All posts from
November 2007

The Web That Wasn’t

“For most of us who work on the Internet, the Web is all we have ever really known. It’s almost impossible to imagine a world without browsers, URLs and HTTP. But in the years leading up to Tim Berners-Lee’s world-changing invention, a few visionary information scientists were exploring alternative systems that often bore little resemblance to the Web as we know it today. In this presentation, author and information architect Alex Wright will explore the heritage of these almost-forgotten systems in search of promising ideas left by the historical wayside.” (YouTube)

IA Konferenz 2007 – Keynote

Audio files from the IA Conference in Germany – “Keynote Speech, Victor Lombardi, Smart Experience, New York (USA). Content: Tools – Background – Patterns of other fields (e.g. publishing) – Why tools? – What does this mean for designers? – Tools we can create now.” (Deutsche IA Konferenz 2007iavoice) – courtesy of wolfnoeding

idX: Information Design eXchange 

“What information designers know and can do (…) Development of International Core Competencies and Student and Faculty Exchange in Information Design within the EU/US Cooperation Programme in Higher Education and Vocational Education and Training.” (IIID)

Building the UX Dreamteam

“Finding the right person to compliment your User Experience team is part art and part luck. Though good interviewing can limit the risk of a bad hire, you need to carefully analyze your current organizational context, before you can know what you need. Herein lies the art. Since you can’t truly know a candidate from an interview, you gamble that their personality and skills are what they seem. Aimed at managers and those involved in the hiring decision process, this article looks at the facets of UX staff and offers ways to identify the skills and influence that will tune your team to deliver winning results.” (Anthony ColfeltBoxes and Arrows)

Burn Rate, Build2Flip, and Exit Strategy

“Adaptive Path, that rascally little South Park user experience studio at the center of all things web 2.0, celebrated it’s sixth year in existence with a retro prom party. Last year, we had to find out what the meaning of Adaptive Path was? This year, we channel our inner VC and get the answers that any potential sugar daddy might ask.” (

Make Tools

“In my keynote talk at the 2007 IA Konferenz in Stuttgart, Germany this month, I argued we need to create fewer artifacts and more tools. We’re already doing this, but it’s easy to get stuck in a make-more-web/mobile-sites rut and that could lead to irrelevance.” (Victor Lombardi)

The Language of Graphics

“This study presents a framework for the analysis of the visual language of graphic representations. Diagrams, maps, charts and symbols, from ancient inscriptions to computer visualizations, are examined with respect to visual grammar and principles of interpretation. The issues explored include the different roles that a graphic constituent may play within a representation, the nesting of graphic structures and the nature of meaningful space.” (Yuri Engelhardt)

A review of Edward Tufte’s ‘Beautiful Evidence’

“I have always been, and still am, a great fan of Edward Tufte’s work, and I feel almost a bit embarrassed about some of the sections of Beautiful Evidence from which I have quoted above. Abducting Tufte’s own words to express this feeling of embarrassment, few things are more appalling than listening to inept and specious arguments made by one’s allies.” (Yuri Engelhardt)

Tech design with thought

“If anyone knows a thing or two about designing for human-computer interaction, it’s Don Norman, professor at Northwestern University, author of ‘The Design of Future Things’, and co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group.” (C|Net News)

Assessing the Quality of User Experience

“User Experience (UX) has become an increasingly important consideration in the design of technology. As part of a corporate wide strategic initiative focusing on creation of platforms, Intel has been steadily shifting toward a more holistic and user-centered approach to the design and development of technology. In essence, Intel’s platform approach is about integration of technology, ingredients, infrastructure, and service or content to ensure the creation of new end-user value.” (Beauregard, R. et al. – Intel Technology Journal)

Web 2.0 How-To Design Style Guide

“In this tutorial, I describe various common graphic design elements in modern web (“2.0″) design style. I then attempt to explain why they work (i.e. why they have become common), as well as how, when and where you might use each element in your designs. It follows on from my Current Style article, and analyses in greater depth the design features of the current Web 2.0 design style.” (Web Design From Scratch)

Understanding Web Design

“We get better design when we understand our medium. Yet even at this late cultural hour, many people don’t understand web design. Among them can be found some of our most distinguished business and cultural leaders, including a few who possess a profound grasp of design—except as it relates to the web. (….) Web design is the creation of digital environments that facilitate and encourage human activity; reflect or adapt to individual voices and content; and change gracefully over time while always retaining their identity.” (Jeffrey ZeldmanA List Apart)

Personalized Museum Experience: The Rijksmuseum Use Case

“This paper describes ongoing work exploring aspects of personalized access to and presentation of virtual museum collections. The project demonstrator illustrates an interactive approach to collecting data about museum visitors in terms of their interests in and preferences about artefacts from the Rijksmuseum collection. This data is stored in user profiles used further to recommend routes through the museum and to guide the users towards artefacts related to their interests and preferences. The overall goal of the project is to explore different users’ characteristics and personalize users’ museum experiences within the Rijksmuseum virtual and physical collections.” (Lora Aroyo – Museums and the Web 2007)

In Defense of Eye Candy

“Bottom line? Visual design is more than styling. It is function. And not only because it communicates, but also because it makes us feel. And between feeling and communication, people find things easier to use.” (Stephen P. AndersonPoetPainter)

The DIY Future: What Happens When Everyone Is A Designer?

“Broad cultural, technological, and economic shifts are rapidly erasing the distinctions between those who create and those who use, consume, or participate. This is true in digital experiences and information environments of all types, as well as in the physical and conceptual realms. In all of these contexts, substantial expertise, costly tools, specialized materials, and large-scale channels for distribution are no longer required to execute design. (…)” (Joe Lamantia)

Trust in the Little Things

“If this column’s title sounds familiar to you, the bad news is you’re getting old, but the good news is your memory hasn’t gone yet. It was the title of a presentation I gave at the STC conference in Anaheim ten years ago. However, many of the points I made in that talk are still relevant to user assistance today, so I would like to update some of them and offer some new thoughts as well.” (Steve BatyUXmatters)

Procedures: The Sacred Cow Blocking the Road

“If this column’s title sounds familiar to you, the bad news is you’re getting old, but the good news is your memory hasn’t gone yet. It was the title of a presentation I gave at the STC conference in Anaheim ten years ago. However, many of the points I made in that talk are still relevant to user assistance today, so I would like to update some of them and offer some new thoughts as well.” (Mike HughesUXmatters)

Personas Suck

“(…) if you’re building a site for a group of web designers, you probably don’t need personas, whereas if you’re building a site for a group of doctors, they could come in handy.” (Andy Budd)

UXnet: The User Experience Network

“We have been working on a new site for UXnet and have a beta version available for you to check out. We have a new design, an automatic news feed from Putting People First, and a better calendar. We have more improvements to make, of course. We plan to switch over to the new site in a few weeks.” (Keith Instone)