Spotless updates.

Here you’ll find our latest news, company updates, and events as well as some reviews of the latest trends and technology.

Ben Logan
5 September 2011

Tablet PCs are mostly used for passive consumption, rather than interaction-heavy tasks. Interfaces should avoid Flash; use large, well-separated touch-targets; and minimise data entry. User behaviour – how people use their tablet PC and iPad Tablet PCs (of which the iPad is currently the most well-known example) represent a relatively new category of mobile computing device. This makes them very interesting to usability practitioners, because we are still learning about how people use tablet PCs (and what this means for their usability). We’ve interviewed lots of people on how they use their tablet PCs and iPads, and also directly observed…

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Ben Logan
1 August 2011

Web content should be written with signposts that clearly communicate what issue is being covered. Signposts must be visually noticeable, make sense out of context and communicate their message as clearly and directly as possible. User behaviour – effect on web writing The most important thing to realise when writing for the web is that most people don’t read web pages, they scan them. Heart-breaking as it might be for people who write for the web, research has repeatedly shown that users typically glance at a page to quickly ‘get the gist’ of it and then (if you are lucky) concentrate…

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Ben Logan
2 May 2011

Mobile usability testing uses many traditional testing skills. Some particular issues to consider include: field testing’s greater potential benefit, including each mobile device category within your testing and using a device-mounted camera to observe & record sessions. Introduction – to mobile usability testing In March 2011, UK smartphone penetration reached 33%1. Another study found that data usage on UK mobile devices increased by over 75% in the first quarter of 2011.2 This means that it is becoming increasingly likely that significant numbers of your customers may want to use mobile devices to research and/or interact with your company. In order…

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Ben Logan
7 February 2011

Meeting user expectations throughout a site normally delivers good usability. Ways to make sure you meet expectations: user research, reviewing competitor sites and following usability guidelines. Meeting expectations improves usability A key principle within usability is that people carry around a ‘mental model’ of how we expect the world to behave1. These models are based on past experiences and can be a very powerful factor in influencing how people behave in certain situations. In our experience of usability testing, usability suffers when a site does not match users’ expectations. Indeed, our usability testing sessions have repeatedly shown that breaking expectations makes…

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Ben Logan
7 February 2011

This article is not about testing with screen readers as such (I’ve written about this elsewhere) but rather what needs to be considered in order to establish a good screen reader testing plan within larger overall accessibility and general quality assurance plans. Its written in such a way that I hope organisations of any size or budget can adapt and use it. What are screen readers? Screen readers are a text-to-speech software that work on top of a web browser (and other applications) to read screen content out to users who have severe sight problems, reading problems or learning disabilities….

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Ben Logan
10 January 2011

Users are impatient, so sites should load quickly. Most users only scan web pages, so they should be specifically written for the web. User behaviour drives usability Over the past 12 years of working on usability projects, we’ve had lots of opportunity to observe user behaviour (from activities such as usability testing, paper prototyping and web analytics). This has shown us lots of examples of a basic usability principle:users are impatient and don’t pay attention. Most of us know this intuitively from the silly mistakes we’ve made ourselves (“How could I not have seen that?!”). At its heart, the field…

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