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…

TV Interface testing with Chalkmark

Testing websites and intranets is a common practice when using the Optimal Workshop tools. But as you may know, we can apply these tools to places outside desktop computers, tablets and phones. To show you how we can expand the testing canvas into other mediums, I decided to use Chalkmark (first-click testing tool), to compare the TV Interfaces of three major…

Comparing Open and Hybrid Card Sorts with Tripadvisor.com

Millions of young people across the US and Canada are gearing up for the fun-filled week called Spring Break. Traditionally coeds flock to sun-drenched beach and tropical destinations, like Daytona Beach or Panama City, but others might be looking for slightly less overpopulated and more exotic locales, such as Egypt or Bali. Major travel sites like Expedia or Travelocity are…

Supporting the ‘Tame Taxonomy’ workshop

Our good friends Alberta Soranzo and Jessica DuVerneay are running a Taxonomy workshop for the Information Architecture Summit in sunny San Diego (26-30th March 2014). So let’s hear from the organizers themselves on what’s involved in the workshop. They also say some nice things about us. Thanks guys! The Right Tool for our IA Summit 2014 Workshop “Optimal Workshop sponsors…

First click test for Saint Patrick’s Day

For St. Patrick’s Day 2014, we decided to create a fun and quick first click test using Chalkmark. The objective was to test your geographical knowledge of Ireland and Optimal Workshop. We created 4 tasks and we promoted our survey on Twitter 3 days ago. We received 46 completed surveys. You can check out the live survey here if you…

‘Pay per survey’ plan now available

You’ve asked for it, and now you have it. If you have a survey to conduct and you’d like a fixed price per survey instead of subscription pricing you can now Pay Per Survey. This option is designed for those who: are sure they have a single survey to conduct and have no plans to iterate or repeat their survey in…