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All posts by Basheera Khan

Basheera Khan is a user experience designer with an interest in information architecture, interaction design and content strategy across multiple platforms. A former journalist, Bash has written for ITWeb and Brainstorm in South Africa and TechCrunch Europe and the Telegraph in the UK. These days Bash is part of the Experience Design team at EMC Consulting. She's also a founding member of the team behind the collaborative bug-tracking web app, PlayNice.ly.
  • Story-telling, UX, and how to find your spine

    When I changed career path from journalism to user experience design, it was largely on the faith my friend Lidia had in my journalism skills. “Dude!” she said, “You’re perfect for this.” At the time Lidia was wrapping up her PhD in Human Computer Interaction at Swansea University, where I was editing itwales.com. To her, it didn’t matter that I’d had minimal exposure to UX until that point. As a career changer herself (from social work to HCI), Lidia knew firsthand that skills can be learned and adapted as needed, but aptitude and appetite can’t be bought or taught. Fast forward...

  • After the hype: Why Google+ gets a great big minus

    Like every other geek in the world, I was intrigued by the prospect of a social network based on Google's platform. Once I was in, I found it a bit underwhelming. What's a platform without content, right? Skip ahead a few weeks and the opposite is true. It feels cluttered, messy, confusing, overwhelming. And I lay the blame firmly at the feet of Google's recruitment practices. The proposition is simple: Google+ is a social network built on the foundation of what you do and who you know. I'll leave off the qualifier of the word 'online' because, well, d'uh. The...

  • Using Scrivener for UX design

    If you're a writer of any stripe you will have come across numerous recommendations for Scrivener as the ultimate tool for collating research, scribbling down ideas and finding the structure of the story you're trying to tell. In fact, though it's marketed as software for novelists, Scrivener's powerful feature set is a boon to anyone who needs to wrangle large amounts of information. I've used Scrivener almost exclusively since 2007, so when I made the switch from journalism to user experience(UX) design, I didn't think twice about keeping it at the centre of my working environment. After all, so...

  • Work the look: 5 tips for online clothing retailers

    Clothing is one of the biggest growth markets for online retail, with more people welcoming the obvious benefits of online clothes shopping: no battling the crowds, saving time and often money; not having to faff around in changing rooms; and the confidence of knowing you can always return it if it doesn’t fit just right. And yet apparel is still one of the most difficult things to sell online — a hard truth not helped by the fact that, for the most part, online fashion retailers still don’t do it really well. Reading some of the headlines around the fashion/tech...

  • Four things large companies can learn from startups

    Any startup company is agile by design and necessity. There are certain characteristics of a startup that make an agile approach come naturally, and allows startups to achieve far more in a month than some larger companies do in a quarter. Paying attention to these key principles, one can encourage the startup approach in larger organisations - not just in the design and development teams, but beyond to all areas of the business. As a disclaimer, let me say upfront: this is not a technical discussion. It’s not about how to implement a specific Agile methodology, but more about finding...

  • 5 reasons why you should kill Buzz

    Within a week of launching Google Buzz, I killed it. Despite my love of the threaded commenting, unlimited by character count and the opportunity it presented to discover new and interesting people, I killed it dead. This is why... Reason #1: The twits made me do it You know who I mean. Those people who saw a really cool tool for sharing and discussing the golden nuggets they found scattered across the interwebs AND THEN PLUGGED TWITTER INTO IT. As my mum says: "A place for everything, and everything in its place." If I wanted a social sharing service that aggregated...