Now trying the fronts of my Hai-Lo deck

You might have remembered I asked for some help deciding which backs would be best for my hit new game* Hai-Lo. I’m designing the fronts and was digging this concept. Hopefully you like it as well.

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Just make it pretty

From a recruiter through LinkedIn:

We have a specific need for a passionate front end developer who will be focusing on the look and usability of our internal customer facing tools. Our COVE (tools) team has a lot of talented engineers who are great at what they do we just don’t have the “make it look pretty” person.

With that kind of ego-stroking, how could I say no? Recruiting pro tip: if you need quotation marks to describe a candidate’s value to an organization, you’re doing something wrong.

Gotta run. I’m behind in making something pretty.

The boycott of birthday wall posts

I know this makes me sound whiney, but it is my birthday, so hear me out.

Today is my birthday, so I deactivated my facebook account for the day. To me, wall posts wishing someone a happy birthday are one of the most depressing and impersonal ways to commemorate the day. Instead of feeling any joy from a facebook birthday wish, I feel sad or disconnected or, at best, strangely curious at why a complete stranger is wishing me a happy birthday. Continue reading

Full Month Cash Flow Planning Worksheet for Budgeting the Dave Ramsey Way

Last week, I posted a generic budget ledger I designed to help facilitate zero-based budgeting a household, a process advocated by many financial experts. The feedback I received is, while the generic budget ledger was very pretty, it was daunting to use for those new to personal budgeting. Many were interested in a budget planning worksheet that guided them through the process and helped them verify if their finances were in balance.

Enter the Monthly Cash Flow Planning Worksheet. It features a number of income and expense categories to help you author your budget whether you’re new to this or an old-hand and guides you, step-by-step, through the budget planning process. It is made to be printed on a single sheet of paper, front-to-back and 3-hold punched to be placed in a binder. Continue reading

Monthly Personal Budget Ledger Sheet for the Suze Orman, Dave Ramsey Disciples

I’ve been providing personal finance counseling to a number of people recently. Part of my services is to help create a monthly budget laying out the income and expenses and “spending” every penny on paper (like Dave Ramsey advocates), but have been doing this with just a plain old piece of notebook paper.

Well no more! Introducing the most awesome monthly personal budget ledger ever! It’s pretty standard: income on the left, expenses on the right, offset slightly to 3-hole punch and put in a binder if you like. Continue reading

Is there a quantitative measure for usability?

Someone asked me the other day if there was a quantitative measure for usability. Me, being a person who doesn’t lack an opinion, laid out my philosophy. Thought it would be useful to post this to my blog as well, in case anyone else was interested in my answer.

Usability is measurable. If tested, usability needs to be measurable. It’s about task completion, steps to success, faults in the process, number of clicks/taps to get to success. We can take a design, assess its usability, take a competing design solving same task, assess its usability, and compare. A is more usable than B. It’s pure metrics and HCI.

Where things get tricky is if we talk about measuring user experience. That is not measurable because user experience is through the lens of the person using it and leans heavily on variables like history, perception, and emotion (to name a few). Continue reading

Tips on how to conduct international research

Just finished a few days of focal contextual inquiry down in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Here are a few tips for handling primary research in foreign countries.

1. Speak slowly. So many people here want to engage in English and forego the translator. That means you need to be clear in your questions and deliver them slowly. Continue reading