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UXpod - User Experience Podcast

UXpod - User Experience Podcast

By Gerry Gaffney

A free-ranging set of discussions on matters of interest to people involved in user experience design, website design, and usability in general.



29/06/22·32m 33s

User research in government: An interivew with Matthew McCallum

A nice case study of the value of a small number of in-depth interviews.
17/07/19·25m 40s

The Boss is away: An interview with Michelle Spencer

Michelle talks about the challenge and opportunity of running a large team remotely.
02/07/19·28m 34s

Competence, autonomy, relatedness: Celia Hodent on games design

Celia Hodent talks about neuroscience, UX and games design.
16/03/19·31m 37s

UX in the Ubiquitous Bank: An Interview with Brett King

Brett King on the future of banking
15/12/18·20m 30s

Making Cities Smarter: An Interview with Martin Tomitsch

Martin talks about the challenges and opportunities of designing for the connected, sensor- and data-enabled city of the future.
05/07/18·24m 9s

Designing better meetings: An interview with Kevin M Hoffman

Kevin Hoffman talks about how to design and facilitate good meetings.
02/04/18·32m 21s

Designing for the best death possible: An interview with Matiu Bush

Matiu Bush talks about designing for the end of life.
12/03/18·33m 39s

Mean Time to "I Love You" - Amir Shevat talks about Chatbots

Slack's Amir Shevat talks about bots, and why you can't just port existing services to a bot, and about the power of conversational interfaces.
04/02/18·28m 15s

How tech's lack of diversity affects its products: An interview with Sara Watchter-Boettcher

Tech firms that are not themselves diverse can't be effective in meeting the needs of diverse audiences. Sara Wachter-Boettcher talks about how we've built exclusion into our algorithms.
17/12/17·32m 39s

SEO, metadata and information architecture: An interview with Shari Thurow

Does metadata matter – and why? Shari Thurow talks about making your content usable and accessible for both humans and machines and the importance of information architecture.
05/08/17·37m 5s

Visual Communication: An interview with Alberto Cairo

Why everyone should learn to think like a professional, honest journal. What makes a good "infographic"? And how can we find the stories in our data, and tell those stories effectively?
16/07/17·49m 7s

Design for Life: An interview with Karen Holtzblatt

The author of "Contextual Design" on the importance of immersion, and how to engage the entire team in the design process.
26/03/17·42m 13s

Definitive Advice on Forms: An Interview with Jessica Enders

Jessica talks about good forms design. Layout, Flow, Language - and why not to use placeholder text
15/02/17·28m 13s

Stories from the field: An interview with Steve Portigal

Ethnographic researchers share their experiences in Steve's new book, "Doorbells, Danger and Dead Batteries: User Research War Stories."
10/12/16·49m 9s

Dogs, Doublethink and Deconstructing Beliefs: Liminal Dave Gray

Dave Gray describes "Liminal Thinking" and why it matters.
21/11/16·38m 25s

An animated interview with Val Head

Zoom on over to to read the transcript.
11/11/16·30m 46s

Transforming & Measuring: An Interview with Gerry McGovern

Gerry McGovern talks to Gerry Gaffney about the empowered customer and the consequent need to transform organisations.
28/10/16·49m 24s

The importance of invalidation: Tomer Sharon on Lean User Research

Tomer Sharon talks bout Lean User Research.
06/06/16·35m 27s

Customer as superhero: An interview with Donna Lichaw

Customer as superhero.
05/05/16·30m 54s

Explain yourself! An interview with Tom Greever

Articulating Design Decisions.
30/12/15·37m 45s

Reasonable doubt - Juries, the law and plain language: An interview with Prof James Ogloff

Can we expect a jury of lay-people to interpret, understand and apply the law?
22/11/15·26m 26s

Service design: An interview with Andy Polaine

What is service design, and how does it relate to UX?
08/12/14·40m 20s

Designing good five-second tests: An interview with Paul Doncaster

What you can (and can’t) find out in five seconds, and how to design good tests to do so.
30/09/14·36m 16s

Design for Kids: An interview with Debra Levin Gelman

Getting onto the floor for user research. Measuring PTR (Parental Threshold for the Revolting.) And designing products that engage, educate and entertain kids.
17/08/14·47m 14s

The Moderators Survival Guide: An interview with Donna Tedesco and Fiona Tranquada

Donna Tedesco and Fiona Tranquada, authors of "The Moderator's Survival Guide" talk to Gerry Gaffney about moderation. They discuss styles like Friendly Face, Down to Business, Inquisitive Mind and By-the-Book, the risks and pitfalls, Gerry's labcoat, and advice to moderators of all levels.
07/07/14·39m 20s

UX: A client perspective

Catherine D'Elia talks to Gerry Gaffney about how UX contributed to the design of a new Jury Management Service. She says that explaining UX and getting buy-in are crucial.
04/06/14·14m 42s

Where UI guidelines come from: An interview with Jeff Johnson

Jeff Johnson talks to Gerry Gaffney about user interface design guidelines, zombie processes, and why your first answer to the following question is typically wrong. A baseball and a bat together cost $110. The bat costs $100 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?
17/05/14·40m 7s

Microinteractions: An interview with Dan Saffer

Dan Saffer talks about microinteractions, signature moments, and the importance of detail. For a transcript of this and other episodes, visit
19/04/14·31m 13s

User research interviews: An interview with Steve Portigal

Gerry Gaffney interviews Steve Portigal about conducting interviews for user research. For a transcript of this and other episodes, visit
16/08/11·43m 2s

Human transit: An interview with Jarrett Walker

Gerry Gaffney interviews Jarrett Walker. For a transcript of this and other episodes, visit
10/08/11·33m 58s

Global UX: An interview with Whitney Quesenbery

Gerry Gaffney interviews Whitney Quesenbery. For a transcript of this and other episodes, visit
02/08/11·28m 52s

Speech user interfaces: An interview with James Lewis

Gerry Gaffney interviews James Lewis. For a transcript of this and other episodes, visit
20/06/11·41m 45s

Driver Safety: An interview with Dr Michael Regan

Gerry Gaffney interviews Mike Regan. For a transcript of this and other episodes, visit
22/04/11·42m 6s

UX in the UK: Gerry Gaffney interviews Andy Budd

Gerry Gaffney interviews Morgan McKeagney. For a transcript of this and other episodes, visit
17/03/11·20m 7s

Usability in Ireland - Gerry Gaffney interviews Morgan McKeagney

Gerry Gaffney interviews Morgan McKeagney. For a transcript of this and other episodes, visit
31/12/10·23m 0s

Surveys - an interview with Caroline Jarrett

Gerry Gaffney interviews Caroline Jarrett. For a transcript of this and other episodes, visit
16/12/10·37m 9s

Simple and usable - an interview with Giles Colborne

Gerry Gaffney interviews Giles Colborne. For a transcript of this and other episodes, visit
16/10/10·23m 49s

Beyond the Usability Lab with Bill Albert

Gerry Gaffney interviews Bill Albert. For a transcript of this and other episodes, visit
14/08/10·30m 14s

Promoting cycling culture, with Mikael Colville-Andersen

Gerry Gaffney interviews Mikael Colville-Anderson. For a transcript of this and other episodes, visit
09/07/10·15m 27s

Adam Greenfield on Everyware

Gerry Gaffney interviews Adam Greenfield on ubiquitous computing. For a transcript of this and other episodes, visit
15/06/10·52m 10s

David Hill on ThinkPad's evolution design strategy

Gerry Gaffney interviews Lenovo's David Hill. For a transcript of this and other episodes, visit
02/03/10·27m 45s

What every intranet team should know - an interview with James Robertson

Gerry Gaffney interviews James Roberston from Step Two Designs about managing intranets.For a transcript of this and other episodes, visit
18/11/09·29m 52s

Microsoft Surface and multi-touch interfaces - an interview with Shane Morris

Gerry Gaffney interviews Shane Morris about designing for Microsoft Surface and multi-touch interfaces.For a transcript of this and other episodes, visit
03/11/09·24m 56s

Developing TramTracker - an interview with Robert Amos

TramTracker is an application that runs on iPhone (and other platforms) and gives Melbourne commuters real-time information on tram movements. Robert Amos talks about developing the application.Visit for a transcript of this and other episodes.
23/07/09·10m 12s

Every piece of content matters - an interview with Gerry McGovern

Gerry Gaffney interviews GerryMcGovern, author of "Killer Web Content".(This site is maintained for historical purposes only. Visit for a transcript of this and other episodes, and a searchable archive.)
21/06/09·32m 16s

Human behaviour in traffic - an interview with Tom Vanderbilt

Gerry Gaffney interviews Tom Vanderbilt, author of "Why we drive the way we do (and what it says about us)".(This site is maintained for historical purposes only. Visit for a transcript of this and other episodes, and a searchable archive.)
08/05/09·22m 19s

Selling usability - an interview with John Rhodes

Gerry Gaffney interviews John Rhodes about how to sell usability, and about John's book "Selling Usability: User Experience Infiltration Tactics".Please visit for a transcript of this and other episodes.
27/04/09·21m 53s

Immersion, and socially responsible design - an interview with Marc Rettig

Gerry Gaffney interviews Marc Rettig of Fit Associates on immersion, responsible design, and working with conscious organisations.You can read a transcript at
28/03/09·24m 31s

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines V2.0 - An Interview with Shawn Henry

Gerry Gaffney interviews Shawn Henry about the release of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines V2.0 ( transcript of this episode is available at that the User Experience Podcast is now hosted within the Information & Design website ( - and it's searchable.
21/12/08·23m 24s

It's Only Words - an Interview with Janice (Ginny) Redish

Gerry Gaffney interviews Ginny Redish about the communication needs of web users, about whether those needs are changing, and about how to meet them. "It's not about the words," says Ginny, "it's about helping people accomplish their goals." She says that this has led to a change from command-based to task-based communication.Ginny's book is "Letting go of the words: Writing Web Content that Works" ( mentions the forthcoming book by Caroline Jarrett and me - that's "Forms That Work: Designing Web Forms for Usability" ( In the interests of full disclosure, I must point out that both books are in the same series.Ginny also refers to "Christensen"; that book is "The Innovator's Dilemma" ("Older Wiser Wired" ( is at the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).  An article by Tom Tullis of Fidelity Investments about designing for older users ( is also online there.Gerry mentions a previous episode with Dave Grey of Xplane ( to individual books on this website are links to - we earn a small commission on any purchases you make on following such links).Duration: 19:55File size: 3.41MB
24/09/08·19m 54s

The Bizarre Myth of Customer Service - an Interview with David Jaffe

Gerry Gaffney interviews David Jaffe about customer service.David talks about the "bizarre myth that the head of customer service is responsible for customer service", and the problems that arise from treating customer service as a cost centre.He tells us that resolution, not handling time, is what matters.David asks: Why do companies spend millions of dollars on customer research but not learn anything from the day-to-day interactions they already have?He talks about how inappropriate measures result in the the wrong behaviour from front-line staff, and what happens when IT or Marketing departments have to take responsibility for the problems they cause?David also tells us about how Amazon melts the "snowball" of repeat contacts.David's very interesting book (co-authored with Bill Price) is "The Best Service is No Service" ( company is Limebridge ( UK company whose customer service David praises is egg ( 27:19File size: 4.69MB
21/07/08·27m 19s

Developing Usability Software - an Interview with Sam Ng

Gerry Gaffney spoke to Sam Ng from Optimal Usability in New Zealand ( Sam is responsible for OptimalSort, an online card sorting tool ( speaks about the challenges of balancing user-centred design practices with the need to meet deadlines. Do small development teams really need to use personas?Sam says software can be "too convenient" if we rely too much on stats to "spit out" answers.Sam mentions some other products:Morae ( ( ( Meeting ( Analytics ( Egg ( ( ( from 37 signals ( to Jo Eaton for the photo of Sam.And apparently if Optimal Usability were a person it would be Jackie  Chan ( Duration: 17:04File size: 2.92MB
26/06/08·17m 4s

Usability - An Interview with Jakob Nielsen

Gerry Gaffney conducts a wide-ranging interview with Jakob Nielsen.Is web usability where it's at? Does usability have a say on climate change? Why is the keyboard so popular?Jakob talks about having data propagate to multiple devices, about why government agencies continue to apply an outdated "waterfall' model, and about how usability can make developing countries rich quickly and thus improve the environment.He talks about the need to make things easier if you want people to do those things, about future directions in user interaction, and about the need to start small if you're budget-constrained.Jakob Nielsen's website is ( company is the Nielsen Norman Group ( refers to Microsoft's Ray Ozzie ( and Groove ( also refers to the anti-mac interface ('s forthcoming event is usability week ('s excellent books include "Usability Engineering" ( and "Designing Web Usability" (
27/04/08·34m 26s

Packaging Design for the Web - an Interview with Luke Wroblewski

Gerry Gaffney spoke to Luke Wroblewski, Senior Principal of Product Ideation & Design at Yahoo! about what web designers can learn from the world of product packaging, about 'unpacking' as a metaphor for registration, and about embracing the fact that your content will be clipped, cut, copied and embedded.Luke's forthcoming book is Web Form Design - Filling in the Blanks ('s company is LukeW Interface Designs (; his blog is Functioning Form ( mentions Jumpcut ( design patterns mentioned are from Yahoo! (, Jennifer Tidwell ( and Martijn van Welie ( mentions a previous podcast episode ( with Ken Carroll from ChinesePod (, who spoke about edge competencies.We also mention CHISIG ( and the VALA conference ( the beer Luke discovered in New Zealand is from Mac's brewery ( 20:54File size: 3.54MB
20/03/08·20m 40s

Mentoring - an interview with Patrick Kennedy

Gerry Gaffney spoke to Patrick Kennedy from Step Two Designs  in Sydney ( about mentoring.What are the benefits - and the pitfalls - in mentoring?The book Patrick mentions is The Tao of Coaching, by Max Landsberg  ( book links go to Amazon, and we get a small commission from books sold in this way).Check out Patrick's Point of View blog ( 17:05File size: 2.93MB
11/03/08·17m 5s

User Experience at Google - an interview with Patrick Larvie

Gerry Gaffney spoke to Patrick Larvie, Google's Manager of User Experience Research.Patrick reveals Google's secret - rapid user feedback, early and often.He also talks about the influence of culture on technology.The book Patrick recommends is Karaoke Nights: An Ethnographic Rhapsody, by Rob Drew ( was also a reference to the Google Image Labeler ( concluded with a plug for Information & Design's usability training courses in Melbourne ( 34:29File size: 5.92MB
26/02/08·34m 29s

Exertion Interfaces and Engagement - An Interview with Florian (Floyd) Mueller

Gerry Gaffney spoke to Floyd Mueller about his work with exertion interfaces - where the world of video games meets the sweat of the sportsground, and where you can jog, box or play ball with people in distant locations.Floyd discusses the impact of the Nintendo Wii, and how the lessons to be learned from sports psychology can be applied to video conferencing tools.He explains that in virtual table tennis, the player puts meaning in the ball by imparting spin and force; the game carries meaning through the network; and the meaning is what matters for engagement.For interesting videos and more, check out Floyd's website (, exertion interfaces ( and 'Remote Impact' at the distance lab ( 30:48File size: 5.28MB
17/02/08·30m 48s

Accessibility - An Interview with Dr. Sofia Celic

Gerry Gaffney spoke to Dr. Sofia Celic of Vision Australia ( about issues faced by the visually impaired and others.Sofia says that a knowledge of accessibility should be "in any serious developer's toolkit".Two screen readers were mentioned - Jaws (  and Window-Eyes ( ( is the Australian Web Adaptability Initiative.Sofia mentions the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) ( has case studies and videos online ( is also involved in the ongoing development of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines ( 14:26File size: 2.47MB
24/01/08·14m 26s

Usability Now - an Interview with Daniel Szuc

Gerry Gaffney spoke to Daniel Szuc in Hong Kong about the state of usability today. Although we were on the 22nd floor, in the background you can hear the sounds of the Hong Kong traffic.Daniel's company is Apogee ( Usability Toolkit is the one Gerry and Daniel co-authored ( is the Usability Professionals' Association ( Gerry and Daniel have various commercial connections.Duration: 18:11File size: 6.24MB
11/01/08·18m 11s

Open Source Usability, and the Modified Delphi Card Sorting Method - an Interview with Celeste Lyn Paul

Gerry Gaffney spoke to Celeste Lyn Paul about the state of usability efforts in open source software, and about her card sorting method - the Modified Delphi.Celeste mentioned Open Usability ( mentions a previous card-sorting episode of UXpod with Donna Maurer ( mentioned Michael Gladwell's book 'Blink' ( spreadsheet that Celeste spoke about is Joe Lamantia's on BoxesAndArrows ('s blog is weblog.obso1337.orgDuration: 25:46File size: 8.84MB
12/12/07·25m 46s

Web Analytics - an Interview with Brian Donohue

Gerry Gaffney asked Brian Donohue from iQcontent ( about when, why and how to use web analytics.Brian talked about avoiding 'zero insight', and how you can use analytics to understand users, improve your site, and validate success.A few books and resources were mentioned:Web Analytics Demystified by Eric Peterson ( Web Analytics: An Hour a Day by Avinash Kaushik ( Analytics Shortcuts by Justin Cutroni ( ( ( Web Metrics is Brian Clifton's blog ('s Razor is Avinash Kaushik's blog ( 22:49File size: 7.83MB
27/11/07·22m 49s

"This is who we are; this is what we do" - Social Media - an Interview with Tom Raftery

Gerry Gaffney interviews social media maven Tom Raftery.What does it mean to be a 'social media consultant'? In a wide-ranging discussion, Tom talks about: The meaning and relevance of social mediaWhether bus drivers in Cork will use social media softwareWhy companies should embrace complaintCarbon-neutral data centres Tom's blog is Tom Raftery's Social Media ( can follow the progress of Tom's carbon-neutral data centre - the Cork Internet Exchange ( Tom's presentation on reducing IT's carbon footprint is online ( venues and conferences are mentioned:Barcamp Galway ( Dublin ( Copenhagen ( Web conference ( 2.0 Expo ( Munich ( 23:17 File size: 8.2MB
05/10/07·23m 18s

Designing for Mobile Devices - an Interview with Jason Furnell

Gerry Gaffney asks Jason Furnell about designing for mobile devices.Along the way, Jason talks about the poetry of movement, the Agile development methodology, and how to navigate a career path in design.He tells us that without a vision, great minds can go to waste; and how high-fidelity wireframes can help communicate a simple vision.Jason's blog is 'the architecture of everything'. ( William Gibson book is 'Spook Country'. ( Duration: 20:29 File size: 7.2MB
28/09/07·20m 29s

Visual Communication - an Interview with Dave Gray

Dave talks about giving ourselves permission to draw, about how the printing press led us to communicate in a particular way, and about how that can limit our communication in a digital environment, about how PowerPoint can be both inhibiting and comforting, and about how where we are with video today is where we were with PageMaker 20 years ago.Dave says 'You don't have to be an expert to start - you just have to start'.There are several references in this episode:Dave's blog is Communication Nation ( company is Xplane ( Tufte's inspirational book is 'The Visual Display of Quantitative Information' ( Betty Edwards' book 'Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain' can teach you to draw - even if you don't think you can ( culture map is Dave's representation of the culture at his company Xplane ('s 'ListMania' booklist is on ( mentioned Lee Brimelow of Frog Design. One of his sites is the WPF blog - it contains his presentation to the Microsoft Remix conference. ( to individual books on this webiste are links to - we earn a small commission on any purchases you make on following such links).Duration: 30:57File size: 14.2MB
25/07/07·30m 57s

Web Accessibility Guidelines - an Interview with Gian Sampson-Wild

What is the current status of Version 2 of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines? Gian Sampson-Wild tells us the story.She also explains how Flickr and Google have used Ajax without sacrificing accessibility.For more on the Maguire vs SOCOG case, see Joe Clark's reader's guide ( listener subsequently pointed out a USA case - National Federation of the Blind v Target, as described on the Disability Rights Advocates website ( - thanks elDavo.Gian's blog is The Kismet Heuristic ( can also read her peer review of the Samurai Errata. ( might also want to check out the WCAG Samurai Group website ( mentions the work of Cameron Adams and Jeremy Keith. Cameron wrote 'AJAX: Usable Interactivity with Remote Scripting' ( in 2005. Jeremy Keith's book is 'Bulletproof Ajax' (; you can read an interview with him on Digital Web magazine ( ... and the giveaway:Andy Budd of Clearleft ( has donated a free ticket (worth 85 pounds sterling plus VAT) for dConstruct 2007 ( to a UXpod listener. To be in the draw, send an email to gerry at, with the subject line dConstruct, by June 28. Winner drawn on June 30, and notified by email. Ticket is non-transferrable, so please only enter if you or a colleague wish to attend.Duration: 16:40File size: 11.5MB
12/06/07·16m 40s

Usabilidad: Usability in Latin America - an Interview with Luis Arnal

Luis Arnal speaks about usability in Latin America, about poverty as the mother of creativity (imagine usability testing at stop lights), and about the importance of observational research.Luis is founder and president of In/situm ( can read his article 'No pregunte, observe' online (PDF, in Spanish) ( .Luis' 2003 article which I quote from during the interview is also online (PDF, in English)  ( Luis mentions Spencer Tunick's latest and largest nude shoot (18,000 people at the Zocalo plaza in Mexico city). Here is a short link to photos of the event on Flickr: to Stuart Celarier of Portland Jugglers ( for permission to use the image of the Toltec juggler as an illustration for this episode. Stuart is a software engineer who blogs at and points out that the ball over the juggler's head was not present in the original.Duration: 17:30File size: 8MB
13/05/07·17m 30s

Designing Smoking Cessation - an Interview with Peter Benda

Peter Benda describes University of Melbourne's work on 'QuitCoach' - an online service to help people stop smoking. Peter works at Melbourne University's Department of Information Systems - talks about some of the unique aspects of this research - such as participatory design as therapy, and the 'confessional' needs of the quitting smoker.The current version of QuitCoach is at National Health & Medical Research Council of Australia is at The New Zealand STOMP (Stop smoking with mobile phones) trial is at 'Floyd' Muller's paper is 'A table tennis game for three players' - and the Northcote Social Club (Melbourne) is at 24:25File size: 11.1MB
17/04/07·24m 25s

Customer Support - an Interview with Joel Spolsky

What makes good customer service?Joel talks about fixing everything two ways, not outsourcing technical support, taking the blame, and about the puppet.Check out Joel's blog ( I mention the Irish Guitar Podcast ( Szuc and I wrote The Usability Kit ( 23:10File size: 10.6MB
30/03/07·23m 10s

Don't Make me Write! - an Interiew with Steve Krug

Steve Krug talks about clarity, about deleting Solitaire from his Mac, and about his admiration for Douglas Adams and Jakob Nielsen.He also considers how we can do things well with Ajax, and the importance of user testing.Steve's excellent book is "Don't Make Me Think" ( also mentioned Jakob Nielsen's article on teengers' use of websites ( ask me about the cartoons on UXpod. Most are done by Gina Ellis, but this one is by Naomi Tong.This episode is just over 23 minutes in length. File size is 10.5MB.
02/03/07·23m 9s

Ludic Design - an Interview with William Gaver

William Gaver is Professor of Design at Goldsmiths College, at the University of London. He developed the 'cultural probe' user research technique. (We covered this in a previous podcast episode with John Murphy - also developed the 'drift table' and other items based around the concept of 'ludic' design.In this interview, he talks about ludic design, and about systems that can help us while we 'find our own ways of leading meaningful lives'.Sound quality, unfortunately, is not very good.The book Bill mentions is Homo Ludens, by Johan Huizinga ( also mentioned Andy Crabtree ( the Interaction Research pages at Goldsmiths College ( company that provided the aerial footage is getmapping ( 21:46File size: 9.97MB
19/02/07·21m 47s

Intel Outside - an Interview with Genevieve Bell

Genevieve Bell is Director of Intel's User Experience Group.In this interview, she talks about what it means to build technology with the home in mind, about cultural influences in the use of technology, about the connection between religion and technology, and about sheds. Genevieve says that part of what people want is for technology to be invisible."Computational power is important but what people see is the experience."
31/01/07·25m 20s

Security and Usability

Security and usability are frequently in conflict. Workarounds are common, and there may be unrealistic expectations of what users would or should do.I mention that ChinesePod made Time Magazine's Top Ten Podcasts of 2006. ( Usability Kit (Gaffney/Szuc) is available for purchase online. ( episode is 7 minutes 10 seconds in duration. File size is 4.1MB.
17/01/07·7m 10s

Design in India - an Interview with Apala Lahiri Chavan

I asked Apala about designing for low-income, low-literacy audiences.Apala also talks about cultural differences between India and China, and between India and 'the West', about the dangers of being overly-polite, about why foreign insurance companies may not do well in India, and about the use of rasas for measuring emotion.You can read more about Apala on the Human Factors International website ( Wikipedia's entry on Rasas ( referred to Paul Sherman's presentations at User Friendly 2006 in China - Paul's put them online, and there are pointers on his blog - episode is 20 minutes 43 seconds in duration. File size is 11.8MB.
25/12/06·20m 14s

Personas and Outrageous Software - an Interview with Alan Cooper

I asked Alan Cooper (over a rather echoing connection) why he is outraged by bad software, and how he developed the concept of 'personas'.I was interested to hear the 'father of Visual Basic' say 'What I need is a computer that doesn't make me feel bad and a cellphone that doesn't make me feel stupid'.Alan's company is Cooper Consulting ( two books of his that I mentioned are:The Inmates Are Running the Asylum: Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity ( Face 2.0: The Essentials of Interaction Design( episode is 19 minutes 44 seconds in duration. File size is 11.3MB.
11/12/06·19m 44s

Voice User Interfaces - an Interview with Erin Smith

Erin Smith is a Senior Voice User Interface Designer and Usability Specialist with Syntellect (, people in the field use the word "vooey" - this is a pronunciation of VUI (Voice User Interface).Erin mentioned two books:"Voice User Interface Design" by Michael Cohen("The Art and Business of Speech Recognition: Creating the Noble Voice" by Blade Kotelly ( English's "get human" website is here's a link to the episode in which I interviewed Donna Maurer on card sorting: Usability is the New Zealand-based usability firm mentioned ( episode is 16 minutes 36 seconds in duration. File size is 9.5MB.
26/11/06·16m 36s

Taxonomy, Folksonomy and Metadata - an Interview with Karen Loasby

Karen Loasby is the information architecture team leader for the BBC.I spoke to her about metadata, taxonomy and related topics.How do you manage metadata issues when you're dealing with millions of pages, and thousands of authors?Karen referred to two sites during our discussion. The BBC Feed Factory is and Etsy is http://www.etsy.comYou might also want to check out Karen's article "Changing Approaches to Metadata at From Chaos to Control and Then Letting Go Again" ( and her presentation on "The Growing Pains of a Controlled Vocabulary" for the 2005 IA Summit (this is in PowerPoint and is around 260kB).This episode is 18 minutes 20 seconds in duration. File size is 8.6MB.
14/11/06·18m 20s

User Friendly 2006 - Usability in China

This podcast contains four short interviews from User Friendly 2006, the UPA China conference in Hangzhou.UPA is the Usability Professionals' Association.I spoke to Jason Huang, Giles Colborne, Daniel Szuc and Paul Sherman.UPA China 's website is, and you can find links to the conference there.Giles' company is cxpartners ('s company is Apogee ( maintains the Usability Blog ( tag for photos from the conference is UF2006 (
05/11/06·15m 54s

Hong Kong's Octopus Card - A Highly Usable Product

Users of Hong Kong's public transport system will be familiar with the Octopus card, which I consider to be exemplary in terms of the user experience it offers.In this brief episode, I talk about some of the things that make it so easy to use.For information on the training mentioned at the end of the podcast, refer to the Information & Design website (
23/10/06·6m 1s

Ethnography - an Interview with Jared Braiterman

I spoke to Jared Braiterman, from jaredRESEARCH ( Jared has done ethnographic research many organisations.I asked him what's meant by ethongraphic research, and how it's applied.The Mobile China work Jared refers to is avaialble on his site ( book on user research that he mentions is Mike Kuniavsky's Observing the User Experience ( - a book which I coincidentally described on my website as "the only 'must-read' book in the field published in 2003". (References to books on this webiste are links to - we earn a small commission on any purchases you make on following such links).
09/10/06·11m 11s

World Usability Day - an Interview with Elizabeth Rosenzweig

Elizabeth Rosenweig is principal of Bubble Mountain Consulting ( spoke to her in her capacity as Director of World Usability Day ( do we need a World Usability Day, and will it make the world a better place? How can you get involved? Find out from Elizabeth!
02/10/06·12m 3s

Market Research - an Interview with John Berenyi

I asked John Berenyi of Bergent Research ( why usability people are sometimes disparaging of market researchers. John has some interesting thoughts about about good - and bad - market research. The book John mentions is Vance Packard's "The Hidden Persuaders". ( John is correct in his statement that Vance Packard died (in 1996). There's a reference to Paco Underhill in the podcast. His book "Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping" ( is an interesting read.(References to books on this webiste are links to - we earn a small commission on any purchases you make on following such links).
22/09/06·9m 49s

Because We Can

This short podcast considers the fact that we tend to get dazzled by the 'bling' of new technologies.
19/09/06·3m 32s

Card Sorting with Donna Maurer

I spoke to Donna Maurer on the topic of card sorting. I think she has a very nice and practical approach to card sorting.Donna referred to the OzIA conference ( which takes place on September 30 and October 1 2006 in sunny Sydney.You should also check out Donna's blog ( if you're interested in Information Architecture.You can also keep up with news on Donna's forthcoming book on card-sorting (
11/09/06·14m 14s

Web Teams - an Interview with Jesse James Garrett

I asked Jesse James Garrett about his "Nine Pillars of Successful Web Teams" model. See Jesse's article (on the Adaptive Path website) for the graphical representation of his model, and his brief article on the subject.I highly recommend Jesse's book "The Elements of User Experience", which is a model of clarity.Jesse's website is well worth a visit for his thoughts on information architecture, user experience design, and his visual vocabulary for information architecture and interaction design.(References to books on this webiste are links to - we earn a small commission on any purchases you make on following such links).
05/09/06·18m 53s

What's Going On? The Importance of Feedback

Good feedback is important at the User Interface and Process levels. This brief episode considers some of the elements invovled in providing good feedback.If you like the User Experience podcast, you might want to check out Tim & Tom's Design Critique podcast podcast. I met Tim at UPA in June, and he provided both encouragement and practical advice that helped get the User Experience Podcast up and running - thanks Tim.
29/08/06·4m 53s

Community is Not a Tech Thing

I spoke to fellow Irishman KenCarroll of ChinesePod - a highlysuccessful online language learningbusiness based in Shanghai.A key component of the ChinesePodsuccess is a very strong focus onuser needs and the user experience.In this interview, Ken describes thephilospophy that drives ChinesePod,and how it can apply to otherbusinesses.The Hangzhou conference that Kenrefers to is User Friendly, which willtake place in November.
21/08/06·18m 26s

Forms Design - an Interview with Caroline Jarrett

I spoke to Caroline Jarrett, a UK-based expert on forms design, about how to design a good form.Caroline's company is Effortmark. She and I have a website (rarely updated) called Forms That Work - you'll find some articles and papers on forms design there.Caroline will be running training in Melbounre Australia in November. Visit the Information & Design website for details.
17/08/06·12m 31s


To err is human. This episode is a brief discussion of why people make mistakes, and what we can do to minimise errors.The two books mentioned are:Steve Krug's "Don't Make Me Think"James Reason's "Human Error"
10/08/06·6m 35s

Choosing User Research Techniques

Choosing the appropriate user research technique can be difficult - particularly if you're not experienced in doing so.This short podcast considers how you decide what types of activity you should undertake.
01/08/06·3m 36s

Usability in China

I spoke to Josephine Wong fromApogee - Usability in Asia about the stateof usability in China.Josephine mentions the "User Friendly"conference. That's run by UPA China.Disclosure: Apogee and my company, Information & Design, work together from time to time.
18/07/06·11m 42s

Cultural Probes - an Interview with John Murphy (updated)

The Cultural Probes technique provides a  way to explore the user's world when other methods are not available or appropriate.Gerry Gaffney discusses the technique with John Murphy, of Design4Use. Note that this interivew was updated on July 17 to provide some additional detail.
11/07/06·14m 28s

Rules of Thumb

We often encounter rules of thumb. This brief podcast discusses "3 clicks" "7 plus or minus 2", and the application of such rules.
04/07/06·5m 34s
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