All posts from
June 2008

More Than Useful

“The presentation was framed by a slightly philosophical look at how certain games subliminally activate cognitive processes and could thus be used to allow for new insights. I used Breakout and Portal as examples of this. I am convinced there is an emerging field of playful products that interaction designers should get involved with.” (Kars Alfrink – Leapfrog)

XML Fever

“The Extensible Markup Language (XML), which just celebrated its 10th birthday 4, is one of the big success stories of the Web. Apart from basic Web technologies (URIs, HTTP, and HTML) and the advanced scripting driving the Web 2.0 wave, XML is by far the most successful and ubiquitous Web technology. With great power, however, comes great responsibility, so while XML’s success is well earned as the first truly universal standard for structured data, it must now deal with numerous problems that have grown up around it. These are not entirely the fault of XML itself, but instead can be attributed to exaggerated claims and ideas of what XML is and what it can do.” (Erik Wilde and Robert J. Glushko)

New York Times Redesign: A Case Study

“How do you redesign the website for a venerable news brand with a distinct identity and a loyal readership? What’s more, how do you face challenges like the commoditization of online news, the rise of user-generated content, and other emerging technology trends, while still upholding journalistic standards? In this seminar, we will discuss the process we followed during the recent redesign of The New York Times, including research we conducted, forward-looking concepts we developed, and prototypes we created and refined.” (Karen McGrane and Kevin Kearney – Businesstobuttons)

CHI 2008 Report – Not Only a Rant…

“CHI 2008 is over – once again, time to look back and write a report for the SAP Design Guild. First, I would like to warn you: This collection of CHI 2008 snippets is neither balanced, nor fair. You may even find that this report turns into a rant, but there are also a number of positive observations. Large conferences are always like a shopping bag – you have to pick what suits you best.” (Gerd Waloszek – SAP Design Guild)

MX San Francisco videos and presentations

“As the business value of design becomes clearer, creative managers building the next generation of products and services are confronted with an increasingly demanding set of challenges. MX brings thought leaders from IDEO, Google, The Mayo Clinic, Cisco, and many others, to show you what it takes to get great experiences out into the world. MX goes beyond typical design management discussions that remain focused on traditional concerns of print and brand, toward a new frontier of innovative products and service-oriented experiences.” (Adaptive Path)

The State of the UX Community

“Over the past three decades of computer/human interaction, we’ve seen digital technology evolve from a curiosity to a convenience to an integral part of our everyday lives. For UX professionals, the demand for our skill sets and the opportunities to practice seem only to grow, whether we be designers or developers, usability specialists or information architects, working in fields as diverse as Web, mobile, desktop, and embedded software systems. The UX professions are at a stage that could very well be a tipping point—where the rapid rise of digital devices, services, and connectivity converge to create a massive need for UX professionals. The mobile space alone could generate demand that we can only begin to imagine.” (Jonathan FollettUXmatters)

Designing Ethical Experiences: Understanding Juicy Rationalizations

“Designers rationalize their choices just as much as everyone else. But we also play a unique role in shaping the human world by creating the expressive and functional tools many people use in their daily lives. Our decisions about what is and is not ethical directly impact the lives of a tremendous number of people we will never know. Better understanding of the choices we make as designers can help us create more ethical user experiences for ourselves and for everyone.” (Joe LamantiaUXmatters)

An activity-theory-based model to analyse Web application requirements

“Few proposals for modelling and developing Web applications, deal with how to properly elicit and represent Web application requirements. Web applications introduce unique characteristics such as navigation that are not properly considered at the requirements level. In this paper, we seek to improve on improve on existing methods through the use of cultural-historical activity theory.” (Lorna Uden et al. – Information Research 13.2)

Cautious Cars and Cantankerous Kitchens PDF Logo

“What does it mean, asks Don Norman in his provocative lecture when our automobiles get frightened, when our refrigerator won’t let us eat that nice piece of pie, and when our homes detect our moods and play music they think will cheer us up? And why, asks Norman, does he obey his car when it asks him to slow down, but not his wife? In his provocative and witty talks, Norman examines the future of devices we may all have to live with, even if they do not serve us the way they are intended. Some of these devices are already upon us while the others are still in the planning stage – that is, unless we can somehow turn the tables and get the engineers and designers to switch from building stuff just because they can, to building stuff because we need and want them to.” (Donald A. Norman – From Business To Buttons 2008)

Modeling Portals for Cultural Landscapes

“A great variety of Web sites displaying cultural aspects of landscapes exist today. Although built on different design patterns, all these Web sites have to cope with the typical problem of creating a concise but comprehensive representation of a variety of cultural resources within a framework of time and space. In this paper we discuss currently predominant but very different approaches, ranging from an historical GIS and a wiki with Google maps to illustrated HTML-documents and Flash-based visual narratives. We propose a model that identifies generic requirements for spatiotemporal cultural heritage Web sites. The model helps to understand how well different implementation environments suit various objectives. The model is applied to our own cultural landscape portal on the region around the Vecht, a small river which runs from the city of Utrecht to the north, at both sides fringed by a rich historical landscape.” (Leen Breure et al. – Museums and the Web 2008)

Sketching in Code: the Magic of Prototyping

“Over the last year, I’ve noticed more and more conversations about prototyping as a method of approaching web application development. Beyond casual conversations, prototyping has also increasingly been the topic of blog posts or subject matter for conference presentations. The reasons for this increased interest include a laundry list of benefits that prototyping can bring to the process of developing compelling web applications. Ranging from increased collaboration to more effective solutions, these benefits have made prototyping a valuable new approach to consider for your next project.” (David Verba – A List Apart)