All posts from
December 2005

The End is Nigh

“IA is real, it’s here and it has a history. Everything else is just hair-splitting. While deriving a definition might be really important to the academics among us, I no longer see it as essential to success of the field.” (Andrew Dillon – ASIS&T Bulletin)

Small Multiples Within a User Interface

“Many software programs provide access to, and let users work with, large amounts of information. In addition to interactions that allow users to create, edit, and expand massive data sets, these information-rich applications must also support effective data interpretation.” (Luke WroblewskiUXmatters)

Intranet Trends to Watch for in 2006

“The intranet ecosystem still does matter (…). However, the focus has moved away from the analyst firms, the consulting companies and the gurus and back to the business customers.” (Shiv Singh – CIO)

Living La Vida Virtual: Interfaces of the Near Future

“Personal computing is in an awkward adolescence right now. On one hand, we are rapidly moving into ubiquitous computing environments that let people constantly interact with the omnipresent network; on the other, the devices and interfaces we are using to enter these new frontiers provide woefully inadequate user experiences. Let’s take a look at one of the key technologies that will take mobile user experiences to the next level: holography.” (Dirk KnemeyerUXmatters)

One Billion Internet Users

“The Internet is growing at an annualized rate of 18% and now has one billion users. A second billion users will follow in the next ten years, bringing a dramatic change in worldwide usability needs.” (Jakob NielsenAlertbox)

Beyond Menus and Toolbars in Microsoft Office

Audio presentation and slides by Jensen Harris (Microsoft) – “This talk will provide a historical perspective on the evolution of the Office user interface and the battle against the mounting complexity of the product. You’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at the different design iterations, and an in-depth look at the new Office UI constructs, including the Ribbon, galleries, contextual tabs, and the MiniBar.” (BayCHI)

chartjunk: the madness ends here

“Comments are welcome – including further redrawings if you think you have a better idea how to portray this data. Stay safe, and don’t believe anything you see in the paper.” (Viveka Weiley – Karmanaut)

Content Management: Strategic Challenge

“The volume of product-related information in companies is increasing by leaps and bounds. The reason is the growing multiplicity of products, software and services that require explanation. After the EU enlargement, not only large companies, even small and medium-sized enterprises must come to terms with the multiplier effect of multiple languages. The challenge is to keep the information across the company both consistent and free of redundancy, to make it universally available, to publish it on paper as well as electronically, and to bring out the different language versions as simultaneously as possible. Companies that have not mastered the art of overcoming these challenges must suffer additional costs and time pressure in handling quality problems that are becoming more and more difficult to solve.” (Daniela Straub and Michael Fritz – tekom slides)

Applying information architecture to university web sites

Conference presentation – “(…) detailed IA issues such as specific – to vs. relevant – for audiences, org-chart-itis, faceted browsing and navigation frameworks.” (Keith Instone)

Informing Ourselves To Death

“(…) there can be no disputing that the computer has increased the power of large-scale organizations like military establishments or airline companies or banks or tax collecting agencies. And it is equally clear that the computer is now indispensable to high-level researchers in physics and other natural sciences. But to what extent has computer technology been an advantage to the masses of people? To steel workers, vegetable store owners, teachers, automobile mechanics, musicians, bakers, brick layers, dentists and most of the rest into whose lives the computer now intrudes? These people have had their private matters made more accessible to powerful institutions.” (Neil Postman) – courtesy of designobserver

Notes from User Interfaces for Physical Spaces

“(…) unlike screen-based work, where we tend to get caught up in breakpoints with a single “organizer” — the software — MAYA had to grapple with three potential points of failure. This is orders of magnitude more complex.” (Peter Merholz)

Finding information on the free World Wide Web: A specialty meta-search engine for the academic community

“The Web is continuing to grow rapidly and search engine technologies are evolving fast. Despite these developments, some problems still remain, mainly, difficulties in finding relevant, dependable information. This problem is exacerbated in the case of the academic community, which requires reliable scientific materials in various specialized research areas. We propose that a solution for the academic community might be a meta–search engine which would allow search queries to be sent to several specialty search engines that are most relevant for the information needs of the academic community. The basic premise is that since the material indexed in the repositories of specialty search engines is usually controlled, it is more reliable and of better quality.” (Yaffa Aharoni et al. – First Monday 10.12)

Blog Interface Design 2.0

“(…) many blogs suffer from interface design shortcomings. Unlike issues of spam and authority, these problems have relatively straightforward solutions that could considerably increase the utility of blog content. Assuming a blog is not filled with spam content (splogs), spam comments, or spam trackbacks, there’s often a wealth of information to be found therein: information that is frequently buried deep within archives and comments. This article looks at ways to bring that information forward.” (Luke Wroblewski – Functioning Form)

Web Presence as Architectural Planning 

Presentation from the International Institute for Information Design Conference on ‘Designing, Delivering, and Explaining Financial Information’ – Boston, USA: April 27, 2005 (Ruurd Priester – IIID Blurred Boundaries)

Passionate Users Talk Different

“(…) there’s a world of difference between a specialized lexicon of domain-specific terms and buzzwords. Domain-specific terms compress information, while buzzwords often masquerade as information. Buzzwords are often (not always) semantically empty while specialized domain lexicons are semantically dense.” (Kathy Sierra – Creating Passionate Users)

Erik Spiekermann: Typography and design today

“(…) calls himself an information architect. He is equally comfortable and prolific as a writer, graphic and typeface designer, but type is always at the epicentre of this communication dynamo. He founded MetaDesign in 1979, started FontShop in 1988, is a board member of ATypI and the German Design Council, and president of the istd International Society of Typographic Designers. In July 2000, Erik withdrew from the management of MetaDesign Berlin – which created a bit of a stir – and set up his new studio, United Designers Network in the same neighbourhood.” (Uleshka – PingMag)

The Website Development Process

“Think about how you are going to structure things. What is important? What is not? What needs to be on every page? Depending on the scale of the project you might want to create a visual sitemap for your client. Preparing a sitemap is essential if you are reorganising content in any way.” (PingMag) – courtesy of kelake