All posts from
October 2004

What is Usability?

“This article provides an overview of what usability is (and what it is not). It provides ideas on how to include more usability activities in projects and the types of activities that are needed in order to create more usable systems.” (Donna MaurerKM Column)

Secrets of great web headings and summaries

“Your website success will increase the better you write headings and summaries. People are very impatient, so the heading and summary really needs to be compelling. Here are some key tips for writing better headings and summaries.” (Gerry McGovern)

Stupid Voters

“At the end of the article, he quotes a Florida elections supervisor, who makes a mean-spirited remark about ‘stupid people’ who vote — arguing that no matter how good the redesign, they (those stupid people) won’t mark it right. Cynical comments like these make me believe that every time one of us has the chance to articulate the needs of citizens, we should. There are too many of these public officials who pollute the air with their snide remarks and who blame the general public for not knowing what to do when confronted with their atrocious writing and design.” (Karen Schriver – InfoDesign-Cafe Oct. 2003)

Jonathan Ive speaks on design

“Apple and Ive are known for their attention to detail. ‘Simplicity speaks of the care of how our products are developed’, he said, ‘it’s not obvious how hard it was’.” (Jonny Evans – MacWorld UK)

All watched over by machines of loving grace

“Ubiquitous computing is coming. It is coming because there are too many too powerful institutions vested in its coming; it is coming because it is a ‘technically sweet’ challenge; it is coming because it represents the eventual convergence of devices, tools and services that became inevitable the moment they each began to be expressed in ones and zeroes.” (Adam GreenfieldBoxes and Arrows)

Use of Narrative in Interactive Design

“By making a conscious effort to integrate narrative into our work, we are better able to support creative learning, problem solving, and task completion by the people who use the things we build.” (Nancy Broden, Marisa Gallagher, and Jonathan Woyte – Boxes and Arrows)

Wireframe Annotations in Visio : Special Deliverable #11

“This article introduces several techniques in the context of wireframe annotations. At the conclusion, you will have learned to create an annotation widget, and you will also have learned several facets of Visio you may not have been aware of.” (Dan BrownBoxes and Arrows)


“I am Peter Boersma, male, 34, living in an apartment from 1670 in the centre of Amsterdam. I studied computer science and ergonomics, and have been working in the field since 1995.” – Welcome to the blogosphere! (Peter Boersma)

Stick Figure Warning Signs

“For the longest time, whenever I saw one of those ‘don’t stick your head into the rotating blade’ warning signs with an illustration of a stick-figure person doing exactly that, I’ve wanted to make a web gallery of them. (…) they’re a visual form of anticryptography, the science of conveying information without assuming any prior knowledge.” – (Toren K. Smith) – courtesy of antenna

A Comparison of Hyperstructures: Zzstructures, mSpaces, and Polyarchies

“Hypermedia applications tend to use simple representations for navigation: most commonly, nodes are organized within an unconstrained graph, and users are presented with embedded links or lists of links. Recently, new data structures have emerged which may serve as alternative models for both the organization, and presentation, of hypertextual nodes and links. In this paper, we consider zzstructures, mSpaces, and polyarchies from the perspective of graph theory, and compare these models formally.” – (Michael J. McGuffin and M.C. Schraefel) – courtesy of ui designer

Introducing the Customer-Centric Worldview

“(1) Business revolves around the customer. – (2) Companies that focus on creating a good customer experience will succeed far above those that do not. – (3) This is the primary determinant of business success over the next several decades.” – (Mark HurstGood Experience) – courtesy of asterisk

A quick and dirty introduction to accessibility

“Accessibility is about building web pages that can be navigated and read by everyone, regardless of disability, location, experience or technology.” – (Max Design)

User Education Is Not the Answer to Security Problems

“Internet scams cannot be thwarted by placing the burden on users to defend themselves at all times. Beleaguered users need protection, and the technology must change to provide this.” – (Jakob NielsenAlertbox)

Web content management depends on trust

“You must be able to stand over everything that is published on your website and say that it is all accurate and up-to-date. Trust is a fundamental building block of professional web content management.” – (Gerry McGovern)

Overview of the Open Source Development and Documentation Project: Overview

“The main purpose of OSDDP is to provide a place where everyone can learn project development from each other through open source development as well as develop skills for producing professional and technical documents.” – (OSDDP)

Microsoft Typography

From Lewis Blackwell’s 20th-Century Type: “Microsoft has arguably the largest, most expert typographic unit in the world. With repsonsibility for the functionality and output of the great majority of type-generating devices, it is no surprise that they should have that, but it is not a fact that is celebrated or much investigated. That the Apple Macintosh platform is more celebrated and widely supported by creative designers obscures the prevelance of Microsoft technology in generating the typography that the world sees — even if many of its smartest ideas came from elsewhere.” (…) “Microsoft’s Typography group researches and develops fonts and font technologies, and supports the development of TrueType and OpenType fonts by independent type vendors.” (Microsoft) – courtesy of jamie divine