Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hello, Blackberry. (Bad news for Palm)

I have been a loyal Palm user since day one. Since that very first Pilot. But with my ongoing hotsync crash problems, and with a recent upgrade at work to Exchange Server 2007, well, the time had come to give Crackberry, err, Blackberry a try...

There are a lot of Pearl devotees where I work, but I'd rather a full keyboard. So a just recently released Curve 8310 was delivered to my office yesterday:

Blackberry Curve 8310

Initial impressions? Compared to my Treo 650, it is light. And thin. But the plastic housing doesn't feel quite as high quality as the Treo. The keyboard is superb - even better than the Treo's keyboard!

I'm still waiting for my IT department to set up my Exchance syncing, so I cannot comment on that yet. But I found it very interesting that the first three things I added to the device were Gmail, Google Talk, and Google Maps.

The Opera Mini browser is probably next. Then it is off to find the best news feeds, discussion forums, and software repositories...

Saturday, October 20, 2007

NH UX October Meeting

(I know, I know. I was supposed to post more often, not take the entire summer off. What can I say? Here's to a renewed effort to post more often...)

I spotted notice of this NH UX October Meeting in a recent post to the IxDA discussion list. I'm pretty sure I'll be attending.

Topic: Bias in Usability Testing
Speaker: Carolyn Snyder
When: Tuesday, October 30, 2007
6:30 - 7:00pm Food, Beverages & Networking
7:00 - 7:15pm NH-UX Info Update
7:15 - 8:15pm Presentation
Where: Fidelity, 2 Contra Way, Merrimack NH
RSVP: Please RSVP to Amy Cueva

In usability testing, we strive to eliminate bias so that the results will be accurate. But what is bias anyway? How does it affect our results? What can we do about it? And are we, as usability specialists, truly objective? Usability consultant Carolyn Snyder will lead a stimulating discussion about bias in usability testing - something we encounter on a daily basis but may not consciously think about. There are many sources of bias in usability testing, from users to tasks to reporting. Every testing methodology is biased, and so are we as facilitators. But bias is not something to be shunned. Instead, we need to understand its sources and weigh its effects. Sometimes, bias can even be harnessed to serve our purpose. Come to this presentation and you'll never look at your testing methods the same way again!

Carolyn Snyder is an independent usability consultant in the greater Boston area. In the past 15 years she has conducted hundreds of usability tests on dozens of products and interfaces. Carolyn is the author of the book Paper Prototyping (she'll give away a copy at this presentation) and co-author of two books on web site usability. She has a BS in Computer Science and an MBA, both of which have biased her perspective :-). More information concerning Carolyn's consultancy is available at Snyder Consulting.