September 28, 2013

Annoying Bug in OS X Mountain Lion Reminders Application

Changing the reminder date for an item in the respective application under OS X Mountain Lion seems to be pretty straightforward:
  • Double-clicking the desired item brings up a panel
  • In the panel, click on the date, which brings up the calendar control
  • Specify the new date by double-clicking on it (which also closes the calendar control)
While this works in some cases, it leaves the date unchanged in others, which can result in erroneous reminders if the bug goes unnoticed. The problem occurs each time the new date lies in a different month than the date that is currently set but is accessible on the same calendar “page”.

The following screen capture illustrates the problem by using a single click to select the new date (so that the calendar does not close afterwards).

Until Apple fixes this bug, you might want to double-check your reminders when modifying their dates.

May 26, 2013

UXpsychology - Separate Blog

In order to keep my main blog "tidy", I moved the UXpsychology pointers to a separate blog at

You can also follow on Twitter @UXpsychology

December 08, 2011

Steve Jobs Lost in Translation

This post will be especially interesting for readers who understand English as well as German. (For those of you who do not understand German, I included some explanations to give you an idea of the things I'm talking about.)
Most of you know that after the recent events, the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson was rescheduled and published earlier than initially planned. This led to rescheduled international publications that of course had to be translated first and then rushed to the market. Unfortunately, in case of the German translation (done by six translators) this shows all too clearly with issues ranging from "weird" to just plain wrong translations. So here are some "highlights".

November 21, 2011

Forget About the Details in UX Design

The title of this post may strike you as weird. After all, we know how important details are for UX, right? There are lots of descriptions of design details and the impact they had, and, not least, Steve Jobs' obsession with details is legendary. (See, e.g., “The Tweaker – The real genius of Steve Jobs”.) So why this post?

Well, because there is a right time for everything, and this also applies to dealing with details. Or, put differently: just because you are obsessing over details does not mean you are contributing to UX in a significant way, quite the contrary may be true.

September 12, 2011

A Cynic's View on the UX Community

Twitter and other (largely) public online forums are used by the UX community to publish thoughts, exchange ideas and discuss current issues. But of course, the audience consuming all that information is not limited to UX professionals. Anyone who wants to gain some insight into the UX community can tap into this constant stream of information, which is especially easy on Twitter - just filter for the #UX tag and there you go.

On the downside, tweets have to be short, leaving little room for context or differentiation. In addition, there's also a tendency to make messages "stick" by phrasing them in a strong and simplistic way. In some cases, this tendency continues in the sources the respective tweets point to.

Suppose "outsiders" (e.g. potential clients) go online and sample some of this information, would they have to be very cynical to arrive at some (or all) of the following conclusions regarding the UX community?

August 15, 2011

Oscar Wilde on art, criticism and usefulness

"It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors. Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex, and vital. When critics disagree, the artist is in accord with himself. We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely."

(From the preface to "The Picture of Dorian Gray")

May 23, 2011

We are doing this for over 20 years...

When redesigning a user interface (and all the more when creating a completely new one), it is a good idea to conduct user task analyses, contextual analyses and the like in advance. This helps immensely in gaining a deep understanding of the domain, users, their requirements and their workflows. For usability engineers who are regularly engaging in these kinds of activities, the benefits are obvious. Project teams that already work in the respective domain for a longer time and that are not accustomed with these analyses, can sometimes be doubtful and react with statements like "You know, we are doing this for over 20 years, we know exactly how this should work".
But then, as this TED Talk by Terry Moore shows, just because you are doing something for 20 years or more does not necessarily mean that you are doing it right or in the best possible way. Challenging assumptions from time to time and being open to learning new and unexpected stuff can make all the difference.