All posts from
February 2007

Nathan Shedroff on Making Meaning

Interview by Steve Portigal – “Experience design is an approach to design, and you can use that approach in pretty much any discipline—graphic design or industrial design or interaction design, or retail design. It says the dimensions of experience are wider than what those disciplines normally take into account. And if you think wider—through time, multiple senses and other dimensions – then you can create a more meaningful experience.” (Core77 Design Blog)

The Elements of Typographical Style Applied to the Web

“For too long typographic style and its accompanying attention to detail have been overlooked by website designers, particularly in body copy. In years gone by this could have been put down to the technology, but now the web has caught up. The advent of much improved browsers, text rendering and high resolution screens, combine to negate technology as an excuse.” (Richard Rutter)


“Wikipatterns is not an instruction manual, it’s a set of tools. It’s examples of techniques that have helped people, and of situations that people have found themselves in that they wished they hadn’t. We want to help to identify a nail, and know you might want to hit it with a hammer.” – courtesy of elearningpost

Doing Today’s Job with Yesterday’s Tools

“In the same way the user interfaces are much more consistent because applications all use the same toolkits, then having a common information management framework that other applications can build upon will go a long way towards a more consistent set of interactions. I’d like to outline what I think are the key requirements for such a framework to be successful.” (Patrick DubroyBoxes and Arrows)

Envisioning the Whole Digital Person

“Our lives are becoming increasingly digitized—from the ways we communicate, to our entertainment media, to our e-commerce transactions, to our online research. As storage becomes cheaper and data pipes become faster, we are doing more and more online—and in the process, saving a record of our digital lives, whether we like it or not. As a human society, we’re quite possibly looking at the largest surge of recorded information that has ever taken place, and at this point, we have only the most rudimentary tools for managing all this information—in part because we cannot predict what standards will be in place in 10, 50, or 100 years.” (Jonathan FollettUXmatters)

Selection-Dependent Inputs

“As arbitrators of checkout, registration, and data entry, forms are often the linchpins of successful Web applications. But successful Web applications tend to grow—both in terms of capability and complexity. And this increasing complexity is often passed on to and absorbed by a Web application’s forms. In addition to needing more input fields, labels, and Help text, forms with a growing number of options may also require selection-dependent inputs.” (Luke WroblewskiUXmatters)

Building IA Means Building Local Groups

“The IA profession is growing, but a large proportion of IAs still work in relative isolation. Few organizations can boast an internal IA practice, so many rely on individual contractors – IAs who have to work on their own. Even companies with IAs on staff often lack managers who understand and care about information architecture. (…) But local groups are more than just a nice thing to have – they’re the key to the future. Building IA as a profession requires building IAs as professionals. This process happens one person at a time.” (Stacy Merrill Surla – ASIS&T Bulletin Dec 2006 – Jan 2007)

Long Live the User (Persona): Talking with Steve Mulder

“You’ve tried it all. User personas as posters, ala Alan Cooper, hanging on the office walls. User personas as cardboard cutouts, sitting at the conference table with you and your client. User personas as glossy deliverables. As paper mâché projects. As collages, comics, mood boards, Word documents, lists, charts, and just regular conversations. Through all your attempts to bring user personas into your project, one thing remains consistent: user personas are hard to get right. And even if you get them right, they’re even more difficult to integrate into your day-to-day process.” (Liz DanzicoBoxes and Arrows)

The human factor in gadget, Web design

“Experts in the field of so-called human-computer interaction say good design like the YouTube interface is the exception, not the rule. For every slick Apple iPod, there are a dozen washing machines with a baffling array of buttons. And for every simple TiVo interface, there are umpteen TV remote controls that look like something out of NASA’s Mission Control.” (Stefanie Olsen – C|net

Book Preview: Information Foraging Theory

“Most books on human-computer interaction (HCI) and usability give recommendations based on empirical research, guidelines fit to observed user behavior, and cognitive models after the fact. Peter Pirolli, the father of information foraging theory, has written a new book that models and predicts what users will do before they navigate a website. Using mathematical models of human behavior, Pirolli lays out the foundation of information foraging theory, a relatively new field based in part on optimal foraging theory in animals (Stephens & Krebs 1986). The result is a seminal work in Oxford University Press’ series on Human-Computer Interaction. We were fortunate to review a proof of Pirolli’s new book Information Foraging Theory: Adaptive Interaction with Information, due out April 2007.” (Website Optimization) – courtesy of petermorville

Ensuring Accessibility for People With Color-Deficient Vision

“This article is Part IV of my series ‘Color Theory for Digital Displays’. It describes how you can use color in applications and on Web pages to ensure that they are accessible to people who have color-deficient vision. If you do not consider the needs of people with color-deficient vision when choosing color schemes for applications and Web pages, those you create may be difficult to use or even indecipherable for about one in twelve users.” (Pabini Gabriel-PetitUXmatters)

The Holy Grail of Information Architecture

“It all comes down to creativity: Our documents need to support our creativity. They need to be able to radically change at any time to permit new and unique project demands. The simpler the document format or template, the more likely it is to be able to be adaptable to new and innovative ways of thinking about our products.” (Christopher Fahey – – courtesy of elearningpost