All posts from
February 2006

Thomas Vander Wal podcast

“My guest on today’s show was information architect Thomas Vander Wal. Thomas was the originator of the term folksonomy and we had a fascinating discussion about folksonomic toolsets, personal and business cases for using tagging and what Thomas calls the ‘Come to me Web’.” (PodLeaders)

Typography and the Aging Eye: Typeface Legibility for Older Viewers with Vision Problems

“The population is rapidly aging and becoming a larger share of the marketplace. 13 percent of the population is currently over 65 years old. In 30 years that group will double to 66 million people. People change as they age. Sensory, cognitive and motor abilities decline. The built environment is not typically created with the needs of the aging population in mind. How does the choice of typeface in signage systems, for example, impact the older viewer who is experiencing vision problems typical to that age group? Are certain typefaces more suitable to the aging eye?” (Paul Nini – AIGA Clear)

Interaction Modeling: User State-Trace Analysis

“This article presents a three-part method of interaction modeling where: (1) A prescriptive, preferred interaction model (PIM) is created; (2) A descriptive user-interaction model (UIM) derived from an actual user study session is created; (3) A model of problem solving and decision making (PDM) is used to interpret disparities between the first two models.” (Matt Queen – Boxes and Arrows)

Marc Rettig on The History (and Future) of Interaction Design

Interview excerpt from the upcoming book ‘Designing for Interaction’ – “Thanks to corporations that are learning the value of integrated teams, interaction designers will find themselves more often part of the team from beginning to end, rather than specialists who are called to make sporadic contributions from time to time.” (Designing for Interaction – August 2006) – courtesy of puttingpeoplefirst

Architecture and the Internet: Designing places in cyberspace

“By looking at physical architecture as a case study and metaphor for organizing space into meaningful places, this paper explores the possibility of organizing Cyberspace into spatial settings that not only afford social interaction, but, like physical places, also embody and express cultural values. At the same time, because Cyberspace lacks materiality, is free from physical constraints, and because it can only be ‘inhabited’ by proxy, these ‘places’ may not necessarily resemble their physical counterparts.” (Yehuda E. Kalay and John Marx – First Monday Special Issue #5)

Live by the Mockup, Die by the Mockup

“Mockup… The term itself brings to mind the duality inherent in this omnipresent design artifact. It’s both a direct representation of a product experience and a shallow portrayal of an interactive system at the same time. Perhaps the term originated with engineers or product managers intent on pointing out that the mockup was just that: a superficial representation that could never compare to the real product they had to build.” (Luke WroblewskiUXmatters)

The Role and Evolution of Design in Software Products

“Design professionals often decry the lack of importance and investment their companies place on design. After all, most software projects revolve around a product’s engineering, to the ongoing detriment of its design—not to mention the chagrin of so many designers, who wriggle uncomfortably toward the bottom of the food chain. But there is a good reason for this: products can be very profitable without investing a single penny in interface design—at least, beyond the user interfaces the engineers build. Indeed, at least in the early stages of a market or company, resources dedicated to intentional interface design are often a bonus rather than being viewed as a necessity. Sound crazy? Consider the natural and normal evolution of a software product.” (Dirk KnemeyerUXmatters)

David Sless’s soap box

“I have a long list of things that I think may interest you, my reader. But there is no way of choosing – not without a conversation – and this is not a conversation. As the title suggests, it’s a soap box. So I shall go where my gut and keyboard takes me. You are of course free to heckle.” (David Sless – CRIA)

Get Out of Your Lab, and Into Their Lives

“The proliferation of usability labs is a sign of success for the field of user-centered design. Whether it’s a low-rent lab comprised of a couple adjacent conference rooms, a video camera, and a television, or a fully decked-out space with remote-control cameras, two-way mirrors, an observation room, and bowls of M&Ms — more and more companies are investing in such set-ups. Conducting user tests in labs is probably the most common means of getting user input on projects.” (Peter MerholzAdaptive Path)