Usability vs User Experience

For all of you who still have difficulties in distinguishing Usability from User Experience, there is a great post (in German language) on the uxzentrisch blog that is a follow up on two sessions of the UXcamp back in May this year. Tobias Jordans compares two opinions, which he collected in video interviews: at first the virtual keynote from Jesse James Garret that they showed at the UXcamp, and second a follow up interview with Knut Polkehn to his session “What the heck is Usability?”.

Both conclude that Usability is a part of User Experience, because User Experience includes more aspects than just the usability of a product. What I liked in Knut’s conclusion is that he does not care that much of the concrete terms but sees the similarities in both approaches (Usability Engineering vs UX Engineering).

Lots of Space

06-18 19:37 — silvan.golega

Our new Office
We have moved. Since yesterday we are working in new offices. As the old business premises were becoming too small for all of us we looked for an alternative that has the potential to grow with us. Now we found something apt in Friedrichshain/Berlin: nice old buildings with high ceilings, ready infrastructure and a lot of free space for expanding. The new offices are situated in direct vicinity to start ups we are friendly with – for sure fresh impetus for our creativity! So if you happen to be around call us and visit our new offices.

P.D.: But although we have new and huge desks Volker and Tino already managed to cram them completly on the photo.

Pidoco at IT-Profits and Internet World at the same time

Your own personal tickets

Next week you will find us as exhibitor at two exhibitions at the same time and you can visit us for free, either in Berlin or in Munich, the choice is yours:

IT-Profits Internet World
Berlin (June 24 – 25) Munich (June 23 – 24)
Free tickets Free tickets
pidoco° will be at
pidoco° will be at
Business Solutions Booth 22
Booth 7.2c/09

We look forward to welcoming you to one of our booths (or even both). There will be many exciting things to see: besides demonstrations of pidoco° in action, we will present a Sneak Preview of our newest product, but see more next week.

Alumnus Evening at Hasso-Plattner-Institut

Coming Monday, June 15th, the HPI-Alumni-Club is organizing an evening of talks of alumni for students at the Hasso-Plattner-Institut in Potsdam. The main topics will be the “Way into Self-Employment” and “Working in a Corporation”. Last year we took part in the first event of this series and we are sure not to miss this one neither.

Several former fellow students are going to provide an impression of the start into their working life. Martin Karlsch and I will give a short presentation together and we will talk about our experience in founding companies and how our university prepared us for the professional life. Like last year I am already looking forward to the question-and-answer session and the following get together with the students. See you there!

UXcamp Berlin 09 is over: a first recap

What a weekend! The first UXcamp Berlin is over right now. To me it has been an extraordinary weekend. About 300 people shared two days full of discussions, presentations, networking, and chatting. Although there were many barcamp newbies (maybe half of the participants), there have been many many sessions (Saturday and especially yesterday, on Sunday). The people made this barcamp a very special one. And I’m glad having seen many of our sponsors participating in the sessions and doing their own sessions.

It has been a pleasure seeing all the different groups coming together for one common event: the information architects, the interaction designer, the usability guys, graphics designer, and all the others. I’m happy, that Henning Breu from German UPA has been there. In my opinion it could be a model for the more scientific conferences like Usability Professionals and IA Konferenz to organize one big conference with different tracks. There are differences in the topics of the conferences, but from a broader point of view, they have a lot in common.

At the final session yesterday afternoon I asked the audience three questions, which I’d like to answer in here as well: What I liked? To meet all the great people and see that they enjoyed the UXcamp. What I didn’t like? Well, most sessions lasted almost an hour, which led to the fact that the breaks for networking were quite short. What surprised me? The very positive feedback that we are getting right now and all over the weekend. That was great! (Just have a look at twitter and search for #uxcb09)

Thanks to all participants for this weekend! See you all next year at UXcamp 2010.

New Release – Menu stencil

This week is a tough one. Tonight starts the UXcamp with a get together at St Oberholz and there has been a whole lot of preparation to be done. However, we also deployed a new release last night. There have been quite some new things to mention. First, we added a context menu to multi selection with two features: you can now align several elements in six different ways. Top, center, bottom, and left, middle, right. And you can edit properties for multiple elements at once. All properties that the elements have in common can be modified.

The second big thing is the menu stencil. We have thought a lot about how to make a menu easily editable. After having a look at Axure, we decided that our menu editor should be very lightweight and simple instead of many dialogs. Therefore, we went for a wiki style. You can see a sample in the picture below. You can choose several levels of nested submenus. When you want to set the target page for an entry, just select a piece of text and choose the target page from the dropdown box on top of the edit field. The link will then be inserted.

In case to have to change a link, simply click somewhere between the brackets and you will see the target page selected in the dropdown box (see picture below). You then can change the target page as you like. We know that the page IDs are not ideal and we would have liked to hide them. But this way you can easily use copy paste to swap the menu entries. If you like to point a menu entry to a different location, just exchange the page ID by an external link.

We hope that you like our menus and that the wiki syntax is not too complicated. We plan to extend this mechanism to our text stencil, to allow for having links within a text. Especially tricky will be a table stencil, which we already started working on but aren’t yet happy with it.

This not being enough we also added a phone stencil, to enable you to design apps for mobile phones and having the phone shape already at hand. The phone has three versions, a classic one, a blackberry like and an iPhone like. For the iPhone we also added a keyboard stencil that you can add whenever necessary. However, you can also open a prototype on your iPhone to test the real interactions!

Calculate the ROI of your Usability Work

Just seen on User Effect | Strategic Website Usability blog: a tool to calculate the return on investment of your usability work. Simply add the numbers for # visitors / month, monthly sales, profit per sale, and your costs and you’ll get a table showing you how many months it takes for the payoff in case of different conversion rate improvements.

In case you have to sell your usability projects, you can easily impress your manager with some nice figures.

UXcamp coming up

Just some few more days and the UXcamp is finally starting. There are still plenty of things to do like printing the name tags or preparing the session grid. On the other hand, the main task is done: getting enough sponsors. The UXcamp seems to be a hot topic, judging from the number of sponsors that we were able to acquire and the few days that passed until the list of attendees was full.

Taking a look at the session proposals the weekend is promising to be very exciting. And there seems to be one topic especially interesting to many out there: prototyping. We have proposals for every kind of prototyping and prototyping tools on the list. Paper and Flash, Expression Blend and Axure, Visio and Acrobat. And somewhere on my personal to-do list is the preparation of a pidoco° session. (Although I’m sure we will be mentioned in at least some of those prototyping sessions.)

I’m really looking forward to the UXcamp, especially after half a year of preparation. Let’s have an excellent weekend in Berlin!

For those of you who are going to attend the UXcamp I added some Infos to the German version of this entry.

Meet us at IA Konferenz 09

 16 und 17 Mai

Just one more week and the German IA Konferenz 09 is held in Hamburg (16th and 17th of May). Tino and Philipp will travel to Hamburg to join the conference with a booth and a poster session. The session will be 6.45 pm on Saturday. Although we do not know exactly where our booth will be, it shouldn’t be very difficult to find us. Just follow the white rabbit and get an introduction to our web based prototyping software. You could also meet us for a drink and a chat at the get together on Friday night.

We’d be happy to see you in Hamburg.

Prototype Creator update: new HTML export

We just deployed a new release of the Prototype Creator. This time we extended the export feature by a bunch of html files. For each page of a prototype you get the sketched mode as well as the plain mode as a separate html file. As a third mode you still get the svg files. In addition, we added an index page listing all the pages by their name. This way, you can easily pick your home page to browse the prototype locally. All exported pages are exactly as you see them when running the prototype on our server: all elements are interactive and links and buttons lead to the next page.

The current version of the HTML export is not meant for further editing of the files. They should primarily be used for showing the prototype offline or to serve as a project’s specification.