All posts from
August 2006

Give users a Hollywood ending

“We can all take a lesson from filmmakers: endings matter. The way we end a conversation, blog post, user experience, presentation, tech support session, chapter, church service, song, whatever… is what they’ll remember most. The end can matter more to users than everything we did before. And the feeling they leave with is the one they might have forever.” (Kathy Sierra – Creating Passionate Users)

Display 2.0: A Look Forward to the High-Definition Web and Its Effect on Our Digital Experience

“As we begin to explore this high-resolution digital world, we may find that familiar user interface models are no longer viable.” (Jonathan FollettUXmatters)

New Life for Product Documentation

“We usually assume that documentation is used after a product has been purchased, as part of the process of learning or setting it up. But these are all examples documentation as part of the purchasing-decision process, looking for information beyond the lists of features or simple technical specifications on data sheets.” (Whitney QuesenberyUXmatters)

Experiencing CHI 2006: From a Practitioner’s Viewpoint

“This course explored the operational, organizational, and strategic impacts of user experience groups within product development companies and provided a conceptual framework for relating UX activities to strategic business processes.” (Pabini Gabriel-PetitUXmatters)

Experience Design

“(…) the practice of designing products, processes, services, events, and environments — each of which is a human experience — based on the holistic consideration of an individual’s or group’s needs, desires, beliefs, knowledge, skills, experiences, and perceptions.” (according to Wikipedia)

IDEA 2006 blog

“Over the next few months leading to the conference, and probably for a little while afterward, this blog will be the main source of news and information about the forthcoming IDEA conference. There will be links to concepts related to the conference, interviews with conference presenters, and who knows what else.” (IDEA 2006 Conference: Seattle Public Library – Oct. 23-24, 2006) – courtesy of peterme

Clickstream Study Reveals Dynamic Web

“A new browser study revealed a shift in how we interact with the Web. University of Hamburg researchers found the Web moving from static hypertext information to dynamic interactive services. Clickstream heatmaps and web page statistics show rapid interaction over smaller areas of the screen. The authors recommend that web developers create concise, flexible, and fast loading web pages to keep pace with the speed of web navigation.” (WebSiteOptimization) – courtesy of guuui

10 DITA Lessons Learned From Tech Writers in the Trenches

“This exclusive and informative top ten list is based on interviews with technical writers at more than 20 software companies – tech writers that are actually using DITA to create documentation today. It’s jam-packed with useful advice, practical tips, honest warnings, and lessons learned.” (The Content Wrangler)

E-Learning 2.0

“E-learning as we know it has been around for ten years or so. During that time, it has emerged from being a radical idea—the effectiveness of which was yet to be proven—to something that is widely regarded as mainstream. It’s the core to numerous business plans and a service offered by most colleges and universities. And now, e-learning is evolving with the World Wide Web as a whole and it’s changing to a degree significant enough to warrant a new name: E-learning 2.0.” (Stephen Downes – eLearn Magazine)

A Conversation with Steven Johnson, Part 3/3

Jesse James Garrett interviews Steven Johnson- “Tufte played a huge role in popularizing the story — to this day, most of the people I meet who are familiar with it read about it in Tufte first. He actually wrote about it twice, (…). His original assessment was factually wrong on a number of fronts – it greatly overstated the role of the map in solving the mystery of where the cholera was coming from, and the map itself that Tufte included was a heavily modified replica created for a 1912 textbook on public health. In the later book, he got the story right, though I think he’s a little too bullish on the map’s originality as a work of information design.” – (Adaptive Path)

Is Design Political?

“In 2001, design and politics hit the news big time when it was revealed that Florida’s badly designed butterfly ballot could have cost Al Gore the U.S. presidency. It is perhaps the most widely quoted example of the political impact of design. Yet pose the question, ‘Is design political?’ to the design industry and you’ll get back a big, resounding, ‘no’.” (Jennie Winhall – uiGarden.net)

What’s Happening to Knowledge?

“The old principles for the organization of knowledge turn out to be based on principles for organizing physical objects; in the digital age we’re creating new principles free of the old limitations. This is changing the basic shape of knowledge, from (typically) trees to miscellanized piles. This has consequences for the nature of topics, the role of metadata, and, crucially, the authority of knowledge. In short, the change in the shape of knowledge is also changing its place. Despite the hysteria too often heard, knowledge is not being threatened. We are way too good at generating knowledge, and it is way too important to us as a species. But, much of what we’re doing together on the Web is about increasing meaning, not knowledge. That re-frames knowledge — traditional and Wikipedian — in ways that are hard to predict but important.” (David Weinberger – Wikimania 2006 Proceedings)

A Crash Course in User Interfaces

“Whenever the topic of interface development comes up, I’m always surprised to see most software engineers cringe as if they’re being told they need a root canal. Almost all modern applications require some sort of graphical user interface, and yet the UI is commonly the last consideration of development. Worse yet (particularly when it comes to web development) the user interface is often created by a graphic designer who isn’t familiar with software development. The resulting separation that occurs between the application’s internals and its interface can cause serious problems with the project.” (Nate Kohari)

Conversation with Michael Bierut – Part 3/3

Peter Merholz interviews Michael Bierut – “Making room for the real world is even harder today than it was 30 years ago. The amount of technical skills a young designer needs is vast, and the degree of professional specialization is staggering. All of this helps to foster an atmosphere that seems to reward tunnel vision. But in the end, the designers who are doing the most exciting work — and in some cases it coincidentally happens to be the most beautiful work — are the ones who don’t hesitate to claim the whole world as their subject matter.” (Adaptive Path)

A Conversation with Steven Johnson, Part 2

Jesse James Garrett interviews Steven Johnson- “Clearly interfaces are tools for understanding the world. So many of the most interesting debates in the ‘new media’ space revolve precisely around the question of how specific interfaces will shape the user’s view of the world. And those debates play back into the design decisions that shape the next generation of software.” (Adaptive Path)

Interaction Design: An Introduction

Liz Danzico interviews Dan Saffer on his new book – “Genius design is when the designer relies on his or her own experience and skill to design, without any input from users. It’s done by designers who either don’t have the resources or the inclination or temperament to do research. Too often, it is practiced by inexperienced designers with little skill, but it can and has been used by many designers to create impressive things. Reportedly, the iPod was made with no user research, for example.” (BusinessWeek.com)