All posts from
November 2003

Designing for decisions

“One of the greatest misconceptions about web sites is that they should be designed for selling.Users now come to web sites with the intent of exploring their options to make a decision. By making it easier for users to make decisions, we can create a much more compelling experience than a sales-oriented site.” (Andrew Chak – UIE Roadshow)

2004 Presidential homepage shootout targets speed and accessibility

“As candidates turn to web sites to help pump up support, the difference between winning and losing in a tight race could come down to satisfying donors and voters online. Fast page displays and easy accessibility are two measurable prerequisites to user satisfaction. To see how well the candidates fare online, we analyzed the ten presidential homepages for speed and accessibility, and compared these results to existing guidelines. So how did the candidate sites measure up? In a word, poorly.” (Optimization Week Magazine) – courtesy of andy king

The Hub: Intersections of interaction design

“(…) a blog and resource site created by the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea to explore interaction design. Interaction design takes place at the connection of technology and personal interaction with products, environments, spaces, platforms, services, social networks. The Hub offers a place for discussion and reflection about the state of interaction design today.” (Interaction Design Institute Ivrea)

The rhetoric of the Challenger disaster: A case study for technical and professional communication

“This Web site responds to the need for practical application of rhetorical principles in science and organizational communication. The site offers instructors of technical and professional communication a tool that allows them to bring concrete examples that illustrate rhetorical principles into the classroom. Using the Challenger disaster as the case study and theme, the site provides the social, political, and technical context of the disaster to help develop understanding of the background and exigence of the situation.” (Association of Teachers of Technical Writing)

A short history of structured flowcharts

“The fascinating history and evolution of structured flowcharts (usually called Nassi-Shneiderman Diagrams or structograms) goes back to 1972. As a graduate student, I got the idea while attending an ACM organized talk in New York by Michael Jackson on structured programming. If GOTOs were to be avoided, then shouldn’t the lines in old flowcharts be avoided as well. Fifteen minutes of sketching led to the first ideas of sequence, conditionals and iteration.” (Ben Shneiderman)

ColorMatch remix

“This colorpicker is (…) more compatible – it now works in Mozilla, and should also work in Opera, since I’m using a much better slider control. I’ve also added 3 more colors, bringing the total auto-generated colors to 9, and the ability to export your colors to a Photoshop color table.” (twysted methyd) – courtesy of nathan steiner

We are all connected: The path from architecture to information architecture

“The physical world is a network where everything touches everything else and everyone touches everyone else. The connection can be physical, financial, emotional or spiritual, but itís there. This is even more the case in the virtual world. As its name suggests, the web is a system of connected networks. In our quest for information, we are linked from one site to another and another; there is no beginning or end.” (Fu-Tien ChiouBoxes and Arrows)

Designing customer-centered organizations

“Organizations increasingly view usability and user-centered design to be a key ingredient in creating high quality products. Designing for ease of use is a well-accepted goal, even if many organizations have far to go to create user-centered products. Even with the present downturn in the economy, more companies, from new media to established banks, have larger usability and design teams than ever before.” (John Zapolski and Jared BraitermanBoxes and Arrows)

Patterns for personalÝwebÝsites

“There are many personal Web sites. The vast majority are mediocre. Some are bad. Fewer are good. An extremely small number are excellent. (…) These patterns for creating personal Web sites have been distilled over the last few years from the most interesting personal Web sites I’ve found.” (Mark L. Irons) – courtesy of elegant hack

Adopting user-centered design within an agile process: a conversation 

“eXtreme Programming and other Agile processes provide a middle ground between chaos and over-elaborate processes sometimes referred to as ‘death by documentation’. A particular attrtactive aspect of the Agile approach for many teams is its willingness to accomodate change no matter how advanced development might be. However, this very flexibility can cause user interface design issues and ensuing usability problems. Adopting a user-centered approach to user interface design can address these issues, as I hope the following simulated conversation between a user-centered design consultant and an XP team leader will explain.” (William HudsonSyntagm) – courtesy of beth mazur