Did someone actually have to invent that?

NewImage

A really charming article about John Karlin who was one of the first UX guys. He worked at Bell Labs back in the day and helped determine lots of little details about how telephones are designed. Simple silly things like that putting a dot (to “aim” at) visible through each finger hole of a dial phone improved accuracy and speed of dialing.

He determined, through testing, the best shape (square) and arrangement (a rectangular grid) and ordering (1-2-3 in the top row) of the buttons in touch tone telephones. Yes many other options were scientifically tested.

He also tested the impact of shortening the handset cables, and whether people could handle phone numbers that didn’t include letters to aid memory. 

Great article if you like to learn about inventors and invention!

A list of UI and UX books, articles and links

I created this quick and dirty list of useful resources for some friends who wanted to dig into the latest thinking on web and mobile user interface design. I am sure this list is incomplete and quirky but I thought it would be good to share:

Why doing design for Facebook is a thankless job

A friend of mine hates, HATES, the new Facebook timeline. She wants to turn it off, but can’t. I happen to think the timeline is really cool, well designed, useful. On occasion it even gives me goosebumps. But. She. Hates. It. Wants to turn it off. Can’t.

I was thinking, Facebook has something like 700,000,000 users, right? I don’t know the right number or how many are online every day. But there are many.

So imagine you are responsible for the design of this important new Facebook feature called the TimeLine. You need to invent the look and feel of the new Facebook Timeline. You design your little heart out. You have user tests, A/B/C/D/E tests. Hundreds of people and thousands of dollars later you release your baby.

95% of the users love it. Success right?

35 million people still hate the design.

Bummer.