Usability Will Save Lives

UX and Usability pundits are having a field day after last week’s Hawaii’s mistaken missile alert of last week. Apparently, the interface for sending out local or state-wide alerts sports a design that is random enough to almost invite missed clicks. Really, really annoying – if a live alert goes out where a drill should have. Really, really life-threatening, when a drill goes out where a live alert should have.

For future reference:

Jared M. Spool (UIE) “The Hawaii Missile Alert Culprit: Poorly Chosen File Names”


Kim Flaherty (NN/g) “What the erroneous Hawaiian Missile Alert Can Teach Us About Error Prevention”

Tomato / tomato – UX / UI

A colleague shared this and I’ll just leave it here in case I need it later.

(Quick web search did not turn up a source, but if this is yours and you want it removed or attributed, drop me a line.)

I know this image is controversial (see e.g. Chris Compston on Medium “My response to the ketchup bottle UX vs UI meme”). It is wrong on many levels. As a metaphor, it is slightly off (“UI is a glass ketchup bottle in a vintage design”?). As an analogy, it does not make sense (“UI is to glass ketchup bottle as UX is to a squeeze bottle”?). It ignores that fact that the glass bottle, too, has a UX dimension und that the squeeze bottle may offer an arguably better UX only because it also has a  UI.

BUT because of (not despite) such weaknesses, this image is a great thought starter if you want to discuss why you need to consider UX from the start of your next product development project and why simply bringing in a (UI) designer will not cut it.

The Value of UX – and the Cost of Frustration

Check out Jared Spool’s recent post on the UIE blog: A Proven Method for Showing the Value of Good UX. Spool provides a handy list for calculating actual monetary value – in “frustration costs”. One thing, however, he forgets: The frustration growing among development teams that run in all directions because no one know quite what they’re developing and who they are developing it for. The hours spent in retro-sessions. And the overall cost of job frustration, eventually resulting in having to re-staff crucial positions and the disrupting effects this has on teams that struggle to function as it is.

The Dirty Dozen Roadmap Roadblocks

A bit redundant here or there (the things we won’t do for a catchy headline …), but a good read before any project kick-off with the client.

“A good roadmap keeps your organization on course toward its destination. Stating what you will do and when makes it easy to judge when you fall behind schedule or get detoured by good ideas that just don’t fit your strategic vision.”

Bruce McCarthy @UIE: The Dirty Dozen Roadmap Roadblocks