Jog log

I went for a 40 minute run today. Only the first 5 minutes were dry. Then it started raining. Towards the end of my run, the rain became quite intense. Even my trusted rain gear was soaked through.

It was the third time I got soaked today. I guess the rainy season is back.

Running plans

Last Friday I ran 6.5 km at the annual Firmenlauf. Quite a party with over 3700 participants. Took 6 minutes before I crossed the starting line ‘cos of the huge crowd of runners and walkers. Wow. Quite impressive.

I ran slowly and steadily from start to finish. Proud to say I didn’t stop running even though my innermost really wanted to stop.

I think I like taking part in races. (How do you say “Volkslauf” in English? It’s difficult to translate). It gives me a measurable goal to train for.

Next seasonal goal is to participate in a 10 km run. I thought the Birsegg run would fit in nicely at the end of August. Or maybe the 10 km version on Basel Marathon day on 28th September?

I’ve been googling training plans. Things I’ve read:

I’ll need to train longer. 60 mins to 90 mins.

Means more commitment. Sometimes just getting out the door is so hard.

Short 10 minute runs are better than skipping a run.

Include longer, slow runs.

Cycling is good. Swimming and aqua jogging is good ‘cos there’s no impact.

sportiva

I’ve been thinking about goals and systems. The system in this particular scenario is to get out and run regularly. Even if it’s a short jog before work.

close up of my running shoes

Even though I’ve run 10 km before, I might start a jog log here or on Twitter just to keep track. Writing helps. And ‘cos all the personal blogs about everyday life are gone.

A valid question?

A tweet to keep. I stumbled across this C.S. Lewis quote:

A valid question to consider.

Sun’s shining. A beautiful day lies ahead. Will try to enjoy the moment today.

Content first

Last Saturday I attended UX camp Switzerland. A very good event to learn about user experience, human-centered design, usability testing, MVP and prototyping tools.

Talks I listened to:

Stefanie Klekamp presented lots of background info on the Think Aloud usability testing method. Which I found useful. She explained the theories behind the method and also pointed to the research and shortcomings of the test. Shortcomings such as confirmation bias and evaluator effect. She briefly touched on Hawthorne effect, Rosenthal effect, primacy recency effect, hindsight bias. Practical tips for your next Think Aloud user test:

  1. Carry out a SWOT analysis of the website or app that you are testing beforehand.
  2. Take simple notes immediately.

Overall conclusion: Think Aloud user tests are a good practical method to test websites and apps early and often.

Next, I attended a talk by Tobias Günter called “Texter sind die besseren Designer” (in English: “Copywriters are the better designers”). His message was: We spend lots of time and resources on design and programming our web apps, but the content itself is often an afterthought. It’s reflected in the words we use: “Texte abfüllen”. Often there’s no content plan to begin with. Concept work is often based on “Lorem ipsum” dummy texts. If you consider the slogan “mobile first”, it should really be “content first”. Content is the reason people visit a website, or install an app in the first place. Often, content is not developed for mobile devices. Some copywriting guidelines to consider:

  • Keep it simple – only 1 thought per sentence
  • Add sub-headings
  • Add structure
  • Add some redundancy and repetitions
  • Add a focal point for images

Some further tools mentioned to improve content development:

  1. Develop your content page as if there is no start page and no website hierarchy
  2. Develop your content as if there is no navigation, header, footer, sidebar
  3. Think of URLs as verbs
  4. Test your texts
  5. Develop your texts iteratively; continuously improve your content

A good discussion followed. Every content page should be considered as being a landing page on its own. New developments include dynamic navigation entries depending on the content page I arrive at as a reader

Some web agencies now carry out a content audit of existing and new content. I found a related presentation on Slideshare after the talk:

 

Next, Samuel Frischknecht talked about minimum viable product (MVP) and presented some real-life client examples. He referred to a book called Lean UX by Jeff Gothelf. The lean process is

  1. Declare an assumption
  2. Create a MVP
  3. Run an experiment
  4. Collect feedback and carry out research

The book looks interesting and maybe it will answer some of my open questions on Scrum and design.

 

I attended more talks in the afternoon, but my ability to take notes decreased rapidly. I was tired.

Conclusion:
UXcamp was good. Many thanks to the organisers and sponsors. A good way to catch up on new developments and learn about a topic in one day.

Disclaimer:
All mistakes are my own. Please let me know if I got something really wrong. I’m here to learn. These notes help me to reflect and learn.

Quote of the day #SEO

Social media isn’t reaching people like it used to.

via The New Emphasis On Link Building: What's Behind It And How To React.

Back to link building? Probably.

Read this advice:

The best way to have your website rank higher is to make it better for your users. Being better requires that your website is one or some of these types of things in comparison to your competitors…

  • more useful
  • more simple
  • more comprehensive
  • more funny
  • solve problems quicker or more effectively
  • more visually stunning