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Welcome to AJ's Page

My Name's AJ; I am currently in the eight semester of BSD and enrolled in DPS909.

Contact Info

Name: AJ Rehman 


My Blog

The Open Source Project

I am currently working on a project that requires me to document Interface Reference Documents over the MDC website.


The two talks that I attended at FSOSS 2007 which I decided to write about in this report are “Usability Anonymous: A 12 Step Program for better User Experience” and “Product and User Experience Design in Open Communities”.

Session 1: Usability Anonymous: A 12 Step Program for Better User Experience
Summary of the Talk:
The first session that I attended was called “Usability Anonymous: A 12 Step Program for better User Experience”. The presentation was carried out by Jay Goldman (President, Radiant Core, Inc.) and David Crow (Senior User Experience Advisor, Microsoft Canada, Instigator, BarCampToronto and DemoCamp, Radiant Core, Inc.).
The presentation was in regards to building a successful user experience by coding and designing good quality usable applications through the understanding of many common user interface mistake examples and also understanding and studying the pre-existing proven good design patterns samples. This can be achieved by carrying out the proven 12 step program underlined by the speakers for making good usable applications. Those 12 steps basically included set of principles and practices to help the developers build a better and more engaging user experience for software and web applications.
Both the speakers were highly professional and talented in their fields and they knew exactly what they were talking about. Jay’s background information included being the co-founder of the Radiant Core Inc. and leading professional services team on a wide variety of engagements across industries like financial services, pharmaceuticals, travel, software, etc. On the other hand, David is a passionate advocate for Toronto’s technology community, reinforcing his belief that openness can spark innovation – “the community is the framework”. David also recently joined the Microsoft community, where he is responsible for bringing together the design and technology communities. David is an experience designer, consultant and a software developer.
The first 5 to 10 minutes of the presentation were humour filled as David Crow spent those first couple of minutes apologizing for taking a job at Microsoft and at same time rest assured that the audience knew that he uses a Macintosh Apple computer for his daily basic computer needs. The whole presentation was very well handled and presented by making the audience take active part into the discussions and presentation. For example: The case scenario when David and Jay showed three different design shapes for park benches and asked everyone which one would they choose to sit on due to level of comfort and leisure. That was a great way to make audience take active part in the talk at hand and at same time, learn something brand new from the whole presentation experience. They basically did a really good job of mixing knowledge and humour into one central topic of “Better Usable Design”. I personally learned a lot from this presentation; as it was really insightful into learning how to make a better usable UI design and at the same time, make it obvious enough for users so that they don’t feel lost during their use of software.
One point that the speakers made that really surprised me was in regards to existing features in the Microsoft Office package that users were unaware of. Basically, out of every 10 requests that Microsoft receives in regards to new features addition into their software, 5 of those requested features already existed in the Microsoft Office package and more astoundingly, these features have been there for more than 1 or 2 version. Users of MS Office just didn’t know where to find these features because most of the time, these features were buried under layers and layers of toolbars and options that they were really hard to discover. In one case, the feature was buried under 11 or 12! Menu options, this is practically insane. This is a true case of discoverability and nothing else.

Session 2: Product and User Experience Design in Open Communities
Summary of the Talk:
The second session that I attended was “Product and User Experience Design in Open Communities”. The presentation was carried out by Mike Beltzner (Director of User Experience, Mozilla Corporation).