What does meritocracy actually mean? It depends…

It seems that we all want meritocracy, but do we actually know what it means? There are many interpretations, with radically different consequences. We should be careful what we wish for. Meritocracy is a commonly used term and it is usually assumed to be a self-evidently good thing. Broadly speaking, it refers to a system … More What does meritocracy actually mean? It depends…

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The popularity machine

Once upon a time, so the story goes, power over content was wielded by a narrow elite. You might write a great work, but never reach an audience, through the short sightedness of publishers. Thankfully, those days are over. The internet has changed everything. Now, success is determined by the masses, through their clicks, likes, … More The popularity machine

Why Agile Makes Sense: software development compared to other industries

Software development projects are often complex and chaotic, with huge communication challenges. Despite huge investment and focus, delays and failures are still fairly common occurrences. In contrast, many traditional industries seem to have formulated very well understood and reliable processes. However, rather than copying these approaches, the software industry is increasingly turning to a brand-new way of doing things: … More Why Agile Makes Sense: software development compared to other industries

Levels of Design

Design can operate at many levels within an organisation, with different benefits to bring in each arena. However, in practice, designers and user experience practitioners are often often stuck in a relatively narrow slice of the overall process. This is partly because management and other stakeholders have a limited view of what design and research … More Levels of Design

Hierarchical Structure, Black Holes and Root Complexity

Many aspects of user interfaces can be thought of as hierarchies, some explicit and others implicit. Website menu structures are a form of explicit hierarchy: they seek to give navigational access to a set of pages. Application menu structures are also explicit hierarchies. Except that they contain functions rather than navigation. However, thinking more laterally, … More Hierarchical Structure, Black Holes and Root Complexity

Autosuggest Mechanisms

Autosuggest mechanisms vary in terms of several key behaviours: Whether they offer search suggestions, actual results, or search enhancement functionality. Whether one of the items in the drop down is selected automatically. Whether they use auto-complete and what behaviour it has. Whether they typically lead to a search results page, or directly to an end … More Autosuggest Mechanisms