jibbajabba's blog

I need a new title

Here's what I came up with at Dithered's Job title generator:

    Executive Knowledgarian of Turn-Key Value Optimization
Like it a lot. Should command respect and a higher salary. Note to self: pitch to boss.

Flash: Are You Designing For Your Eyes Only?

In Flazoom, an article about designing Flash sites for accessibility. I am convinced that Flash designers have vision that is far superior to ordinary people. Vision so powerful that 8 pixel tall bitmap typefaces on a low contrast background do not present a problem for reading. Vision so acute that Macromedia's lawyers are resorting to even finer print in contracts and licenses. Vision so sharp those fuzzy, anti-aliased typefaces are as clear as night and day. Truly we are blessed. To bad for everyone else. That includes our clients, our parents, our friends and the large majority of web surfers. When those people visit hyper-designed sites, those "really cool tiny fonts in Flash" are impossible to read. Poor legibility is another reason that Flash ranks up usability criticism from all corners.


In grokdotcom, John Quarto-vonTivadar on wireframing. In web-speak, a wireframe is a skeletal rendering of every click-through possibility on your site - a text-only "action," "decision" or "experience" model. Its purpose is to maintain the flow of your specific logical and business functions by identifying all the entry and exit points your users will experience on every page of your site. The goal is to ensure your needs and the needs of your visitors will be met effectively in the resulting website. You wireframe first, before a single line of code is written, a single graphic or color is chosen, or a single word of copy is composed. Wireframing is not concerned with design, navigational layout, content or even the developers' and designers' concepts of how to produce your website.

Does your intranet suck?

Scobleizer on how to know if your intranet site is sucky. A questionairre of sorts for people with corporate intranets. You may find many of the measurements to be quite... questionable. courtesy of Makovision

Nooface: In search of the post-pc interface

The blackbelted one is back and pointed to Nooface, a new interface design slash site. The goal of the site is to promote out-of-the-box thinking about truly next-generation user interfaces that are designed for new types of users and computing devices, and go beyond the WIMP (Windows, Icons, Menus, Pointing Device) method that most current interfaces are based on. Some of the topics discussed include visual user interfaces; web sensing and visualization; information appliance interfaces; user interface innovation; next-generation I/O peripherals; search interfaces; alternative web architectures; gesture input; 3D browsers; virtual worlds; game interfaces; wearable computing; data visualization; command-line interfaces; and UI development resources.

Lists of thesauri

Cataloging and classification issues abound with IAs. Here are some sites which maintain lists of commonly used thesauri/controlled vocabularies:

Alpiri hopes to win name game

While this article may not interest all IA's, it should be of interest to people working with ecommerce sites. According to RedHerring, a company named, Alpiri is using XML based technologies to connect/resolve data by name attributes in disparate systems. The company is founded by R.V. Guha, who worked on RDF for Netscape and Rob McCool who also worked for Netscape and who developed CGI and much of Apache. In essence, "we network names," says Mr. Guha. That's useful because, while XML offers ways to label broad categories, like furniture or CDs, different companies don't label items (say, an Aeron chair or the latest Wiseguys' CD) the same way. To make its system work, Alpiri has built a knowledge base of the names of musicians, actors, authors, and various consumer goods. That's a huge challenge, and Mr. Guha admits it will never cover every item available. While Alpiri hopes that large commerce sites, like Amazon.com and Walmart.com, will adopt its technology, Mr. Guha is focusing first on search engines.

Google buys Xerox PARC's Outride

Search engine Google on Thursday announced that it will buy the intellectual property assets of Outride, an online information retrieval technologies developer that was spun off from Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center. "Outride has made significant advances in the field of relevance technology and we believe Google provides the ideal vehicle to continue the development of these technologies," said Larry Page, one of Google's co-founders. ... Outride, based in Redwood City, Calif., was founded in May 2000 to develop "model-based relevance" technology designed to simplify information searches.

Usability Logger

Usability Logger (www.usabletools.com) is a project based application. It acts as a repository for multiple participant’s usability session data. While other loggers store one participant’s data in one file, Usability Logger allows you to create a project and define all participants involved and all common tasks/scenarios.

Communication Arts 2001 Interactive Design Annual winners announced

Comm Arts design annual winners have been published and screen shots off winning work are available.

LIS world domination

With tongue firmly in cheek, Lou R's Bloug updates us on the progress of his hidden plan to infiltrate the mainstream IA/ID/UX/Usability world with intelligence and lessons learned from the world of Library and Information Science. The chronology of its success starts with Target P.

EU Wants More Web Sites For Blind, Elderly

In BizReport. The EU has launched a campaign to encourage Web site developers to adopt design and structural guidelines to make Web sites more accessible to blind people, the elderly and those with other handicaps.

Digests start today

In the last poll, it seemed like the majority of readers wanted a daily (Mon-Fri only) digest. If you want to receive the digest by email, please register and select "Receive news digest by mail" in the home page and digest options. Note that people who elected to receive digests in an earlier release of this site will need to re-select the digest option (Sorry about that). Today is the day that I start sending them out. On days that I don't log (vacation days, weekends, etc.) you won't be getting anything in the mail.

Experience Modeling: How are they made and what do they offer?

Article in AIGA Loop by Margaret Morris and Arnie Lund, Sapient. The authors describe Sapient’s development of experience models and the collaboration that takes place among researchers, visual design communicators and information architects. Case examples illustrate the value of experience models, most importantly as tools to identify strategic business and design opportunities not previously considered by clients.

For Here or To Go? Designing User-Centered Experiences

Article by Melissa Niederhelman in AIGA Loop In this description of “Observing Users/Designing Experience,” a workshop developed and conducted at Arizona State University by Paul Rothstein, Niederhelman and Katherine and Michael McCoy, the author examines user-centered methods in the design process as well as interdisciplinary collaboration in creating innovative solutions for a café of the future.

Information & Design's paper prototyping kit

ID's paper prototyping kit is a simple low-tech collection of user interface elements. The kit contains scaled GUI and Web screens, printed with a light grid. The screens can be printed on A3 or Ledger paper. The kit also contains labels of proportionally-sized controls such as fields and buttons. These have been designed for printing on Avery-size labels. You can choose between A4 and Letter sizes (the number of labels per page varies). Note that the source material is available in PDF format only.

Three Questions For Your Web Agency

New Frontend article. Everyone's a usability expert nowadays. But does your potential web agency really take usability seriously? Three simple questions can help anyone choosing an agency find out before it's too late...

It's the people, stupid

News.com article about user centeered design and usability during design. Winning products come about when technology is focused on people, not because people are focused on technology. ... Too many products, and many start-ups, fail because they don't focus on a simple reality: Humans will need to use and like the product or service. Too often, technologies and products are created because they can be, not because they should be. Only comment is about this line, "Microsoft Windows built upon the work of Xerox PARC...". Should read , "... stolen from work on the Macintosh, which was stolen from Xerox PARC ...".

Verity white papers on semi-automated business taxonomies

Went to a Verity presentation this morning. Here's some white papers available from the company:

  • On semi-automated Web taxonomy construction -- The subject of this paper is the semi-automatic construction of taxonomies over the Web. We address the problem of discovering high-quality resources that belong in a particular node of a taxonomy. We show that minimal additional effort is required to provide relevance feedback in a hyperlinked environment, resulting in significant and consistent improvement in quality. Furthermore, this feedback is especially valuable for topics for which it is more difficult to find high-quality pages. Enroute, we describe novel algorithms for hyperlink relevance feedback.
  • Verity ® Intelligent Classification: Turn Information Assets into Competitive Advantage -- The challenge facing organizations is to turn information overload into competitive advantage. The first step to achieving this is to intelligently classify information. Documents must be organized into categories through which users can intuitively navigate to locate individual files. When this is done, productivity increases dramatically, because workers are able to spend less time looking for information, and more time acting on it—regardless of the amount of information or how fast it is growing.
New issue of Digital Web Magazine on user experience

A new issue with several articles revolving around user experience: Measuring User Experience by Christopher Schmitt, What happens when the people come? by David Eames-Harlan, Being Thoughtful About the User Experience: Carbon IQ, Adobe Photoshop 6, Experience by Peter Fielding, User Experience by Stephen Van Doren.

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