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….

Last week I attended Giles Colborne’s talk on ‘Advanced Simplicity’, hosted by the EBI Interfaces Forum at the EBI, Hinxton.  What struck me in particular in his talk was the clear parallel between what he refers to as ‘mainstreamers‘ and ‘experts‘ and the ‘biologists‘ and ‘informaticians‘ that use bioinformatics services at the EBI. People doing wet lab experiments, maybe spending 10-20% of their time at the computer, and dry programmers with 100% of the time on the computer. The way things break down into two…Continue Reading “Advanced Simplicity?”

  After a year or two, I thought it was time to check on the citations of the papers I wrote during my doctorate. I used ISI Web of Knowledge to do this – which is a nifty little service.  You add in an author name and it gives you information on the number of citations achieved for each paper by that author.  You can display the results dynamically as bar chart graphs, and can adjust the settings for different displays.  It works best for…Continue Reading “Which of my papers received the most citations?”

On Friday 25th November, I will be attending Caroline Jarrett’s course on writing for the web, which is being held at the EBI. I don’t know about you, but I don’t tend to think enough before I write – so I’m hoping after this course I’ll have a neat check list of dos and don’t s, to which I will refer, before I click ‘Publish’.  The result for you, the reader, should be some much better quality postings on this site – and generally a…Continue Reading “Writing for the Web Course with Caroline Jarrett”

      The first ever UX Cambridge conference is taking place on November 10-11th this year and I am thrilled to have been invited to speak at the event. The programme looks packed with interesting stuff, including a speed-sketching workshop session from some of my EBI colleagues (Francis Rowland and Antony Quinn).  My talk is an ‘experience report’ on Friday 11th November at 9.00am. My talk title:  Coming out of your shell: using UX workshops to your advantage in a tecchie/scientific setting Talk abstract:…Continue Reading “UX Cambridge 2011”

  Yesterday was the first time I have ever presented a talk on UX dressed as a witch!  The talk was about how we propose to apply user-centered design processes internally at the EBI for a current project.  Several other groups were taking part, each giving talks on the day about different aspects of web design and other topics.  These groups included the goblins, elves, phoenix, dragons, wizards and dwarves.  I was representing the witches and warlocks group, so naturally I saw it as an…Continue Reading “Witch gives UX talk at the EBI”

To pursue a career in usability practice for a complex domain, such as bioinformatics, what is the best career route to take?  Is it best to train in usability evaluation – more formally known as Human Computer Interactions (HCI) first, then to learn about a specific domain later?  Or is it better to be a domain expert in bioinformatics, then learn the discipline and techniques of HCI later?  Is the order important for success?  You can, of course, study for degrees and doctorates in both,…Continue Reading “Usability in complex domains: what’s the optimal route for UX success in bioinformatics?”

It has been great to learn about Drupal at DrupalCon 2011 this week; what it is, what it is not, its history and future plans.  I now understand what it’s all about – and how much there is still to learn! I know, for example, that the UX of Drupal has two aspects: UX for the interface used to build Drupal sites – the ‘console’/ ‘dashboard’ interface- basically where the thing is bolted together and where content is inserted.  Users of this interface are the…Continue Reading “The DrupalCon 2011 event has now come to a close”