A short talk I gave about systems thinking at UX Bristol 2014

Reading time: 1 minute

UX Bristol 2014 Short Talk: Nic Price – Systems Thinking in 3 Minutes from Bristol Usability Group on Vimeo.

Okay so it’s nearer 8 minutes.

In which I talk about elephants and bicycles… world view, mental models, Russ Ackoff’s definition of a system, and what happens when you change the boundaries of a system.

For more videos, see the UX Bristol 2014 album on Vimeo.

Bonus-centred design

Reading time: 2 minutes

We’ve all seen it.

The dreaded “Skip Intro”.

The picture of the boss on the homepage obscuring any useful content or functionality.

I was just discussing this with a friend and came up with a new name for an old problem “Bonus-centred design”

Here’s how it works:

  • Take direct orders from the boss. Do not ask questions
  • Do not clarify purpose
  • Remember the boss knows what good design is – it must be interactive have things you can click to make other things move around
  • Do not under any circumstances talk to potential users of the site
  • You only need one person to test with. The boss
  • Do tell the boss how many hits the site will get. Forget about task completion
  • Do your best to get a video of the boss on the homepage welcoming people to this amazing online experience
  • Reinforce the design with company branding at every opportunity. The more suited to busines cards and company stationery the better
  • Make it all about the company and not about the people who use your products and services
  • Do not worry about accessibility. It takes time and costs money. And anyway the software supplier assures their product will have an accessibility patch very soon

I’m sure there are more…

N95 – two things I can never remember how to do

Reading time: 2 minutes

I’ve had my Nokia N95 phone since June. I’m pretty pleased with it. It’s good for looking at websites, the camera is great despite the shutter lag, video quality good. It’s ok for having phone calls on. Battery life’s ok. I haven’t got the patience with the GPS, and sometimes I do wonder if it’s registered a key press…

There a couple of things I find virtually impossible to remember how to do…

  1. Changing the “desktop icons”

    Well that’s what I call them. It’s the menu which lets you access six applications quickly from the phone’s desktop or start screen. I guess it’s because they’re called Active standby apps – not a name that I could easily have guessed.

    Here’s the path you’ll need to take to change them:

    Main Menu > Tools > Settings > General > Personalisation > Standby mode > Active Standby apps

    Phew! Now you can select which apps you want to create short-cuts for.

  2. Deleting multiple text messages

    Deleting all your messages in your SMS inbox is different from previous Nokia models, which as far as I can remember had their own delete menu.

    With the N95 (and possibly across the N-series) you’ll need to use the Mark/Unmark feature.

    In your message inbox, highlight one of the text messages you want to delete, and select Options. Select Mark/Unmark then Mark all. This will be indicated on-screen by placing a tick next to each message that’s marked. You can now perform tasks on all the Marked messages, including delete.

And what’s the difference between a Tool and an Application? I’m sure there’s a logic in there somewhere, but I find it very confusing. To me they’re all tools and they’re all applications.