I attended a women’s breakfast in beautiful barn in Little Chesterford last Saturday.  There was a guest speaker:  Fiona Castle, wife of the late Roy Castle.  I did a sketchnote of her testimony: We had a delicious breakfast, served inside an historic threshing barn.  It could have been featured in Country Living Magazine since it was such a beautiful setting: a pretty rural village,  ‘Cath Kidston-style’ spotty oilcloth tablecloths, proper tea cups, posies and lavender bags!  Thanks to the organisers and to Fiona for…Continue Reading “Sketchnote: Fiona Castle “My Story””

  In case you may have typed in the wrong URL…   The other Jenny C I mistyped one day, and stumbled across another fabulous Jenny C!  So I thought I would share my experience with you, and clarify, that sadly, no, I do not sell industrial chemicals for cleaning HGVs/lorries; that’s jennychem.co.uk I must say, the other Jenny C looks very friendly and has great offers including free booze to wash away the winter blues…        

  You may have noticed that I have recently added a new section to this blog on sketchnotes.   There is a whole community of creative folks producing sketch notes (for example, just search Slideshare for ‘sketchnotes’ and you will see the number of talks on the subject). There is even a sketch note army (honestly!)   Anyway, I thought I would have a go myself, and to track my progress I will be adding my own creations to this blog going forward.  Bye for…Continue Reading “Burgeoning sketch-noter…”

Today’s news is that the latest article I have co-authored has just been published in BMC Bioinformatics (e-published before final formatting): de Matos P, Cham JA, et al. (2013) Enzyme Portal: a case study in applying user-centred design methods in bioinformatics. BMC Bioinformatics 14: 103 It’s the first ‘how to’ guide for applying user-centred design (UCD) to websites for bioinformatics. Hurrah! So what is the article about? I believe that as a community, bioinformatics is notorious for producing hard-to-use, often technical, software that turns off…Continue Reading “Real world user-centred design (UCD): case study from the European Bioinformatics Institute”

Hello!  Yes, it’s big news this week: the EBI launched its new website on Monday morning! EBI website Kaizen It has taken many months to prepare the new website, and the EBI will continue rolling out improvements in the coming months to bring all pages into the new look-and-feel.  It’s such a huge website, including so many different service brands and huge amounts of data, that there will inevitably be some ‘fixing the plane whilst flying’. This is a good thing if you believe, like…Continue Reading “The European Bioinformatics Institute has a new website…”

What do I do, and how did I get here? This is the subject of the talk I am giving today at the careers day at DKFZ (German Cancer Research Institute) in Heidelberg, Germany.  The slides will be available on Slideshare from the organisers soon. My way to UX… My route, from bioinformatics doctorate to User Experience Analyst, wasn’t perhaps typical – but I think no one’s journey ever is.  Other than maybe via HCI (human-computer interaction) or design education, I’m not certain that there…Continue Reading “Careers day at DKFZ Heidelberg”

InfoQ have now put up my talk from UX Cambridge 2011.  The talk was about workshops and how they are a great way to explore ideas for a user-centered design project. The talk includes… At what point would a workshop be useful?  And when would it be harmful? Why have user workshops got a bad reputation with some UX practitioners? Examples of the practicalities of planning and delivering successful UX workshops – the aim being to inspire you to run your own workshops right away….Continue Reading “Coming out of your shell (aka UX workshops with life scientists)”

Just before Christmas, Cranfield University asked if I would be happy to talk about my time studying there in a promotional video.  I said yes and they have created a sweet (if slightly cringe-worthy on my part) photofilm video, which is now on Youtube.  I think the photofilm approach is cool, and probably not as hard to make as with video footage.                  

My first post of the new year is about sewing patterns, but don’t let that put you off, if that’s not your thing.  It’s actually a case study in usability in the real world… The story I guess lots of you will have heard of Cath Kidston, the sewing and home-style legend – well I recently had a look at her book ‘Sew!’ .  The book looks great and the photos are brilliant, but I found it virtually impossible to follow the instructions to make…Continue Reading “Usability of sewing patterns”

Following Caroline Jarrett’s course on ‘Writing for the Web’ I was inspired to reorganise the pages on my site, and write new material on my experience of card sorting.  So as of last week there is more content – and hopefully – more of it is legible. I think I have got the hang of breaking up the wall of words, but being ruthless enough to slash half the words, and then another half again…well you can judge for yourselves….