Seven questions for design quality

Rubiks cube hall

1. What is the impact we are seeking?

2. How will we measure it?

3. Does it help people understand more clearly and make better choices?

4. Is it as simple as possible, but no simpler?

5. Have we understood and embraced all of the constraints?

6. What are the likely consequences, both intentional and unintentional?

7. Will this engage people and appeal to the heart, as well as the mind?

Source: David W Gray Aug 22, 2016

Help support equal opportunity with HoHoTO

Party Photo

Once again, I’m helping with the annual holiday benefit in Toronto HoHoTO. My role is to help create energy online via the blog and in social.

Please consider joining a few hundred other folks from Toronto’s digital leadership, marketing, design and tech communities as we party the night away.

This year’s participating organizations are: • YWCA Toronto and the YWCA Toronto’s Girls’ Centre • Ladies Learning Code and their women & youth coding and technology programs • TechGirls Canada providing national leadership to hundreds of organizations encouraging girls to consider tech as a career • hErVOLUTION working on access to innovative education and employment services for girls and young women

As digital media helps shape the way we live, work and play it’s important that we support equal opportunity in it.

Get 15% discount off a ticket.

Toronto digital media events

Please consider adding this calendar to yours by selecting the plus sign above right.

A sample of tech groups in Toronto
Accessibility Toronto
Centre for Social Innovation
HackerNest Toronto Tech Socials
Interactive Ontario
IxDA (Interaction Design Association) Toronto
Knowledge Workers Toronto
RGD Ontario
StartUp HERE Toronto
Startup Toronto
Techsoup Canada Netsquared
Tech in Motion
UX Book Club Toronto

Tech events outside Toronto
Montreal, Ottawa, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, New York City, San Francisco

Twitter Lists – Follow local experts and events.
Photography – Subjects: Conferences • Content Management • UX Design • Social Media

Large hall filled with people

Usability testing

Diagram of steps in a site redesign
Diagram of steps in a site redesign by Leah Buley, Adaptive Path. Captured at IxDA Toronto’s Interaction10 Redux meeting.
How easy is your application to use?
How easy is it to lead your users to do what you want them to do?

Usability testing focuses on measuring a website’s capacity to meet its intended purpose. We can help measure the usability, or ease of use, of a website or app.

Usability testing usually involves systematic observation under controlled conditions to determine how well people can use something for its intended purpose. However, often both qualitative and usability testing are used in combination, to better understand users’ motivations/perceptions, in addition to their actions.

Setting up a usability test involves carefully creating a scenario, or realistic situation, wherein the person performs a list of tasks using the product being tested while observers watch and take notes. Techniques popularly used to gather data during a usability test include think aloud protocol, co-discovery learning, and eye tracking.

Contact us if considering a usability test services.

What is a card sorting?


Card sorting is a useful exercise for designing information architecture, workflows, menu structure, or web site navigation paths.

Card sorting sessions can go a long way towards organizing content beyond theory. It can show how users make use of the information. User-centric design increases customer satisfaction and that helps new and repeat business.
In essence, card sorting works as follows:
✓ Write down topics on an index card. Topics can be phrases, words, etc., and can be very specific or more general.
✓ Group them into piles.
✓ Collate the results, and make use of them when completing the information design.

We want to see what groupings of cards make sense. Please name each group of cards once we have grouped them.

It most important to speak out loud while working.

Contact us if considering an information architecture exercise.

Why not be ubiquitous in social media?

My LinkedIn connections

The contemporary argument from many social media thinkers is to not be on social networks such as Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook unless your market is there and when you are ready. See example.

While it makes sense to conserve your resources, don’t miss the opportunity to welcome people and direct them to where you want them to connect with you.

Tip: If your page is a placeholder for now then simply say so and tell people to visit your website

Active account versus an information account
A social media account is free business card. I think it’s a good idea to exist on most social networks. Direct people from your inactive social networks to where the conversation is even if it’s only a static website. As the opportunity for communicating with clients online grows then you can listen, plan, focus, respond and interact from those once dormant accounts. Prioritize the social networks that most benefit and develop those.

For better or worse someone will add you to a social network for you. It’s the nature of social media. An innocent user may quickly create your profile when they check-in on Facebook, Yelp! or Foursquare Swarm as has happened with clients, or search for you and try to interact and tag you. Someone may register your company handle first. In the case of popular networks such as a Facebook page, I’m hard pressed to think of a market that’s not using Facebook. Half of Canada’s population logs into Facebook each month. You have an account on the main networks with an address and link to your website, right?

There are still solutions when your name is taken by someone who beat you to it. For example I was able to convince Twitter to give the handle @Concordia to Concordia University as it wasn’t being used often. There is another small web company called Maze Solutions in Beirut. We both highlight our locations as differentiation online. But you can’t always win. There is a guy who wants to sell my family name on Twitter to me! Meh, there will always be that guy.

So take a few minutes and register your accounts. Contact me when considering these and others:
LinkedIn | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest | YouTube | Google+ | Flickr | Foursquare | Yelp