links for 06 April 2006

women of 2.0 (get up, stand up)

Bob Marley

It has been brought to my attention that there are no female web 2.0 bloggers or entrepreneurs in Australia. The 2Web guys were talking about it in one of their podcasts recently.

I know, I’m surprised too.

And I think we need to do something about it.

Of course, it’s complete rubbish to suggest that there aren’t smart, articulate women out there working in web 2.0 (or whatever other web-type label you feel more comfortable with). It seems, however, they generally do a pretty good job of hiding their lights under bushels (to make a vast generalisation).

Here are some smart women talking about this problem:

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Pattern Driven Usability (opportunities and challenges)

Certified

There’s been quite a bit of talk, on and off, around developing a library of patterns that interface designers could use that would mean that technology would become a whole lot more consistent and usable. So I was interested to discover that XPDesign, the methodology that PTG Global have been talking up for a while now, is essentially a part of this whole discussion.

PTG have been in the press a bit lately since they’ve launched their ‘certified usable‘ product.

The Certified Usable Guarantee: We guarantee that, on average, 90% of users can complete 90% of tasks with minimal assistance, within a reasonable time, without error, and with at least 80% satisfaction (based on a random sample of at least 300 end users using a Certified Usable™ technology product).

Craig Errey of PTG presented some of the fundamentals of XPDesign at the NSW CHISIG gathering last night. At the very least he should be congratulated for stimulating probably one of the most engaging debates around HCI methods that I’ve been a part of for quite a while.

The last one was probably back at OZCHI conference, where another PTG representative presented their work on the Citibank Mobile Banking interface and surprised many of us by stating that PTG didn’t need to iterate in their design process because they *knew* what worked and what didn’t. (Obviously, given that mobile banking is a pretty new application on a reasonably new device with many special complexities, many in the audience found this difficult to believe!)

Craig started his talk by asserting that ‘nothing particularly interesting has happened in HCI for the last 10-15yrs’. Big call. I guess that depends a lot on what you consider interesting, he then went on to challenge people to answer two questions: what is usability? and how do you make something usable?
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