All posts from
April 2003

Microsoft Research Seeks Better Search

“Scientists in the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant’s labs are experimenting with new types of search and user interface technology that will let individuals and businesses tap into the vast amounts of data on the Internet, or inside their own computers, that increasingly will be impractical or impossible to find.” (Michael Kanellos – News.Com) – courtesy of nooface

Why XML Doesn’t Suck

“Recently in this space I complained that XML is too hard for programmers. That article got Slashdotted and was subsequently read by over thirty thousand people; I got a lot of feedback, quite a bit of it intelligent and thought-provoking. This note will argue that XML doesn’t suck, and discuss some of the issues around the difficulties encountered by programmers.” (Tim BrayAntartica Systems) – courtesy of mark bernstein

A Comments Pointer

“If you’re not the type to pay attention to the comments, I encourage you to make an exception. Dirk Knemeyer has provided two very interesting responses to my ‘What’s in a name?’ post of a few days ago and my subsequent response to him.” (Beth Mazur – IDblog)

Web Page Layout: A Comparison Between Left- and Right-Justified Site Navigation Menus

“The usability of two Web page layouts was directly compared: one with the main site navigation menu on the left of the page, and one with the main site navigation menu on the right. Sixty-four participants were divided equally into two groups and assigned to either the left- or the right-hand navigation test condition. Using a stopwatch, the time to complete each of five tasks was measured. The hypothesis that the left-hand navigation would perform significantly faster than the right-hand navigation was not supported. Instead, there was no significant difference in completion times between the two test conditions. This research questions the current leading Web design thought that the main navigation menu should be left justified” (James Kalbach and Tim Bosenick – Journal of Digital Information 4.1)

Differences between Information Architecture and Information Design

“Both require different skills. Information architects come from a variety of backgrounds, but I sense that a majority of them display an orientation toward language. Information designers, on the other hand, tend to be oriented toward the visual arts. As a result, the majority of information designers come from exactly one discipline: graphic design.” (Clark MacLeod – Kelake)


“Every evolving field has its milestones, none of which exists in a vacuum. The timeline on this page shows a few significant events in science and technology that have shaped the field of technical communication. The timeline also indicates concurrent markers in the development of technical communication in general and the Society for Technical Communication in particular.” (STC@50)

Reflections on the User Centered Design Perspective in Research on Wireless Applications

“When new ideas and visions emerge from collective thinking and from a better understanding of current limitations related to technological achievements, the challenge remains as to ascertain how to put these ideas and visions into practice. That opens new research issues. My argument in this paper is that this principle is applicable also to the development of User Centered Design. UCD, of course, may contribute to the improvement, consolidation and verification of ideas and visions in the field. Yet, in order to be certain that UCD perspective is widely accepted and can properly influence the direction followed by technology and service development, we should be able to demonstrate that the approach will be useful and that it can be successfully implemented in relevant projects.” (Michele Visciola – ACM Ubiquity)

The Game Design Patterns Project

“The focus of the Game Design Patterns project is on studying computer games in terms of interaction, components and design goals with the intension of creating the basis for a common language for game designers. As the basic building block for this language the project uses the concept of Design Patterns, originally developed by Christopher Alexander et al. Design Patterns is a semi-structured formalism that has been used for similar causes in areas such as architecture, software engineering, human-computer interaction, and interaction design.” (PLAY Research Studio) – courtesy of purse lip square jaw

Are You Cultured? Global Web Design and the Dimensions of Culture

“When a company decides to globalize its site, the Web team often learns the taboo colors and appropriate dress codes of a given culture, translates the text, and launches. But cultural differences run deeper than visual appearance or language; they reflect strong values. Rarely do globalized sites incorporate the nuances of a culture’s social hierarchy, individualism, gender roles, time-orientation, or truth-seeking attributes.” (Aaron Marcus – New Architect)