Wintellect Blogs

UX: Disruptive user experiences are industry game changers

Mitch Harpur

6 Mar , 2014  

2014-03-05_16-28-16

I am sure that most of you, if not all, have heard about the notion of a disruptive technology or product. The basic idea of a technology or product being disruptive is that someone comes up with an innovation that transforms a market by making something that everyone accepts to be difficult, expensive, complicated and inconvenient into something that is easy, affordable, simple and convenient. In so doing an industry can be completely redefined. Think iPhone, gaming consoles, online education, tablets to name but a few. If you are interested in disruptive products listen to the video by Harvard Business Professor Clayton and read his books on innovation. The interesting paradox of his theories is that better is not necessarily the path to being a game changer.

Christenson.

So what has this to do with UX or User Experience? Well I have been doing a lot of thinking about how to come up with products that are easy, affordable simple and convenient. What are the questions to ask and the creative, cognitive mental paths to follow that yield these kinds of results? If you put your UX x-ray goggles for a moment and look into the essence of what that sentence says, it really boils down to a human being being able to do their stuff and get it done without hassle, be it phoning a business partner and conveniently video conferencing in another 3rd party, or writing code and having the editor help you with syntax.Read more

Wintellect Blogs

UX : How to come up with a content strategy without getting slammed

Mitch Harpur

6 Mar , 2014  

image

2014-03-05_18-36-59

Every now and then you come across some words of wisdom or questions so well framed that it is just

stunning. One can only say. YES!!

I have been immersed in UX land of late and the one thing that strikes me is the sheer volume of information about UX out in the wild. Don’t get me wrong, much of what I have found is good, albeit communicated in a less than exhilarating manner. The bigger challenge for me arises more when trying to navigate all this information and come up with a UX strategy that can be succinctly communicated. There are just so many facets to this gem. It can be downright overwhelming to try and distill down the essence of certain aspects UX without resorting to jargon. The more you know, it can be surprisingly difficult to not use jargon, and the irony of it all, is that the more you use jargon in order to be succinct, the less you tend you communicate the meaning of that jargon. Ugh!  Anyway I came across this little book called “The Back of the Napkin: Solving problems and selling ideas with pictures” by Dan Roam. Now I love drawing and comics as a way to communicate so my interest in this little book should come as no surprise.Read more

Wintellect Blogs

UX: Users are on a mission. Help them, but stay out of the way.

Mitch Harpur

22 Feb , 2014  

 

The annoying salesman problem

Have you ever experienced an annoying salesman while browsing through a store. When that happens to me, all I can think of is what to say to make that person go away. It does not matter what he says to me after that point. We should know better and yet it seems that often we as developers do this with the software we write all the time. Just the other day I needed to be on a call and I was really busy. The nature of the call was such that I could just listen in while carrying on with other work. I had recently rebuilt my window 8.1 machine up from scratch, but I had inadvertently forgot to install the Skype desktop app, so I went ahead an installed it. Unfortunately I installed the windows 8 “metro” modern… whatever… version of Skype instead of the desktop version. When the time came for the call ( User Context:I was busy doing other stuff with all screens more or less occupied… and I have 6 monitors running…4 tethered to a windows 8 machine and 2 Macs … its like NORAD in here but I digress). I went ahead and launched the Skype app, expecting a small window layered over the a part of my desktop … just like as I usually have it configured … and poof … the app took over….Read more

Wintellect Blogs

UX is for humans and not for cyborgs

Mitch Harpur

22 Feb , 2014  

cyborg sketch

Have you heard the term “UX” before? I assume that you have. It’s a word that is sprouting up and being sprinkled in lots of places and conversations that have anything to do with product design, be it a web site, a mobile phone app or even some new electronic gadget. UX is not a new thing, in fact it is quite a familiar term used in the context of human interaction with computers. It was Donald A. Norman , the author of “The design of everyday things”, who seems to have popularized those two words almost 20 years ago. However, UX does seem to have become a new buzzword in web development circles. Consequently, the meaning of UX has become a little too diluted and is in danger of losing its meaning.

So what exactly is UX ? UX stands for User eXperience. It can be thought of as the collective sum of interactions that a person has with a product or service they own or use. UX is also so much more than just the user interface design and interaction aspects of a software program or physical widget. UX is composed and derived from of a broad group of interrelated user-centric aspects of a product.Read more

Wintellect Blogs

What is the difference between JavaScript null and undefined?

Mitch Harpur

19 Feb , 2014  

 

Primitives

Let me begin by asking if you knew that there were only 3 primitives or primary types in JavaScript that can hold a value. That’s right, only 3. No more. No less. They are number, string and boolean. These are not objects. I know your dad said everything in JavaScript is an Object . Sorry dad you are wrong . Think of primitives as irreducible atomic constructs that the interpreter natively understands without any translation. When the JavaScript interpreter needs to evaluate an expression, it’s really all about just breaking or reducing it down into primitives and applying operators. That is also where coercion plays a big role with strange concepts like truthy or falsy, (huh ?) but that is the subject of another discussion, and it’s not as bad as it sounds.

Primitives are values like true, 1 or “I am a string” and they are immutable. This means that if you do anything to them a new one is created with the result of whatever you did, and the original remains unchanged. In JavaScript it also means they are copied by value and not by reference. Primitives also don’t have any methods that you can invoke.  They don’t have methods ?Read more