The Power and Problems of Provisional Personas in UX design

UX cell phone image

Personas are an oft used and highly touted communication and usability tool. They can help summarize what you know about the user, highlight pain points, and point out potential opportunities to customize your products for your users. In sum, they keep product development focused on your target market, rather than the world at large.

Digital Convergence: Insight into the future of Web design


Digital Convergence: Insight into the future of Web design Got something to say? Share your comments on this topic with other web professionals In: Articles By Dirk Knemeyer Published on May 5, 2004 Much of what is written about the Web has to do with the problems developers encounter today, such as a lack of … Read more

This Old Website: Web Renovations


This Old Website: Web Renovations Got something to say? Share your comments on this topic with other web professionals In: Articles By Ken Westin Published on April 21, 2004 Hello and welcome. Today we are going to renovate this large, old, static HTML Web site, circa 1997, bringing it up to the latest standards and … Read more

News : April 2002

News : April 2002 A new issue of A List Apart is out. In this issue Zeldman explains DOCTYPEs and how to use them in his article “Fixing Your Site With the Right DOCTYPE” [from Zelman, of course] April 12, 2002 at 7:12 AM Nick Finck For those of you who live and thrive in … Read more

News : November 2002

News : November 2002 Jim Byrne writes an excellent and well-stated introductory article about Understanding web typography. All the key points are here including the whole serif vs. sans serif debate, cross-platform issues with fonts, font size and even image headers vs. text headers. This is a good read and well-worth a bookmark. [from LucDesk] … Read more

News : December 2002

News : December 2002 Andy Cameron brings up some very good points in a small article entitled “Lay off the layout” that I think every Web Designer should read… especially if you have a formal design background or hail from the /files/includes/print.css side of graphic design. Wondering what “form vs. function” is all about? This … Read more

News : February 2003

News : February 2003 Another issue of Digital Web Magazine is now online for your reading pleasure. In this issue Jesse Nieminen takes up the challenge of pitting Adobe’s GoLive 6 against Macromedia’s Dreamweaver MX is what is perhaps the most aggressive side-by-side comparison reviews of WYSIWYG editors on the Web. It’s a close match, … Read more

News : August 2003

News : August 2003 Mark Pilgrim offers a great definition of the difference between using HTML to style a document versus using CSS: “…because table-based layouts and FONT tags and spacer GIFs are an ongoing nightmare, while CSS is only an up-front nightmare.” August 29, 2003 at 11:06 AM Britt Parrott A huge thumbs up … Read more


The Evolution of Corporate Web Sites By Richard MacManus published on April 28 2004 Hard to believe, but corporate Web sites have been around for over 10 years now. It’s fascinating to see how they have evolved over the years, from the early days of magazine-style brochureware to the most recent trends of two-way Web interfaces. … Read more


User Interface Design for Web Applications It’s a Different World from Web Site Design By Jean Tillman published on November 12 2003 This article could be also be titled “Things I Wish I’d Known Before Designing My Latest Web-Based Application.” You see, I had experience designing Web sites. I’d mastered the art of creating catchy content. … Read more


The Information Design approach to Web development By Dirk Knemeyer Aside from people, information is the single most valuable asset for business. At every level, in every department, for every company, information is critical. The better the information, the more successful the company and the people within it can be. Improving products and services, understanding markets, … Read more


Forms, usability, and the W3C DOM By Peter-Paul Koch Despite the specification having been around for nearly five years and a workable level of browser support for about three, the average Web developer doesn’t yet have a clear view of what the W3C DOM can do for Web sites. Sure, in those five years many good and bad, technical and less technical introductions have been written, but these all … Read more

Keep it Simple

Client-Centered Design By Peter-Paul Koch What is the difference between user-centered design and usability? Until writing this column I didn’t have the faintest idea. Fortunately, a quick search turned up a page that explains the difference quite nicely: UCD [user centered design] is often mistakenly considered a synonym for usability. UCD is much more encompassing – it … Read more


Back to the User: Creating User-Focused Websites Collective Lessons Learned from Listening to and Observing Users By Tammy Sachs Since our earliest interviews with Web users, enormous progress has been made in shaping sites that inform, engage and build lasting customer relationships. Imagine searching for information without Google; finding a rare collectible without eBay, figuring out … Read more


Smarter Content Publishing Building a semantic website to increase the efficiency and usability of publishing systems By Victor Lombardi Do you remember the days before WYSIWYG word processors when you had to markup the text, much like we markup web documents using HTML? I don’t. I started word processing using WYSIWYG applications on the Macintosh and … Read more


Cascading Style Sheets, Promise vs. Reality, and a Look to the Future By Mark Newhouse Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) are a technology with a lot of promise, but their often-hyped potential leaves some designers feeling blindsided by the 2×4 known as reality. This article sorts out the differences, and makes a case for educating yourself now … Read more


Building the Business Game Plan By Meryl K. Evans Process: either you love it or you hate it. Rarely do you find that in-the-middle-of-the-road when it comes to process in web design. One-size-fits-all? Some say yes and others say no. ISO9001, CMM (Capability Maturity Model), RUP (Rational Unified Process), and SPICE (Software Process Improvement and Capability dEtermination) are too big and cost too … Read more


Keep it simple, stupid! By Pär Almqvist The Dalai Lama once said that simplicity is the key to happiness in the modern world. This philosophy can be adapted into the realm of web design and digital interface design. The expressions “Keep it simple, stupid”, “Kill your darlings” and “Less is more” all pinpoint the fact that … Read more


The Document Object Model: an Introduction By Peter-Paul Koch In recent months much has been said about the Javascript DOM, the Document Object Model. It was rumored that Netscape 6 has a new one and that it’s really important to know how to use it. Nonetheless, some people are a bit hazy about what a DOM … Read more


Visual Architecture: The Rule of Three By Carole Guevin Overview: Visual architecture is applied to the new media design context and defined as the use of a particular method of building visual information and balancing communication between images and words. Visual architecture is to be distinguished from the way that Occidental languages train our eyes to … Read more