is such a low barrier to entry to blogging (or being ‘active’ on the internet) and voices are (in theory) so easily refuted… perhaps there is no such responsibility? Not sure. Thoughts anyone?