All posts from
January 2008

Search Behavior Patterns

“Search behavior is the result of interplay among several independent factors the user brings to the search operation, six of which are described (…). Designers have no more control over these than they have over the color of the user’s hair.” (John FerraraBoxes and Arrows)

A Manifesto of Contentology (version 1.1)

“In this Manifesto, Contentology is a coined word that, in its strictest etymology, could mean ‘the science of content’ or ‘the study of content’. The word ‘Contentology’ is supposed to make people stop and think for a moment, and if it sounds absurd, then we have to ask ourselves why it sounds absurd.” – (Garth A. Buchholz – Digital Practices)

The Architects of the Information Age 

Editorial Insert in the January 21 edition of Fortune Magazine – “Understanding the way information is used is particularly crucial in relation to the Internet: Sites that help users find what they need quickly and easily tend to win customers. Sites that frustrate users lose them—fast. So, to get their data game-plan right, savvy companies are turning to the increasingly important field of information architecture.” (The Information Architecture Institute)

IA Summit 2008: Experiencing Information

“This year your peers and industry experts will speak about how topics such as social networking, gaming, patterns, tagging, taxonomies, and a wide range of IA tools and techniques can help as users ‘experience information’. – April 10-14, 2008 (Miami, Florida USA)” – (About the Summit)

What does experience design have to do with sustainability?

“Think about how to appeal to consumers and businesses with a complete solution that goes beyond the product itself, and where possible, minimize the use of products by delivering great services.” (Alexa AndrzejewskiAP blog)

The History of Visual Communication

“This website attempts to walk you through the long and diverse history of a particular aspect of human endeavour: The translation of ideas, stories and concepts that are largely textual and/or word based into a visual format, i.e. visual communication.” (Elif Ayiter – Citrinitas) – courtesy of mvuijlsteke

The Prism of User Experience Design

“Each idea must refract upon the six constants namely user, design, technology and mind, body, environment. What results out of this refraction is the spectrum of user experience!” (Dinesh Katre – Journal of HCI Vistas)

The CMS Myth

“Many organizations now rushing to adopt web content management systems (CMS) to support their online strategies think it’s the silver bullet to solve their website challenges and power content-rich applications. But web developers, online marketers and other front-line web pros speak of a fundamental disconnect in the promise of CMS vs. reality. Industry research and harsh anecdotal evidence indicate that 50% or more CMS projects ‘fail’ in some way: botched implementations, soaring project costs, launch delays, ruined SEO and more. Therein lays the central tenet of The CMS Myth: When it comes to web content management success, it’s not just about the technology. In reality, CMS success hinges on your plan, your people, and your process behind your web content management initiative.” (About The CMS Myth)

Interface Design and the iPhone

“The iPhone platform elegantly solves the design problem of small screens by greatly intensifying the information resolution of each displayed page. Small screens, as on traditional cell phones, show very little information per screen, which in turn leads to deep hierarchies of stacked-up thin information–too often leaving users with ‘Where am I?’ puzzles. Better to have users looking over material adjacent in space rather than stacked in time.” (Edward Tufte)

Hockey Sticks and User Assistance: Writing in Times of Resource Constraints

“Many technical communication departments are experiencing flat budgets, meaning they’re getting only small or no increases in headcounts, capital expenses, or training dollars. Worse yet, many departments are facing reductions in these resources. These reductions cause production pressures that are often confounded by increases in development headcount, here or offshore. Since more code equates to more features, which in turn drive greater revenues, companies are more willing to increase development budgets. On the other hand, adding writers increases costs, which in turn reduces margins.” (Mike HughesUXmatters)

User Experience in India

“The usability and user experience communities of practice are experiencing great growth and have emerged in countries throughout the world. These developing practices have brought about a huge economic boom in the UX market as both customers and clients are beginning to understand the business benefits they bring. In India, we have undoubtedly seen the growth of these practices. Indian UX companies are delivering designs that satisfy users’ needs to their clients.” (Afshan KirmaniUXmatters)

Usability ROI Declining, But Still Strong

“The average business metrics improvement after a usability redesign is now 83%. This is substantially less than 6 years ago, but ROI remains high because usability is still cheap relative to gains.” (Jakob NielsenAlertbox)

Personas and the Advantage of Designing for Yourself

“I think passion is a real issue with personas. Personas might elicit empathy with the people you design for, but they don’t elicit passion. Passion comes from having a stake, having a long-term commitment. Passion is what gets you that last 10% to make something great. Designers designing for themselves are often passionate. It’s hard to do as a freelancer or consultant.” (Joshua PorterBokardo)

Killing Some Bad Layout Conventions

“As good design further penetrates the Web, once highly-regarded conventions fall into disfavor and are replaced by more effective ones. Yet some flawed conventions persist. In fact, they persist on some pretty high-profile websites; to their detriment.” (Andy RutledgeDesign View) – courtesy of ruurdpriester

Advancing Advanced Search

“Advanced search is the ugly child of interface design -always included, but never loved. Websites have come to depend on their search engines as the volume of content has increased. Yet advanced search functionality has not significantly developed in years. Poor matches and overwhelming search results remain a problem for users. Perhaps the standard search pattern deserves a new look. A progressive disclosure approach can enable users to use precision advanced search techniques to refine their searches and pinpoint the desired results.” (Stephen TurbekBoxes and Arrows)

Out of the Lab: An Interview with John Maeda

“You know, I aspire to become the Steve Jobs of university presidents. Seriously, though, I envision RISD as the Apple brand in the university world.” (Steven HellerVoice)

Videos from the Second Italian IA Summit

“The first batch of full videos from the Second Italian IA Summit (Trento, November 16-17 2007) is available from the web site (as published by Brightcove). Some of the presentations are in English, so you might find interesting stuff even if you do not know Italian. The second and final batch will be published in the coming days and the full papers are scheduled for the end of the month.” (Andrea Resmini)

How Direct Marketing and User Experience Are the Same

“What I’m telling you is that marketing and UX are blood brothers. We share similar testing methods, if not common goals. We use metrics, they use metrics. That’s the key. If we can blend UX and direct marketing everyone wins.” (John S. Rhodes – Apogee)

The 2008 Mobile User Experience Manifesto

“MEX is the two day strategy forum for the leading minds in mobile telecoms. The next event will be held in London on 27th – 28th May 2008. Join us at the conference to debate the Manifesto and set the customer experience agenda. – 1. Content itself will be the interface of the future (…)” (The PMN Mobile UX conference)