Chris McLay.

Designer. Pragmatic perfectionist. Really useful to have around…

Posts Tagged ‘user experience’

Bant: Great interaction for data entry

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Bant is a free iPhone app developed by The Centre for Global eHealth Innovation for people with diabetes. I discovered it on Daring Fireball the other day, but only just had a chance to play around with it.

For some context, I did quite a bit of work with some diabetes meters and recording systems about a year back. People managing diabetes take their readings several times a day, and recording these readings is a difficult habit to maintain. What I love about Bant is that it makes the task of recording three points of data for every reading into a single efficient interaction. With a single drag on the phone, you have entered the meal, the time and the reading. It’s such a quick and efficient way of entering and tracking data, much faster than writing in a diary or using a mouse & keyboard could be.

One final nice touch is the use of the yellow line which represents now. This is makes it very easy to enter a record right now, because you can’t drag any further down than the yellow line.

I think this is the first time I have seen this specific interaction – noting that it should work just as well with a mouse – has anyone else seen something similar before?

My first software design

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

I’ve been trawling through my archived files, backing up, tidying up, etc. and I came across something I thought was stuck in my collection of 3.5” floppy disks. I found copies of the first ever commercial software I designed and sold – The Box Office Manager, a single user ticketing system for small theatres.

Unfortunately there is no way I could ever run the software now as it was written for the days of System 6, with black and white monitors, and Motorola 68000 processors (that’s pre-PowerPC Macs, let alone pre-Intel Macs). I will try and find the disks and an old Mac to run them on, but that’s for another day.

Luckily there was some marketing material and manuals in with the software, so I have some screen shots from what I think is version 1.0, and some from version 1.5 beta (see below). It was great to look back at the screen caps and see how bad the design was. Not that bad considering I had no real software design training.


Starting a new job tomorrow

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

As many of you know I finished up at Sensis at little over a week ago, but I haven’t had a chance to tell everyone where I am going, so without any further ado…

Tomorrow I start work with Symplicit down in Docklands, Melbourne. Symplicit is a small research and design agency run by Stephen Moule and Jodie Moule. To quote their own web site, “Symplicit is a Customer Intelligence and User Centred Design consultancy, that offer services that help clients understand their customers, and in turn, design effective interfaces.” I’ve enjoyed working with both Jodie and Stephen on a couple of projects in the past, so I’m really looking forward to working with them on lots more.

In many ways the job at Symplicit is very similar to the work I was hired to do at Sensis, just agency side – lot’s more projects and lot’s of different clients. From what I know so far these clients include Telstra, NAB, Bendigo Bank, and a whole bunch more.

For now all contact details remain the same, just a new work email address to add to the mix –

Working with users to understand and evaluate

Monday, November 17th, 2008

Last week I lucky enough to speak at the Enhancing Online User Experiences conference in Melbourne. The whole experience was really enjoyable – maybe a bit stressful when my presentation notes disappeared just as I started to talk…

There was a range of wonderful presentations from a very diverse group of people. The two stand out presentations for me were Rod Farmer’s talking about his experiences in bringing better user experiences to 3 Mobile through better UX management, and Glenn Williams talking about how he brought a user-centred approach to the design of LotteryWest’s intranet.

In my own presentation I tried to expand beyond “straight” usability testing to show the broader value of involving users in the design process of online products and of other products. Overall I think this went down well, but I think I needed to cater for the very broad audience more specifically to really achieve this aim.

I’ve attached a PDF of the presentation below for anyone who is interested.

Working With Users Presentation (5.2MB PDF file)

Honours thesis marked

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

Well, I finally got my thesis back and I’m very happy to say that I’ve come away with a first class honours. I’m really relieved. Firstly because I worked really hard and think it is really good work, but also, I expected to get stung by my slightly unorthodox writing style. Luckily it all seems to have gone well.

Thank you so much to everyone to who helped, and supported me during this time, especially my supervisor Ingrid, the nameless people who gave up their time, Jacquie and Gene, Geoff, Claire, Klazina, Neil, the clients who have gone without, and friends and family who haven’t seen me lately.

I’ve put the thesis up online for anyone who is interested, or wants to pretend that they have read it: