Articles

Topic: Predictions & Milestones

Progress in Usability: Fast or Slow?

February 22, 2010

Over the past decade, usability improved by 6% per year. This is a faster rate than most other fields, but much slower than technology advances might have predicted.

Discount Usability: 20 Years

September 14, 2009

Simple user testing with 5 participants, paper prototyping, and heuristic evaluation offer a cheap, fast, and early focus on usability, as well as many rounds of iterative design.

Macintosh: 25 Years

February 2, 2009

Although its individual features weren't new, the Mac offered integration, the expectation of a GUI, and interface consistency. Is the iPhone the Mac of mobile?

Nielsen Norman Group: The First Decade

August 8, 2008

Started by Don Norman and Jakob Nielsen in 1998, the company is now 10 years old and has a long list of accomplishments and a much bigger team.

25 Years in Usability

April 21, 2008

Since I started in 1983, the usability field has grown by 5,000%. It's a wonderful job - and still a promising career choice for new people.

100 Million Websites

November 6, 2006

The early Web's explosive growth rate has slowed, but even the mature Web is still expanding and recently crossed the 100 M websites mark.

One Billion Internet Users

December 19, 2005

The Internet is growing at an annualized rate of 18% and now has one billion users. A second billion users will follow in the next ten years, bringing a dramatic change in worldwide usability needs.

Alertbox: 10 Years

June 1, 2005

300,000 words of usability essays have had an impact: online user interfaces are considerably easier to use now than they were in 1995. Many predictions and recommendations have come true, though the full Alertbox vision is far from realized.

30 Years With Computers

May 24, 2004

Since I started using computers, they've become almost a million times more powerful. Although big computers can be alienating, their evolution generally leads to a better user experience.

Alertbox #200

September 29, 2003

I've published 200 Alertbox columns on the Web since 1995; in addition to achieving key victories over multi-million-dollar special interests and enemies of usability, the column's readership statistics validate the practice of archiving content.

In the Future, We'll All Be Harry Potter

December 9, 2002

The world of magic is a world where inanimate objects come alive; it's as if they had computational power, sensors, awareness, and connectivity.

Making the Physical Environment Interactive

August 5, 2002

Tiny motors and sensors will make physical objects interactive and create a renaissance for gestural user interfaces. As interface design moves from the screen to the material world, the need for simple, easy to use designs will only increase.

Top Research Laboratories in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)

March 31, 2002

A core group of elite corporate research labs (and a few universities) defined the field of human-computer interaction and established much of whatever ease of use we now enjoy. With big labs disappearing, the future of HCI research is in jeopardy.

User Payments: Predictions for 2001 Revisited

December 23, 2001

Advertising-supported websites will soon be a thing of the past. As I predicted a year ago, sites began charging for services in 2001. Although most sites are still not handling payments right, two innovative European projects hold much hope for 2002.

The End of Homemade Websites

October 14, 2001

Web services will free individual site designers from having to program and design common features. This will decrease business costs, increase usability, and let designers focus on and improve features that are unique to each site.

The Web in 2001: Paying Customers

December 24, 2000

Offering free services on websites is not a sustainable business model, nor is advertising, which doesn't work on the Web. Most Internet companies are now pursuing an enterprise strategy to make money, but they'll soon begin turning to individual customers for revenue as well.

End of Web Design

July 23, 2000

Websites have to reduce their differences and allow advanced features to either become standard across sites or be extracted from the sites altogether and placed in the browser. Focus on services and content; use a standard design.

Alertbox 5 Years Retrospective

May 28, 2000

Since 1995, the readership of the Alertbox has grown by 4,800%. Most of the 105 old usability columns remain valid to this day since people change more slowly than the technology. But the Alertbox has encountered some setbacks as well.

Predictions for the Web in Year 2000

December 26, 1999

Micropayments will start with value-added content; mobile access; advice and sales become unbundled and physical experience environments may launch.

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