Strategy.

Ben Logan
28 May 2013

Cisco has embarked on a new program of employing college graduates in a bid to improve their information technology department’s ability to provide an effective user experience. By hiring testers from the “Millennial Generation”, Cisco stands in direct contrast to the majority of their competitors who classically hire more experienced workers. But by making use of testers who have grown up without the burden of the initial cumbersome user interfaces and expect intuitive user experience right out of the box, Cisco are hoping to put themselves in a prime position to produce attractive, user-friendly interfaces. Cisco have acknowledged the fact…

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Ben Logan
23 May 2013

Microsoft has announced their next generation Xbox, dubbed the Xbox One. While the official press releases and sponsored articles appear very excitable, reaction from critics and members of the public who were given a preview have been less enthusiastic. The base unit will come with a new Kinect sensor and voice recognition, with Microsoft no doubt keen to do for gesture and vocal control what the iPhone did for the touch screen user experience.  Nevertheless, their decision to include a Windows 8 user interface will be less than delightful news to many. A lot of the concern (and disappointment) about…

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Ben Logan
22 May 2013

Usability can help social media As usability practitioners, we are fascinated by psychology and communication.  We are also very used to trying to see things from other people’s perspective.  In a sense, that’s what a lot of usability is – trying to appreciate that other people may not see things the same way as you do.  If you’re in any doubt about that, watch a usability testing session sometime!   One of the reasons we’re so interested when companies get social media wrong is that it shows they have not ‘got it’.  They are using social media to serve their…

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Ben Logan
13 May 2013

Not for the first time, there are whispers on the grapevine which indicate that Amazon is gearing to make an entrance into the smartphone market with a Kindle branded handset, complete with glasses-free 3D capabilities. The idea of a smartphone making use of 3D is not in itself a new one, however after several attempts, including the LG Optimus 3D and the HTC Evo 3D, the market seemed to decide that a 3D feature doesn’t really add to a mobile’s user experience and is of little value to usability, other than as a gimmick. At this stage, Amazon have refused…

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Ben Logan
10 May 2013

Facebook to rethink Home’s usability Users of the world unite! Earlier this week, we heard that Microsoft was to improve Windows 8’s usability through a series of updates (based on users’ feedback) and now it is Facebook’s turn.  Less than a month after its official launch, Facebook have announced that complaints about Home’s usability will result in their releasing updates to address users’ concerns. User feedback on Facebook Home usability Thousands of users have been leaving none-too-complimentary reviews on Google Play, letting Facebook know exactly what they think of Home.  With an average rating of just 2.2 out of 5 stars,…

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Ben Logan
7 May 2013

Microsoft have announced that an updated – and significantly different – version of its Windows 8 operating system will be released later in 2013.  The software giant has admitted that users are experiencing some serious usability issues with Windows 8 and that change is necessary. Windows 8 – too radical a change? Windows 8 launched in 2012 and was intended to move Microsoft into the touchscreen era. Its user interface was, however, radically different to previous versions of Microsoft’s operating system and many users complained that they found it hard to use.  This should not come as any surprise to the usability community, who have long been aware that audiences can…

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