Posts from "November, 2010"

Looking back: World Usability Day 2010

The German UPA hosted the World Usability Day in Berlin this year on November 11 as part of a larger World Usability Day 2010 that took place across Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.  The theme was communication, specifically how our communication methods impact technological developments and information services now as well as into the future.  Said Elizabeth Rosenzweig, a founding member of the event, “World Usability Day 2010 will serve as an impetus to creating greater awareness for designs, products and services that improve and facilitate communication around the world.”

Logo of world usability day 2010 in Berlin, Germany, sponsored by Pidoco, the collaborative online wireframing and prototyping tool.

World Usability Day 2010 in Berlin. Image Source: www.wud-berlin.de

Berlin’s World Usability Day focused on mobile communication, specifically how Smartphones, iPads, laptops, etc. affect communication in our daily lives and the resulting implications, risks and benefits, for UX design and usability. If you are a part of the creative industry or are simply interested in usability, the World Usability Day is a must. So, as a worthwhile investment put it on your agenda for next year. Pidoco was proud to support World Usability Day 2010 as a sponsor and we will be on the scene again next year. We hope to see you there!

Feature Snapshot: Embedding Prototypes in Office Documents

Pitching an idea or concept for a new website or application to your client is not only about understanding what your client wants, but also about developing a presentation that allows you to demonstrate that your product will satisfy your client’s requirements.  Delivering a good product presentation is the art of convincing clients that your work is worth their time and money. Unfortunately, it can be a real hassle to update a presentation if you change your mind about a key aspect of the concept, especially when you are using images of the user interface to visualize key ideas or scenarios of use in your presentation. And the same problem often arises again when you have to update a presentation or specification document after receiving feedback from a client.

Pidoco offers an easy solution to this problem! The Direct Link feature allows you to continually update images of your prototype within various office documents, for example a PowerPoint presentation.  This gives users the ability to update office documents to the most recent version of a prototype without the hassle of using copy and paste on each individual image.  Using the direct link feature users can embed links to various prototypes within a presentation and then send the file to clients or colleagues for documentation or reviewing.  The embedded links will appear as graphics of the related prototype in the document.  Unlike static images, however, the embedded images can be updated with just one mouse click, sparing users from the unfortunate job of having to manually exchange old images versus newer ones, one by one.  Updating the embedded links synchronizes the images in the document with the current version of the Pidoco prototype found online thereby ensuring that the latest changes are automatically incorporated into the presentation.

Step 1: Extracting a link from Pidoco

Image 1: The direct linking dialogue window.

Using embedded images with Pidoco prototypes is easy. Here’s an example of how to use the direct link feature with Microsoft’s PowerPoint software. In order to embed a direct link into your PowerPoint presentation you must first extract a link from Pidoco. To do this, open your Pidoco prototype.  Go to the Screenflow View of your open prototype and open the page that you want to embed into PowerPoint.  Then point at the “Share” button in the Toolbar and click on the “Get a link to this Prototype” option. You will see the dialogue window shown in image 1.

Copy the link located in the text field marked “PNG”.  This is the link you will embed into PowerPoint.

Step 2: Embedding the link into PowerPoint

Image 2: Inserting a direct link into a PowerPoint presentation

After you have copied the link to your prototype from Pidoco’s website, you can embed it into an opened presentation. Go to your PowerPoint presentation to complete the embedding process. Open the “Insert” option located on the Office Toolbar and click on the “Picture” option as shown in image 2:

Image 3: Using the dropdown menu options to embed a direct link

Once you have clicked on the picture option, the following “Insert Pictures” options will appear (image 3):

Image 4: The result: A neatly inserted image of the prototype that can be easily synchronized with the original prototype

Paste the link into the text field labeled “File Name”.  Then open the dropdown menu of the “Insert” button, and select the “Insert and Link” command.  The image of your prototype will appear in the selected slide of your PowerPoint presentation, as can be seen in image 4:

Step 3: Synchronizing Prototype and PowerPoint Presentation

Now that you have embedded the image it is easy to synchronize the presentation with the most current version of your prototype. To do so, click on the Office Button and point to the “Prepare” option.  Click on “Edit Links to Files” (image 5):

Image 5: Easy synchronizing of presentation and prototype with one mouse click

Clicking on this option will automatically update your presentation to include the most recent state of the prototype created in Pidoco.

Benefits of the Direct Link Feature

Summing things up, Pidoco’s Direct Link feature is a fast and easy way to keep your files up-to-date even when your prototypes change frequently, which often happens in early design phases.  This will help you communicate and share information better with your clients or colleagues and will minimize the time you spend on updating presentation and specs.

Stories told by UX professionals

When working with people you collect a lot of stories about and around your profession. Jan Jursa, a good friend of us, has collected 42 such stories in a free eBook UX Storytellers. People he met at different UX conferences and events have contributed to this project, among whom are names that you may already know (Dave Malouf, Mark Hurst, Henning Brau, to name a few) and a lot that at least I have not yet heard of. Nevertheless, you will find stories about all kinds of topics: accepting Star Wars at work, how a UX pro goes car shopping, how driving a cab or sex and drugs lead to being a UX pro, and the famous Acme Corp appears as well. Thanks to a sneak preview I was able to read a few stories, so I can tell you that it is worth having a look at this collection. Happy reading!