London Marathon 2012

I’ve signed up to run the London marathon in 2012 for the charity Scope. I’ve been running more and more over the last couple of years and with the 10th anniversary of my first attempt approaching, it seemed like a good challenge to focus on. I’ll be updating my progress on a dedicated Facebook page and I’m flagging it up here to maximise exposure—I need as much sponsorship as possible! To that end I made a video all about it. Please watch, then donate at tiny.cc/stu4scope. Thanks for listening!

No ticks for HSBC

With the recent introduction of their muchmaligned two-factor authentication system, HSBC overhauled their internet banking interface. The Secure Key system prompts users to enter a memorable answer followed by a code generated dynamically from a separate hardware device (the “secure key”). Consistent with guidelines on the importance of providing timely and useful feedback (e.g. Nielsen; ISO 9241-17), entering one’s details triggers a visual indicator whose meaning is apparently obvious but which actually differs to one’s expectations and is therefore ultimately misleading. More

Snookered by an interruption? Use a cue.

For the main project of my MSc in Human-Computer Interaction I chose to explore the domain of interruptions. This is an important area that has seen quite a lot of activity in recent years (see this list of resources on the subject). As more devices and applications vie for our attention, interruptions are the inevitable consequence. And no matter how well trained we might be, we remain susceptible to their disruptive effects and we make errors. More

Postington Huff

I’m not much of a commenter when it comes to online news articles. I sometimes feel like blurting out at the end of a Guardian piece but usually someone else has had the same thought and in any case it’s buried in a stream of one-upmanship, aloofness and vitriol. But when I read this Huffington Post article, at the time devoid of comments, I thought I’d get involved. I was offered to connect via Twitter. “Why not?” I thought. More

RocketMail settings on Android

Many moons ago in 1997 I signed up for my first web-based email account with RocketMail. No-one bats an eyelid about web acquisitions for market share these days, but I was pretty taken aback when Yahoo! took over in October of that year. Fast-forward to mid-2011 and this account is still serving me well, but to avoid the sub-standard Yahoo! Mail app on my Android phone I wanted to configure the native mail app. Here’s how. More