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Links 1 through 10 of 137 by Amy Gahran tagged usability

"we built everything on echoecho to optimise speed, elegance and utility to the USER – but never at the expense of the user’s privacy. The trouble is that many other social networks are optimised to give maximum value to the NETWORK (or in the case of Foursquare and Facebook Places to a venue/brand/advertiser). That’s a hell of a way to design a user experience – which is supposed to be about maximising value for the user."

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"Do you find it hard to find a contact or locate an application from a list of hundreds of items on an Android phone? Or do you find it stressful to search for an item by typing in its title while on the go?

"Gesture Search from Google Labs lets you search your Android-powered device by drawing alphabet gestures on the touch screen. It allows you to quickly find a contact, a bookmark, an application, or a music track from hundreds or thousands of items, all in one place. It is fast and fun to use.

"Gesture Search currently recognizes the English alphabet and requires Android 1.6 or above."

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"Google Gesture Search, a freshman out of Google Labs, lets you find stuff on your Android phone by drawing letters on the touchscreen as if you were jotting on a notepad. In addition to Android's existing search by voice, image, and barcode, Gesture Search is yet another keyboardless input method for your touchscreen phone. At the very least, Gesture Search is a fun proof-of-concept; at most, it will hook a few dedicated touch keyboard haters. Here's how it works.

"With Gesture Search running, you write letters by swiping your fingertip on your touchscreen as if it were a whiteboard. With each character you input, Gesture Search live-searches your phone's contacts, bookmarks, and music and displays the results on-screen. Tap an app, contact, bookmark, or song to launch it or view the contact. (For contacts, tap the green phone icon to start a call.)"

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Firefox plugin

Feedly delivers your Google Reader subscriptions as a magazine-like start page (including 2-way sync). Here are 5 tips for optimizing your feedly experience:
- Re-order the categories on the navigation bar using drag and drop.
- Influence how feedly filters articles by going to "organize sources" and marking the sources you like best as "must reads".
- Create new categories by typing a topic in the search box and selecting the "best sources" option.
- Customize the layout of each page using the pen icon.
- Learn more about feedly's keyboard support by clicking on "?". "gg" is our favorite.

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"There are a number of new features loaded in iOS4, and the folks at lifehacker have detailed a bunch of them. For me, the most used features are the app folders, multitasking, threaded mail, and improvements in the camera app."

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"Why, with only 140 characters, must we waste seven on http://? Neither Web browsers nor ordinary citizens need this ugly cluster anymore to recognize a URL. When was the last time you saw a print ad that included a link beginning with “http://”?

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Safari Reader: the Readability crew speaks up in their own defense. Danny Sullivan of searchengineland has a problem with this approach.

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"If your users are using a third-party product to make your product usable, you are doing something wrong.

Activating Safari Reader has a cognitive cost. If your users are activating Safari Reader on your site, this means that the default user experience of your site is so bad that your users first consciously notice that they have trouble reading an article on your site, then remember that they might be able to fix it using Safari Reader, and then actually activate that feature.

The one thing you can immediately influence is whether your users are able to easily read your articles. If they are not, then perhaps Safari Reader is not the problem, but merely a symptom of your actual problem.

"If people don’t feel the need to use Safari Reader anymore, everybody wins. Don’t fight Safari Reader. Instead, make it obsolete."

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Resource page for installing many crucial bookmarklets, to make mobile safari easier to use.

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"One thing Facebook has made clear is that the privacy changes apply to all content retroactively as well as new products going forward. There's now one control (found by going to the Account menu and then Privacy Settings) that allows users to make all of their content—photos, contact info, wall postings, etc.—available to only friends, friends of friends, or everyone. If users want to customize those settings on a more granular basis, they can, but that's no longer required if users want to just make one click and be done with it."

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