An approach to learning at conferences

Whoop whoop! It’s conference time here in the Southern Hemisphere. Tomorrow four of our Optimal Workshop crew will be winging our way to sunny, salubrious Sydney for UX Australia for four days of workshoppy, presentationny goodness. The conference is run (and has been since 2009) by Donna Spencer, expert designer and author of three books, including the excellent Card Sorting: Designing…

World Usability Day 2014 – What contest should we run?

As many of you may know, World Usability Day 2014 is nearly upon us (or WUD, as we like to call it here). Well, it’s in two months. But you know how quick time flies, right?! Put the date November 13, 2014 into your calendar so you don’t forget the excuse to break out the champagne. We usually do something…

Doodle-y doodle-y doo, deedle-y deedle-y dee

Most people don’t grow up valuing drawing and doodling as primary ways of generating ideas and absorbing information. Reading, writing, and listening are the skills most valued at school, and opportunities to sketch ideas and plans at work are rare unless you go looking for them. But the relegation of drawing to the sidelines of work is changing thanks to…

Are users always right? Well. It’s complicated

About six months ago, I came across an interesting question on Stack Exchange headlined ‘Should you concede to user demands that are clearly inferior?’ It’s stuck in my mind ever since.

How to test your ideas

We’re on the hunt for UX researchers, developers, designers, and writers to join our team of guest bloggers. As a guest blogger, you’ll be invited to write about…well, just about anything you find fascinating, or specialize in, within the UX industry. In honour of the occasion, I thought I’d share with you my technique for establishing whether my ideas are worth exploring…

Ross speaks! A five minute chat with one of our developers

We’re posting a series of conversations with Optimal Workshop’s stellar team members — starting with our developers. In this five minute chat, you’ll meet Ross, Lead Developer and chief tea drinker.

22 examples of evil design

Chris Nodder’s book ‘Evil by Design’ struck a chord in the minds of both designers and laypeople by discussing how designers can tap into the seven deadly sins that hold humans in thrall. Don Norman explains in the Foreword why design should be based on evil: ‘Simple: Starting with evil means starting with real human behavior. This doesn’t mean the…

Some UX and design gloriousness from the web

Out of the heaving mass of compelling content that is the web, some blogs, sites, and apps push us towards new ways of thinking, or amuse us with their original perspective. Here’s three pieces we’ve come across lately, for your entertainment and education.

What does the term ‘Global UX’ mean to you?

The term ‘Global UX’ seems to take under its wings two main strands of thought: the design of products and services offering great user experiences that account for and embrace differences in language, culture, and location. And the connections forged and fostered between UX professionals plying their trade on radically different parts of the globe. The beauty of the UX industry, perhaps in…

User research and agile squadification at Trade Me

Hi, I’m Martin. I work as a UX researcher at Trade Me having left Optimal Experience (Optimal Workshop’s sister company) last year. For those of you who don’t know, Trade Me is New Zealand’s largest online auction site that also lists real estate to buy and rent, cars to buy, jobs listings, travel accommodation and quite a few other things besides. Over three…