All posts from
January 2008

The Architects of the Information Age PDF Logo

Editorial Insert in the January 21 edition of Fortune Magazine – “Understanding the way information is used is particularly crucial in relation to the Internet: Sites that help users find what they need quickly and easily tend to win customers. Sites that frustrate users lose them—fast. So, to get their data game-plan right, savvy companies are turning to the increasingly important field of information architecture.” (The Information Architecture Institute)

The CMS Myth

“Many organizations now rushing to adopt web content management systems (CMS) to support their online strategies think it’s the silver bullet to solve their website challenges and power content-rich applications. But web developers, online marketers and other front-line web pros speak of a fundamental disconnect in the promise of CMS vs. reality. Industry research and harsh anecdotal evidence indicate that 50% or more CMS projects ‘fail’ in some way: botched implementations, soaring project costs, launch delays, ruined SEO and more. Therein lays the central tenet of The CMS Myth: When it comes to web content management success, it’s not just about the technology. In reality, CMS success hinges on your plan, your people, and your process behind your web content management initiative.” (About The CMS Myth)

Interface Design and the iPhone

“The iPhone platform elegantly solves the design problem of small screens by greatly intensifying the information resolution of each displayed page. Small screens, as on traditional cell phones, show very little information per screen, which in turn leads to deep hierarchies of stacked-up thin information–too often leaving users with ‘Where am I?’ puzzles. Better to have users looking over material adjacent in space rather than stacked in time.” (Edward Tufte)

Hockey Sticks and User Assistance: Writing in Times of Resource Constraints

“Many technical communication departments are experiencing flat budgets, meaning they’re getting only small or no increases in headcounts, capital expenses, or training dollars. Worse yet, many departments are facing reductions in these resources. These reductions cause production pressures that are often confounded by increases in development headcount, here or offshore. Since more code equates to more features, which in turn drive greater revenues, companies are more willing to increase development budgets. On the other hand, adding writers increases costs, which in turn reduces margins.” (Mike HughesUXmatters)

User Experience in India

“The usability and user experience communities of practice are experiencing great growth and have emerged in countries throughout the world. These developing practices have brought about a huge economic boom in the UX market as both customers and clients are beginning to understand the business benefits they bring. In India, we have undoubtedly seen the growth of these practices. Indian UX companies are delivering designs that satisfy users’ needs to their clients.” (Afshan KirmaniUXmatters)

Personas and the Advantage of Designing for Yourself

“I think passion is a real issue with personas. Personas might elicit empathy with the people you design for, but they don’t elicit passion. Passion comes from having a stake, having a long-term commitment. Passion is what gets you that last 10% to make something great. Designers designing for themselves are often passionate. It’s hard to do as a freelancer or consultant.” (Joshua PorterBokardo)

Advancing Advanced Search

“Advanced search is the ugly child of interface design -always included, but never loved. Websites have come to depend on their search engines as the volume of content has increased. Yet advanced search functionality has not significantly developed in years. Poor matches and overwhelming search results remain a problem for users. Perhaps the standard search pattern deserves a new look. A progressive disclosure approach can enable users to use precision advanced search techniques to refine their searches and pinpoint the desired results.” (Stephen TurbekBoxes and Arrows)

Videos from the Second Italian IA Summit

“The first batch of full videos from the Second Italian IA Summit (Trento, November 16-17 2007) is available from the web site (as published by Brightcove). Some of the presentations are in English, so you might find interesting stuff even if you do not know Italian. The second and final batch will be published in the coming days and the full papers are scheduled for the end of the month.” (Andrea Resmini)