All posts from
July 2005

Europe’s first information architecture conference

October 15-16, 2005 (Brussels, Belgium EU) “‘Building our community’ is the theme of this inaugural European Summit. No, we are not talking about the EU. We are talking about our professional community – information architects and other people involved in structuring information for electronic media. (…) sponsored by the American Society for Information Science and Technology.” (ASIS&T Euro IA)

Human-Centered Design Considered Harmful

“Human-Centered Design has become such a dominant theme in design that it is now accepted by interface and application designers automatically, without thought, let alone criticism. That’s a dangerous state — when things are treated as accepted wisdom. The purpose of this essay is to provoke thought, discussion, and reconsideration of some of the fundamental principles of Human-Centered Design. These principles, I suggest, can be helpful, misleading, or wrong. At times, they might even be harmful. Activity-Centered Design is superior.” (Donald Norman)

Why Do Current Graphical User Interfaces Not Work Naturally & How They Can Be Fixed?

“User interface design, a part of the broader field of ergonomics, has been a challenging field to work in since man first tried making a tool for somebody else. Consider the lowly garden trowel. A trowel is simply a piece of wide metal connected to a handle, whereby its wielder may move small amount of earth to place seeds or seedlings in a garden.” (Warren M. Myers – ACM Ubiquity)

Social Machines

“The underlying hardware and software will never become invisible, but they will become less obtrusive, allowing us to focus our attention on the actual information being conveyed. Eventually, living in a world of continuous computing will be like wearing eyeglasses: the rims are always visible, but the wearer forgets she has them on—even though they’re the only things making the world clear.” (Wade RoushContinuous Computing)

The Effects of Line Length on Reading Online News

“This study examined the effects of line length on reading speed, comprehension, and user satisfaction of online news articles. Twenty college-age students read news articles displayed in 35, 55, 75, or 95 characters per line (cpl) from a computer monitor. Results showed that passages formatted with 95 cpl resulted in faster reading speed. No effects of line length were found for comprehension or satisfaction, however, users indicated a strong preference for either the short or long line lengths.” (A. Dawn Shaikh – Usability News 7.2 2005)

Using Ajax for Creating Web Applications

“In the past few years, developers could choose between two approaches when building a web application. The first approach was to create a screen-based system with very rich interactions using a sophisticated, powerful technology such as Java or Flash. The alternative approach was to create a page-based system using easier-to-learn core web standards like XHTML and CSS whose more basic capabilities force less-rich interactions. A new technological approach, dubbed Ajax, might just be the right mix between the two.” (Joshua Porter – UI 10 Conference)