How to test your website? How do you know its working?

This is not a question that is asked by many business man, but it is good to know whether your website is currently working well or not.

There are few leading one that most UX designers refer to, its either Neilsel or Kurgs when it comes to the website or apps usability.

Most UX use the heuristic principle of Steve Kurgs (2006) mainly extracted from his book “Don’t make me think”. There is list of it, but here the best 3 to start on analysing your website or apps to see if it make sense and engaging with the users.

  • “Don’t make me think.”
  • “It doesn’t matter how many times I have to click, as long as each click is a mindless, unambiguous choice.”
  • “Get rid of half the words on each page, then get rid of half of what is left.”

From: Krug, S. (2006), Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, Berkeley, CA: New Riders

Today, everyone is a designer.

Today, everyone is a designer.
And the future of civilisation is our common design project.
How does design help choose our leaders? Why do we really have an environmental crisis? How can accessible design broaden your audience? Why does the U.S economy now struggle to complete? How has design thinking added to the bottom line of the world’s most valuable companies?
Design matters. As it never has before.

This is one of the most influential book that will change your way of thinking and doing.

Read more about Do Good Design here 

My one-way video online interview experience

We really have progress to another way to reach candidates for interview, this is a fantastic way and tools to do so, why? Because not only it you as candidate can have more time to practice your presentation and tone of voice but also it allow you to work on your own time and space, which help in putting you in comfortable situation.

I have mine today, it was a whole new experience. I hardly had an interview for a job for a while now, mostly because I was in a secure permanent job position for more than 6 years and then we decided to take another adventure to move to another country.

That said, I am terrified to sit for an interview, I guess who doesn’t? But what I like about an online interview is that it give you a time to prepare and then even when you are prepared, you have time to practice on how you will present yourself in the video. Candidate not only have to learn and do some research about one way interview and the way to present themselves, before engaging in the interview but also need to have good understanding of using different type of online tools.

For employer, its much better. I remembered when I was the head of department and we were conducting interviews for new intake for our Graphic Communication course, and it is around 100 plus students. With face to face interview if its not well organise it can be a mess. The space, the equipment for us to view portfolio, the panel of interviews, the poor candidates that have to wait one whole day to get their turn for interview, so much time consuming and at the end of the day, i remembered how exhausted I was.

The next thing after the interview is the data that we collected manually in hard copy. We don’t have it digitally, well there are some but its not digitally kept,  So just say if we want to view the last interview process, I can say it will be only 10% possibility for us to get it. Plus no record of the interview such as the process, the interview visual except for the still images, mainly we pose for the photo.

I really like the online one way interview. Congrats RMIT Online and other universities in Australia including some leading corporation that adopt this method for interview process.

That all said, there are still space for improvement. The visual and the sound recording can be improved. There are some options in the viewer page (the recording) page that can be modified for better user interaction.

A way to go.

Some samples of one way online interview here.

This is a really useful and cozy video about one way interview.

Thinking to move to Instructional Design? Here’s some tips..

I have spend almost a year now updating myself with the latest software that is currently the best apps to use for Instructional Design to make the elearning design modules.
Articulate 360 Storyline and Adobe Captivate is not the hardest software to learn, (especially if you have been trained with Adobe Design Apps such as Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop for years – that’s me, and been using Microsoft Office apps).
I used to design my elearning module using illustrator which is a pain to link the pages as I need to then adopt it in InDesign.
Now with the Storyline 360 its great, as it did all the job for you.
The only thing with it is the price for the application. Storyline 360 ( Articulate) is very expensive for an individual to afford. Same with Captivate. It seems that the apps price is designed base on the use of it, which is used mainly by companies, so you have to be employed by a company to get the full use of the software.
If you’re beginner in this is a bit of a pain, but there is always the trial to start, the only not so happy part is that you have limited access to the library (which is the best part of storyline 360).
If you’re interested jump into this link Articulate 360  to get the free trial.

The other apps is Captivate. Now there is not much different between this two apps but Captivate 2019 have added the latest feature which is 360 Virtual Reality option that you can create. I am not so much into it at the moment so for me its not that appealing.

I found that the navigation with Storyline 360 is much more friendly than Captivate. I am a Adobe user since 1993, never stop using the Adobe Creative Suite apps since then,  I am also a Mac user and a designer. You would hope that Captivate have at least the feels of using other Adobe Design software but nope. If you are not familiar with PC style or IT style apps, you will get a bit annoyed using Captivate. Although the they have put huge improvement in comparison to the Adobe Captivate 2017 to now. But still so far I prefer the way Storyline appears and navigate.

You can view the video of Captivate here:

A year has gone, what have we done so far..

We moved to Melbourne mid 2017, a short decision but a long way to settled in again, after being in beautiful Penang Island in Malaysia for 6 plus years. I took a long break from work to focus on the little one that was born in early 2017, till end of 2018 where I realised that I need to start to get back again to do something for myself.

As much as it is hard for me to get back to work, it seems like it is also hard for others to accept me at work in another country, the place where I spent 10 years of my life studying and working, to obtained my Masters and PhD.

Plus, for a change I decided to stir in for a different ride, moving from being an academic in the uni/education for a new corporate world adventure. Yes, it doesn’t sounds like it is hard, but trust me it is very hard.

The corporate world is another different world, different culture of working, and different system. It is not easy to get in, especially when you come from strong academic background. I used to think that it is just a stereotype thinking that there is a gap between corporate and academic, but it hit my mind as I now know it is not a myth.

When I sit for an interview, as soon as I start by saying I am an academic, the reaction I got from their faces, gives me the hint that I will not get the job. What can I say, I have those years experience from academic world, teaching and linking academic and industries, making projects, organising staff, events, seminars, students and so on. Making online modules, making connection with the industry and internationals institutions. Creating new syllabus, new ways of teaching and learning, adult learnings programs. But it seems that all this knowledge is not that valuable in the corporate world. I know there is no teaching job in corporate world but there is other job such as the experts in only digital design or elearning that can fit me just right and my expertise can be very useful in there.

Anyway, that is how far I have gone, I did not get the job, so I started back from the bottom, and relearn new things, taking everything as a new adventure in my new chapter. Trying to understand the different culture and system, and enjoy my time with my family. Will try as much as I can to write more. Take care lovely.

Design: the buzz word

Design as in research, methods and practice is becoming visible more today than 20 years ago. In industry, education, business or even in everyday practices. In fact in some lucky days you can even have a good conversation about design with a stranger while waiting for your train.
This is the world that we are living now. With the fast internet, information and knowledge can just be at your fingers. How convenience.
But than again, given that it is convenience to have the knowledge at your fingers, it can also be so easy to misunderstood what is design. It seems like design is such a big word that it can become such a vague word.
Lately, this is what bothers me. In business, in industry, even in education, this current trendy word, is used so much that everybody seems to know what it means and more importantly how it can fit in with our everyday life.
As you can see now, even in this discussion, what do I mean by design? In what sense and in what context am I discussing about design? Well.. that’s a thought for today..

A Kampung project: Visual Collections of Kampung Artifacts [VCKA]

Presented a paper about the disappearing Kampung in Penang at APAN Meeting in Auckland New Zealand in August 2018.

For about 3 years now, I am started a preservation project of Kampung (Villages) around Penang Island in Malaysia.  This is a very interesting project and I am personally attached to it as I spend most of my childhood and high school around Penang Island.
I started this project due to the fast development in the island. With my two research assistants, Chris Mak and Hairi, we constantly thinking on how this project can help to continuously preserving the what’s left from the kampung. It is sad to see how the kampung is being demolished due to the need of the  development but it is much more devastating to see nothing is done to keep some memories for the sake of history of this kampung.
This project is call Visual Collections of Kampung Artifacts or also known as VCKA. We are fortunate, that this research project is supported by a grant to assist the research that we conducted. The grant is by Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, and Bank Rakyat. Actually, the very first idea was supported by Tan Sri Prof Dzulkifli Razak, who was the previous Universiti Sains Malaysia’s Vice Chancellor. I accidentally met him at DOME cafe at Queensbay Mall in Penang, where I have briefly expressed my concern and interest to do this project. In the same week, he sent me email asking for my full proposal and said that he might be able to get me some fund to support the project. This man is a man that is full of vision and never stop supporting young designer/academic that is eager to conduct research. I wish all the vice chancellor in Malaysian university think like him.
Anyway, thanks to Prof. Dzul (that’s what I call him), we have been continuously supported to conduct this VCKA project, even after I have gave birth to my 2nd child and in my long leave. I never stop running this project.
We are now at the end of the fund and project timeline, and currently working on the outcome of the project. We are currently developing the project with the VCKA book and website. Will be updating the progress soon. Logo design by Nurul Rahman #designbynurulrahman

The challenges of getting RekaCipta Malaysian Design Podcast online

In everything you do, there is always challenges.. and its not a bad thing. We should see it as something that should motivate us to do more and to dig more. To make it happen. It is a process that one have to go through. Without any challenge would we appreciate anything that we have achieve?

Anyway, this podcast that I am currently working on, is a hard task. First of all it is about organising the narrative, the storyline, the equipments and the voice. The latter for me is the hardest. Its not easy to get the right tone and making sure that what you’re saying is convincing the listeners.

Another challenge for me is working with 2 little kids around. I am a full time researcher working with several projects, a freelance visual designer, and a full time mom. It’s a hard work to shift your mind from handling the little one to strategising my research directions and managing projects, plus the design work. So time is precious, and that the only thing we as human cannot control.

Ok now back to work.

Spam hacked my post.

Dear readers,
My apology for some inconvenience links in my post cause by the spam. They are now very becoming much smarter in putting spam in my blog, not only in the comments but in the post it self.
I am in the process of cleaning the post, so bare with me.
Thanks.
Nurul

Back after a year

I find it interesting to see the changes in many people like myself, becoming lazy to write in the blog but happily to update status in facebook and other social media. It is becoming a trend now to update in social media. What have we become? What kind of society that we are creating for the future.

I would like to discuss further about it. I wonder what makes me slow down or demotivated in writing my blog might be the response from the audience. Unlike other social media, blog stand independently. As in when you’re writing a blog, how do you know how many people actually visited your blog (unless you have the visitors page) or the add on plug in to count how many people have visited your site. It is like you are writing for yourself and sometimes it is not much fun, in comparison when you write and in a short time someone has commented on your thought.

It can be additive and dangerous. But may be because of those two words, many, including myself at one point in time, eager to contribute by updating our daily status. So I have decided that I will start to get back to my blog and discuss what ever idea or thought I have in mind here and not only just updating my status.