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Usability

Pathfinder in the News and Around Chicago in February

February has been a busy month for Pathfinder around Chicago! There was a feature in Technori on Pathfinder Founder and CEO Bernhard Kappe last week. There was an interview with Pathfinder VP of Product Development at midVentures. On Tuesday, Bernhard and Todd Wyder, Pathfinder’s Chief Product Office, spoke at Morningstar on Turbocharging Your Mobile App Sales. And this evening, Michael Walkden will be talking
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Help Restaurants Create Better Websites!

[note: when you see a painful restaurant website, can you please send them a link to this post or copy and email this to them? It is in all of our best interests that we get better restaurant sites. Thanks!] Dear Restauranteur, We realize that as an entrepreneur you wear a lot of hats, but you probably aren’t a web professional. So, we would like to humbly give you some advice to improve the web experience for
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Valuing Good Design

photo credit: Jeremy Levine Design It’s important to have a common vision and shared values in a company like Pathfinder. We often talk internally about what we value. A frequent topic is valuing things that are designed as opposed to merely built. The obvious example is the iPad vs. the Android tablets emerging now. A more concrete, less virtual, example is a house. You may have experienced one where the whole and i
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Android: What I like about you

Anybody who has been to our office knows I am an Android fan. My prediction is that the Android platform will end up with a much, much larger install base than iPhone OS. Originally, I felt this way because you can get a Android phone on every carrier for a lower cost than the iPhone – many of them are now free with a contract. This is good enough, but I have a new insight. The Android OS does a great job of di
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Wireframing with incomplete requirements

The value of wireframing even with incomplete information The task of wireframing in application development, as I’ve come to know it, should begin after user research has been performed, and a complete set of requirements gathered.  But what happens when, for whatever reason, you just don’t have access to user research, or a full set of requirements?  What if all you have are some rather unspecific, vagu
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Error Messages & Usability

I was starting up one of the Adobe apps the other day when this somewhat troublesome message was displayed: Ack! On the one hand, good for them for alerting me that an error had occurred. On the other hand, what’s up with that message? I had no idea what I could do beyond clicking ok (and after reading the message I wasn’t sure all was ok). A bit unnerving, but it did get me thinking about how application
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A First Impression of Flash Catalyst

Spent some time playing around with Flash Catalyst, which was released by Adobe as a public Beta yesterday. I downloaded it today and got started on some of the tutorials Adobe labs has put up. My impressions: It’s pretty neat stuff. I could see myself prototyping with it, although Keynote and Acrobat are my tools of choice at the moment. From my limited time working with it, Catalyst’s main function is t
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Aesthetics and Web Design

Patrick Lynch over at A list apart has just written a great article about the role of aesthetics in web design.  In it, he specifically deals with the question of how much of a role visual aesthetic design should play in the design of web sites.  To answer the question, he delves into the somewhat controversial notion of visual decision making–the idea that aesthetics can help users in their decision making and
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The Importance of User Experience – Do You Understand It in Your Bones?

Business Week had an article earlier this week on Cloud Computing that made a complete hash of the subject. However, there was one paragraph that was right on the money: Apple and Google understand in their bones that simplicity and ease of use are essential to broad adoption of products and services. That lesson doesn’t come so naturally to Microsoft and IBM. That’s why we integrate user experience desig
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Safari's Tabs on Top and Usability

Apple recently released a beta version of its Safari 4.  Naturally it has some really cool new features, including a helpful and slick start screen, and cover flow for your browsing history.  It’s also much faster than any other browser currently out there.  However there is one substantial “new feature” to the Safari 4 user interface that’s been generating lots of buzz (heat might be a better
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