Thursday, October 28, 2004

Steve Jobs - The Real Godfather of Usability

There is one person that over time has really championed the usability cause before everyone else had really started thinking about it. He made making products that people could use a priority of his business. He wanted all the possible potential problems that a user thought of in advance thought of before the users has it; so they can account for it in the design. Who is this man? But Steve Jobs of course...

This is really apparent in the success of the new iMac and the iPod. Both have dominated their respective markets and Apple has trouble keeping them in stock.

This high priority of being user centered helps keep the Apple customers so loyal.

In a interview with Business Week, Steve Jobs said,

"It's because when you buy our products, and three months later you get stuck on something, you quickly figure out [how to get past it]. And you think, "Wow, someone over there at Apple actually thought of this!" And then three months later you try to do something you hadn't tried before, and it works, and you think "Hey, they thought of that, too." And then six months later it happens again. There's almost no product in the world that you have that experience with, but you have it with a Mac. And you have it with an iPod." --Steve Jobs

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

MSU Usability and Accessibility Conference

I recently attended the the MSU Usability and Accessibility Conference the last two days. It was really interesting. There were some good speakers; not as many as I was expecting. Some of the speakers I liked more were: Mike Paciello, Charmane Corcoran, Christina Wodtke, Whitney Quesenbury, Susan Weinschenk, and Nate from Yahoo. Charmane was my boss/mentor at Mich State that helped me get into web accessibility.

Susan gave the the talk at lunch today about how to persuade people and the art and science behind it. Learned some new tricks.

I have come across a whole lot of info from the conference that I will post as I get the chance.

Conference Web Site
http://usability.msu.edu

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

alternate style sheets

One thing I have been working on implementing at work at MSU is using alternative style sheets. This allows you to alter the presentation of your web page. This will allow us to change the colors, contrasts, and type size. We can customize it whatever might be needed. Alternate style sheets has huge possibilities for web accessibility.

We really need to move in the direction of seperating out the content from the visual design. This will allow us to change the content display to whatever situation that we might need it.

A great article:
A List Apart - Alternative Style: Working With Alternate Style Sheets.

accessible vs inaccessible

Ever wonder what it's like going through an inaccessible web page with a screen reader?
http://www.humanfactors.com/downloads/chocolateaudio.asp

This example illustrates how some simple changes to your page can make a world of difference.

Monday, October 18, 2004

secret benefits of accessibility

Trenton Moss recently wrote an interesting article about how accessibility compliance enhances the usability of a web site.
http://www.sitepoint.com/article/accessible-usable-website

Saturday, October 02, 2004

About Justin Thorp

Work Experience

  • 2004 to Present - Intern, Web Development and Accessibility - Michigan State University, Academic Computing & Network Services

  • 2003 to Present - Principal, Web Developer & Accessibility Specialist - MyCapitalWeb.com LLC

  • 2002 to 2004 - Web Coder - Michigan State University, Client Advocacy Office

  • 1998 to 2003 - Free Lance Web Developer



Past Projects


Professional Association and Committee Memberships


Education
2002 to Present
Rochester Institute of Technology
Working on a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology

My Personal Blog