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  • X-Mas Showcase: High Scalability and Usability Rule

    Who ever has wondered what kind of software is used by Santa Claus & Co, got a hint recently in youtube. This might irritate some software engineers who have assumed, Santa Claus would only use Open Source Software.

  • iPhone Antenna Problems Pose Alternative Interface Design Questions

    Problems with the new iPhone4G antenna again raise questions about interface design for small devices. This article briefly recaps some of the problems posed by phones and similar devices and points to some potential alternative interface solutions.

  • Evaluating the 'Ease of Use'

    Mostly usability of a system is ascertained on gut feel rather than being based on some statistical analysis. In a recent discussion on the Agile Usability group, members discuss various ways to evaluate system usability in an objective manner.

  • Differentiated UX: Expression of an Emerging UI Design Trend?

    Introduced with the rollout of the Windows Presentation Foundation, the concept of Differentiated UX (Differentiated User Experience) was intended to help promote a new capability associated with this technology for delivering enhanced user experiences. Recently, Brian Noyes and Dax Pandhi provided a more concrete explanation of the term and described its relevance to UI designers and developers.

  • TDD: Essential Skill or Architectural Landmine?

    At JAOO '07 Bob Martin asserted: "it is irresponsible for a developer to ship a line of code he has not executed in a unit test." In this InfoQ video, Martin debated with another well respected software thought leader, Jim Coplien, on this and other topics, including Design by Contract vs. TDD and how much up-front architecture is needed to keep a system consistent with the business domain model.

  • Can architecture create a gap between developers and software they build?

    Many software project management and architecture approaches tend to parcel out work on a project in a way to create hierarchical layers. This helps simplify both developers’ work and management. However, the underlying information shielding among layers can potentially create a gap between developers and the software they are building, if their tasks are totally taken out of functional context.

  • Religion driven industry? Buzzwords and checklists vs. thinking and inspection

    James O. Coplien has recently argued that today’s industry is based on buzzwords and checklists. The use of some techniques and methodologies, TDD for instance, has become “a religious issue”. This prevents from inspecting possible tradeoffs and focusing on finding solutions that would be the most appropriate and the most cost-effective for a given project.

  • Are Automated Agile Tools Tactile Enough?

    Can the bonding that takes place when a developer picks a story card off the task board and takes it over to her desk ever be replicated in a system? InfoQ delves into social informatics, and addresses the effects it has on the Agile way.

  • Incremental feature search the next UI paradigm shift?

    Incremental search as a means to find features and functions within applications may be an emerging UI design innovation. Apple and Microsoft have recently tried it with a lot of praise from the community. Are we experiencing a paradigm shift in application navigation? Are the days of traversing a maze of menus and remembering convoluted keyboard shortcuts numbered?

  • Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and Agile compatibility

    Design in the Human Computer Interaction (HCI) world involves working with the user to understand the problem and come up with a user interface – typically on paper - of the entire system before turning it over, in Big Design Upfront (BDUF) manner, to the rest of the development team to build. So how can Robert Biddle claim that HCI has home-grown practices that are very similar to those of Agile?

  • InfoQ Interview: David Hussman on Coaching Agile Adoption

    Agile coach and practitioner David Hussman talked to InfoQ about his approach to helping teams and organizations adopting Agile, including his ideas about customizing it without compromising the common denominators required to make Agile really work. He talked about "story tests", addressing manager fears as their team self-organizes, and building a vibrant development community.

  • Chris Bryant on the Ribbon Interface

    Back in November we reported on the usage restrictions for the new UI design known as the Ribbon. Since then we have been able to catch up with Chris Bryant, a Senior Product Manager at Microsoft, to answer some of the lingering questions.

  • Reminder: You are Not Your User

    David S. Platt presented a keynote called "Why Software Sucks" at SD West recently, illustrating something we should already know: designing for ourselves is risky business. "Unless you're writing programs for a bunch of burned out computer geeks, your user isn't you."

  • Avid Agile Adoption Engenders an "Equal and Opposite" Reaction

    An old post on "The Physics of Passion" resonates today, as the methodology argument continues: is Agile an approach worth embracing? Or just the latest flavour of corporate Kool-Aid? Kathy Sierra wrote that being accused of "drinking the Kool-Aid" can be a good thing: a sign that we're developing passionate proponents - and opponents.

  • Agile UI Development: What's the User Experience?

    While Agile approaches generally shun up-front analysis and design, the emerging practice of User-Centered Design relies on a detailed user research and modeling phase before development begins. Which is right? In his InfoQ article, Dave Churchville explores how these disciplines can be used together for an effective UI development process.