PWDO’s 5th Mini-Web Design Conference


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It’s Mini-Web Design Conference season once again!

The Philippine Web Designers Organization (PWDO) will be having its fifth Mini-Web Design Conference, the first after the major Form Function & Class web design conference. The event will be held at the De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) in Manila on November 14, 2009.

The event is spearheaded by applicants of incoming members of the PWDO with the help of the Association of Information Management of DLS-CSB.

It was over a year ago when we organized the very first Mini-Web Design Conference and I think it’s a great venue for web folks to network and learn a thing or two. :)

See you all there!

Mozilla Firefox Turns 5

Five years ago, Mozilla Firefox 1.0 was launched with much excitement from the web community. And this was for good reason– prior to November 2004, there was very little options when it came to browsers as folks only had Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera, and Netscape to choose from. Mozilla Firefox burst into the scene as the little browser that could.

Now it’s November 2009 and the browser landscape has changed. There are more choices (like Google Chrome) and and the former browser overlord, Internet Explorer, is declining. But more importantly, the little browser that could has become stronger. Over the last five years, one in every five web user now has Mozilla Firefox.

From the improvement in speed, personalization, and flexibility, Mozilla Firefox will remain in the forefront of the improving the web browsing experience.

Here in Manila, the Mozilla Philippines Community will be leading the be celebrations with “Five Years of Firefox in Manila.” The event will be held on November 21, 2009 at the Asian Institute of Management in Makati City from 3pm to 5pm. The event will feature swag and launching of Philippine community initiatives, plus a hint on the future of Mozilla Firefox.

I’d like to take this opportunity to invite fans of Mozilla Firefox here in Manila to drop by the event to show your support. To RSVP, please visit the event’s official page in Facebook.

Design/Sustain: World Usability Day 2009 in Manila

For the fifth year, the World Usability Day will be in Manila. :D

I’m working with the Adobe User Group – Philippines (AUGPhil) and the UST Information Systems Society to organize “Design/Sustain: World Usability Day 2009 in Manila,” the Manila event leg of the World Usability Day. Coincidentally, this is the last pending event I’m heading as the User Group Manager of AUGPhil. The event will be held on November 12, 2009 at the Thomas Aquinas Research Center (TARC) Auditorium at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila from 2-5pm.

The theme this year is “Designing for a Sustainable World” and the roster of speakers is quite impressive and will be speaking on topics centered on the theme. Here’s the program:

  1. 2:00pm: Opening
  2. 2:10pm: Welcome Remarks & Introduction to World Usability Day – Anne Michelle Santos
  3. 2:25pm: Illac Diaz of Designer Village Challenge – “Designing Houses for Climate Change”
  4. 2:55pm: Short Q&A
  5. 3:00pm: Rey Mendoza of AUGPhil & Shutterfox – “Affordable Usability Testing”
  6. 3:30pm: Short Q&A
  7. 3:35pm: Dr. Rosemary Seva of DLSU – “Usability & Sustainability”
  8. 4:05pm: Panel Q&A
  9. 4:30pm: Raffle
  10. 4:45pm: Closing Remarks – Regnard Raquedan

There’s a registration fee of PhP50.00 and folks can pre-register at http://wud2009manila.eventbrite.com. The fees shall be collected on site.

Mozilla Philippines Community Building Up Steam

If you’re a Mozilla Firefox enthusiast here in the Philippines and you’re not yet member of the Mozilla Philippines Community mailing list, you may miss a lot in the coming months.

Apart from meetups, the community here in the Philippines could be undertaking localization of Mozilla Firefox, organizing launch events, and probably even getting some cool Mozilla merchandise in the process.

Fellow blogger Eugene Villar has talked about this in his blog and this was brought up during a meet up with Mozilla’s Gen Kanai earlier this month.

So if you want a piece of the action, join the Mozilla Philippine Community mailing list. :)

Human Factors and Ergonomics in Business and Technology

I just attended a symposium entitled “Human Factors and Ergonomics in Business and Technology“ at the De La Salle University in Manila and it was hosted by the Human Factors and Ergonomics Center (HFEC).

The symposium had four main talks and were given by the HFEC’s research faculty:

  1. Human Factors in Business and Technology by Dr. Rosemary Seva
  2. Improving Business Competitive Advantage Through Ergonomics by Ms. Alma Maria Jennifer Gutierrez
  3. Integrating Usability in Web Design and Development by Mr. Ronaldo Polancos
  4. The Wisdom of Usability Testing and Evaluation by Ms. Jazmin Tangsoc

The symposium had only a few attendees as it was by invitation only, but the discussions were lively as the audience was composed of medical practitioners, developers, usability professionals, and government officials. Another thing that made the symposium interesting is the range of topics– while I went there to see the center’s facilities for usability testing and evaluation, I learned a lot about ergonomics. :)

HFEC director Dr. Rosemary Seva said that the center plans to hold quarterly symposiums to increase the public awareness on the presence of human factors research in the Philippines.

This is definitely a great move in developing the usability community here in the country and this could be the precursor to the establishment of a Manila chapter of the Usability Professionals’ Association. :D

Review: UserTesting.com

The folks at UserTesting.com let me used their service and had this blog tested for its usability. I plan on redesigning soon and I figured this is a good time to get feedback from various sources on how I plan to move forward.

The sign-up form goes directly to the usability test set-up where I’m supposed to put in the URL of the site I want to get evaluated, as well as the information for the evaluators. At this point, you should already have an idea what you want the users to accomplish and I think it takes a great deal of time to come up with a relevant list.

For my test, I chose this blog and I used this scenario:

Look at the site for five seconds. Then look away and answer these two questions (without peeking!): (1) What do you remember? (2) What do you think the site is about?

– Try to find a blog post that’s right for you.

– After you’ve found it, read the content.

– Did you find what you were looking for?

– If this wasn’t a test, would you share the blog to your friends via your blog or facebook account?

– If this wasn’t a test, would you click on the ads?

– Try read the 10 most recent posts. What do you think of the writing style and content?

– Evaluate the design of the blog. Is it appropriate? What would you like to see more of?

Moreover, you also have to define your site’s target audience. In my case, I targeted a young demographic that specified that the testers must have Facebook and owns a blog. For this review, I was allowed to have two people to test my blog.

After a few hours, I got my test results. They came in two formats: the narrative that contains the summary of the findings of the usability evaluator and a video of the evaluation session.

As for the the results, I’m wasn’t too happy with the narratives as one was very curt and only the other one was helpful. The “thinking aloud” videos had more insight and I appreciated them more. Here’s one of the videos of the usability tests:

As you can see,  it was pretty helpful and I now some idea on how to go about in redesigning my blog.

For a price of $58, the usability test and the results from UserTesting.com were pretty OK, and I think the value is in the feedback, the video and the insights from people you don’t know. And remember, simple usability testing beats zero usability testing all the time. :)

Aza Raskin Talks About the Future of Browsing

Aza Raskin, head of User Experience (UX) of Mozilla Labs, gave this talk during the Future of Web Apps London event earlier this month. He shared what the next three years could be like in the browser space. From more user-centric features to payments using the browser, what could be is very intriguing:

You-Centric: The Future of Browsing from Carsonified on Vimeo.