A.
Viljakainen

On creating digital tools and human-computer interactions in them

Tags

Tags

Usually these are about the less technical aspects of software development.

Human-computer interaction, from professional application point of view.

Things related to my research or information gathering / overload.

Writings

Don’t ask people to commit to fulfill a forecast

August 02, 2020, 5 min read

Estimations made in the planning are forecasts and their reliability depends on both the experience and on the length of the time scale they cover. Using the word commitment can make planning more intimidating than it needs to be. The estimation itself is hard, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen it done too well, so it would be good to get all the stakeholders to understand that, and work towards better predictability together.

PDF as a Read It Later Service

July 25, 2020, 10 min read

PDF seems to be the best format to read books on iPad, and now I've started using it for reading web long reads as well. Being in control is the best part: You can decide how the website looks like, save it so it's yours to read and annotate however you like, and store it forever.

Inoreader vs Feedly, and the ultimate feed reader (in 2020)

May 27, 2020, 10 min read

I started to use RSS again and setting the system up requires some work. I also noticed that my needs are so specific that each service does not support them fully. I have compared Feedly and Inoreader, and in the process found out the feature set that matters to me. Choosing which service to use is hard, because none of them is perfect. Some services can also be surprisingly expensive.

Feeds Are The Future

May 16, 2020, 7 min read

I was using RSS a lot around 2013, and I want to go back. I'd like to be more in control on what stories I see each day. At the same time I know the amount of items in RSS feeds can be overwhelming, so I'm excited to try out new tools to combat information overload as well. I'm glad to see that RSS is not *dead*, even though I understand it probably should evolve. Feed aggregators must evolve as well, or there might not be enough sources for them in the future.

Augment, Complement and Empower Human Cognitive Skills

May 03, 2020, 6 min read

Expert group for EU has published Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI. The document specifies a list of requirements the systems should meet to be considered trustworthy. They also define a rough framework and an assessment list to offer guidance on practical implementation. The objective is to empower humans and offer them meaningful work instead of replacing them. Augmenting human abilities is an approach I'm happy to advocate for.

The difficulty of saying I don't know

April 12, 2020, 5 min read

Creating software is complex, and we are all the time facing problems we are solving for the first time in our lives, possibly with the tools we haven't mastered yet. That can be a lot to bear and a source of anxiety. By being vulnerable and admitting you need help, you can start creating a safer environment.

Platformer (game) UX

June 30, 2019, 6 min read

Some years ago I tried building a platformer game (PC / Android) and found the experience interesting from the UX point of view. This is my recap of what I remember. TLDR: You can cheat to make it feel more like a game. Physics simulation rarely makes a good platformer (although Trine might beg to differ). At least you'll need to fine-tune your character movement physics.

Automation and the role of human operators

June 28, 2019, 4 min read

Automation and analytics are a good means to improve operator and overall system performance. The ever-increasing amount of data means that in many situations human operators are no longer able to keep up with the pace, and using software to help is…

Designing to Support (Distributed) Situation Awareness

June 26, 2019, 5 min read

Situation awareness and distributed situation awareness are interesting concepts, but how does it map to the real world? How can we as designers take the concept and use it to guide our designs, to support rather than hinder the situation awareness of the end users?

Distributed Situation Awareness (DSA)

June 24, 2019, 4 min read

Distributed situation awareness (DSA) is model that takes a systemic view to situation awareness (SA). Stanton et al. have described their DSA model in an article “Distributed situation awareness in dynamic systems: theoretical development and…

Situation Awareness (SA)

June 23, 2019, 3 min read

Situation awareness (SA) is a concept that describes how people stay entangled into events happening around them. SA model can be used to design systems so that they support users acquiring and maintaining situational awareness. Mica R. Endsley is one of the most cited researchers on SA, and has created a formal definition of SA.

Nielsen: Web UX 2016 vs 2004

June 15, 2017, 3 min read

Jakob Nielsen had a keynote at the UX Conference on Web UX 2016 vs 2004. They made a study on web UX in 2016 and reflected that to the results from a similar study in 2004. The video is only 20 minutes and worth watching. Below you can find a summary…

Reference Types in Java

June 15, 2017, 7 min read

Different reference types in Java provide access to the object lifecycle, giving us tools for object reuse (object pools) and even a possibility to achieve a reliable object finalization. Differences between references can be explained by…

Designing for Usability 1985

May 11, 2017, 5 min read

It’s interesting how old many of the usability (and software engineering) ideas are. I run into an old classic: Designing for Usability: Key Principles and What Designers Think (Gould & Lewis, 1985). Gould and Lewis introduce three principles that…

26th in the Hello World Open 2012

October 18, 2012, 5 min read

We participated in the first Hello World Open with Louhigames’ crew. Hello World Open is a Finnish coding competition and this was the first year it was organized. 200 teams participated and around 100 of them were able to enter a working program. We…

Usability of Patient Record Systems 2010

April 18, 2012, 3 min read

This is about the usability of health care systems (EPR) in Finland. You can read an English summary of the usability study in the end of the article in this link. Potilastietojärjestelmien käytettävyyttä on viime aikoina tutkittu aika paljon. Vuonna…

ISO 9241-210 (ISO 13407:n korvaaja)

March 29, 2012, 3 min read

This is in Finnish about ISO 9241-210 (former ISO 13407). You can read about that for example in Userfocus or by getting a copy of the standard from ISO. Huomasin gradua tehdessäni, että ISO 13407 onkin vanhentunutta tietoa, sillä nykyisin se…

How do people act

November 14, 2010, 4 min read

Creating usable software is not easy. You are blind to the usability problems of your user interface because you know how things work. You don’t need feedback in a way that other users of your system need. You don’t need the system to tell you what…

Who's fault is it anyway?

October 11, 2010, 2 min read

People tend to use faulty mental models when thinking what caused some action to fail or succeed. People blame environment for their own misfortunes. If things go wrong, it wasn’t my fault but the environment caused it. I got no chance. And the…