Category Archives: usability

17 August 2013

“Usability in Govt Sys” book review from Society for Technical Communication

The Society for Technical Communication has published a review of my book. The June 2013 issue of Technical Communication Online, STC’s Journal, contains a review of Usability in Government Systems: User Experience Design for Citizens and Public Servants, the book from Morgan Kaufmann Press that Dianne Murray and I edited. The review, written by STC [...]
posted by Elizabeth at 08:08 Tagged , | 2 Comments

11 May 2012

We Are All Stakeholders

Can you think of anyone whose life is not affected by government information and communications technology? Anyone at all? Even in the farthest reaches of the remotest areas, even when a population is completely isolated from the outside world, people’s lives are affected by the policies and procedures of the government that administers the area in [...]
posted by Elizabeth at 02:05 Leave a comment

2 December 2011

Usability in Government Systems — A Forthcoming Book

Just before US Thanksgiving of 2011, my co-editor and I delivered to our publisher the manuscript of a new book on usability in government systems. Two and a half years after Dianne Murray suggested doing a book and we chose the topic — and six weeks after I began the most intensive period of work [...]
posted by Elizabeth at 04:12 Tagged , , | 3 Comments

12 July 2011

My Comment to the White House on Federal Websites

Today at 4pm EDT (I’m writing this about 5-6 hours earlier) the White House will have a live chat on improving Federal websites. I plan to be there. I put in a comment via the form at Here’s essentially* what I said: The problem is not so much the number of Federal domains (although I agree [...]
posted by Elizabeth Buie at 10:07 Leave a comment

9 February 2011

Mobile boarding pass: Not for me, thanks

Yesterday I used a mobile boarding pass for the first time. United Airlines’ checkin didn’t make me choose between mobile and paper, so I chose both — it wasn’t a risk to try mobile because I would have the paper as a backup, just in case. I clicked “Mobile” and had it sent to my phone [...]
posted by Elizabeth Buie at 08:02 8 Comments

6 June 2010

ATAC’s new in-bus displays: A step forward, but more is needed

Rome’s public transportation system, known as ATAC (Azienda Tranvie ed Autobus del Comune di Roma), continues to improve in the 20+ years since my first visit to this wonderful city. For example, some of the bus stops now have signs indicating when the next bus is expected to arrive (see the article in L’Occhio – [...]
posted by Elizabeth Buie at 11:06 3 Comments

8 October 2009

When Alphabetical Order Is Not Logical

Every so often, the question comes up among interaction designers and usability professionals regarding whether alphabetical order is a logical order. (See, for example, the February 2009 discussion on the Interaction Design list.) We’ve all seen numerous lists that appear in alphabetical order (and in which it makes sense): country, state, surname, street name, auto [...]
posted by Elizabeth at 07:10 Tagged , , | 7 Comments

27 June 2009

The Unbearable Rightness of Catastrophizing

Most people think of catastrophizing as a way of thinking that healthy people avoid. The online dictionaries agree. Wiktionary, for example, defines the act as “to regard a bad situation as if it were disastrous or catastrophic”; Go-Dictionary has it as “to envisage a situation as being worse than it is”. Clearly they’re seeing it [...]
posted by Elizabeth at 01:06 Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment