Tagged: Trends in Usability

Taking a Look at Low-Fidelity Prototyping

By Brian Still| Member This column examines the ways technical communicators contribute to the development of more usable products, especially those used in complex, dynamic environments. Novel usability evaluation methods and design techniques, as well as those rediscovered or repurposed, will be the focus. Please send your comments, questions, and suggestions for future articles to me at brian.still@ttu.edu. For this column, I’d like to look at an under-used but valuable method for gathering feedback from users: low-fidelity (often called “paper”) prototyping. I think we look past low-fidelity prototyping for many different reasons, placing most of our efforts into learning what… Read the rest

What's Accessible for Some Is Better for All

By Brian Still | Member This column examines the ways technical communicators contribute to the development of more usable products, especially those used in complex, dynamic environments. Novel usability evaluation methods and design techniques, as well as those rediscovered or repurposed, will be the focus. Please send your comments, questions, and suggestions for future articles to me at brian.still@ttu.edu. What would we have done without the mouse? First integrated by Telefunken with its TR440 computer in 1970, then followed in 1981 by Xerox's own version, it really came into popularity with the advent of Apple's Macintosh that same decade. Rarely… Read the rest

Usability for a Ubiquitous Computing World

By Brian Still | Member The first truly mobile, commercial cell phone was Motorola’s DynaTAC. First introduced in 1983 and often referred to as the “brick” phone, it weighed a couple of pounds and was almost a foot high. As an analog device with only a one-hour battery life, even if one could afford its $4,000 pricetag, there were not many places with network coverage to warrant its use. Don’t get me wrong—to have one then was to be cool, which is why folks like Gordon Gekko (Wall Street) and Zack Morris (Saved by the Bell) had one. There was… Read the rest