All posts from
June 2005

Seminar on Cognitive Modeling for UI Design

“This seminar presents the current state of the art of evaluating user interface designs using models of human performance that are based on cognitive architectures. Such models can yield usability results without the delay and expense of user testing of prototypes, but because they are new and still under development, whether and how to apply them is a challenge. This seminar will survey current theory and practice; no ‘how-to’ of actual model construction will be presented; rather the goal is to enable a good choice of whether a modeling approach will be useful, and which type of model would be best to pursue.” (School of CS – CMU)

Designer’s Challenge 

Presentation from Spring 2005 Info Tech Conference – “The difference between a good website and a great website happens before you begin coding.” (Keith Instone)

Knowledge management: No such thing as knowledge worker

“For those who manage well, there is a bright and prosperous future. For those who are managed, the future – certainly the income prospects are not so bright.” (Gerry McGovern)

Usability: Empiricism or Ideology?

“Usability’s job is to research user behavior and find out what works. Usability should also defend users’ rights and fight for simplicity. Both aspects have their place, and it’s important to recognize the difference.” (Jakob NielsenAlertbox)

Is Jakob Nielsen evil, stupid or just plain lazy?

“I would like to propose the addition of ‘Jakob Nielsen’ to that list. By continuing to talk to web designers as if they are ignorant, lazy philistines only serves to undermine the role of usability specialists within organisations.” (Chris McEvoyConfusability) – courtesy of usabilityviews

Lazy, stupid and evil design

“Evil design is perpetrated by people who are deliberately doing the wrong thing, and this harms everyone. Nielsen cites pop-up windows as an example. Users now expect pop-ups to be unwanted ads, and close them without looking at them. As a result, good designers can no longer use pop-up windows even when they would be a good solution.” (Jack Schofield – Guardian Unlimited)

How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Relinquish Control

“Relinquishing control is a scary prospect because it diminishes certainty. With control comes predictable outcomes that you can bank on. But in this increasingly complex, messy, and option-filled world, we must acknowledge that our customers hold the reins. Attempts to control their experience will lead to abandonment for the less onerous alternative. What we can do is provide the best tools and content that they can fit into their lives, and their ways.” (Peter MerholzAdaptive Path)

Towards a Sociology of the Mobile Phone

“Use of the mobile phone is an immensely significant social and cultural phenomenon. However, market hype and utopian dreams greatly exaggerate its importance. The fundamental issue for sociology is the process of change. Bound up with contemporary issues of change, the mobile phone is a prime object for sociological attention both at the macro and micro levels of analysis. This article considers the strengths and weaknesses of four methods for studying the sociality of the mobile phone (social demography; political economy; conversation, discourse and text analysis; and ethnography), the different kinds of knowledge they produce, and the interests they represent.” (Jim McGuigan – Human Technology) – courtesy of annegalloway

Return of Ideas

“Some time ago I wrote about the great conference in New Zealand, ‘Better by Design’, and recommended that people would go to their site and look at the slides. I suppose a lot of you did, and I would now like to give you some heads-up for reading even more informational stuff. Peter Zec’s slideshow ‘Return of Ideas’ is now online and I really recommnd you go there and read the slides – it’s killer stuff. Infact it’s 110 pages of killer stuff. Free.” (cph127)

The two fundamental skills of web writing

“Writing for how people search and writing quality links are the two fundamental skills of web writing. Think carefully about search behavior and make sure your links are always clear and logical.” (Gerry McGovern)

European IA Summit: Building Communities

“The first European Information Architecture (IA) Summit’s focus is on building the IA community in Europe. The objective of the event is to bring together a number of disciplines and practitioner communities by providing a stimulating environment for debate and an opportunity for establishing cooperation. This community is not just limited to language or region, but all encompasses our specialization’s like designing for mobile devices, and multilingual solutions. We are calling for papers that reflect those communities of practice, language and location.” (ASIS&T) – Highly recommended.

Infomania at Summit ’05

“(…) the number of first-time attendees was staggeringly high. From a show of hands on the opening day it appeared as if they were in the majority. Nothing wrong with this situation you might say, but the number of new attendees was high last year too, so it would appear that repeat attendance is not the norm.” (Andrew DillonASIS&T Bulletin 31.5) – courtesy of peterboersma

Archiving Usability Reports

“Most usability practitioners don’t derive full value from their user tests because they don’t systematically archive the reports. An intranet-based usability archive offers four substantial benefits.” (Jakob NielsenAlertbox)

Turning knowledge into power

“We are in an era of knowledge abundance. Traditional management theory focuses on knowledge scarcity. We need new management strategies to deal with so much communication and so much knowledge.” (Gerry McGovern)

Frozen Pictures? Can Design Journalism be Reinvented?

Interview with Julie Lasky – Editor-In-Chief of I.D. Magazine “Names, please. I know it’s discomfiting to supply them, but that’s the only way you’ll help me understand the dimension you find lacking.” (GK VanPatterNextD)