All posts from
November 2006

Cautions Cars & Cantankerous Kitchens

DRAFT: Chapter 1 of ‘The Design of Future Things’ – “As our technology becomes more powerful, more in control, its failure at collaboration and communication becomes ever more critical. Collaboration requires interaction and communication. It means explaining and giving reasons. Trust is a tenuous relationship, formed through experience and understanding. With automatic, so-called intelligent devices, trust is sometimes conferred undeservedly.” (Donald A. Norman) – courtesy of michelvuijlsteke

Enterprise Information Architecture: A Semantic and Organizational Foundation

“Two key elements distinguish an enterprise IA from a basic IA. The first is the role an EIA plays in the design, development, and maintenance of an enterprise’s semantic infrastructure. The second is the scope and type of projects an EIA can be involved in as they develop applications that use and build on this semantic infrastructure.” (Tom ReamyBoxes and Arrows)

From Data to Wisdom

An interview with Paco Underhill – “(…) Boxes and Arrows talks with Underhill about what’s changed about behavior research, the science of watching people, and new considerations for the design community.” (Liz DanzicoBoxes and Arrows)

Information Architecture Is Not Dead … But It Might Be Stuck

“(…) information architecture is stuck. While this implies a problem with the practice, I’m going to suggest that it really has more to do with the practitioners. The practitioners are stuck and the conversation is not evolving. Not enough of us are getting uncomfortable and knocking down fences to reach out to other people from other fields and engaging in meaningful conversation about design and business problems. The conversation is stuck and we need to evolve.” (Scott WeisbrodExperience Planner)

A Polar Bear for Christmas

“We have done our best to balance old and new. We have addressed emerging technologies while maintaining a focus on fundamentals. And, we have tried to emphasize goals and approaches over specific tactics or technologies. In this way, we hope to provide not only knowledge about information architecture, but a framework that will enable you to learn and unlearn over an extended period of time.” (Peter Morvillefindability) – chapeau lou and peter

Presentations and the ‘Laws of Simplicity’

“John Maeda’s book, The Laws of Simplicity, is a good quick read. I love the clear presentation of the ideas in the book and the fact that the author imposed a limit of 100 pages for himself, an idea consistent with his Third Law: ‘Savings in time feels like simplicity’. This book is not the final word on the topic of, of course, and in fact more is to come soon on the topic by MIT press.” (Garr Reynolds – Presentation Zen)

Creating Pleasurable Interfaces

Notes and presentation slides – “A special thanks to everyone who made it out to either of these events. As was probably evident, this is a topic I’m somewhat passionate about. And, as is true of any subject dealing with emotions, beauty or pleasure, this is a rich and somewhat subjective discussion. My User Experience Hierarchy of Needs model forms the skeleton of my presentation. Think of it as ‘Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs’ except for interfaces.” (Stephen P. Anderson – poetpainter)

An empirical examination of Wikipedia’s credibility

“Wikipedia is an free, online encyclopaedia which anyone can add content to or edit the existing content of. The idea behind Wikipedia is that members of the general public can add their own personal knowledge, anonymously if they wish. Wikipedia then evolves over time into a comprehensive knowledge base on all things. Its popularity has never been questioned, although its authority has. By its own admission, Wikipedia contains errors. A number of people have tested Wikipedia’s accuracy using destructive methods, i.e. deliberately inserting errors.” (First Monday 11.11)

Thoughts on the Impending Death of Information Architecture

“But the fact is that IA is a theory about the inherent structure of information – the architecture of information – and if we are moving away from that we should call it something else. Relationship Architecture, perhaps?” (Joshua Porterbokardo)

Interaction Frontiers 06: Conference Report

“On June 16, 2006, Interaction Frontiers was held at the Bicocca University, in Milano, Italy.” – Speakers included Dirk Knemeyer, Matteo Penzo, Fabio Sergio, Christian Peter, Leandro Agrò, Dario Nardi, Andrea Benassi, Francesco Di Nocera, Pabini Gabriel-Petit, Antonio Rizzo, and Nathan Shedroff. (Laura CaprioUXmatters)

Improving User Workflows with Single-Page User Interfaces

“Over the last two years, Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) have been a hot topic of discussion. While the sheen has already begun to wear off the buzzword Ajax a bit among Web application designers, RIAs are bigger than ever with our clients and their customers. Everyone seems to love slider-based filtering, drag and drop, fisheye menus, and auto-completion for input fields. Web application designs that include none of these typical Ajax features are not well received. Sometimes, one gets the feeling that Web developers implement richness just for the sake of making a Web site and the company that commissions it look cool. Obviously, user experience design should be about a lot more than creating cool controls.” (Joost WillemsenUXmatters)

Digital Divide: The Three Stages

“The Internet can be an empowering tool that lets people find good deals, manage vendors, and control their finances and investments. But it can just as easily be an alienating environment where people are cheated. Members of the Internet elite don’t realize the extent to which less-skilled users are left out of many of the advancements they cheer and enjoy. Ultimately, I’m extremely optimistic about the economic divide, which is vanishing rapidly in industrialized countries. The usability divide will take longer to close, but at least we know how to handle it — it’s simply a matter of deciding to do so. I’m very pessimistic about the empowerment divide, however, which I expect will only grow more severe in the future.” (Jakob NielsenAlertbox)

Creative Generalist Q&A: Jane Fulton Suri

“By calling it the ’empathic economy’ I’m emphasizing that part of the inspiration and motivation for innovation that comes from creativity sparked by emotional, human, empathic resonance with other people’s conditions, not only the more traditional functional analyses of interdependencies that might be more common.” (Steve HardyCreative Generalist) – courtesy of puttingpeoplefirst

Bring Your Personas to Life!

“Method acting is just one technique to better enable user-centered design and is not intended to replace observational usability testing, but it can (and should) work in unison. For each observational user test, your actors will gain even more insights to the real world and can refine their method.” (Zef FugazBoxes and Arrows)

Teehan+Lax UX Fund

“The UX Fund is an investment experiment inspired by Jeneanne Rae and the Design Council. We believe that companies that deliver a great user experience will see it reflected in their stock price.” (teehan+lax)

Ergonosearch: A search engine about usability and accessibility

“Ergonosearch is a vertical search engine about accessibility and usability, indexing only selected quality resources: articles and expert blogs, research papers, specialized lists and forums, official specifications and guidelines.” (Sébastien Billard)

IA: More Than Just Rearranging Marketing Sites

“We still need IA to make a good user experience. All the Ajax in the world couldn’t make a great site if there wasn’t a solid structure and organization holding it together. I hope we don’t lose sight of that.” (Chiara FoxAdaptive Path)