All posts from
February 2004

XIAatUT: An Extreme Makeover

“This presentation will discuss the process of designing the research portal of the web site, with emphasis on the lessons learned by the XIA development team.” (Jill Burkart et al.) – courtesy of ia summit blog

Conducting Inherent Value Testing

“We’ve found having a focus works better than just a random tour without any focus. We get to see how users work with the site as they discuss it. Their commentary is easier to understand and more accurately represents true issues with the site.” (Jared Spool – UI Engineering)

The Sad State of Web Content

“Content still is king of the Web and the designers, developers and producers of the Web should be the king’s loyal subjects. Trust me, it’s in our best interests.” (D. Keith Robinson – Asterisk)

Design Matters

“Design matters. It matters in everyday life. It matters in everything we consume or use. It matters in every human endeavor. Without design and those people that commit their lives to its practice, the world that would result from that absence would be an intolerable place to live.” (Andrei HerasimchukDesign by Fire)

Wizards and Guides: Principles of Task Flow for Web Applications 2/2

“Although wizards are a common feature of the interface landscape, their rigidity clearly runs counter to one of the basic tenets of user-centered design: providing the user with appropriate control over the interaction. Therefore, like the pointy-hat mystics for whom they’re named, wizards should generally be treated with suspicion and skepticism, and ideally avoided whenever possible.” (Bob BaxleyBoxes and Arrows)

How Would You Redo the Google Interface?

Four designers share their (re)visions (Wired) – courtesy of lawrence lee

User-Centered Information Retrieval

“To find information, a reader uses either a search engine or the reader browses through metadata. The main difference between search engines and metadata lies in the quality of the links. A search engine offers you a lot of results, yet quite a few of the results refer to unusable information. Metadata cover only a small part of the available information yet the links refer to very useful information.” (Marcel van Mackelenbergh)

Design Patterns: An Evolutionary Step to Managing Complex Sites

“(…) a problem that many of our clients are facing and they’ve tried a myriad of solutions, such as centralized approval processes, standardized templates, and style guides, all without success. However, the one solution that really excites us is now gaining a lot of attention — design patterns.” (Jared M. Spool – UI Engineering)

The Vision of George Rorick

“Architect of six different news services for print and broadcast graphics, George has spent his career fine-tuning the craft of visual reporting, discovering talented people and starting business from scratch. Oh … and he invented the USA Today weather map. Find out what makes him tick and what he’s done for the field of visual journalism.” (Poynter online) – courtesy of interactive narratives

Access to a Unified Web from Any Device in Any Context by Anyone

“A few years ago, virtually the only way to access the Web was through a personal computer or workstation. True, there were variations between the facilities offered by various browsers, some being capable of use on text-based terminals. However, almost invariably, Web access, for individuals without specific accessability needs, involved using a machine with a reasonably large, color display with full graphic capabilities. While this is still primarily true, since the middle of 2000, the number of different kinds of device that can access the Web has grown from a small number with essentially the same core capabilities to many hundreds with a wide variety of different capabilities. At the time of writing, mobile phones, smart phones, personal digital assistants, interactive television systems, voice response systems, kiosks and even certain domestic appliances can all access the Web.” (W3C)

Web Content Design

“What makes Web content effective? You’ll find the answer here. Learn the basics of information design, Web writing style, and content maintenance.” (Mazzie Ballheim)

Usability: Drawing Outside the Lines

“As Web design and development become wider in scope, individual topics within it become equally deeper. Usability has become its own depth area over the past few years, largely due to the influence of usability ‘Thought Leaders’ attempting to create better interactive Web sites for site visitors.” (Molly HolzschlaginformIT) – courtesy of andrew fernandez

Press releases are awful web content

“In the hierarchy of content, the press release is a bottom feeder. It is a single cell organism. In fact, it was never meant to see the light of day. To most people, reading a press release is about as interesting as reading a parking fine. And yet press releases proliferate on the Web.” (Gerry McGovern)

Influence of Training and Exposure on the Usage of Breadcrumb Navigation

“Recent studies have shown that while the use of breadcrumb trails to navigate a website can be helpful, few users choose to utilize this method of navigation. This study investigates the effects of ‘mere exposure’ and training on breadcrumb usage. Findings indicate that brief training on the benefits of breadcrumb usage resulted in more efficient search behavior.” (Spring S. Hull – SURL 6.1) – courtesy of lucdesk

Interactivity and MultiMedia Interfaces

“Multimedia technology offers instructional designers an unprecedented opportunity to create richly interactive learning environments. With greater design freedom comes complexity. The standard answer to the problems of too much choice, disorientation, and complex navigation is thought to lie in the way we design the interactivity in a system.” (David Kirsh)