All posts from
December 2003

Top ten web design mistakes of 2003

“Sites are getting better at using minimalist design, maintaining archives, and offering comprehensive services. However, these advances entail their own usability problems, as several prominent mistakes from 2003 show.” (Jakob NielsenAlertbox)

Spit-not-so, or What’s in the Layout?

“Many tasks involve the processing of information from different sources. Some information needed resides in the memory of the person. Other information is in physical things: dials, screens even the position of objects. Physical (and similarly virtual) objects act as memory aids.” (Paul Curzon – Usability News)

On search, the series

“This series of essays on the construction, deployment and use of search technology (by which I mean primarily ‘full-text’ search) was written between June and December of 2003. It has fifteen installments not including this table of contents.” (Tim BrayOngoing)

Typographica: A journal of typography

“Typographica is a daily journal of typography featuring news, observations, and open commentary on fonts and typographic design.” (Stephen Coles and Joshua Lurie-Terrell )

The search for search’s next generation

“The burn-out of the dot-com era left a smoldering envy of those few dot-commers that managed to stay alive. Google is foremost among these. If they can continue pulling in dynamic data from more and more sites, their dominance may well continue — for access to dynamic data is indeed the key to the next big improvement in search.” (Andy OramO’Reilly Developer Weblogs)

OWL: Web Ontology Language – Overview

“The OWL Web Ontology Language is designed for use by applications that need to process the content of information instead of just presenting information to humans.” (W3C)

CSS, accessibility and standard links

“Here you’ll find a whole bunch of links to some of the vast resources out there. These are places I’ve have gone to and still visit for help and to learn. As new resources are constantly popping up, watch this space for changes. I’ve tried to order stuff as logically as possible.” (Andrew Fernandez – deswozhere) – courtesy of lucdesk

Information Design: the Popular Communication experience

“From this point of view, I suggest that in figuring out ‘where Information Design has come from’, we can usefully look beyond the usual suspects: it’s not only self-identified ID ‘believers’ who have contributed good ideas about how to communicate clearly, effectively and appropriately.” (Conrad Taylor – Ideography) – courtesy of beth mazur

Avoid Santa Claus approach to content management

“The Santa Claus approach to content management creates a content management software wish list. It believes in the magic of technology to sweep away any and every problem. Typically, those who believe in Santa don’t believe in defining their processes, or figuring out just why they need a website in the first place.” (Gerry McGovern)

The visual vocabulary three years later: An interview with Jesse James Garrett

“It hasn’t changed as much as I expected. When I released the vocabulary in 2000, it still seemed to be in flux – some of the elements were fairly new additions, and I figured it was likely that there would be more in short order. But, in retrospect, the vocabulary was actually more mature than I realized at the time.” (Dan BrownBoxes and Arrows)

Creating patient-centered healthcare through ambient experience design

“Thanks to greater education and access to information, the Internet, and the growing awareness about well-being related issues, they know more and care more about their health than any generation before. So when they seek professional assistance and don’t find what they want, or feel it doesn’t meet their needs, they simply go elsewhere.” (Stefano Marzano – Philips Design) – courtesy of uxblog

Quality control: The importance of website testing

“A website needs to be as close to perfect as possible before it is presented to the intended audience, and the adherence to a formal test plan and test procedures will assist in making sure that all bases are covered before the site is launched.” (Julie Price – Thread Inc.)

Architecture of the World Wide Web, First edition

“The World Wide Web is a network-spanning information space of resources interconnected by links. This information space is the basis of, and is shared by, a number of information systems. Within each of these systems, agents (people and software) retrieve, create, display, analyze, and reason about resources. Web architecture includes the definition of the information space in terms of identification and representation of its contents, and of the protocols that support the interaction of agents in an information system making use of the space. Web architecture is influenced by social requirements and software engineering principles, leading to design choices that constrain the behavior of systems using the Web in order to achieve desired properties of the shared information space: efficiency, scalability, and the potential for indefinite growth across languages, cultures, and media. This document reflects the three bases of Web architecture: identification, interaction, and representation.” (W3C)

Buckets: Smart objects for digital libraries

“Buckets are an aggregative, intelligent construct for publishing in DLs allow the decoupling of information content from information storage and retrieval. Buckets exist within the Smart Objects and Dumb Archives model for DLs in that we ‘push down’ many of the functionalities and responsibilities traditionally associated with archives (making the archives ‘dumber’) into the buckets (making them ‘smarter’). Some of the responsibilities imbued to buckets are the enforcement of their terms and conditions, and maintenance and display of their contents.” (Michael L. Nelson) – courtesy of usablehelp

Usability and open-source software development

“Open-source is becoming an increasingly popular software development method. This paper reports a usability study of the open-source Greenstone Digital Library collection-building software. The problems highlighted by the study are analysed to identify their likely source within the social context of Greenstone’s development environment. We discuss how characteristics of open-source software development influence the usability of resulting software products. ” (David M. Nichols, Kirsten Thomson and Stuart A. YeatesDepartment of Computer Science, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand)