All posts from
May 2006

Communicating Complex Ideas

“The most successful sites are those that understand the experience range of their users. Some are veteran traders who know what to do, while others can’t tell a bid from an ask price. Accommodating the novice traders is crucial to the success of these markets, as well as moving them along as they gain experience.” (Alex KirtlandBoxes and Arrows)

Dogmas Are Meant to be Broken: An Interview with Eric Reiss

“And standards are just standards, and they can change as technology changes. Best practices are guidelines; they’re not rules. It’s best to keep two seconds worth of stopping distance between you and the car in front of you, for example. That’s just good common sense. As cars get faster, these distances change, and the best practices change. But they remain only guidelines.” (Liz DanzicoBoxes and Arrows)

Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism

“The hive mind is for the most part stupid and boring. Why pay attention to it? The problem is in the way the Wikipedia has come to be regarded and used; how it’s been elevated to such importance so quickly. And that is part of the larger pattern of the appeal of a new online collectivism that is nothing less than a resurgence of the idea that the collective is all-wise, that it is desirable to have influence concentrated in a bottleneck that can channel the collective with the most verity and force. This is different from representative democracy, or meritocracy. This idea has had dreadful consequences when thrust upon us from the extreme Right or the extreme Left in various historical periods. The fact that it’s now being re-introduced today by prominent technologists and futurists, people who in many cases I know and like, doesn’t make it any less dangerous.” (Jaron LanierEdge)

The Overlap Blog

“Overlap is an un-conference for anyone who wants to learn more about merging business practices with design-centric problem solving and customer understanding. (…) Overlap aims for an experience that is multidisciplinary, collaborative, pragmatic and ultimately human.” (

B2B Usability

“User testing shows that business-to-business websites have substantially lower usability than mainstream consumer sites. If they want to convert more prospects into leads, B2B sites should follow more guidelines and make it easier for prospects to research their offerings.” (Jakob NielsenAlertbox)

Exposing the Local InfoCloud

“The Local InfoCloud started as an idea of information that was physically close. What is stored or accessed by physical location (information that is physically close) as in an Intranet or location-based information accessed on your mobile device. The more I thought about it and chatted with others it became clear it was more than physical location, it is information resources that are familiar and easier to access than the whole of the web (Global InfoCloud) as a framing concept.” (Thomas Vander WallPersonal InfoCloud)

Websites as Graphs

“Everyday, we look at dozens of websites. The structure of these websites is defined in HTML, the lingua franca for publishing information on the web. Your browser’s job is to render the HTML according to the specs (most of the time, at least). You can look at the code behind any website by selecting the ‘View source’ tab somewhere in your browser’s menu. (…) I’ve written a little app that visualizes such a graph, and here are some screenshots of websites that I often look at.” (WebasGraph app by Aharef) – courtesy of edwardtufte

Chinese Banks Homepage Usability

“This study assesses the usability of homepages of three leading Chinese retail banks from a user’s perspective. For comparison, three western banks are selected, one each a leading retail bank from Australia, the UK, and the USA.” (Ming Zhao – Apogee) – courtesy of danielszuc

Expert Voices: Peter Morville on Why Information Architecture Matters

“So it’s very difficult to isolate the information architecture from the other elements of the user experience. You could certainly do that in a research lab, but in the real world all of these factors work together. It’s quite possible to do a beautiful information architecture redesign but completely destroy the experience by messing up the graphic side of things.” (CIO Insight)

3rd International Workshop on the Weblogging Ecosystem Papers

“The weblogging community continues to evolve: weblogs are gaining more and more exposure, the number of bloggers continues to grow and the contribution of individual bloggers is becoming significant and compelling. The dynamics of the blogosphere, found in trackbacks, citation links, blog-rolls, comments, tags, shared topics and interests provides a facinating domain of study for researchers from all academic and commercial fields including text mining, social network analysis, computational linguistics, business and marketing intelligence, libarary sciences, taxonometrics, graph theory and data visualization.” (WWE 2006 Blog)

Peter Merholz’ IA Summit 2006 Closing Plenary

“Thanks to Livia Labate, you can listen to my closing plenary at the 2006 IA Summit. It will help you if you follow along with the PDF of my slides. I’m definitely proud of this talk, though I hate hearing all my uh’s and ‘um’s. Definitely something to work on. If you want to avoid the aspects of IA history that I dwell on and hop to the thesis, start around the 12:00 mark.” (peterme) – great talk peter!

DC IA Summit Redux 2006

“I had a great time hanging out with the DC-IA crowd this weekend talking about the sessions and experience of going to the IA Summit in Vancouver back in March. We unfortunately ran out of time and didn’t get to talk about all the topics we wanted to address, but there were very interesting and livelly conversations nonetheless. Here are a few recordings with our discussions; feel free to download and catch up.” (Livia Labate)