The Beauty of User Experience

Not too long ago I wrote about Drupal's usability history and its future

In that post I wrote:

Visual design and visual impact time and time again translate directly into a perception of usability from the user perspective. For some reason (and you will have to consult with psychologists for why) people gravitate towards the pretty and the attractive. Make something look good and people tend to rate their experience with that thing higher.

And just the other day A List Apart wrote an amazing piece on just this topic. The article is called "In Defense of Eye Candy". It is an absolute must read for anyone who ponders user experience and wants to know more about why its so important for an application to 'look good'.

By making your application look good, you may actually make it work better. That's not hyperbole. The article cites two studies (one found here) that come to this conclusion.

April 23rd 2009 3AM
By: andre


Drupal Usability Past Present and Future

This past week Dries Buytaert of Drupal, Mollom and Acquia fame announced that Acquia would be engaging Mark Boulton and Leisa Reichelt "to help improve usability in Drupal". Mark and Leisa were of course behind the redesign project that I've alluded to in the past. (You can see the result of their efforts embodied in the prototype.) The purpose of the redesign project was to improve the usability of the site itself. The purpose of this new project is for them to help improve the usability of Drupal in general.

This announcement and some recent conversations I've had with Michael of the User Advocate Group got me thinking about the Drupal usability landscape again.

It has been nearly three and a half years since I authored one of the first Drupal usability reports while working with Web Networks. The report was commissioned by the Association of Progressive Communications so that organizations considering adopting Drupal had some sense of the usability of Drupal. The report itself was very limited in scope, but the overall conclusion was that Drupal was "usable" (in a very specific context for a specific subset of end users).

February 9th 2009 9AM
By: andre
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