All posts from
February 2006

Keith Instone of UXnet

“Live from Internet User Experience 2006, Tim & Tom interview friend and fellow usability professional Keith Instone about his work with User Experience Network. What is UXnet, and what do they want from us? How about this: ‘UXnet was formed to help make connections between the people and organizations that represent User Experience disciplines, and to encourage interchange and cooperation.’ Sounds good to us. In a field so widely interdisciplinary, we could use a big tent like UXnet to convene under. Attend the tale of UXnet!” (Design Critique)

Ladder of Fire

A conversation with Peter Merholz – “(…) I never said design is not a field of knowledge. You asked if design was a field of “vast, deep, broad, and nuanced” field of knowledge like anthropology, and I said, ‘No’. We never discussed whether design is another kind of field of knowledge, which I think it is. But it is fractured, rootless, and without a core. It doesn’t have anywhere near the depth or nuance of anthropology.” (GK VanPatterNextD Journal) – Recommended reading

Hiding in Plain Sight

“Boxes and Arrows caught up with Adam Greenfield on the heels of finishing his first book, Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing, due out in March 2006. Greenfield talks to us about how computing has moved away from the desktop into every part of our lives—from soda cans to the family pet. In this interview, he allows us to imagine what our new normal might look like. (…) Everyone who will be affected by this class of technologies should have a voice in shaping its emergence.” (Boxes and Arrows)

Beautiful Evidence

“Edward Tufte’s new book, Beautiful Evidence, is now at the printer and should be available in May 2006. The book is 214 pages, full color, hard cover, and at the usual elegant standards of Graphics Press. Beautiful Evidence may be ordered now; the book will be sent immediately from the bindery when completed. The introduction and table of contents are shown (…).” (Edward Tufte)

User Experience: The next step for IA’s?

“IA’s have always wondered how to define information architecture in relation to other fields. Starting with the early days of library science, through the ‘discovery’ of other fields and the times when experienced IA’s called themselves Big IA’s, to modern days of business design and experience design, the borders have been fuzzy. I hope to show that, despite the fact that most of us are proud to wear the label Information Architect, we are all User Experience practitioners who practice IA from time to time. Finally, I would like to show the next steps for IA’s, which includes a call for international networks, and national events (…).” (Peter BoersmaItalian IA Summit)

How architects lost the wayfinding mojo…

“Wayfinding as a discipline: In your experience do you see wayfinding as a discipline becoming more integrated with design in architecture, urban, planning, landscape and retail? If so, in what areas has theories and practices towards wayfinding taken root? What barrier have you seen among designers in integrating wayfinding, egd and identity principals and practices in projects? What success stories have you seen, and what should designers do to communicate design process?” (The Wayfinding Place)

Why is it so Hard to Make Products that People Love?

“Business people and designers are never going to speak the same language, and that’s okay. Each needs their own language to get their work done. To make great products, we have to create new ways to understand each other and work together as we keep our collective focus on the users of our products. Personas not only help translate and keep communication channels open between designers and business people, they also help to create and maintain a focus on customers and their needs throughout the design process. The persona approach has helped a variety of companies (…) improve not just their products and services, but their bottom line as well.” (Tamara Adlin and John Pruitt – AIGA Gain) – courtesy of bplusd

TEDBlog: Ideas That Matter in Technology, Entertainment & Design

“I’m fed up with talking about making change: it’s time to do it, says Cameron Sinclair.” (TED.com)

Designing Your Website to be Search Engine Friendly

“Design on the web has changed a lot since the mid 1990’s. Not only has the language used to create pages expanded, but so has the capability of browsers, and the availability of bandwidth. Consequently pages have gradually carried more and more content, and designers, information architects, and HTML developers have faced the challenge of presenting increasingly sophisticated information and marketing messages onto the computer monitors in homes and offices around the world.” (Mark Belamcurrybetdotnet)

Can Large Companies Succeed with Social Media?

“While many companies will want to enhance their business with social media, not all will succeed. A social media platform doesn’t simply mean adding an online forum or blog. It requires a shift in organizational mindset, a mindset of constant and immediate customer interaction, customer-driven innovation, and exponential network effects. Only companies willing to make this shift will have the discipline to ask the right questions.” (Victor LombardiManagement innovation Group)

Why Features Don’t Matter Anymore: The New Laws of Digital Technology

“Feature overload is becoming a real issue. The last thing a customer wants is confusion-and what’s more confusing than comparing technical specifications, unless you are en expert? Only nerds get a kick out of reading feature lists.” (Andreas Pfeiffer – ACM Ubiquity)

On the Record: Paul Saffo

“I don’t think information overload is a function of the volume of information. It’s a derivative of the volume of information plus the sense-making tools you have. Think about the rise of info-graphics in newspapers. Those were sense-making tools to help people (absorb information).” (SFGate)

Avoid Within-Page Links

“In the Web, users have a clear mental model for a hypertext link: it should bring up a new page. Within-page links violate this model and thus cause confusion.” (Jakob NielsenAlertbox)

State of the Blogosphere: Beyond Search

“I’m going to cover the growth of the blogosphere as media, and discuss some of the emerging trends that deal with handling information overload. In a world of over 50,000 postings per hour, and over 70,000 new weblogs created each day, keeping on top of and in tune with the most interesting and influential people and topics is the new frontier beyond search. I’ve also got some surprises for you at the end of this post, two new features that I hope you’ll find useful.” (Sifry’s Alerts)