It’s not you, it’s your form

5 tips on form design to improve your relationship with users

Filling in a form online is one of the most important points of interaction a user has with an organisation.

And we interact with them often. We fill in tax forms, grant applications, make online purchases or sign up to dating sites.

Forms can be the first step in a relationship with an organisation, or the final step in a journey to achieve a goal. For example get a grant, a drivers license or a partner in crime. Sometimes not filling them properly can carry unpleasant consequences like an interrogation by immigration officers at the airport, or your profile on OkCupid matching you with the wrong date.đź’”

“A form [ ] collects information from at least one party, and delivers it to at least one other party, so a product or service can be provided.”~Jessica Enders

The role of a UX designer is to help create easy, fast and productive form experiences. To entice users to fill in forms. As form design expert Jessica Enders states, designers should “create an optimal user experience, such that the needs of both the users and the owner of the form [organisation that owns the form] are met.”  

The Emergence of The 3 Towers: DevSecOps

I had the opportunity to attend AWS bootcamp in Sydney a couple of weeks ago. The session I chose to attend was entitled “Securing Cloud Workloads with DevOps Automation”. There were many interesting concepts discussed, all hinging around the new term ‘DevSecOps’. In this post, I’d like to talk about what this is and how it relates to traditional DevOps.

Agile UX 2015: Conference Report

With permission by @bencrothers
Image with permission by @bencrothers

Last month I had the opportunity to attend the Agile UX conference in Sydney.  A one day conference, run by UX Australia, the topics centred around “designing great user experiences within an Agile environment”.  For me, as a non-UX practitioner, my goal was a greater insight into some of the challenges that others in the UX field are facing.

YOW Conference – Melbourne highlights

YOW Conference 2013

4 Shiners attended YOW Melbourne last week, which is a technology conference held yearly and brings high-profile and savvy presenters to talk on new and current trends in IT.

I’ll start with an overview of the venue, crowd and the sponsors that had stalls in the common area, then dive into a tech report.

Respect The Javascript

Like two-time WWE Champion Daniel Bryan, Javascript demands respect
Like two-time WWE Champion Daniel Bryan, Javascript demands respect

Yes, it’s true. Javascript is so popular it can now be a full-time job. Many people used to coast through their daily jobs as a PHP, Rails, Java developer with a few $(..) statements, maybe a $('#message').hide() (or a $('#message').slideUp(); if you were hip).

But these days, Javascript is coming of age. It’s grown from being a scrappy little toy we have loved and abused with code like onclick="alert('...')", to be something that has grown up with us, and now appreciate. It is the only runtime language I can think of that will run on any modern processing device. It’s ubiquitous and the ecosystem has evolved beyond what anyone could have imagined, with many implementations (Rhino, V8, now Nashorn) and it’s very own matching server-side equal, node.js

Supporting Fast-Moving Business Requirements Using Approval Branching

Fork in the Road

I work in a team that is constantly faced with the challenge of getting features approved for release into production. This is largely because the business is very fast moving, and business priorities change often. As priorities change, the focus of the business shifts from feature to feature, so resources for testing and approving features can be scarce. Consequently, our trunk codeline contains approved and unapproved features. This becomes a problem during our releases, because unapproved features have to be removed from trunk, which as most developers would know, is a painful process that results in dozens of conflicts.

In this blog I will present a solution to minimise the problems surrounding unapproved features in the codeline at the time of a release. This solution involves having a separate branch that only contains features that have been completed and approved by the business. I will also contrast this approach with popular alternatives like Feature Branching and Feature Toggling.

Learning About Risk Management at YOW! Conference 2012

yow2012logocitieslarge

This year was my first attendance at the YOW! Conference, and I am very happy I was able to go. The conference was well-organised with great speakers and thought-provoking presentations.

Fascinating to me was that several themes recurred in different presentations at YOW!, with each speaker giving it a unique angle. Watching several presentations from different experts in this conference setting lent itself to a meta-analysis of these themes. One that I found particularly interesting is risk management for software projects; specifically, how development processes can help businesses manage the risks.

On Pair Programming

Working on a project that used pair programming was something that I’d wanted to try for a long time but had never had the opportunity to do. Consequently, when a chance came up to work on a project where the entire team was pair-programming full-time, I was ready to get on board and give it a go. In this post I’ll talk about my experience, some of the benefits I saw, and some broader conclusions that I reached.

Yow! Developer Conference Brisbane.

Yow! Brisbane 2011

I recently had the pleasure of attending the Brisbane Yow! Conference.  This was a great conference with talks to interest developers across many languages platforms and experience.

This blog is a summary of the more interesting talks that I attended and my thoughts on them.