Design

Logitech io Personal Digital Pen

Matt found Logitech's io Personal Digital Pen. You write with it on special paper and then dropt the pen into a cradle attached to your PC and it transfers your ideas to it. Sounds like a pretty cool idea to me. Not sure how handwriting recognition works with their software.

Whatever happened with digital paper and bluetooth? Seems the media were buzzing about that last year, but I haven't heard about that technology being realized in a consumer product.

Minimalist forum

Jarrod Piccioni's Textbased.com Minimalist site has added a forum for discussing such things as minimalist design theory and sharing links.

Search interfaces

I'm dropping Liz Danzico's excellent search interface collection here even though it's not very new.

    Typically, users know what they’re searching for even before they choose a search engine over the site’s navigation. In this investigation, I’d like to explore how we can provide a user interface to help them search more effectively before they get started. This investigation is about the ordering and structure of the search fields themselves, not the results, which have been the topic of much discussion already.
The THE

Jef Raskin's The Humane Evironment has been making the rounds. Works on OS X. I wonder if anyone has checked it out using CVS and installed. Haven't read anyone's observations yet.

OS X Interface Hall of Shame

Nate pointed to OS X Interface Hall of Shame. He says,

    [D]espite this being a gallery of things that could/should be done better in the OS X interface, one still gets the feeling that other interfaces are only far worse... maybe I'm reading into it.
Thanks, webgraphics

Labels on buildings

If you're into wayfinding, design, and labels then Public Lettering: a walk through central London is an charming tour through typography in public spaces.

IA, usability, controlled vocabularies, findability and more.

Digital Web Magazine interviews Jeffrey Veen and Jesse James Garrett of Adaptive Path and Christina Wodtke writes about using controlled vocabularies to improve findability in Mind your phraseology!

Why Web Standards Matter

Carrie Bickner, web developer for the New York Public Libraries, has an article in Library Journal, Summer2002 Net Connect, that discusses how using W3C XHTML and CSS standards will ensure the accessibility of your data and may possibly save your organization time and money in future development and redesign.

    You've just launched your library's new web site when the calls start: "I just downloaded the latest version of Netscape, and your whole top navigation is invisible"; "I am using a screen reader, and your site reads like gibberish. I can't find a thing"; "I am calling on behalf of the board of tri-county library consortium; we appreciate all the hard work that you have done, but we have a few questions about the design of the new site."

    The site--despite months of work, the best software, and exhaustive quality assurance testing--has problems. What went wrong? How do you remedy the situation while insuring you don't make the same mistakes again? The key may be found in adhering to a set of well-established, internationally recognized web standards.

Royksopp infographics eyecandy

You've probably already seen the link to the Royksopp video "You remind me" (Real Video) from Matt's site. I just got the Real Player for OS X so I could finally see it and all I can say is "Holy shit!" It's an infographics bonanza that fans of Wurman* will salivate over. Really. If you're so inclined, you won't be disappointed by it.

* I originally incorrectly said Tufte here, but Christina called me on it, because I should have said Wurman.

Minimalist Web Project

I am a big fan of minimalism in art and design. The Minimalist Web Project is an attempt to collect a list of sites designed with minimalism in mind. I'm a big fan of sites like those of agencies Method and Fourm. Simplicity lets content and functionality speak loudest I guess.

Joshua Kaufman has started an excellent discussion on the topic of minimalism vs. simplicity here on iaslash and on his blog. Nathan Shedroff's comments to Adam Greenfield about clarity over simplification are also interesting to read.

eDesign Magazine

I'll be the first to admit I was a bit skeptical when I heard about eDesign, “The Magazine of Interactive Design and Commerce.” After reading the June 2002 issue, though, I'm impressed. This could quite possibly be the best print magazine for information architects and related practitioners.

There are some very cool articles in this issue; JJG is interviewed for the cover story on “specialized design botiques,” there's a great branding feature on National Geographic, and any magazine that features an ad from Frog Design can't be all that bad.

The magazine itself is quite beautiful, a nice mix of aesthetically pleasing communication design and lots of relevant, interesting content.

Most of the articles aren't available online, unfortunately, and there don't seem to be any free industry subscriptions available, but, with so many magazines relying on ad revenue alone, the business model makes sense, and I wouldn't mind paying $30 for six bi-monthly issues, a design annual, and the chance to help a smart and worthy publication stay in business.

Emotion and Design - Don Norman essay

Great essay in ACM SIGCHI Interactions from Don Norman - Emotion and Design: Attractive Things Work Better. And Christina points out Jakob's latest User Empowerment and the Fun Factor. Don's rubbing off on our Danish amigo. Good to see traditional HCI folks start to recognize the value of design.

Also see previous 'coverage' of this welcome shift in early May here on ia/

Forrester Report: When Can Web Analytics Drive Design?

Forrester has an interesting "Brief" on tools to help drive the design of websites. Membership may be required.

"Complex site redesigns require input from multiple sources. But for focused design changes, data gathered from analytics tools may be enough to make a reliable call. "

mc.clintock maps contents of house

Christina pointed to mc.clintock, which has mapped the contents of a house using floor plans to navigate by room and showing photos and illustrations of furniture. Clicking on furniture allows you to navigate to screens showing the contents of that furniture. Wow, what an incredible inventory of stuff! I would have liked if the floor plans labeled at least some of the rooms (study, bedroom), though. It's hard to tell from the initial page what's what until you cursor over a region. Here's an example from a series of floor plans I did of my house using OmniGraffle. I don't think I'll inventory any of my house's contents though.

Marti Hearst on Information Visualization

Peterme interviews Marti Hearst, professor in the School of Information Management Systems at UC Berkeley, on the topic of Information Visualization. They discuss the success and future of the field pointing out specific examples of applications that have and have not worked and why.

Pure CSS Amazon

I've been following the discussion on Webgraphics about these table-less full CSS versions of Amazon and Yahoo!. Interesting if you do any front-end development. My opinion is that the Amazon rendering in CSS is excellent -- cuts necessary markup in half -- and I don't see any reason not to do a site this way if you can sniff out the browser/platform before hand. The Yahoo layout needs more work, though.

37signals prototypes the ideal car site/telematics system

37signals has designed and prototyped 37bettermotors, a better car site/telematics system as part of their redesign series. Get maintenance feedbacks, schedule the climate for your morning commutes, view your MP3 playlists. Now that's a smart car. How do I get me one of those and how long will it last on the streets of Brooklyn?

37bettermotors is 37signals' vision for the future of automotive Web sites. Through a site like 37bettermotors a car owner would be able to interact directly with her car via a computer or mobile phone. This would allow her to lock or unlock her car, activate or deactivate her car's alarm, check its fuel level, warm it up on a cold winter morning, transfer MP3s from a home PC to the car, or perform dozens of other useful tasks all from the comfort of her home or wherever it is that she happens to be.

XML feed