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HCI

HCI

Runne(a)r phones- if you run, you need one (earphone mounted rotary knob volume control)

Summary
This is a product idea I have submitted on Quirky targeted at runners.
Changing the music volume (because of traffic, changing environmental noise) while running is always a hassle. Well, not any more, Runne(a)rphone’s here.
Vote here: http://www.quirky.com/ideations/224692 (if you like it, and tell your friends about it too)

Runner earphones- with a rotary dial to solve volume changing woes Runner earphones- with a rotary dial to solve volume changing woes Runner earphones- with a rotary dial to solve volume changing woes Runner earphones- with a rotary dial to solve volume changing woes

The Problem

This product is a solution to a very specific problem- changing the volume of your music device while running.

When running, we often have to change the volume over the course of the run, especially if we’re running in the city. We come across different volumes of environmental noise (running by a busy road, passing by a construction site, what have you). This means we need to turn the music volume up and down quite a few times throughout the run.

Now changing the volume can be a pain, depending on where we’ve placed our music device. If we’re not using a remote control earphone, then we need to take it out of the pocket and change it, which means slowing down and distracting ourselves from simply enjoying our run. Even using an armband requires us to slow down or bit, or stop moving the arm its on to change the volume… not something we like to do when all we want to do is zone out.

A remote controlled earphone is no better (something I personally use) because we still need to temporarily slow our speed down and get hold of the volume control on the earphone wire. I certainly don’t enjoy it, and believe you don’t too.

The Solution

My solution to the volume changing hassle is an easy, ‘don’t make me think’ one. It is an earphone for runners, where the volume is controlled through the earphone itself rather than the music device.
The difference is that the volume is controlled through a rotary knob (just like those on the old television sets) and this knob is placed on the earphones itself (as you can see in the picture I’ve attached- the extruded portion is supposed to be the rotary knob).

Changing volume is as easy as rotating the knob on either headphone. This means we no longer have to slow down while running. We no longer have to get distracted from having to cumbersomely change the volume. It’s as simple as volume changing should be while running.

Key Features

The product is an earphone targeted at runners and joggers. It solves the specific issue of the cumbersome process of changing the volume of music over the course of a run. It is special because I believe there is no other solution out there which makes it as easy as the this product.

Product Comparison

I am aware of none at the moment

The best of Cone Trees for 2011

2011 has ended and has been a rather good year for me. I know I have not been writing this year, but work has kept me very occupied, and happy.

I left Delhi and moved to Singapore early in the year to join PebbleRoad and have since then had a great time working on a whole lot of digital strategy, user research, information architecture, mobile and social interaction design, usability testing and competitive evaluations for websites and intranets for both the government and corporations such as IE Singapore, Tourism Australia, Visa, SMU, Guiness, Singtel, DHL and more. And the projects went well, nothing like getting repeat proejcts from happy clients. Great team, great fun.

I plan to get back to writing again this year, so you can expect more articles on ConeTrees this year. It’s February already and it is a little late for new year greetings, none the less, I hope you have a wonderful 2012.

Most viewed

The UX Bookmark- the best UX links for the smartest User Experience practitioners
Videos from UX Week 2011
UX Quotes- Quotes on User Experience

Suggested viewing

A Quick Look into IDEO’s Design Process- Designing a Shopping Cart in 5 days
Alan Siegel on simplifying legal jargon (simple language)
Alexis Lloyd on new interactions with news

My chapter in the book: UX Storytellers - Connecting the Dots

UX Storytellers book cover snap shot

As a contributing author and an industry practitioner, I am happy to see the book, UX Storytellers- Connecting the dots, finally out and it looks great. The book is a collection of forty two stories contributed by various user experience experts from around the globe, each of whom share a particular real (or based on a real) experience of theirs working in their respective areas of expertise within the UX domain. Some of my favorite authors in the book include Deborah Mayhew (author of Cost-Justifying Usability and The Human-Computer Interaction Handbook among many others ) and Aaron Marcus (author of The Cross-GUI Handbook for Multi-Platform User-Interface Design and Mobile TV: Customizing Content and Experience among others).

If you work in user experience at any level, this book will offer you some fantastic takeaways, the kinds you are lucky to get when you come across someone really experienced at a conference or even professional meet ups.

Jan Jura (@IATV) did a fantastic job of conceptualizing, coordinating and putting all of this together, which took him over a year. And judging the success of the book by the buzz in the UX community since it came out a week ago, it definitely looks like its been worth all the effort he put in.

My chapter in the book is a story which aims at helping user experience professionals understand the real challenges involved when trying to introduce User-Centered Design (UCD) techniques in your organization where your goal is to ultimately integrate UCD into your organization’s Product Development Life Cycle (PDLC). It talks about how arming ones self with technical capability is only half the story, the other half being a team’s ability to effectively deal with soft issues and successfully engage with stakeholders. I hope you will learn from it and be able to put it to good use if you come across such a situation or are already in such a (tricky) situation.

You can download or view the book online at: http://uxstorytellers.blogspot.com/2009/01/ux-storytellers-connecting-dots.html. A paid print version will follow, I’ve read quite a bit of it, and from all the value it provides, it definitely will be worth buying.

You can also read the book below. My story begins from page 412 of the Srcibd reader or page 434 of the book.

The best content at Cone Trees for 2009

Summary
Out of the near 50 posts that were made at Cone Trees in 2009, here is a compilation of what was most popular with you, dear readers. You will also find my list of suggested readings for each section (except for the articles section, where there were only three posts I made in the year).

Top 3 Articles

Most popular

  1. Tips for effective DIY Participant Recruitment for Usability Testing
  2. Increase Conversions in Long Web Forms by Resolving the Accidental Back Button Activation Issue
  3. Guidelines for conducting Effective and Efficient Meetings

Top 3 Blog Posts

Most popular

  1. jQuery Masked Input Plugin- Increase usability, input masks for text fields
  2. A Review of the Balsamiq Mockups wireframing application
  3. Usability spotter #5- HP laptop touch pads with scroll zones- absence of tactile cue

Suggested reading

  1. Usability Spotter #6- The Twitter login page password revelation issue
  2. Web Accessibility- our responsibility as Web Industry Professionals
  3. Usability Spotter #4: A Usability issue- Google Chrome Tab selection through the mouse

Top 3 Downloads

Most popular

  1. Download Axure ‘Clear input field value on focus’ prototype/ widget library
  2. Download Axure Touch Screen Hand Gestures Stencils
  3. 15 Tips for Effective Usability Testing in India

Suggested Downloads

  1. SEO through Accessibility- How designing accessible websites leads to automatic SEO
  2. A free Minutes of Meeting (MOM) template
  3. Cone Trees Wallpaper #2- Regenerate

Top 3 ‘News & Resources’

Most popular

  1. Pranav Mistry’s “Sixth Sense”, game-changing wearable technology- a talk by Patties Maes
  2. Web Accessibility- our responsibility as Web Industry Professionals
  3. Dan Roam on “The Way of the Whiteboard: Persuading with Pictures”

Suggested Viewing

  1. Don Norman on the three ways that good design makes you happy
  2. Kim Goodwin on designing a Unified User Experience- integrating Interaction, Visual & Industrial design
  3. Barry Schwartz talks about “The Paradox of Choice- Why Less is More”

The New Delhi UX Book Club

Logo for the New Delhi UX Book Club

Join the New Delhi UX Book Club

If you live in Delhi, Noida or Gurgaon and work in the User Experience domain, whether you’re a usability engineer, interaction designer, information architect, visual designer or a front end developer, we welcome you to be a part of the New Delhi UX Book Club. Feel free to add your name to the participant list at the New Delhi UX Book Club page and once we’re a decent size, we will get in touch to take it further.
Read More »

What other disciplines does Interaction Design overlap with?

A diagram by Dan Saffer depciting what he thinks interaction design consists of

I think this diagram very well describes the other disciplines interaction design overlaps with.
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3 Free great books to read if you are an Interaction Designer

Here are three free books on interaction design that you don’t have to pay a penny for to read (you can purchase the print versions of two of the books listed below if you like).

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Usability Spotter #1: Setting photo licenses on Yahoo! Flickr

What’s the Issue?

An image of the Flickr page that lets you choose a Creative Commons license for your photograph. Unfortunately, they do not provide contextual help on what these licenses mean

The image summarizes the issues with the license selection page on Flickr, which specifically speaking would be:
Read More »

How to fix the squished graph issue in Data Logger v 5.0

Bug where graph appears extremely squished in Data Logger version 5.0

Are you using data logger 5.0 and your performance charts look like the image above?

My heart beat skipped a beat when I was done testing with 6 participants in a certain usability test where we were looking at 20 users in all.

I earlier had noticed that graphs were squished thought it was probably a minor bug which had to do with missing data of participants I had included for calculation but who were yet to come participate, and hence the screwed up graphs.

However, this was not the case. The graphs remained squished even after I excluded participants, who were yet to participate, for data analysis.

Cursing under my breath about the painful job it would be put manually feed data into excel in case I couldn’t get the graphs to ‘unsquish’ themselves, I soon found the solution to the issue after a bit of twiddling around.

Solution

  1. Left-click a chart (the whole border) and select ‘Chart Type’ from the menu.
  2. Under the ‘Options’ fieldset below the ‘Chart type’ window, click on ‘Default Formatting’.
  3. You’re done.

What are the other issues you face with the data logger? Or improvements you would like to see in future releases?