All posts from
April 2009

People don’t want to search

“The premise is that people don’t want to search. Instead, people want to get their tasks done and get straight to their answers. So how to we do this? We move from a web of pages to a web of objects. People, places, businesses, restaurants are all objects that have attributes such as noisy or expensive (in the case of restaurants.) Intents of searchers are satisfied by presenting objects and attributes. It’s not exactly the semantic web but about finding implicit relations through web usage.” – (Ricardo Baeza-YatesThe Next Web)

The Stranger Side of CHI 2009

“At the Computer-Human Interaction 2009 conference last week, researchers showcased many new and innovative ways to interact with machines, from smarter Web browsers to new interactive tables. But the event is also an opportunity to demo more far-out ideas for computer interaction. Here are five of the more unusual projects on show at the event.” – (Technology Review)

Interview with Richard Saul Wurman (Part 3)

“In the first part of this segment, RSW expands on the Kahnian design principle of ‘dumbness’, refuses to be included in or associated with anything called deliverables, talks about his favorite Kahn buildings, and the spiritualism in Kahn’s charcoal drawings. (…) In the second part of this segment, I ask RSW about what architects might have that in their process or training or approach that allows them to do a better job with clients in the early schematic phase of a project.” – (Dan KlynWildly Appropriate)


“If I have seen farther, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants…and then I looked down at those giants and saw the silly videos they made back in the day. CHI Video Showcase 2009.”

Toward Content Quality

“How do we know whether content is any good? This simple question does not have a simple answer. Yet, I think having a good answer would help us show our employers and clients why their content needs to improve and how their content compares to the competition’s. As a start toward an answer to this question, I offer a set of content quality checklists for seven different lenses through which we can view content. I see these checklists as the groundwork for content heuristics, which would enable us to do heuristic evaluations and competitive analyses efficiently. With good content heuristics, we could make a case for better content without painstakingly doing an analysis of all of the content up front. Imagine, making a case for better content quality in a few hours instead of a few weeks.” – (Colleen JonesUXmatters)

Differentiating Your Design: A Visual Approach to Competitive Reviews

“A common activity at the outset of many design projects is a competitive review. As a designer, when you encounter a design problem, it’s a natural instinct to try to understand what others are doing to solve the same or similar problems. However, like other design-related activities, if you start a competitive review without a clear purpose and strategy for the activity, doing the review may not be productive. One risk is that you may find you’ve wasted your time reviewing and auditing other sites, because you end up with findings that don’t help you design your own solution. Another risk is that the design and interactions of competitor offerings might influence your solution too heavily, whether you intend them to or not. Once you’ve seen how others have solved a particular problem, their solutions may subconsciously affect your own thinking.” – (Michael HawleyUXmatters)

The Study of Visual Aesthetics in Human-Computer Interaction

“This seminar intended to gather a group of about 25-30 participants who will exchange ideas, views, and case study results that address the seminar’s themes. We aimed at discussing methodologies and measures in the study of visual aesthetics in HCI, to explore design antecedents of aesthetic interactive systems, as well as consequences of aesthetic design or aesthetic experience in HCI. We anticipated that the outcome of the seminar will contribute to clarifying the concept, provide an overview of existing practical resources such as measurement scales, solidify the body of knowledge in this area, and generally spark interest in aesthetics in the HCI community.” – (Seminar)

Understanding, scoping and defining user experience: A survey approach PDF Logo

“Despite the growing interest in user experience (UX), it has been hard to gain a common agreement on the nature and scope of UX. In this paper, we report a survey that gathered the views on UX of 275 researchers and practitioners from academia and industry. Most respondents agree that UX is dynamic, context-dependent, and subjective. With respect to the more controversial issues, the authors propose to delineate UX as something individual (instead of social) that emerges from interacting with a product, system, service or an object. The draft ISO definition on UX seems to be in line with the survey findings, although the issues of experiencing anticipated use and the object of UX will require further explication. The outcome of this survey lays ground for understanding, scoping, and defining the concept of user experience.” – (Effie Lai-Chong Law, Virpi Roto, Marc Hassenzahl, Arnold P.O.S. Vermeeren, and Joke Kort – ACM CHI 2009 Proceedings)

Interview with Peter Morville at IA Summit 09

“I think we are at another of these interesting moments, (…) we are integrating with the last wave. We are still waiting to see what is going to come next. My prediction is that as we start to dig out of this recession or depression what have you, we will have a new wave of innovation with some really exciting things so perhaps IA Summit will have a whole new set of threats and opportunities to grapple with, but I don’t know what those are just yet.” – (Think out loud)

IA Summit 09 – Keynote

“Michael Wesch opened the IA Summit this year with an inspired keynote that provides a fresh and ambitious direction for all designers. He points out that our ‘audiences’ aren’t audiences at all, but rather creators, and our job is not to lecture but to enable. With this new approach comes not only design challenges but the joy of reconnecting people to each other, which he illustrated with a series of extraordinary video clips.” – (Jeff Parks – Boxes and Arrows)

IA Summit 09 – Plenary

“Jesse James Garrett is a noted figure in the IA community, not only for his ground breaking book Elements of User Experience, but for the essay that galvanized the community in 2002, IA Recon. In this IA Summit Closing Plenary, given without slides while wandering amidst the audience, Jesse examines what he has learned at the conference, he thoughts on the nature of the discipline and the practitioner, and gives bold, perhaps even shocking advice for the future direction of information architecture.” – (Jeff Parks – Boxes and Arrows)

Where HCI came from

“Human-computer interaction (HCI) is an area of research and practice that emerged in the early 1980s, initially as a specialty area in computer science. HCI has expanded rapidly and steadily for three decades, attracting professionals from many other disciplines and incorporating diverse concepts and approaches. To a considerable extent, HCI now aggregates a collection of semi-distinct fields of research and practice in human-centered informatics. However, the continuing synthesis of disparate conceptions and approaches to science and practice in HCI has produced a dramatic example of how different epistemologies and paradigms can be reconciled and integrated.” – (John M. Carroll)