All posts from
July 2008

Jensen Harris Tells Dan About Microsoft Office’s Ribbon Interface

“When you want to convince a developer to help you make a change to the product, nothing is as compelling as bringing the developer into the lab and having them watch people fail.” (Dan HarrelsonAdaptive Path)

The Hyperlink as Organizing Principle

“What does a hyperlink mean? The question itself is problematical. We might be satisfied with the simpler and related question of what a hyperlink is and what a hyperlink does. But in trying to understand what the larger social effects of hyperlink networks are, it is not enough to be able to define a hyperlink, we need to understand its nature, its use, and its social effects.” (Alexander Halavais – in Turow T. and Lokman Tsui (eds.) 2008, The Hyperlinked Society)- courtesy of davidweinberger

What’s Design Mean to You? Interview with Vinay Venkatraman

“Design is one of the professions that bridges the analytical way of doing things with the synthetical way of doing things. If you consider analysis to be breaking a thing down into finite elements, and looking at relationhips inside it and making sense out of it, you can say that synthesis is about the interrelationships and the combinations of things. I think that designers have this unusual intuition for what could be meaningful in this analytical [information]. It’s less rational, and more emotional in its approach.” (Matt BalaraInterviews)

In search of a beautiful mind

Video included – “He was long a jewel of the MIT faculty. Now, after a devastating brain injury, mathematician Seymour Papert is struggling bravely to learn again how to think like, speak like, be like the man of genius he was.” (Linda Matchan – The Boston Globe)

Weekly User Testing: TiVo Did It, You Can, Too

“TiVo ran 12 user tests in 12 weeks while designing its new website. As TiVo’s experience shows, frequent and regular testing keeps the design usability focused.” (Jakob NielsenAlertbox)

Interaction Design and Service Design: Expanding A Comparison of Design Disciplines 

“Interaction design encounters service design in business innovation, e-government, and a whole range of other settings. There is a range of service settings in which interactive artefacts are used to perform service, and a set of business innovation strategies combining process innovation and interactive technology. In the meeting between these the service perspective becomes a challenge to interaction design, and technology usage becomes a challenge to service design.” (Stefan Holmlid – Nordic Design Research Conference)

Better Ballots

“The notorious butterfly ballot that Palm Beach County, Florida election officials used in the 2000 election is probably the most infamous of all election design snafus. It was one of many political, legal, and election administration missteps that plunged a presidential election into turmoil and set off a series of events that led to, among other things, a vast overhaul of the country’s election administration, including the greatest change in voting technology in United States history.” (Whitney Quesenbery et al.)

Ryan Freitas talks with Mitch Kapor

“As always, Mitch has plenty of wonderful things to say. There’s a significant history lesson, some pointers on entrepreneurialism, and some very frank perspectives on the principles of design.” (Ryan FreitasSecond Verse)

Playing with Complexity

“(…) in the presentation I argue two things: one — that the more sophisticated applications of interactive data visualization resemble games and toys in many ways, and two — that game design can contribute to the solutions to several design issues I have detected in the field of data visualization.” (Kars AlfrinkLeapfroglog)

Engaging Personas and Narrative Scenarios

“Personas and scenarios help designers to imagine the users and aid development of design ideas. The concept of engaging personas and narrative scenario explores personas in the light of what what it is to identify with and have empathy with a character. The concept of narrative scenarios views the narrative as aid for exploration of design ideas. Both concepts incorporate a distinction between creating, writing and reading.” (Lene Nielsen PhD thesis 2004)

Designing a Different Kind of Intranet: An Intranet for a UX Team

“Most of us who are working as part of a design team in a services company, a product company, or even a design boutique have to live with a generic intranet. In this article, I’ll describe how to leverage your company’s intranet and how to build a community around an intranet for a UX team.” (Anirban Basu Mallik – UXmatters)

Convergence and Emergence: 2008 IA Summit

“It is clear that the discipline of information architecture is undergoing change. I was amazed at the range of job titles I encountered. Very few people actually had the title information architect. This must be a sign that the rapid development of the Web and the technological advances that are occurring are just moving so fast what we do is very hard to define. It is just a label, and we shouldn’t become too hung up on it, but I think the IAI need to be aware and wise to the developments that are going on in other disciplines such as IxD and UX in general.” (James KelwayUXmatters)

Now Let’s Do It in Practice: UX Evaluation Methods in Product Development

UXEM workshop in CHI’08 (April 6th, 2008 in Florence, Italy) – “The aim of the workshop is to transfer knowledge from practitioners to academics about challenges with putting UX evaluation into practice, and from academics to practitioners to inform and inspire practical UX work with research findings of UX evaluation methods. Participants will gain an overview of the current state of practical approaches, tools, and methods for UX evaluation, as well as insights into the importance of UX evaluation in product development. The main outcomes of the workshop are a model of different UX evaluation methods across product development process and a list of UX evaluation challenges in product development. ” (Kaisa Väänänen-Vainio-Mattila, Virpi Roto, and Marc Hassenzahl)

Meaningful Measures: Valid User Experience Measurement 

Proceedings of the International Workshop (Reykjavik, Iceland June 18th 2008) – “The workshop VUUM brings together a group of experienced HCI researchers and practitioners to explore a long-standing research problem – the meaningfulness of measurable constructs and the measurability of nonmeasurable ones. One may argue that basically everything can be measured, but some things may be more ‘measurable’ than the others; how to estimate the threshold of measurability remains unclear. The sixteen interesting submissions in this volume touch upon the basic issue of the formal-empirical dichotomy. Many arguments can be boiled down to the fundamental problem that our understanding of how people think and feel is still rather limited, which is essentially inferred from people’s behaviours. Psycho-physiological and neuro-psychological data seem promising, but the issue of calibration and integration is a big hurdle to overcome. Nonetheless, we are convinced about the value, meaningfulness and usefulness of this research endeavour.” (Effie Law et al. – MAUSE COST Action 294)

The future and what it holds

“The focus of my questions in this video interview with Howard Rheingold, was kindly suggested by the event organizer Leandro Agrò, and they focused on (a) the future of technology, (b) the speed at which things change, (c) who will eventually control the Internet, (d) what we can do about it, and (e) how pervasive technology will become in the next few years.” (Robin Good’s Latest News)

Considering the User Perspective: Research into Usage and Communication of Digital Information

“In this article we present the methodology and initial results from qualitative research into the usage and communication of digital information. It considers the motivation for the research and the methodologies adopted, including Contextual Design and Cultural Probes. The article describes the preliminary studies conducted to test the approach, highlighting the strengths and limitations of the techniques applied. Finally, it outlines proposals for refinement in subsequent iterations and the future research activities planned.” (Kelly Snow et al. – D-Lib Magazine May/June 2008)

The Importance of the Management Perspective in the HCI Field 

“We explore the roles and the importance of having a management community inside the Human-Computer Interaction field and inside the large CHI community. We believe that the management community keeps the broad HCI field in touch with the strategic and managerial values of HCI research and practice. It can be an effective advocate and bridge for bringing the importance of HCI research and practice to the strategic and managerial levels of organizations, thus HCI work can have bigger and broader impact on people, organizations, and societies. We call for additional energy, effort, and participation to the management community.” (Ping Zhang and Roberto Polillo – CHI 2008 DVD Proceedings)

Twelve emerging best practices for adding UX work to Agile development

“If the user experience practice in your company was weak before Agile, Agile development isn’t going to help things. If your user experience practice was strong before Agile, it’ll remain strong after Agile, and evolve to adapt.” (Jeff PattonAgile Product Design) – courtesy of thehotstrudel