Rinse and Repeat
Kevin Cheng  

Is Usability Repeatable?

October 29th, 2004 by Kevin Cheng :: 27 Comments

When one hires a carpenter, one can expect similar results between a any skilled carpenters. They all have a basic set of tools: hammers, saws, screwdrivers. All of which are used to help them do their jobs right every time. Usability has a pretty impressive toolkit as well: contextual inquiries, think aloud testing, personas, interviews, focus groups, etc. So if someone hires a competent usability consultancy, they should expect mostly the same results as the next, right?

Depends who you ask. According to Jared Spool: Wrong. According to Eric Schaffer: Right.

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Don Norman  

“The Don” Reveals All: Part 1

October 29th, 2004 by Don Norman :: 18 Comments

Do you consider yourself a guru? What defines a guru?

The term “Guru” (please note the use of the upper-case “G”) is reserved for those with beard certification. Alas, the word (often with a lower-case “g”) is widely misapplied. Do not trust the word of all those so-called gurus, many self-anointed. Look for beard certification.

I am a beard-certified Guru, with, I am proud to say, direct access to Gu. Not only is my word law, but Gu stands directly behind my word, and who r u to dispute Gu?

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Tom Chi  

Technology and the battle of Rhetoric vs. Reason

November 1st, 2004 by Tom Chi :: 12 Comments

We are in a grave, grave time. Or at least this is what we’ve been told. There is ‘terror around every corner’ and the only rational response is to go ‘on the offensive’ with troops on the ground and bunker-busting nukes. For good measure we should toss in hyped-up surveillance technologies and missile defense… yes — then we will be safe.

I’m not a particularly political person — I am just an engineer. But as an engineer, I realize the enormous transformative properties that technology can have, and when our decisions start being directed by the rhetoric of terror, I start to get worried. I get worried because our world is very often defined by the technologies we create, whether it be the long shadow of nuclear proliferation or the open flow of ideas that is the internet. Being an engineer I also respect the power of science and reason, and in this regard we are in a grave time indeed.

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Kevin Cheng  

Contest Winners

November 3rd, 2004 by Kevin Cheng :: 1 Comment

I should mention that we’ve held a few promotional things which we haven’t announced results for. Remember the cameo thing? Where if we use your strip idea, we’ll put you in a cameo? You’ll be seeing some of those soon. CHI Kids was an idea submitted by Carolyn Snyder and today’s one was submitted by Beth Martin. Incidentally, that offer is always standing. The free t-shirt draw for the idea submissions we’ve received so far will happen soon as well so get your ideas in!

The 1000th comment winner was Ian Hooper but he knows this because he’s already received his trading cards and stickers. We were actually at 999 comments for a day or two and the suspense was killing us. “Someone just comment already!” Good thing it wasn’t anonymous!

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OK/Cancel is a comic strip collaboration co-written and co-illustrated by Kevin Cheng and Tom Chi. Our subject matter focuses on interfaces, good and bad and the people behind the industry of building interfaces - usability specialists, interaction designers, human-computer interaction (HCI) experts, industrial designers, etc. (Who Links Here) ?