Meow! Check out these CATegories from our CatSort survey

We may not have discovered the secret to eternal youth, or a solution to climate change, or…well, anything of any value at all to anyone. But at least we’ve gained some insight into how people intuitively group cats. And that’s what you’re here to find out, right? We recently ran an OptimalSort cat pictures survey. For a card sort, any number of…

My realisations about intranets from attending Intranets2014

I have to admit, I had pretty low expectations for this intranets conference. I’m not even sure why. I should have stopped to think about it. It may have been a preconception that it would inadvertently end up being a big SharePoint tutorial. Or that intranets are boring. Anyway, whatever it was, I was wrong. Intranets are quite amazing. I…

User Testing — 7 ways to step up your freelance game

As a freelancer building websites, you’ve probably worked with clients who have resisted the idea of user testing. Read on to find out ways to bring user testing into the conversation from the start.

How to Spot and Destroy Evil Attractors in Your Tree (Part 1)

Dave O’Brien from Optimal Experience talks us through how to identify evil attractors in ours tree tests — and how we can fix them.

The Taxonomy of Cats — Take the survey and see the results

We’re running an OptimalSort survey to find out how you, the web-reading public, will categorize cats. Take part and watch the results unfold…

Your first impressions of our new Chalkmark design

Within seconds, people form opinions on you based on your appearance, your body language, your demeanour, and even your shiny shoes. You can’t deny that you do the same — we all pre-evaluate in some way. The smallest of changes in your appearance can transform how people view you for the first time. Change those pink chinos to blue jeans…

Chalkmark and the Tao te Ching — A usability study for Iowa State University

Today, we present a usability study run and written by Dana Lynn as part of her Masters degree in HCI at Iowa State University. Dana’s report shows Chalkmark in action, and will give you insights from Dana into how to run and report on an effective usability study.

Two new books that have made our week

We’ve been excited about two new books here at Optimal Workshop this week — so we’ve decided to tell you about them. This is the first of our weekly blogs about what we’re reading here in our Wellington office.

Selling your design recommendations to clients and colleagues

If you’ve ever presented design findings or recommendations to clients or colleagues, then perhaps you’ve heard them say: “We don’t have the budget or resources for those improvements.” “The new executive project has higher priority.” “Let’s postpone that to Phase 2.” As an information architect, I‘ve presented recommendations many times. And I’ve crashed and burned more than once by doing…

Auditing the IRS With Treejack

Every year, the date April 15th strikes dread into the hearts of red-blooded Americans everywhere. Yes, folks, it’s the only other certain thing in life, besides death; it’s Tax Day. To shine a bit of light on an otherwise depressing topic, I thought it would be interesting to see how the public-facing website of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service would…