All posts from
January 2005

Stairway to Experts: Show me, coach me, test me, let me, congratulate

“Back in the last century, people learned to operate computer software by reading thick manuals laden with obscure text and scant pictures. Or they attended training classes where they squinted at the instructor breezily demonstrating barely recognizable procedures. Or they clickety-click-clicked their way through the Help file, gleaning snippets of information but never weaving them into a coherent tapestry. Today, computer users can learn from a personal tutor who demonstrates the program, guides them through their initial efforts, monitors their growing skills, and certifies their mastery. Tools like Captivate, Camtasia, and TurboDemo make it possible for teachers and communicators to create effective software simulations–without programming. Even simple presentation tools, such as PowerPoint can create truly interactive simulations.” (William Horton – WritersUA)

The Science of Word Recognition

“Evidence from the last 20 years of work in cognitive psychology indicate that we use the letters within a word to recognize a word. Many typographers and other text enthusiasts I’ve met insist that words are recognized by the outline made around the word shape. Some have used the term bouma as a synonym for word shape (…). This paper is written from the perspective of a reading psychologist.” (Kevin Larson – Advanced Reading Technology, Microsoft Corporation) – courtesy of karel van der waarde

Czerwinski on Vizualization: Displays to the Right, Displays to the Left, Displays Everywhere

“I think the sky’s the limit. That’s the beauty of working at Microsoft Research. We have a generous budget to create or purchase the kinds of equipment we need, and the beauty of working here is that we have some of the best minds in the business. (…) Well, I’ll tell you that information is going to follow you around and have some understanding of your context — that’s going to be there in the not-so-distant future.” (Mary CzerwinskiACM Ubiquity)

Apple’s Tipping Point: Macs For The Masses

“The graphic illustrates extreme patience and foresight from Apple to bring users to the platform by innovating increasingly towards the mass market over time without sacrificing the middle or high-end markets. In the end, the iPod continues to be the vehicle that drives Apple’s ultimate goal: Switching. In many cases the biggest hesitation to switch was price. With the Mac mini this concern is now moot. We could very well be witnessing the early fruits of a five to ten year business strategy from Apple that has been in the works since the first iPod. If it works — Apple will go down in history as a company that patiently built its brand equity through high-quality products and design — and then, when the time was right and audience the largest, brought their superior computing experience to the masses.” (Paul Nixon – Nixlog)


“(…) a bilingual online magazine that provides an opportunity for researchers and practitioners who work in the user interface design (including user experience, information architecture, GUI, and usability) field in the Chinese and the English speaking worlds to publish their thinking and exchange views with each other.” (Site Mission) – courtesy of webword where dk goes to explore, share, and play

“To some degree, this website is an experiment, an attempt to synthesize a large promotional site with an active, ongoing personal journal. More than articles and tidbits, my intention is for each the professional and personal sections to be uniquely deep and rich. To provide as much insight and interest to your heart as to your head.” (Dirk Knemeyer)

2004 Salary Survey for User Experience Design and Usability Professionals

“In the Spring of 2004, Spirit Softworks and Peak Usability conducted an international online survey of salaries for user experience design and usability professionals. World wide, 821 respondents completed the survey. This report documents the results of that survey, breaking down salaries by type of employer, geographical region, role, project focus, education, years of experience, and gender.” (Spirit Softworks & Peak Usability)

What Makes a Design Seem ‘Intuitive’?

“An intuitive interface doesn’t happen by accident. It happens when one of two specific conditions are met. In this article, Jared describes the critical relationship between current knowledge (what the user knows when they encounter the design) and target knowledge (what the user needs to know to accomplish their goal), showing the two conditions that lead to an interface users will perceive as intuitive.” (Jared Spool – User Interface Engineering)

Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL 2.0) – W3C Recommendation

“SMIL 2.0 has the following two design goals: (1) Define an XML-based language that allows authors to write interactive multimedia presentations. Using SMIL 2.0, an author can describe the temporal behavior of a multimedia presentation, associate hyperlinks with media objects and describe the layout of the presentation on a screen. (2) Allow reusing of SMIL 2.0 syntax and semantics in other XML-based languages, in particular those who need to represent timing and synchronization. For example, SMIL 2.0 components are used for integrating timing into XHTML and into SVG.” (W3C)

Designing Emotions

“In 2002 the dissertation ‘Designing Emotions’ was published. This book, in which five years of research is reported and discussed, should appeal designers and researchers who are interested in the emotional responses evoked by products. In the book it is discussed what an emotion is, how products evoke emotions, an how these emotions can be measured and influenced. On this page you can view the table of contents and download the introduction and summary.” (Pieter DesmetID Studio Lab)