jibbajabba's blog

Scattered thoughts on the practice of information architecture

I wrote up some reflections on the practice of information architecture within organizations, primarily around intranets. I'd love some feedback.

Mr. .com

This idiot apparently changed his first name to ".com".

Style.com

[from elegant hack] Peter Merholz and Jennifer Fleming deconstruct Style.com

Secrets of a search expert

Yahoo! Internet Life has an article by and about Marylaine Block, an Internet Librarian, that discusses how a professional searcher uses the Web (or doesn't use the Web) to do research.

If you're having trouble navigating Mcafee.com maybe Lori can help: The return of the automated assistants

The Standard is running an article on Mcafee's virtual assistant. This is another example of natural language processing applications being used for online assistance/call center activities. According to Mcafee, navigation related help desk inquiries has dropped by half since the introduction of "Lori", their virtual site assistant.

Interactive TV Usability discussion group

UsableiTV. This egroup provides a discussion network for researchers and developers who are interested in the human factors issues relating to interactive TV (iTV) services.

Why Evolutionary Software Development Works

[from CHIWEB] Harvard Business School Working Knowledge is running an excerpt from the MIT Sloan Management Review on evolutionary, iterative prototyping: Why Evolutionary Software Development Works. The article reports the findings of a two-year study by Marco Iansiti and Alan McCormack of the Harvard Business School that observed 29 projects from 17 firms. (You will need to sign in first to read this article.)

InternetWorld's Design Survey 2000

IW's Design Survey 2000 is out. Prominent on the minds of many of the firms participating are alternative devices (mobile phones, pda, webtv) and ADA compliance.

XML Schema released as a W3C Recommendation

With over two years of development and testing through implementation, XML Schema provides an essential piece for XML to reach its full potential. "XML Schema makes good on the promises of extensibility and power at the heart of XML," said Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director. "In conjunction with XML Namespaces, XML Schema is the language for building XML applications." View the press release.

Sapient warns of wider losses

Sapient is still warning of losses. It's stock is now at $12.24. Makes me feel comforted that I left -- my strike price for options was like $58 or something.

Founders of Razorfish quit

Wow. Jeffrey Dachis and Craig Kanarick, the founders of Razorfish, resigned from the company. Article in NY Times.

New NY Times information graphics

Nice information graphic in NYTimes articles, "How It Works: Retinal Displays Adds a Second Data Layer" and "How It Works: Getting There With Help From Global Positioning". Click on the links in the box on the right titled "Multimedia".

Navigation from the cubist perspective

CUBISTS LAUNCH UNNAVIGABLE WEB SITE -- Conceptual Realism Dominates Site No One Will Be Able to Use Anyway.

Ecommerce Usability

eCommerceUsability.com -- A resource for people who build web sites that sell stuff. Notes from the CHI 2001 Special Interest Group entitled "E-Commerce: Beyond Traditional Usability," held in Seattle on April 5, 2001.

Innovative interfaces

Some interesting interfaces (mostly zooming) culled from messages on CHIWEB.

Social Darwinism and the Internet

Tognzanni talks about the shakeout in the Internet and New Economy in "Internet Perspective, May 2001". While the sky clearly appears to be falling and the days of free stuff are coming to an end, Tog believes that what will be left when the dust settles "...are a few solid, well-managed companies that will form the core of the Web and the Internetís future."

Clay Shirkey on wireless devices

[from Business2.0 Aug. 8, 2000 via tomalak] Clay Shirkey talks about wireless device usability in It's the Communication Stupid". He thinks the form factor for devices like Blackberry are on target. He posits, however, that the real secret to creating a killer app for wireless devices is simple communication (email, IM or whatever) not Web surfing. According to Shirkey, if manufacturers fail to see that, then their products are going to fail to capture their market. Gain the confidence of users by giving them what they want -- the ability to communicate -- and the rest will follow.

CNet on Flash Usability

Yet another article talking about Flash. The point, buried in there somewhere, is that the 99% bad stuff (unusable stuff) is bad because of bad design, not because of the technology.

Macromedia Flash Usability contest: Winners announced

Macromedia announced the winners in it's Design a Site for Usability Contest. The contestants had to design a prototype for a tshirt ecommerce site called "Snugware". In the advanced category, the honors went to Michael Stern. The novice category (designer using Flash for less than 60 days) the winner was James Straffon

Usability instruction in technical communication programs

If you want to read this one, you'll have to get to a university library I guess. Lee-Ann M Kastman Breuch; Mark Zachry; Clay Spinuzzi. "Usability instruction in technical communication programs: New directions in curriculum development." Journal of Business & Technical Communication(4/2001) . p. 223-240. Abstract: Although usability testing and research have become critical tasks for technical communicators in the workplace, little discussion in technical communication focuses on teaching usability in technical communication programs. This article asserts that technical communication programs are particularly well positioned to adopt usability testing and research in their curricula because of inherent connections between usability and technical communication, such as their mutual emphases on audience analysis, technology, and information design.

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