Apple blood-glucose-meter Business Gadgets Health Innovation interaction design iPod iTunes large-print-keyboards MP3 Radiohead seniors The Internet Web Design

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Buy Provigil Without Prescription, A couple of weeks ago the esteemed Mr. Provigil forum, Wallz mentioned that Radiohead was giving their next album away for free - sort of. The deal is that you can pay any amount you want for the MP3 version, Provigil results, Buy generic Provigil, from $0 on up. They are not going through iTunes or Amazon or anyone else and are selling direct from the album's website, Provigil pics. Provigil wiki, I went, I bought, comprar en línea Provigil, comprar Provigil baratos, Discount Provigil, I listened. The verdict, Buy Provigil Without Prescription. Good album, Provigil class, Buy Provigil without a prescription, incredibly terrible website. Seriously, fast shipping Provigil, Provigil interactions, the site looks and acts like something that crawled from the depths of 1998, escaping some doomed graphic artist's college portfolio and wreaking havok on unsuspecting downloaders everywhere, Provigil use. Buy Provigil without prescription, Here's a screenshot of the registration screen. Too many fields, Provigil schedule, Kjøpe Provigil på nett, köpa Provigil online, and too many required fields. Buy Provigil Without Prescription, Do they really need my mobile phone number.

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The music was worth it, Provigil overnight. Buy Provigil Without Prescription, Disclaimer: what follows is a music review by someone with no experience or talent at writing music reviews. Purchase Provigil for sale, You've been warned.

15 Step - the drum samples sounded really glitchy - like low-rate MP3 artifacts, Provigil gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release. Is Provigil addictive, The rest of the tracks don't have the same issue, so I think the choice was intentional, rx free Provigil. Provigil without a prescription, Still, not a good way to lead off what will be many listener's first MP3 purchase, Provigil pictures.

Bodysnatchers - things are picking up, but the guitar at the beginning sounds like it filtered through an AM radio, Buy Provigil Without Prescription. Provigil over the counter, I like the dueling riffs.

Nude - Nice slow song, and I liked it, but this is the sort of Radiohead song I end up skipping because I'm driving late at night it I don't want to run the car into a ravine.

Weird Fishes/Arpeggi - If they were still making X-Files episodes, this would make a great soundtrack to an episode where long-dead ghosts are given hope.

All I Need - A good song for a bad mood. Buy Provigil Without Prescription, Faust Arp - Every Radiohead album needs a song with urgent, repetitive phrases. Thsi one is a little too short.

Reckoner - At this point I'm getting a little tired of the string section. Not a bad song, but I need a little more rock.

House of Cards - The guitar and percussion make this song surprisingly intimate - I could almost picture myself in a small bar listening to some band from England.

Jigsaw Falling Into Place - Great song with some nice spots where different instruments are layered over each other, but it stopped just when I thought it was really going to take off, Buy Provigil Without Prescription.

Videotape - This is as good a place as any to close the album - very pretty but low-key.

Overall I thought In Rainbows was yet another good album from Radiohead, but there wasn't a lot that really stood out. A little bit more like Jigsaw Falling Into Place would have been nice, just something to breakup the mood a little. The album does get better with a little more listening, so well worth the $7 I paid for it.

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Who Cares About the iPod, Where is the Apple Glucose Meter?

A few months ago I was looking at blood sugar meters and cholesterol testers for family members.  I have had my blood tested for various things throughout my life and I've seen the standard drugstore-issue glucose monitors in action, so I had a very basic idea of what I was looking for.  But I wasn't exactly an expert, so I went online. Now one of the benefits of living in the Internet age is that if you need to learn about any technological device, from MP3 players to video cards to application servers, you can quickly and easily find out all about it online.  Making a major purchase?  Some skillful Googling will lead you to novice-level tutorials, product comparisons, recommendations from normal users, and jargon-laden details from experts. Unless you want to buy a glucose meter.  I found virtually nothing except for short blurbs on retailers' sites.  I even had a hard time finding product info from manufacturers! The worst thing is, I was wasting my time.  Even if there had been a ton of info out there, comparisons, anecdotes, reviews, etc., it would have been no use.  Because as far as I can tell, all blood glucose monitors are complicated, confusing devices that are difficult to use.  Diabetics are supposed to test their blood every day, but the testers are temperamental, require expensive consumables, and can fail without always alerting you to the error. You have to line up drops of liquid on a tiny little target.  Make sure you cover the whole target, or the results will be off.  Make sure you don't go outside the target, or you'll screw up everything.  Oh, maybe you need to recalibrate.  Did you check how old the strips are? I was really, really surprised about this.  Actually, it was a mix of surprise and anger - why should anyone have to put up with such frustration for something that is so important? Why would a confusing interface make me so angry?  I couldn't really put my finger on it (bad pun) until now.  I just read an article at Techcrunch, "Apple iPod vs. the Insulin Pump."  Apparently a blog that covers Diabetes that has posted an open letter to Steve Jobs of Apple:

We are, of course, deeply grateful to the medical device industry for keeping us alive.  Where would we be without them?  But while they’re still struggling with shrinking complex technologies down to a scale where we can attach them, hard-wired, to our bodies, design kinda becomes an afterthought.

This is where the world needs your help, Steve.
This is precisely what is needed.  Now, it doesn't have to be Steve Jobs or even Jonathan Ive, the guys who designed the iPod.  Any designer with some insight and a proven track record of making usable devices could probably improve these medical devices immeasurably.  Millions of people's lives could be made easier if someone married modern medical technology with user-centered design. So add me to the list of people asking the questions in this letter, Steve (few people realize that Steve Jobs reads Unsought Input daily and hangs on our every word).

We called it – 8 Apple iPhone predictions that came true

Today Apple finally released details about their new iPhone. There have been rumors and speculation about how Apple could bring it's iPod design skills to the mobile phone world for years now. Lots of web sites have posted predictions, feature wish lists, insider information and supposed leaks, including this one.

Does the iPhone live up to the hype? We'll take a look at it by going down the list of our 10 predictions about the Apple iPhone.Apple iPhone

1. Simple controls. - Apple has struck a blow against the proliferation of buttons by creating a phone with only a few buttons and a large touchscreen. This is a welcome change from smartphones and PDA-phones which have a whole QUERTY keyboard. The keyboard is nice the 5 percent of the time I'm taking notes to texting, but 95 percent of the time they just make it harder to hit the button I do want.

2. Consistent controls - This is a little bit harder to judge without having an iPhone in hand to play with, but from the demos and the fact that the iPhone runs OSX it seems likely you won't have to learn totally different ways to navigate your voicemail, songs, and photos any more. At the very least Apple has solved the mystery of the Green “dial� button and the OK button.

3. Innovative controls with obvious affordances - The iPhone's control scheme definitely falls into the innovative category, but is it's use obvious? Although I missed my guess about hanging up the phone, some of the features are automated responses to actions people are already very used to performing. The touch screen turns off when you put it close to your face, and the display shifts to landscape when you turn it. The learnability and obviousness of the individual applications which use the touch screen are a little harder to judge just yet (especially for old codgers), but it is nice to see the use of large, simple icons like the Palm or Blackberry rather that a Windows-style Start Menu, which just plain sucks on small devices.

4. Streamlined interaction design. - Apple has chosen to put Phone, Mail, Web and iPod icons along the bottom of the screen for ease of access. Presumably they expect other features, like the Calendar and Maps, to be used less often and so they are represented by icons filling the top of the screen. Assuming they are right about which tasks are most commonly used, this is a smart move. Calling and iPod functionality are obviously the biggies and are located appropriately at the corners in compliance with Fitt's Law. Will email and web browsing be as important? Millions of blackberry users say yes to the former, and built-in wifi make the latter possible.

5. No more disgusting face grease on your screen. - Unless the touchscreen is coated with some miracle material, maybe not. But wait - it looks like the solution comes in the form of the included hands-free headphones and optional bluetooth headset. I'm still a little surprised that the horror of gobs of face grease all over his beautiful device didn't push Steve Jobs over the edge. Apparently he can console himself with the thought that most people will use the headphones to listen to music and all the cool kids have headsets.

6. No more lock in - Not so fast. The iPhone is a Cingular exclusive, at least in the U.S., at least for now. It works on GSM, which is a widely used standard, and I am pretty amazed that Cingular is allowing a device with built-in wifi, but I will take this one as a failed prediction.

7. It will look really, really nice - This is, of course, completely subjective, but I have a feeling a lot of people will be lusting over iPhones when they hit stores this summer.

8. Integrated voicemail, chat, SMS and email - Hit the nail on the head with this one. This is the first device I've seen which takes the obvious step of allowing you to manage your voicemail the same way you do email. No more listening to 4 messages to get to the one you actually want to delete.

9. No camera - I was completely wrong on this one. The iPhone has a 2 megapixel camera built-in. I still think cameras on phones are really only used by drunk people and people with new phones. Maybe I have to add a new category, people who will soon be famous on YouTube.

10. Connectivity - The iPhone has bluetooth, Wifi, and EDGE meaning lots of potential for connectivity. Since it runs OSX, I'm guess that means the sky's the limit on how you connect and transfer files around. This is a very smart move – get your customers used to using the Internet often enough with Wifi, and they'll start wanting to use it all the time with EDGE (and an expensive data plan).

So that's that - our record was 8 out of ten. Not bad for a site with no insider information.

What did we miss? Let us know in the comments below.

Usability Begins at Home – 3 Challenges in Usability Testing with Older Users

Have you ever gone to a web site and had a hard time navigating around the site? Ever try to purchase something online only to find the steps so confusing and unintuitive you give up and buy somewhere else?

Web sites that suffer from poor usability almost invariably also suffer from poor readership and sales. That's why a small, but growing number of companies are starting to put some time and money into usability testing. They are, quite shockingly, actually watching their users try to use their web site.

People age 60 and up are the fastest-growing user group on the web, and a large number of sites will want them as customers. In this post, I want to talk about a test I ran with an older user where the web site was actually not at fault – at least not primarily at fault – for a severe lack of usability. We will cover the three major challenges you need to address when doing usability testing with older adults.

The web site was targeted at a wide range of users, specifically including the elderly. I was running an informal usability test with two middle-aged users and one elderly user. The middle-aged users were experienced users of office software and occasional web users. They were able to walk through the tasks reasonably well, although it was apparent some of the labels were a little unclear and could use tweaking.

The first challenge of testing with older users and computer novices is use of the mouse. If you are not yet used to using a mouse, moving the pointer accurately can seem unnatural and disconnected. The use of mouse buttons can also be a challenge – in my experience, novice users will either often click the wrong button or stop and ask at every click - “should I right-click or left-click?�

How do you teach grandma, grandpa, or the nice lady who volunteers for the church how to use a mouse? Luckily, there is a software package almost guaranteed to work – and it's free- and you already have it. It's called solitaire. The only way to improve is through practice, but just about everyone seems to be able to pick it up after enough solitaire. I became comfortable with a mouse in a couple of days by playing GeoWorks solitaire on a blazing fast 286, it worked for both of my grandmothers, and it worked for this particular user.

The second challenge is visual. It can be very tempting for designers to make web sites “best viewed at 1024x768 resolution,� and it can be very tempting for usability researchers to make everyone use the same font and resolution settings, to eliminate independent variables. Visually impaired users tend not to care about your pixel-perfect design or your variables, and they will change the font and resolution settings. Your site (and your experimental design) had better be able to cope with it, or risk losing older people as customers altogether.

And, of course, your most important users are blind.

I was aware of both of these challenges when I began my test with my third user. She had little experience with the web but had used terminals in the 70s and 80s and was an avid player of solitaire, free cell, and other computer card games. In addition, her resolution was set to 800x600 and her fonts were set larger than normal, just as she would normally use.

The first task was to sign up for a user account. The user was able to quickly find the link and click to the sign up page.

The third challenge became apparent very quickly once she got to the form. She clicked in the first text box, and then began a slow, painful process of searching the keyboard for letters. The keyboard itself can be a usability problem!

Many of the older users you will encounter learned to touch-type on terminals, word processors, or typewriters and can transfer that skill to using the web. On the other hand, many, many people who were able to hunt-and-peck their way through their entire career find they are unable to do so as their vision deteriorates.

This was an informal usability study, so was not keeping time—but if I had been, the site would have failed miserably. My participant worked for a full half hour on the sign-up page, filling just 10 form fields. The effort required was obviously way to much, especially since use of this web application would require small amounts of typing on a daily basis.

How do you address the third challenge? You have two options:

  1. Eliminate as much typing as possible. Many users ignore your site navigation and immediately start searching, but you must continue to make all points in your site accessible by clicking down a hierarchy or other organizational scheme. Take a look at every text input in every form on your site – how much of that information is really needed? Make it very clear when some items are optional and others are required, and try to keep the number of required fields to a minimum. Will the world come to an end if not every user gives you their zip code?
  2. Address the problem at the root – replace the user's keyboard with a large-text keyboard. Now obviously, if you have a general-interest web site you will not have access to each user's home, and it would be expensive to distribute free keyboards through the neighborhood like Halloween candy. In some cases, however, giving a user a large-print keyboards that cost less than $10 may very well be worth a $20/month subscription fee, or thousands of dollars in direct sales. At the very least, if you expect to have a large elderly user population, offer large-print keyboards on your site or link to someone who does.

If you are looking for a large-print keyboard, I have found them at Amazon.

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