UI matters – usability as the selling point

When driving back from a Workshop with the ART group of Fraunhofer IAIS at Naafs Häuschen I saw some interesting posters. A new car-related portal for selling and buying cars (pkw.de) has an interesting advertising campaign out. The only argument is on an easy to use and quick user interface – nothing else. So far many of them have tried to argue with the largest set of offers, but recently many of the major players (mobile.de and autoscout24.de) have improved their user interfaces.

It seems that a broader awareness for the user interface – basically that you sell based on your user interface – has finally arrived in Germany, too.

UI matters – usability as the selling point

When driving back from a Workshop with the ART group of Fraunhofer IAIS at Naafs Häuschen I saw some interesting posters. A new car-related portal for selling and buying cars (pkw.de) has an interesting advertising campaign out. The only argument is on an easy to use and quick user interface – nothing else. So far many of them have tried to argue with the largest set of offers, but recently many of the major players (mobile.de and autoscout24.de) have improved their user interfaces.

It seems that a broader awareness for the user interface – basically that you sell based on your user interface – has finally arrived in Germany, too.

>UI matters – usability as the selling point

>When driving back from a Workshop with the ART group of Fraunhofer IAIS at Naafs Häuschen I saw some interesting posters. A new car-related portal for selling and buying cars (pkw.de) has an interesting advertising campaign out. The only argument is on an easy to use and quick user interface – nothing else. So far many of them have tried to argue with the largest set of offers, but recently many of the major players (mobile.de and autoscout24.de) have improved their user interfaces.

It seems that a broader awareness for the user interface – basically that you sell based on your user interface – has finally arrived in Germany, too.

Implicit Personalization – Online Questionnaire

We currently run a survey on “Implicit Personalization of Public Environments” as part of a master thesis. The thesis looks at the technical realization of this approach based on Bluetooth and mobile devices with a focus on creating an acceptable solution with regard to users’ privacy. If you are interested in the topic and can spare 5 minutes have a look at our questionnaire on implicit personalization, there is a German version of the survey, too.

The questionnaire is set up on a server (http://onlineforschung.org) that offers free hosting for scientific/non-profit surveys.

Implicit Personalization – Online Questionnaire

We currently run a survey on “Implicit Personalization of Public Environments” as part of a master thesis. The thesis looks at the technical realization of this approach based on Bluetooth and mobile devices with a focus on creating an acceptable solution with regard to users’ privacy. If you are interested in the topic and can spare 5 minutes have a look at our questionnaire on implicit personalization, there is a German version of the survey, too.

The questionnaire is set up on a server (http://onlineforschung.org) that offers free hosting for scientific/non-profit surveys.

>Implicit Personalization – Online Questionnaire

>We currently run a survey on “Implicit Personalization of Public Environments” as part of a master thesis. The thesis looks at the technical realization of this approach based on Bluetooth and mobile devices with a focus on creating an acceptable solution with regard to users’ privacy. If you are interested in the topic and can spare 5 minutes have a look at our questionnaire on implicit personalization, there is a German version of the survey, too.

The questionnaire is set up on a server (http://onlineforschung.org) that offers free hosting for scientific/non-profit surveys.

Lucia Terrenghi defended her Dissertation

Today Lucia Terrenghi completed her PhD at the University of Munich. The topic of her dissertation is “Designing Hybrid Interactions through an Understanding of the Affordances of Physical and Digital Technologies”. She presented interesting insights from prototyping new interaction tools the combine the digital and the physical.

One finding in a case study was that it seems really hard to get people into using both hands for interaction (bi-manual interaction) when digital objects are involved, even though there are physical/tangible artefacts to manipulate. I made a similar observation when recently working with small children who were writing the first time a short text on a computer keyboard. For most of them it was difficult at first to write capital letters – basically using bi-manual interaction with the shift-key and a letter. However in this case they typically learned this extremely quickly and after the first session it was internalized how to do it. I wonder if we should with tangible and bi-manual interaction more look into learning effects and efficiency gain after some time of use, rather than just focus on the instant ability of people to use it.

Lucia Terrenghi defended her Dissertation

Today Lucia Terrenghi completed her PhD at the University of Munich. The topic of her dissertation is “Designing Hybrid Interactions through an Understanding of the Affordances of Physical and Digital Technologies”. She presented interesting insights from prototyping new interaction tools the combine the digital and the physical.

One finding in a case study was that it seems really hard to get people into using both hands for interaction (bi-manual interaction) when digital objects are involved, even though there are physical/tangible artefacts to manipulate. I made a similar observation when recently working with small children who were writing the first time a short text on a computer keyboard. For most of them it was difficult at first to write capital letters – basically using bi-manual interaction with the shift-key and a letter. However in this case they typically learned this extremely quickly and after the first session it was internalized how to do it. I wonder if we should with tangible and bi-manual interaction more look into learning effects and efficiency gain after some time of use, rather than just focus on the instant ability of people to use it.

>Lucia Terrenghi defended her Dissertation

>Today Lucia Terrenghi completed her PhD at the University of Munich. The topic of her dissertation is “Designing Hybrid Interactions through an Understanding of the Affordances of Physical and Digital Technologies”. She presented interesting insights from prototyping new interaction tools the combine the digital and the physical.

One finding in a case study was that it seems really hard to get people into using both hands for interaction (bi-manual interaction) when digital objects are involved, even though there are physical/tangible artefacts to manipulate. I made a similar observation when recently working with small children who were writing the first time a short text on a computer keyboard. For most of them it was difficult at first to write capital letters – basically using bi-manual interaction with the shift-key and a letter. However in this case they typically learned this extremely quickly and after the first session it was internalized how to do it. I wonder if we should with tangible and bi-manual interaction more look into learning effects and efficiency gain after some time of use, rather than just focus on the instant ability of people to use it.

Video conferences – easier but not better?

The Pervasive 2008 TPC meeting on Saturday was held distributed over 3 continents and linked via video conference. In Germany we had a really good time slot (12:00 to 20:00) – Australia and California had a really late/early day.

The meeting worked well over video and considering the saved travel time it seems this is a acceptable alternative to a full physical meeting. It was interesting to see that the video conferencing quality did not really improve much over the last years. We ran the TPC meeting for Ubicomp 2003 between the UK and the USA also with a video conference system. And my first projects (in 1996) I worked on as a student researcher at the University of Ulm were on video conferencing, too.

It seems that over the last 10 years it has gotten much easier to set a conference up and interoperability seems less of issue, but the quality is still poor (even with the professional systems). I wonder if we should look with a master thesis into the topic again – all the topics like high quality AV, context-awareness, sharing, informal exchange, side channels, etc. appear still not to be there yet… or is the setting we used (google docs for sharing, edas as document repository, skype for side channel communication, and a professional video conference system) the natural way this develops?