Saturday, Jun 07, 2003
So hey, I've long found it amusing that so many webloggers with such tight design skills do their redesigns in private, suddenly unveiling them to the world with a big "here it is!"
Trouble is, this is the antithesis of the traditional interaction design process. Showing the design around to a few of your friends shouldn't be a substitute for an actual usability experiment, for a lot of reasons, most notably an inherent bias towards the designer, a familiarity with the existing site (this is useful, but naive users should also be tested), and most importantly, the fact that a person's subjective opinion is not the same thing as the usability of a site.
So I'm going to (more or less) conduct the Fury 4.0 redesign by the numbers. I'm going to do some low-fi prototype testing, some task analysis, a smattering of cognitive walkthroughs for the identified common tasks, and some rolling usability testing as the redesign comes along.
I've already started with a lot of logfile analysis of Fury 3.2. I've identified the five categories of visitors, and their use patterns:
I've spent the last several months with these use patterns in my head, and they have driven a few changes over the years (the timeline, color-coding, permalinks, comments, etc.) but now I've got enough new ideas that I'm doing a complete rewrite. I closely considered making it 100% CSS, but I found that while the concept of CSS is extremely elegant, in practice the compatibility differences amongst my target browsers (even between IE 5.5 and IE 6.0, browsers of the most common Fury visitors) mean that I'd have to code many kludges just to make it work right, and it would make me more reluctant to institute changes, knowing a small change could wreck the site.
Instead I'm using tables for layout, and CSS for styles, as I mostly do now.
Okay, this post is getting much longer than I intended. Back to the interaction design model, I want your input. I'd like the regular users to be the eyes over my shoulder, I want you guys to play the role of the stakeholder. I'm designing a tool both for you and the other four groups, and while I'll take your comments for what they are, and not gospel, I realize you guys have a lot of good ideas and frustrations, and as long as this post's comments inform the design, and don't drive it, I think it'll make for a better redesign all around.
So, knowing that many of the labels in the following wireframe will need description I won't delve in to until later this week, I'd like to share the preliminary Fury 4.0 home page wireframe.
Questions? Comments? Go for it.
If you like it, please share it.
Hi, I'm Kevin Fox.
I also have a resume.
I'm co-founder in
The Imp is a computer and wi-fi connection smaller and cheaper than a memory card.
We're also hiring.
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