jibbajabba's blog

sessions.edu ILU's

Tom found sessions.edu's ILU's, Flash based interactive tools to help in design work. The first ILU available is an fun Flash-based color wheel thing for finding color combinations. They have more ambitious applications planned for diagramming flow and laying out pages. Should be interesting to see how they develop this. Maybe they can integrate their proposed tools to create something similar to Michael Kopcsak's IA visualization prototype.

Thanks, Tom.

Information Visualization Journal

First issue of this new journal is available for free online.

    Information Visualization (IVS) is a peer-reviewed international journal, launched in March 2002. The journal is published quarterly by Palgrave-Macmillan. The journal has an ambitious goal to serve as a dedicated forum for researchers and practitioners throughout the world on all topics related to information visualization. The journal publishes articles on fundamental research and applications of information visualization, including theories, methodologies, techniques
    and evaluations of information visualization and its applications.
Logitech io Personal Digital Pen

Matt found Logitech's io Personal Digital Pen. You write with it on special paper and then dropt the pen into a cradle attached to your PC and it transfers your ideas to it. Sounds like a pretty cool idea to me. Not sure how handwriting recognition works with their software.

Whatever happened with digital paper and bluetooth? Seems the media were buzzing about that last year, but I haven't heard about that technology being realized in a consumer product.

Minimalist forum

Jarrod Piccioni's Textbased.com Minimalist site has added a forum for discussing such things as minimalist design theory and sharing links.

ia-cms list

Peter pointed to this new discussion group for IA's concerned with content management systems.

    This discussion forum is a place where Information Architects, User Experience Designers, Library Scientists and other interested parties can talk about the building and using of Content Management Systems to create application for their audience's needs.
Search interfaces

I'm dropping Liz Danzico's excellent search interface collection here even though it's not very new.

    Typically, users know what they’re searching for even before they choose a search engine over the site’s navigation. In this investigation, I’d like to explore how we can provide a user interface to help them search more effectively before they get started. This investigation is about the ordering and structure of the search fields themselves, not the results, which have been the topic of much discussion already.
UCD list

User-centred design, user interface design, web design, HCI and usability list started by William Hudson of CHI-WEB. Subscription info. and archives here.

Visio - the interaction designer's nail gun?

Christina pointed to Henrik Olsen's article on using Visio to rapid prototype. The article talks about the process of using background pages and links to create clickable prototypes. I tipped this technique in the discussion of Dan's Visio article on B&A.

I've been using Visio 5 for the last 3 years (the pre-MS version) and doing quick prototypes for applications that way -- sad to say I'm afraid to ask my company to cough up the dough for an upgrade. Visio is a very worthy tool, and because of the entrenched Microsoft environment I work in, it is the tool of choice. Lately, however, I've found that using the Omni tools (Graffle and Outline) I can produce nicer diagrams exported as PDF. I have also been looking at Inspiration for OS X, anything to be able to use my TiBook more and my ThinkPad less. But I'm not sure I can do it all yet with these Visio alternatives -- especially using background-pages to create global elements and exporting an entire project to create a click-through prototype. If I figure out how to do it, I'll write about it. If someone else can do it, tell me about it.

New Adaptive Path articles

Adaptive Path is cornerning the market on IA articles and mind share lately. Superstars write a lot.

Progress Paralysis: Eight steps to get your Web site moving again by Peter Merholz in New Architect.

The Culture of Usability: How to spend less and get more from your usability-testing program by Janice Fraser in New Architect.

Site Navigation: A Few Helpful Definitions by Indi Young in Adaptive Path Publications.


Jef Raskin's The Humane Evironment has been making the rounds. Works on OS X. I wonder if anyone has checked it out using CVS and installed. Haven't read anyone's observations yet.

OS X Interface Hall of Shame

Nate pointed to OS X Interface Hall of Shame. He says,

    [D]espite this being a gallery of things that could/should be done better in the OS X interface, one still gets the feeling that other interfaces are only far worse... maybe I'm reading into it.
Thanks, webgraphics

WASPs invade Digital Web

DigitalWeb has 2 articles covering web standards.

In 99.9% of Websites Are Obsolete Jeffrey Zeldman has a terrific rant about the disease of convoluted front-end code and markup and how to heal your sites and make them forward compatible with proper attention to web standards. The points at the end of the article make great elevator pitches if you have to sell web standards to your organization.

Also in this issue, Meryl interviews Steven Champeon and Shirley Kaiser about the education focus of the Web Standards Project (WaSP) Phase II.

Inspiration 7, now OS X compatible

Inspiration 7 is available and now it' also supports OS X. A 30 day demo is available from their site.

I'm actually quite excited about this because I get lazier and lazier as I get older :) and Inspiration produces nice site maps very quickly using the rapidfire feature. I'm still loving the beautiful diagrams that OmniGraffle is producing though.

OmniGraffle wireframe palette: minor updates

I made some minor updates to my OmniGraffle wireframe palette to include a title box, some added box outlines, and note shapes.

Luke Wroblewski On The Pursuit of Simplicity

Luke Wroblewski, author of the book "Site-Seeing: A Visual Approach to Web Usability", offers some approaches when trying to design easy to use web sites unencumbered by complex features. Comes down to knowing your audience, understanding your medium (being aware of patterns and conventions), communicating concisely and well, reducing feature complexity.

Thanks, Erin

Ten Best Intranets of 2002

Jakob's article promotes their annual Intranet report, which is perhaps most interesting to people who want to benchmark their intranet against some best of class intranets out there. There appear to be some good general observations about how corporations approach intranet re-designs and buy in.

Spring Desktop

The Matts (Jones and Webb) pointed to the Spring desktop for Mac OS X, an alternative interface for navigating the stuff on/with your computer.

    More Human. Less Machine. The Spring Desktop is concept-centric, not file, folder, site, or brand-centric. It's designed for the way you naturally think.
BBC RSS feeds

Matt pointed to some RSS feeds available from the BBC.

Information architecture: learning how to classify

You won't really learn anything about how to classify content by reading this Gerry McGovern article. I will disagree with this point:

    2. Design classification like it will be 'written in stone.'
    You don't want to be changing your classification every
    six months. This will mean a lot of work and will create
You can attempt to do that, but when times change, terms will change. The term "Primitive art" was once accepted by the art community as a major rubric for referring to arts of Africa, Oceania, etc. Now that term is considered by some to be patently offensive. The Library of Congress Subject Headings are constantly becoming outdated as the English language changes and as new concepts arrive and older concepts evolve. The organization of knowledge also shifts with time. Change is inevitable. You just have to allow for it in terms of time and resources.

UPA Voice. Volume 4 Issue 3 (Sept 2002)

New issue of the UPA newsletter is out with these articles.

  • Common Principles: A Usable Interface Design Primer. By Rick Oppedisano
  • Using Usability Testing to Determine "Related Links" in An Online Brokerage Web Site. By Ioannis Vasmatzidis, Eliot Jablonka, and Hsin Eu
  • New Friends of Usability Certificates Promote Usability by Saying "Thank You": A new UPA Outreach program you can use… By Whitney Quesenbery
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