Clear and to the Point

20 November, 2009

The dangers of uniformity

Filed under: safety — monado @ 23:00

Did you know that in medical supplies, saline solution for blood volume and potassium chloride solution (which is poisonous except under special circumstances) are packaged in identical bags with nearly identical black & white labels marked “SODIUM CHLORIDE NaCl” and “POTASSIUM CHLORIDE KCl”? Not too surprisingly, nurses sometimes give the wrong one.

20 February, 2009

Connecting commercial e-mail to a web site and vice versa

I got what I thought might be a phishing e-mail message. I tried to forward it to the supposed originator. It bounced. Then I tok a look at the originator’s web site. After looking for a while, this is approximately what I sent to them.

Hello from a former customer. I’d like to alert you to a few things that I noticed about your communications.

[I’m using “techie quotes” throughout: no extra punctuation in code text-strings.]

The first is that I got the e-mail below and, finding that it pointed to a non-YourCompany address, suspected it of being part of a lure to get information. However, when I visited your Web site after my message bounced, I found that strange-user-name appears to be really your fulfillment address. You might want to make your return address in your public domain, even if messages are then rerouted to your fulfillment service.

Second, my post to your “phishing” account bounced because you don’t have one. Perhaps I should have tried again with “abuse” (which is a pretty standard address for reporting trouble) or even “root“. However, the people who are likely to forward suspected phony messages probably know what phishing is.

Third, you have no “Contact us” link on your home page. That is now part of expected home page layout. Instead, there’s a welter of FAQs, submission forms, and “If this, send to that” instructions scattered over several pages. And phishing wasn’t covered. So you need that link to a simple contact mechanism, with a visible e-mail address, on the home page. It can open a page that says, ‘This will get to us. For quicker response about different different subjects, send to these. [table of addresses]’ You can slip that page in front of your existing address pages with few changes. Then you can sort incoming general e-mail by keyword or get help-desk staff to route inquiries to the right group.

Regards, …

Am I being helpful or just arrogant?

5 February, 2009

User experience: generational differences

Filed under: education — monado @ 00:39
Tags: ,

This is a free event at University of Toronto  for ToRCHI members, and only $5 for guests.

Generational Differences – A User Experience Challenge

Date: Thursday February 5, 2008
Time: Refreshments and registration at 7:00pm; presentations start at 7:10pm
Location: Bahen Room 2185 (Second Floor), 40 St. George Street
Dr. Susan Weinschenk (HFI)
Cost: Free for ToRCHI members and full-time students; $5 for guests

Who are you designing for?

We are often challenged with designing for at least 3 demographics with different needs, interests, and ways of interacting with technology:

* Baby Boomers
* Generation X
* Net Generation (a.k.a. Millennials, Generation Y)

Ironically, Generation X is the smallest population segment but often the one responsible for designing most websites. It’s rare to have the luxury of focusing on only one age group, though. So understanding generational differences is a key to creating sites that are usable, persuasive, and engaging.

HFI has been conducting exploratory research about the impact of generational differences on Web design. In this talk Dr. Weinschenk examines each group’s tendencies, attitudes, and expectations towards technology. The talk covers similarities and differences among the groups and offers thought-provoking takeaways for user experience design.

Dr. Susan Weinschenk is Chief of Technical Staff at Human Factors International. She manages and mentors the HFI USA consulting staff, and oversees all training and consulting services in the USA. She has been an industry leader in the field of usability and user experience for over 30 years. Dr. Weinschenk has a Ph.D. in Psychology from Pennsylvania State University. She is an international speaker and author, and her most recent book, Neuro Web Design: What Makes Them Click is published by Pearson/ PeachPit/New Riders.

Create a free website or blog at