Development update from Optimal Workshop

You may have noticed we’ve been gradually rolling out design and usability improvements over the past couple of months. Most notably, Chalkmark has a new image uploader and Treejack has a new tree editor. What you won’t have seen are the huge, behind-the-scenes changes that have been taking place at the same time. We’re actually in the midst of making…

Chalkmark rolls out a new animation video

We would like to welcome you to the new Pixar production (not true), directed by Steven Spielberg (not true) and starring Sarah Jessica Parker (also not true) in this year’s awesome blockbuster — First Click Testing with Chalkmark. Treejack and OptimalSort had their fun getting animated last year. Now, it’s Chalkmark’s turn for some colorful love. Let us know what you think…

Why UX Australia was awesome — and responses to our survey question about UX tedium!

We packed our bags with pants, toothpaste, snake spray, promotional stand-up banners, business cards, and our Optimal Workshop hoodies and T-shirts. It took us less than 4 hours to get from Wellington to Sydney where the awesome UX Australia 2014 conference was held. We got to listen to some of the coolest speakers and thinkers around the world like Eric Reiss, Boon…

What is Product Design? Insert your answer here

What does ‘Product Design’ mean to you? We’d love to read your response to this question below and review the variances in some answers from your peers. If we find them, we’ll tell you. For your troubles, we’ll get our CEO and product manager Andrew Mayfield to pick a winner (the most thoughtful and original answer). The winner gets a…

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.