All posts from
December 2010

The Joy of Stats

“An hour-long documentary on statistics and infoviz produced by the BBC. Documentary which takes viewers on a rollercoaster ride through the wonderful world of statistics to explore the remarkable power thay have to change our understanding of the world, presented by superstar boffin Professor Hans Rosling, whose eye-opening, mind-expanding and funny online lectures have made him an international internet legend.” courtesy of jasonkottke

UX Design and Agile: A Natural Fit?

“Generally speaking, as an interaction designer you don’t want to invest a lot of time programming something live, since what you really want is to keep iterating on the fundamentals of the design quickly. That’s why working with paper prototypes is so commonplace and effective early in a project.” (Communications of the ACM 54.1)

A Contentmas Epiphany

“Be honest, did you immediately think of a sketch or mockup you have tucked away? Or some clever little piece of code you want to fiddle with? Now ask yourself, why would you start designing the container if you haven’t worked out what you need to put inside? Anyway, forget the content strategy lecture; I haven’t given you your gifts yet. I present The Twelve Days of Contentmas! This is a simple little plan to make sure that your personal site, blog or portfolio is not just looking good at the end of these twelve days, but is also a really useful repository of really useful content.” (Relly Annett-Baker ~ 24Ways)

An Interview with Jesse James Garrett

“I’m pretty excited that the new edition of Elements of User Experience is out – the first edition was one of the first books I really connected with, and it’s great to see a refresh. What are some of the highlights in this version? (…) There is so much evident care and craft in the Rosenfeld Media books – I think they now occupy the place O’Reilly books held 15 years ago as definitive works.” (Russ Unger ~ Peachpit)

The Importance of Designing an Experience Culture

“Attitudes and behaviors are constantly being shaped within organizations. It’s the reason there are performance reviews, processes and procedures, and role expectations. If business leaders want to foster a specific culture, then all opportunities, activities, and expectations of their staffs will be measured against the success of exemplifying that culture. To design is to plan something for a specific role, purpose, or effect – to work out its form. Company culture is designed in every conversation, and in every bit of feedback and evaluation criteria. It’s possible to control the corporate atmosphere by choosing which behaviors to support and encourage, and which to discourage. Cultures grow organically, but they are actively designed.” (Cynthia Thomas ~ UX Magazine)

From Wireframes to Code (1/2)

“Within many companies, the use of wireframes in user experience design can be a contentious issue. People typically think of wireframes simply as artifacts designers create when generating design concepts, then later discard. Why not create a design artifact that is not disposable, but instead, one your team can convert to actual production code? Is this Holy Grail of the design process a good idea? Is it even possible? Or does the answer depend on the project, the team, and its agility? This first part in a two-part series takes an in-depth look at the process of converting wireframes to code.” (Bill Schmidt ~ UXmatters)

Accessibility First for a Better User Experience for All

“All of these problems affect their general usability for people without disabilities, though not as severely. The more crowded or complex a screen, the harder it is to understand it and learn to use it effectively. Just as making hard decisions about priorities for a mobile user interface can pay off in a better Web version of an application, designing for better accessibility can make a product more usable for everyone.” (Whitney Quesenbery ~ UXmatters)

The nature of information science: Changing models

“This paper considers the nature of information science as a discipline and profession. It is based on conceptual analysis of the information science literature, and consideration of philosophical perspectives, particularly those of Kuhn and Peirce. It is argued that information science may be understood as a field of study, with human recorded information as its concern, focusing on the components of the information chain, studied through the perspective of domain analysis, in specific or general contexts. A particular aspect of interest is those aspects of information organization, and of human information-related behaviour, which are invariant to changes in technology. Information science can also be seen as a science of evaluation of information, understood as semantic content with respect to qualitative growth of knowledge and change in knowledge structures in domains. This study contributes to the understanding of the unique ‘academic territory’ of information science, a discipline with an identity distinct from adjoining subjects.” (Lyn Robinson and Murat Karamuftuoglu ~ Information Research 15.4)

Information sharing: An exploration of the literature and some propositions

“Information sharing is a relatively unexplored part of the information behaviour. The aim of this paper is to examine the research on the concept, as it appears in other bodies of literature and to draw out the key variables that appear to influence information sharing in different contexts.” (T.D. Wilson ~ Information Research 15.4)

An interview with Bill Verplank

“Back in the late 1980s, Bill Verplank, when working at what would become IDEO, stopped calling what he did ‘user-interface design’, and instead coined a new term: ‘interaction design’. His work over the years has included Xerox Parc, IDTwo/IDEO, and collaborations with design schools such as the RCA, MIT and Carnegie Mellon. Steve Baty talked with him about interaction design.” (Steve Baty ~ Johnny Holland Magazine)

W3C Recommendation: Mobile Web Application Best Practices

“The goal of this document is to aid the development of rich and dynamic mobile Web applications. It collects the most relevant engineering practices, promoting those that enable a better user experience and warning against those that are considered harmful.” (World Wide Web Consortium)

College Students on the Web

“Students are multitaskers who move through websites rapidly, often missing the item they come to find. They’re enraptured by social media but reserve it for private conversations and thus visit company sites from search engines.” (Jakob Nielsen ~ Alertbox)

Testing Content

“Nobody needs to convince you that it’s important to test your website’s design and interaction with the people who will use it, right? But if that’s all you do, you’re missing out on feedback about the most important part of your site: the content. Whether the purpose of your site is to convince people to do something, to buy something, or simply to inform, testing only whether they can find information or complete transactions is a missed opportunity: Is the content appropriate for the audience? Can they read and understand what you’ve written?” (Angela Colter ~ A List Apart)

UX Project Documentation: Answering What, Why, and How

“Many people don’t see the importance of gathering the necessary explanatory documents that define what you did all throughout your project development. Either that, or they treat the documentation process as a simple putting-together of all the sketches and wireframes generated. We should, nonetheless, give more relevance to this final, whole-project document.” (Pamela Rodríguez ~ UX Booth)

Recommendations for usability in practice card set

“I developed these recommendations based on best practices I observed and was told about in the three case studies I conducted, as well as based on existing literature on usability in practice.” (Jasper van Kuijk PhD)

An Intelligent Content Strategy for the Enterprise

“One of the challenges facing anyone considering a content strategy, whether on the scale of a single web offering or a global enterprise, is sustainability. It is only with intelligent content that it becomes possible to talk about a sustainable enterprise content strategy. Automation can be used to minimize the time, effort and money needed to apply a good content strategy. However, automation doesn’t just happen. Content must be consciously designed to support it. An intelligent content strategy establishes a coherent plan under which content will be designed, developed and deployed so as to achieve maximum benefit to the customer and the organization while minimizing the cost to the organization.” (Ann Rockley and Joe Gollner ~ ASIS&T Bulletin Dec. 2010 Jan. 2011)

Service Design: Social Innovation is our Motivation

“Sarah Drummond one half of Scotland based dynamic duo Snook presents a case study about the implications and challenges of using Service Design for Social Innovation in the community of Wyndford, UK.” (Think Design Change)

Education and the Social Web: Connective learning and the commercial imperative

“In this paper, I argue that commercial social networks are much less about circulating knowledge than they are about connecting users (‘eyeballs’) with advertisers; it is not the autonomous individual learner, but collective corporate interests that occupy the centre of these networks. Looking first at Facebook, Twitter, Digg and similar services, I argue their business model restricts their information design in ways that detract from learner control and educational use. I also argue more generally that the predominant ‘culture’ and corresponding types of content on services like those provided Google similarly privileges advertising interests at the expense of users. Just as commercialism has rendered television beyond the reach of education, commercial pressures threaten to seriously limit the potential of the social Web for education and learning.” (Norm Friesen ~ First Monday 15.12)