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Preview: Niko Nyman's /personal blog


Niko Nyman's blog on shifting topics.

Last Build Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2018 18:04:36 +0000


Software vs. office space

Wed, 28 Nov 2012 16:41:13 +0000

Enterprise software, such as a web platform, should be analogous to renting and decorating a retail location, rather than investing in a plot of land and building a shiny office. Building it should be fast, and rebuilding it from floor to ceiling not only optional, but considered necessary, to keep up with changing demands of […]

Opportunity in services for healthy eating

Thu, 08 Nov 2012 08:13:35 +0000

Healthy eating is an interesting area for digital services. There’s little variety in concepts: most services seem to center around tracking what you eat, and sharing recipes, more or less tailored for your situation. The barrier of entry is relatively high, considering you have to provide a catalog of recipes, and not any recipes, but […]

Tools for testing web user interfaces

Thu, 11 Oct 2012 21:16:55 +0000

So the blog is not dead yet. I’m cross-posting this from Google+ though. Do you have recommendations for tools or best practices for testing web app UIs against required user flows? After working nine months as a UX designer in a project, I got promoted yesterday to a front-end developer. Exciting! Instantly I got to […]

Don’t expect the client to mind read

Sun, 25 Mar 2012 20:21:47 +0000

I’m working as a UI designer (or do I need to say UX designer…) in a project involving the redesign of a rather biggish corporate web service. The technical design of the new backend has been going on for months, the architecture has been redesigned, and the development phase is ready to start. Last week […]

What Does It Take to Be a User Experience Designer?

Thu, 02 Feb 2012 19:18:31 +0000

This is a guest post for Usabilla blog, cross-posted here on my own blog. I love good products. I love a kitchen knife that is perfectly balanced, I love it when someone transforms a product category by taking a fresh look at the process – the old way of doing things – and making it […]

One year of not blogging

Fri, 13 Jan 2012 13:54:45 +0000

Today it’s not only Friday the 13th, but it’s been one year and one day since the previous post on this blog. Is my blog dead? You tell me. For me 2011 was a year of focus. I wanted to and almost succeeded in having six months off to be with my family. I traveled […]

Mannerisms — Good or bad?

Wed, 12 Jan 2011 20:15:22 +0000

Libertadores Ambulantes, originally uploaded by Marcel Caram. As a designer, or a musician, is it better to try to avoid your mannerisms, or to try to exploit your mannerisms? Continuously trying to break away from your mannerisms, your habitual style, is really hard. It’s trying to tackle the problem of “creating something new”. There will […]

Everybody wants to be a UX pro

Sun, 05 Dec 2010 12:22:45 +0000

I can see that it’s easier to bill clients big money for UX designers, but otherwise I don’t see the value in making these roles more vague by calling everyone UX something. Besides, in the pre-ux-craze days the guys on the left would have been visual designers, interaction designers, etc, and the guys on the […]


Thu, 02 Dec 2010 19:53:55 +0000

Today’s work related side track. Click for full screen:

TSA violates customers – What’s there to learn?

Sat, 27 Nov 2010 10:40:44 +0000

File this under “Doing Business in 2010″: If you screw up over your customers, should you do everything you can to make sure it doesn’t happen again, or should you wait for your mishaps to pop up on YouTube and get viral on Facebook? Which one is more expensive? Choose carefully, there are no other […]

Social networks are a game of 1

Sat, 13 Nov 2010 08:05:24 +0000

Social networks are like telephone networks in 1900, or video disc formats in 2000: the consumer doesn’t really benefit from competition. The early years might be a fierce competition over the best features (or the best marketing machine), but when a critical mass has flocked on to one network, switching to another network becomes too […]

James Victore quote

Wed, 03 Nov 2010 17:43:47 +0000

I know how much time it takes to boot up a computer, and open InDesign, and you get a box, and you type a letter in it. And you make it this big. Then you make it this big. Then you make it this big. Then you make it this big. Then you move it […]

Entering the age of magic

Thu, 17 Jun 2010 11:56:37 +0000

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. — Arthur C. Clarke I want my iTunes to learn from my behaviour and adjust to my taste: notice the tracks I skip, or when I always increase volume during certain tracks, or stop using my computer during certain tracks, etc. How iTunes uses this information doesn’t […]

UX = the sum of parts

Wed, 02 Jun 2010 20:12:43 +0000

I’ve tried to pin down the meaning of user experience a few times in the past, with not much success (check out my user experience archives for proof). Here’s another stab at it. And I’m really feeling at ease with this definition! The question is, how to use the term user experience? First of all, […]

After UX Lx, still no idea what the UX stands for

Sun, 30 May 2010 22:34:16 +0000

Sky, originally uploaded by Vesa Härkönen. Three weeks ago I came to the UX Lx conference in Lisbon with one goal in mind: I wanted to find out if there’s a consensus on what User Experience is. My verdict after three long days of workshops, talks, coffee breaks, and beer towers: there isn’t. Nobody knows […]

2. Support your partner

Tue, 13 Apr 2010 12:20:26 +0000

Randy Nelson, Dean of Pixar University, explains that at Pixar, they use improvisation as a collaborative method, and they “accept every offer… It’s an offer, and you don’t know where it’s going to to, but the guarantee you have is that if you don’t accept that offer, it goes nowhere.” When you can choose between […]

On design thinking

Wed, 31 Mar 2010 20:27:38 +0000

What if… design thinking just came by because there were a few smart designers, who noticed they could apply their smarts in areas that were not previously thought as being designed? So instead of designing posters, they designed meetings. Instead of designing UIs, they designed corporations. Or Iceland. Also, these same designers were remarkably good […]

On organizational hierarchy, flat organizations, and purpose

Mon, 16 Nov 2009 21:40:51 +0000

The flatness of an organization is proportional to the required level of shared purpose. In a hierarchical organization orders come from above. The purpose of the organization is known and kept at the top. This is desirable, because knowledge is power. It doesn’t matter if those ranking low in the hierarchy do not share the […]

Will Google Wave replace email?

Wed, 28 Oct 2009 21:39:19 +0000

Intestines, originally uploaded by Leonardo Aguiar. First of all: I’m a fan of Google Wave. I see huge potential in it. But does Wave have a chance of replacing email? My 50 cent guess would be no. No, because historically, world-shifting technologies are technologies, not applications. Pubsubhubbub can change the world. Wave can’t. Email protocols […]

Designers and the value of design

Sun, 20 Sep 2009 19:50:38 +0000

Designers obsess about user experience design, or just experience design, design thinking, and increasingly emotional design and designing for fun (never mind there are quite a lot of other emotions available in the human palette… but that’s a topic for another post). These labels are attempts to focus design work. An attempt to broaden the […]

The client vs. vendor relationship

Mon, 14 Sep 2009 21:00:24 +0000

There are tradeoffs between looking after end users, and the expenses required to do so. Creating the best possible user experience usually doesn’t come cheap. Then again, creating a bad user experience isn’t free either, yet the value or benefit to the user can be nil. So most every project needs to find a balance […]

On failing, confusion, and the near future

Sun, 06 Sep 2009 07:28:38 +0000

If I had to sum up my summer months in one word, that word would be “confused”. It’s difficult to write a blog when you’re confused, and not blogging for weeks hasn’t exactly made it easier to start again, either. Even if I have been quiet, it’s hardly been for a lack of topics to […]

Sequence tween engine for AS3 released

Tue, 18 Aug 2009 08:35:10 +0000

Just a quick first post after the holidays to let all you Flash coders and your Flash coder friends know we have published our tweening engine for AS3. You can read the announcement on Redberg Robot Repairs blog, or click through directly to download the Sequence tween engine. We tend to think the approach with […]

Dead metaphors and Google’s 8% opportunity

Mon, 22 Jun 2009 20:31:52 +0000

Craig Ritchie writes on how only 8% of internet users actually know what a browser is, and how Google needs to educate users about “browsers” and “applications” before — or rather than — advertising the advantages of their Chrome browser and online applications. (The actual post goes beyond that, but this is my cue.) I […]

Mark Hurst on Bing

Sun, 07 Jun 2009 17:09:26 +0000

Mark Hurst of Good Experience comments on the launch of Microsoft’s Bing search engine. Once again spot on article from Mark. Advertising for mind share is dead (has been dying for years).

Message Relay released

Wed, 03 Jun 2009 20:22:33 +0000

Somehow I forgot to cross-post our so called company announcement here: we’ve released a tiny piece of ActionScript code for free consumption, called the Message Relay. It’s a tool which we have used in all of our Flash programming projects (proving its reusability value!), and it lets you route data from object to object while […]

How do you know the value of a programmer?

Sun, 17 May 2009 19:25:39 +0000

Three components to find the value of a programmer: Estimation accuracy Velocity Quality of output Donkeys Three (Tres burros), originally uploaded by . The first is the ability to estimate tasks accurately. By following how well the estimates of a programmer have held with actual time spent on tasks, you can determine a variance value. […]

Interesting right now

Wed, 13 May 2009 05:15:35 +0000

Here’s what seems interesting right now: Networked electronics — taking what I know about the web, web 2.0, social networks, non-social networks, social objects, feeds, APIs, computing on clouds, etc, and using that knowledge in the context of devices, or even more specifically, components of devices. And when use case ideas emerge, thinking about the […]

The exciting history of type

Mon, 11 May 2009 21:16:37 +0000

I’ve been perusing through the book I bought on Sunday, Graphic Design: A New History by Stephen Eskilson, and I have never been so much into history. It’s simply fascinating to read how old everything about typography is. I spent quite some time finding images and writing a blog post, because I’m that excited about […]

The future of Spotify and its competition

Sat, 09 May 2009 21:06:38 +0000

Spotify is growing strongly, and everybody seems to be talking about it. Spotify even made the news on Finnish national TV last week! It’s David Bowie’s music like water pouring down the internets, and if Mr. Bowie’s 2002 epiphany is to be believed, the aging 20th century music industry will exist no more after three […]