My Presentation on UX for WordPress Sites

I recently gave a talk on applying some User Experience considerations to the design decisions one makes in a WordPress blog. Since there are a number of plugins and other technologies that can enhance the user experience of a blog, I thought it would be good to promote some of these. Here’s the presentation deck (without my commentary, so not every slide will make 100% sense, but you’ll get a feel for the subject):

UXCamp Vancouver Nearly Here

I was going to blog earlier this week about the upcoming User Experience Camp Vancouver, which Karen Parker and I are organizing and holding at the Vancouver Film school this Saturday, but the event sold out nearly immediately, and I fear that writing about it here will be frustrating to so many who can’t get in. The venue is a good one, but it only holds a little over 100 people, and we hit that number within a week and half of announcing it in a few online areas.

At any rate, my takeaways, even before UXCampVancouver starts are:

  1. There is clearly a desire here to have a conference where local User Experience people (that includes Information Architects, User Interface Designers, Web Developers, User Testers and Researchers, Software Entrepreneurs, etc.) can meet and share information and opinions.
  2. We may need a bigger venue if we do it again
  3. Being free doesn’t hurt either. After all, a chance to talk about this stuff, plus some coffee and treats, comfy chairs and Wi-Fi is a good way to spend a late fall Saturday in Vancouver, wet and rainy or not.

At any rate, if you do want to get on the Waiting list, there is still a chance, although remote, that someone who has signed up for a slot will bow out, so give it a shot, and hopefully I’ll get to see you on Saturday.

Robert Fabricant says ‘Behavior is our Medium’

I was lucky enough to be in the audience when the Executive Creative Director at frog Design gave a spectacular keynote with tons of fascinating notions and examples at the Interactive Design Association (IXDA) Convention in Vancouver last month. In fact, there’s proof I was there, at about the 19th minute, when the camera caught me musing over his ideas.

I’m glad that great minds like Fabricant’s are working on solving Society’s ills.

What’s Taking so Long?

I learned the rather inconvenient truth about exporting slides for the web, including the most typical formats (export to one big QuickTime movie, export to PDF, export to Flash, export to a series of linked images): None of these handle presentations with embedded movies (they typically show up as still images, if anything at all), and my presentation was about 75% embedded Quicktime movies. Ouch. What’s more, some of these movies are either very large for the Web, or require some codecs that I had a hard time getting to work consistently on two different Macs, much less every Mac and Windows machine playing them via the Internet.

So, I find myself in the unfortunate situation of essentially having to recreate the slides from scratch in Dreamweaver, and re-compress all of the movies (along with trying to figure out how to do so without them becoming unreadable thanks to multiple transformations from one codec to another). All of this is not a problem if one has the time. So, I’m going to give it a couple of more hours today and hopefully will get closer to a solution that I can post here. In the meantime, sorry for the delay.

Preparations for a Talk Next Week

As I wrote in my personal blog Loud Murmurs, I’ve been really busy lately. This is because I’ve recently started working full-time on a contract at IBM’s Pacific Development Centre in Burnaby, BC on a project that I’m unfortunately not able to blog about (but it’s really interesting; take my word for it).

Nevertheless, next weekend, I am making a presentation at BarCampVancouver entitled Effective Animation in User Interfaces, which is my attempt to present my thoughts on what makes animated elements of a good user interface that really help users, versus eye candy that can actually detract from the user experience (no matter how ‘pretty’ it is). I’ll put up a copy of my slides and examples (examples of screen recordings from Windows XP, Vista and Mac OS X) here.

In the meantime, I’d be interested in any thoughts from others about this subject, both before and after my talk.