All posts from
January 2004

How to manage smart people

“(…) years at Microsoft, sometimes managing projects, sometimes managing people, but always with a manager above me. I think I’m smart, but many of the people who have worked for me definitely were. Over the years, I’ve experienced many mistakes and successes in both how I was managed, and how I managed others. What follows is a short distillation of some of what I’ve learned. There’s no one way to manage people, but there are some approaches that I think most good managers share.” (Scott Berkun – UIweb) – courtesy of lawrence lee

The typographic contribution to language: Towards a model of typographic genres and their underlying structures

“This thesis presents a model which accounts for variations in typographic form in terms of four underlying sources of structure. The first three relate to the three parts of the writer-text-reader relationship: topic structure, representing the expressive intentions of the writer; artefact structure, resulting from the physical constraints of the medium; and access structure, anticipating the needs of the self-organized reader. Few texts exhibit such structures in pure form. Instead, they are evidenced in typographic genres—ordinary language categories such as ‘leaflet’, ‘magazine’, ‘manual’, and so on – which may be defined in terms of their normal (or historical) combination of topic, access and artefact structure.” (Rob Waller PhD. Thesis 1987) – courtesy of karel van der waarde

What is Zzstructure?

“Zzstructure is a way of representing the structure of information. Zzstructure is very different, for example the concepts of ‘file’, ‘folder’ and ‘application’ are abandoned. Because of this a bit of fantasy, creativity and an ability to forget previous knowledge is needed in order to understand Zzstructure. A Zzstructure structure consists of cells and dimensions. A cell is the basic unit of information of a Zzstructure structure. Cells containing related information can be connected with each other along dimensions, the number of which is unlimited. A Zzstructure structure is separate from its visualisation (= the way the data is presented on the screen), which means that a Zzstructure structure can have many visualisations designed for different purposes. Even though a Zzstructure structure is separate from its visualisation, a Zzstructure structure is not separate from other Zzstructure structures. Every piece of information stored in a digital device using based on Zzstructure is in the same space: the same cells can be connected on several dimensions created for different structures.” (Gzz)

Indicators for European Content for the Global Networks: Executive Summary pdf logo

“We recommend that the EU recognise the importance of developing European focused e-Portals and the addition of a more European focus to international sites and their content. The strong presence of US e-Portals that largely use the English language also has longer-term development implications for those Member States and candidate countries where English is not widely used.” (eContent Strategic Studies)

Universal Principals of Design

“(…) a must read book by all kind of designers. The principles of design provided in this book are extremely valuable. This is by far one of the best design books I have ever read. It is organized, well written, concise and a great resource for design references. Not only the book explains each principle carefully, it also provides real world example to help readers visually understand the principle presented.” (

Interface Design Issues #02: Consistency and standards

“Consistency is one of the golden rules of interface design. There can be no question about this. It’s important on many levels. When applied effectively in a design, consistency creates a foundation for a user to interact with the product in a predictable manner. Consistency creates usage patterns, offering users the opportunity to succeed in the face of an unknown feature encountered for the first time.” (Andrei Michael HerasimchukDesign by Fire)

Web Modeling Language (WebML)

“Designing a data-intensive Web site amounts to specifying its characteristics in terms of various orthogonal abstractions, each captured by a distinct model. The structure, composition, navigation, and presentation models enable the description of read-only web sites. They can be extended to cope with the specification of content management and integration with external services, through the addition of operations, which can be defined and added to the hypertext model. They are invoked as a side effect of navigation and permit one to specify commonly found interaction patterns as data entry, personal data management, and shopping carts.” (About

A conversation with Alan Kay: Dynabook Revisited

“Literacy is not just about being able to read street signs or medicine labels. It means being able to deal in the world of ideas. In a democratic society you need people to be in conversational contact with the important ideas of the past and of the present, which means being able to read about them and write about them and talk about them. (…) Because the music is not inside the piano.” (Squeakland essays)

The 20th Anniversary of the Apple Macintosh Computer!

“On January 24, 1984 the personal computing movement was changed forever with the Superbowl launch of Apple’s Macintosh computer. While the graphical user interface, mouse, and bitmapped display+printing had been around for more than a decade, the Mac represented the first combining of these key innovations into a beautifully crafted package that an ordinary consumer could pick up and use in daily life. The Mac went on to spawn several revolutions including the ‘Desktop Publishing’ phenomenon of the 80s. This site is a special project of the DigiBarn Computer Museum to bring together some of the rarest artifacts relating to the Mac (many never seen online or published in any way). We will also pull together many materials that will give you an idea of where the Mac came from, predecessor systems, people and organizations, and where the Mac fits today in our evolutionary tree of visual computing.” (DigiBarn Computer Museum)