All posts from
December 2008

Nine Information Design Tips to Make You a Better Web Designer

“It’s probably the least glamourous part of web design, but information design is by no means the least important. Locating and consuming information is the quintessential web task, far surpassing buying, playing and communicating, all of which include a good portion of information design themselves. How users find and then avail themselves of all that information is affected by how it is structured and presented. Thus every web designer should be equipped to make qualified and informed decisions on just how to do this.” (CollisPSDTUTS) – courtesy of janjursa

The Theory Underlying Concept Maps and How to Construct and Use Them

“Concept maps are graphical tools for organizing and representing knowledge. They include concepts, usually enclosed in circles or boxes of some type, and relationships between concepts indicated by a connecting line linking two concepts. Words on the line, referred to as linking words or linking phrases, specify the relationship between the two concepts. We define concept as a perceived regularity in events or objects, or records of events or objects, designated by a label. The label for most concepts is a word, although sometimes we use symbols such as + or %, and sometimes more than one word is used. Propositions are statements about some object or event in the universe, either naturally occurring or constructed. Propositions contain two or more concepts connected using linking words or phrases to form a meaningful statement. Sometimes these are called semantic units, or units of meaning. Figure 1 shows an example of a concept map that describes the structure of concept maps and illustrates the above characteristics.” (Cmap ToolsPublications)

Flexible Fuel: Educating the Client on IA

“Information architecture (IA) means so much to our projects, from setting requirements to establishing the baseline layout for our design and development teams. But what does it mean to your clients? Do they see the value in IA? What happens when they change their minds? Can IA help manage the change control process? More than ever, we must ensure that our clients find value in and embrace IA—and it’s is our job to educate them. If we want our customers to embrace IA, we must help them understand why we need it. IA is about selling ideas effectively, designing with accuracy, and working with complex interactivity to guide different personas (potential customers) through website experiences.” (Keith LaFerriereA List Apart)

Service Design: What’s Next?

“I had several conversations about what service design is and how it might be different from other forms of design. This is a question I and others have had before. As a trained interaction designer, it was not difficult to transition to service design. In fact, there were only subtle differences that might be identified as different from interaction design. No one I talked to offered a clear definition, or a true distinction.” (Jamin Hegeman)

Piet Westendorp (1950-2008)

Karel van der Waarde: “This morning, I received a message from Piet Westendorp’s partner that Piet passed away on November 19th. (…) Piet Westendorp has been a remarkable person. I’ll miss his clarity of thinking and his direct aproach, but even more, I’ll miss his inspirational enthusiasm and curiosity.” (InfoDesign-Cafe) – RIP Piet Westendorp

The UX Designer’s Place in the Ensemble: Directing the Vision

“I’m sitting in a conference room with a coworker and two clients. It’s chaotic, hot, and a challenge just to walk around without tripping on the mess surrounding us. We are in the midst of designing and are buried in paper and sharpies and flipcharts. The walls around us are covered with consolidated data from requirements gathering and flipchart pages we’ve filled with our thought processes. Every few minutes, we need to retape some piece of paper that’s in danger of falling into a crumpled heap on the floor. Then, suddenly, I’m gripped with the feeling of déjà vu. It seems like I’m working on the same design I’ve worked on a thousand times before—and I’m getting bogged down in the details to boot! It’s at once disheartening and terrifying. But I’m the lead on this project, so I need to drive the team forward—which presents a challenge at this particular moment.” (Traci LeporeUXmatters)

Ten Recipes for Persuasive Content

“In many of my columns, I have touted the importance of persuasive, or influential, content and shared relevant theories and arguments, sprinkling in some practical tips and examples along the way. This column brings together a collection of practical tips, or recipes, for persuasive content. My goal for these recipes is to help anyone who touches content to bake in some influential goodness. Because of my background and experience, these recipes have an English-speaking American flavor, but I think they are a useful starting point for international content, as well.” (Colleen JonesUXmatters)