The first step to find out what users think

Empowering everyone to evaluate usability can improve the digital workplace. Here is how you take the first step with Bad software makes a bad digital workplace Organizations that have been around for a few years typically have a large number of legacy systems. Ages ago, when they were created, it is likely that no one cared about their usability or design. Users were used to obeying software and taking a course in order to be able to file a report....

June 7, 2015 · Peter Krantz

Haptic interface to e-government service - we need more APIs

A small hack to simplify the application for temporary parental benefit for care of children from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan). Typically this involves multiple steps in a web browser. Now, moving a doll to a square and the computer will send relevant information to kindergarten and the social insurance agency.

May 23, 2013 · Peter Krantz

The Queue Ticket UX

The queue ticket machine in Uppsala, Sweden.

June 2, 2012 · Peter Krantz

Building your own Twitter client with Fluid and jQuery

Like many before me, I was searching (unsuccessfully) for a decent twitter client. There are many, but most seem to be ad sponsored or based on a rather hefty framework like AIR (which by now, I guess, has been silently installed on my computer anyhow). Update: This project is now deprecated and Twitter has removed basic authentication. Custom apps have major implications for usability so I decided to roll my own....

July 31, 2008 · Peter Krantz

Quick site performance improvement

I have been playing with YSlow, Yahoo’s tool for web site profiling, for a while. If you haven’t tried YSlow (which is a Firefox addon to Firebug) I recommend you try it right away. Install the Firebug extension first and then add YSlow. It is amazing how much you can improve the percieved site speed by some minor changes to your htaccess file. This site runs Wordpress and I was tempted to install the WP-Super-Cache plugin but was put off by some of the incompatibility issues that were reported with the latest version of Wordpress and PHP safe mode....

July 17, 2008 · Peter Krantz

Reducing distractions, increasing productivity

I have been trying to reduce distractions in my computing environment lately. Apparently, our brains aren’t wired properly for task switching: …research has also found that multitasking contributes to the release of stress hormones and adrenaline, which can cause long-term health problems if not controlled, and contributes to the loss of short-term memory. I spend a lot of time in front of my computer every day. I discovered that over time, I have added so much attention-stealing stuff to my main work environment that I feel constantly interrupted....

July 11, 2008 · Peter Krantz

Defining Characteristics of a Successful Software Project

Lately, there has been some really interesting presentations and articles on agile methods and how they fit into the big picture of software development. One that was particularly interesting was Scott Ambler’s 2007 IT Project Success Rates Survey (also see the Javapolis presentation). It presents some information that is different from how the Standish Group defines success in their often refered to CHAOS report. The Standish Group assumes that success is the traditional “on time, on budget and on scope”....

May 10, 2008 · Peter Krantz

Building a Wiimote glove for virtual card sorting

Thanks to Johnny Chung Lee, everyone and their mom seem to be setting up their own Wiimote whiteboards these days. I tried it too but disliked the pen-based interaction. So, I built a simple glove that allows you to pinch an object to drag and drop it somewhere. Here is what you need: IR LED in the 920 nm range (a bag of 20 cost me ) 1.5V AA battery a glove battery holder (with optional velcro to fit it to the glove) some wires a Wiimote software (I tried Uwe Schmidt’s java based Mac version)....

March 30, 2008 · Peter Krantz

Usability test of the iPhone yields interesting result

The swedish usability consulting firm inUse did a usability review of four mobile phones including Apple’s iPhone, the HTC TyTN, Sony Ericsson W910i, and Nokia N95. Users performed common tasks such as making a call by dialing a number manually and then by calling a person from the address book, change volume during a call add a new contact to the address book, create a new calendar event and more....

February 22, 2008 · Peter Krantz

UI Inconsistencies...

Consistency is important when designing interaction with user interfaces. Consistency makes it possible to re-use what you learned in one application in another. Unfortunately there are many application developers that invent their own interaction principles, even when their is an established praxis. But, it is even worse when someone who established the praxis provides an inconsistent user experience. Yes, that means you Apple. Case in point: zooming in and out of a document:...

January 13, 2008 · Peter Krantz