All posts from
July 2009

Beyond Design, 10 Skills Designers Need to Succeed Now

“(…) there are several attributes key to success that don’t always get the attention they deserve in most design schools. Ultimately, those attributes will prove as important for a designer’s success in today’s economy as sheer design skill.” (Ken MusgraveFast Company)

Mental Models, Service Design & The Problem With Convergence

“What do consumers expect when they buy a bundle of services like Internet, Telephone and TV from a converged provider? Is there a gap between their expectations and what they actually get? And what can the providers do about it?” (Harry Brignull – 90percentofeverything)

Web Design is 95% Typography

“Information design is not about the use of good typefaces, it is about the use of good typography. Which is a huge difference. Anyone can use typefaces, some can choose good typefaces, but only few master typography.” (Oliver Reichenstein – Information Architects Japan)

The Spectrum of User Experience

This article is the first part of a series. – “As we all perfectly know, designers are narcissists; programmers are nerds, and whoever wears a tie must be a clueless jerk. Designers, programmers and business people love to hate each other.” (Information Architects Japan) – courtesy of uxbooth

What is Global and What is Local?

A Theoretical Discussion Around Globalization – “This article develops a new sociological understanding of the difference between global and local relating to the phenomena of globalization. Globalization itself is redefined as one of society’s self-description insofar as, following Niklas Luhmann’s theory, society is conceived as a cognitive system that can only handle information (about the world, about itself) only through its own specific operation (communication), so that globalization affects society solely when the later communicates about the former.” (Jean-Sébastien Guy – Parsons Journal of Information Mapping I.2)

History of Graphic Design

“This site was first launched in 1999 to accompany my lectures on the History of Graphic Design. I devised this unique format of presenting the information by topics because I saw that students were overwhelmed by the scope of the topic or most texts I also saw that they learned more when the discussions included direct links to what is happening in design today. It seems to work well for visual artists who are not interested in a degree in art history.” (Nancy Stock-Allen) – courtesy of AP

Service Design Tools

“An open collection of communication tools used in design processes that deal with complex systems. The tools are displayed according to the design activity they are used for, the kind of representation they produce, the recipients they are addressed to and the contents of the project they can convey.” (About SD Tools) – courtesy of tvtongeren

Service Modeling Language 1.1

“This specification defines the Service Modeling Language, Version 1.1 (SML) used to model complex services and systems, including their structure, constraints, policies, and best practices. SML uses XML Schema and Schematron. (…) The Service Modeling Language provides a rich set of constructs for creating models of complex services and systems. Depending on the application domain, these models may include information such as configuration, deployment, monitoring, policy, health, capacity planning, target operating range, service level agreements, and so on. Models provide value in several important ways.” (W3C)

Book: Search User Interfaces

“Search is an integral part of peoples’ online lives; people turn to search engines for help with a wide range of needs and desires, from satisfying idle curiousity to finding life-saving health remedies, from learning about medieval art history to finding video game solutions and pop music lyrics. Web search engines are now the second most frequently used online computer application, after email. Not long ago, most software applications did not contain a search module. Today, search is fully integrated into operating systems and is viewed as an essential part of most information systems.” (Marti A. Hearst)

A formal description of ZigZag-structures

“The focus of this paper is on particular and innovative structures for storing, linking and manipulating information: the ZigZag-structures. In the last years, we worked at the formalization of these structures, retaining that the description of the formal aspects can provide a better understanding of them, and can also stimulate new ideas, projects and research. This work presents our contribution for a deeper discussion on ZigZag-structures.” (XanaWorkshop 2009)

Content Templates to the Rescue

“A content template is a simple document that serves two purposes: it’s a paragraph-level companion to your website’s wireframes (or other IA blueprints), and it’s a simple, effective means of getting useful information from your experts to your writers.” (Erin KissaneA List Apart)

Starting a Design Studio During a Downturn (1-5)

“Kicker Studio has come a long way since our start in September 2008. Although the recession has certainly taken its toll and kept us from doing what we’d planned, it’s also helped us do things we hadn’t expected. And those things may have helped us grow in important and unexpected ways.” (Jennifer BoveFast Company)

New media vs. old media: A portrait of the Drudge Report 2002–2008

“The Drudge Report is one of the founding flag bearers of ‘new media’: a U.S.–based news aggregator founded in the late 1990s that has developed a reputation for breaking tomorrow’s news today. The site has become a powerful force in the U.S. media sphere and its founder was named one of Time Magazine’s most influential people in 2006. In existence for more than a decade, the Drudge Report makes an ideal case study for examining the ‘new media versus old media’ argument. How dependent is such a ‘new media’ aggregator on the ‘old media’ it draws from, and how does it find its breaking stories? A cross–section of analytical techniques is used to demonstrate how to profile a news Web site, and finds that the Drudge Report relies heavily on wire services and obscure news outlets to find small stories that will break large tomorrow, making it highly dependent on mainstream “old media” sites.” (Kalev Leetaru – First Monday 14.7)

How to get a job in usability

“When you’re looking for work, it’s easy to get discouraged. You’ll find that many emails don’t get any answers, many applications go unacknowledged, contacts say they’ll do something but then forget or get distracted. That’s not because you’re a bad person, a failure, or doomed never to get a job. It’s just what happens. Another friend was looking for a job during one of the previous recessions. He had a year of complete discouragement, and then finally three great job offers appeared in the same week. Hang in there, keep positive (somehow) and eventually you’ll get the job you want.” (Caroline Jarrett – Usability News)

Wolfram|Alpha: The Use Cases

“If Web 2.0 was about creating data (user generated content, to use the most familiar term for this), then the next generation of the Web is all about using that data. Wolfram|Alpha is premised on using and computing data.” (Richard MacManus – ReadWriteWeb)

Building Respect for Usability Expertise

“Enemies of usability claim that because ‘the experts disagree’, they can safely ignore user advocates’ expertise and run with whatever design they personally prefer.” (Jakob NielsenAlertbox)

Finding Gold in Your User Research Results

“This article describes a funnel that starts with the product, progresses to the users, and finally, plumbs the depths of the user research itself. I’ll attempt to show how each of these stages can inform the next stage and move us toward finding the gold.” (Daniel SzucUXmatters)

A Practical Guide to Capturing Creativity for UX

“This column explores a few low-tech and high-tech methods of stimulating UX professionals’ creativity and capturing creativity when it happens. Codifying the creative process for the digital industry is difficult enough. It helps to have techniques that make our most elusive asset—our insights and inspiration—easier to manage.” (Jonathan FollettUXmatters)

The Mystery of Filtering by Sorting

“(…) for most users of consumer-facing ecommerce applications, the difference between a sort and a filter presents a mystery they understand dimly, if at all. The distinction between sorting and filtering blurs, because of a phenomenon I’ve called filtering by sorting, which leads to all sorts of interesting search user interface implications.” (Greg NudelmanUXmatters)