Archive for the ‘Best of Justaddwater’ Category

Announcement: Spam Filter Free Day

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007 by Jesper Rønn-Jensen

Get ready for a suicide mission: On this blog, we will remove our spam filter completely for one day, December 15th. Today we got our spam comment number 500,000. Pretty scary to think how much energy, computer power, network traffic is wasted on a completely useless activity: To spoil the content with irrelevant comments. Currently […]

Happy 2nd birthday

Sunday, October 14th, 2007 by Thomas Watson Steen

Today is a great day. At least if you ask Jesper and my self. I just got a call from Jesper who was out shopping with his family, wishing me a happy birthday. Today it’s exactly two years ago that we postet our first post on and we are still going strong. We would […]

More visual HTML jokes

Friday, January 5th, 2007 by Jesper Rønn-Jensen

More visual HTML tags inspired by Neatorama’s “Visual HTML joke” that got digged recently.

female body for html body tagsubmarine for html sub tag

4 easy steps for documenting user interface

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006 by Jesper Rønn-Jensen

I was asked today on which best practices exist in documenting user interfaces. Especially with focus on documenting how and where the user interface (GUI) communicates with backend services. The format I usually use is: Screenshot Description Preconditions Postconditions Explanation: Screenshot of the entire page or content area Description of the page purpose. Primary action […]

88% never use personalization

Monday, November 13th, 2006 by Jesper Rønn-Jensen

I conducted a little research today on our intranet. We have a links list that can be personalized to your preference. It turns out that 88% never use it. Of 4,264 users, only 524 people have edited their links list. That’s 12% that uses (or at least have used it at some point). I am […]

Bad Usability Calendar

Monday, October 16th, 2006 by Jesper Rønn-Jensen

Perfect wallpaper for any project room. The Bad Usability Calendar from Norwegian company Netlife Research. At UI 11 last week I was fortunate to meet Eidar (photo) from Netlife Research. His usability firm made a Bad Usability Calendar, which is absolutely fantastic. I’m putting the link here directly, as their pages are in Norwegian. Bad […]

All IE Browsers Standalone On Same PC

Thursday, September 28th, 2006 by Jesper Rønn-Jensen

Yousif Al Saif of Tredosoft is probably best known for the IE7 standalone browser installer that can run isolated on a Windows machine without disturbing the version already installed. I wrote about this in “IE7, web standards and css support“. Now he posted an article that makes it dead simple to run multiple Internet Explorers. […]

Ruby on Rails plugin: Localize your Rails app

Thursday, August 24th, 2006 by Jesper Rønn-Jensen

screenshot-localization-simplified-sweedish-chef.pngRecently I’ve been working on a plugin for Ruby on Rails that help me out when creating new Rails applications in Danish. Previously, when we’ve created Danish prototypes for our customers all the default Rails error messages were still written in English.

I generalized it for use with any language, and currently (with the help from contributors) it’s now available for download on rubyforge.

Design for Browser Size — Not Screen Size

Thursday, August 17th, 2006 by Jesper Rønn-Jensen

Jakob Nielsen discusses screen resolution and page layout in a recent Alertbox article. As usual, Jakob offers some decent facts and clear guidelines on which screen resolution to design for.

I have the deepest respect for Jakob Nielsen and the work he does to make usability easier to understand and use for everybody. There is just one problem: Findings should focus on browser window size and not screen size.

Definition of User Experience Revisited

Wednesday, June 21st, 2006 by Jesper Rønn-Jensen

Since last time I wrote on the various definitions of user experience, Bryce Glass, Mike Kuniavsky and Thomas Baekdal have made excellent points on the subject of providing a single, clear understandable definition of user experience. Also, I attended Jesse James Garrett’s seminar (“defining the user experience” – my notes) last month, and got a […]

Blog Usability: Too many RSS feeds

Wednesday, June 14th, 2006 by Thomas Watson Steen

After reading “Pick a Format (Any Format)” by Nick Bradbury (tip by: Jeremy Voorhis on Octoblog) we must say that we totally agree. The point in the post is simple: I keep running across sites that offer the same exact content as an RSS feed and an Atom feed. What’s the point of this? Making […]

My Talk at Reboot8: Prototyping

Thursday, June 1st, 2006 by Jesper Rønn-Jensen

Today is the time for my ten minute presentation at Reboot. I have ten minutes between 16.45 and 17.30 to give my talk. Topic: Prototype driven development with Ruby on Rails, and demo of the application we made at Capgemini with the Danish public Agency of Companies and Commerce. Presentation (Powerpoint format) for download here: […]

Ruby on Rails Copenhagen Meetup

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006 by Jesper Rønn-Jensen

We’re arranging a meetup for Ruby on Rails geeks in the Copenhagen area. Thursday, June 29, 2006 at 20.30

Ruby on Rails as rapid prototyping tool

Wednesday, April 12th, 2006 by Jesper Rønn-Jensen

Ruby on Rails might be the perfect match as a prototyping tool. It delivers consistent productivity gains compared to any other prototyping tool. Very few lines of code makes it easy to change. Here is why we use it at work as our preferred prototyping tool.

How to indicate required or optional form fields

Wednesday, March 29th, 2006 by Thomas Watson Steen

I got a question from Kimberly, one of our reader, in the Sensible Forms: A Form Usability Checklist post where she asks where the best place to display the asterisk indicating a required field in af form is: […] I’d like to see the askterick appear before the label so that a user isn’t forced […]

New Google layout more usable

Tuesday, March 28th, 2006 by Thomas Watson Steen

After a tip from Ars Technica I found that is was possible to cheat Google into letting you test their new front page design (you can do it too!). Click on thumbnail to see larger screenshot As far as I can see the only difference is that they now display their categories (Images, Groups, News […]

Mullet Layout: A user-friendly front page

Sunday, March 12th, 2006 by Thomas Watson Steen

If you are a frequent reader and take a look at the front page sometimes, you might have noticed that we updated the layout quite a bit. The new layout is the first of many steps we will take to make the life easier for blog readers.

Who invented the spacer.gif?

Friday, March 3rd, 2006 by Jesper Rønn-Jensen

Do you remember this fish?

Killer websites: Click the fish

Since this blog is primarily about web standards and and usability, I thought this would be a good time to give you sort of an anti-webstandards, anti-usability insight. It’s a journey ten years back into time, where no web standards existed, and I learned how to make “killer websites“.

AJAX businesscase: Reduce development costs and increase usability

Wednesday, February 8th, 2006 by Jesper Rønn-Jensen

As a followup to my earlier post “AJAX performance stats, ROI, and business value“, I decided that I’d share with you some considerations on a recent project I was involved in. I can’t give you all the juicy details, and I might never be able to show you the final solution or tell, who the […]

Pogosticking and why it should be avoided

Sunday, February 5th, 2006 by Jesper Rønn-Jensen

Ever heard of pogosticking? Until recently, I had experienced it a lot, but never heard of “pogosticking”. Here is how to avoid unnecessary navigation and extra clicks that occurs because pages do not match the information users need to find what they are looking for.

Live search explained

Thursday, January 26th, 2006 by Jesper Rønn-Jensen

Trend: Live search will gradually replace traditional search in web applications. As mainstream programs such as Windows Vista matures up to release, and live search is deeply integrated, we can expect more web pages implementing live search. Apple’s Spotlight and MSN Desktop Search uses the same Live search paradigm that we’ll probably see a lot […]

25% of all web users are disabled

Friday, January 20th, 2006 by Jesper Rønn-Jensen

Did you know that up to 25% of all visitors on your website have some kind of accessibility problem. Some of your users may be blind, deaf, dyslectic, has learning disabilities or motoric disabilities such as schlerosis, parkinson’s disease, etc. A so-called functional disability.

But how about users with a technical disability: Wireless devices, slow internet connections, old browsers, feed readers, etc. These should be considered as well, as there are probably more people with technological disability than functional disability.

AJAX performance stats, ROI, and business value

Saturday, January 14th, 2006 by Jesper Rønn-Jensen

How do you build a system that can deliver and update content to 100,000 people simultaneously? Via I saw this article from MacRumors on what traffic they got when Steve Jobs delivered his keynote on MacWorld a few days ago.

Also in this post: Ajaxinfo (the guys behind AJAX usability metrics), AJAX ROI faceoff, where a traditional webapp is compared to an AJAX webapp. For the visually oriented, there is a video comparing the two applications.

Mullet-style blog layout and complete archive page

Monday, January 9th, 2006 by Jesper Rønn-Jensen

Blog frontpage that increases user experience and improves findability of content. The key is the mullet. The idea is to have a long tail of many older entries that represent previous content.

Where to find usability test videos

Thursday, December 15th, 2005 by Jesper Rønn-Jensen

It’s important to use video clips to make your points, as I argued earlier. In usability, video clips document research and guidelines. Ironically, video clips are hard to find (if available at all). However, one exception shines in the dark night of publically available usability videos.