jibbajabba's blog

Adobe Illustrator 10

Digital Web reviews Adobe Illustrator version 10. They say that the symbolism features are reason enough to upgrade. I saw a demo at Seybold this past winter and was very impressed with the scriptability and database integration as well.

Using research-based guidelines

Bob Bailey, Human Factors International, urges caution when using research-based guidelines. He believes they can help direct the initial decisions, but then these decisions should be validated with appropriate usability testing.

Bailey discusses a recent study from Japan (Tsunoda, et.al., 2001) which hypothesized that 1) "broad" is always better than "deep", 2) task performance times using simultaneous menus within frames on one page will be faster than using the more traditional method of clicking from page-to-page, and 3) when users do well with a task they will prefer the interface, and when they do poorly they will dislike the interface.

None of their hypotheses were proven true in testing.

Hierarchies and interface design

Gerd Waloszek, SAP AG, Usability Engineering Center,
discusses hierarchies and UI design. He discusses problems users have with hierarchies and their various uses and presentations in the software world.

Thanks, Crocolyle

IA blogs and SIGIA-L search

The IA site search engine. The link to this thing is now located in the primary navigation.

I went through the list of sites that I surf somewhat frequently and came up with a short list of sites to crawl (check the list). I made decisions based on who kept their links to IA and design resources fresh and relevant. I will crawl these sites once a week to start. If you think your site should be on this list because you blog relevant IA resources frequently, please let me know by commenting here or contacting me directly. If you're on the list below and don't want to be, contact me.

And by the way, the SIGIA archives are indexed here too! This thing is set to crawl weekly at 2AM EST on Saturday.

Google beta news search

news.google.com -- I'm expecting this will be a top spot for me soon.

UI Designs Related Readings

On the booksite for Designing From Both Sides of the Screen, the authors have published a nicely annotated list of books related to the design and engineering of user interfaces. Missing, however, is the Polar Bear book. Maybe we do need an interfaith council?

ThinkCycle

I'm sure there is something to be learned in what is happening at ThinkCycle: Open Collaborative Design.

    ThinkCycle is an academic, non-profit initiative engaged in supporting distributed collaboration towards design challenges among underserved communities and the environment...

Thanks, Xplane, Xblog.

Corporate web site filtering

I don't know if anyone else out there has to deal with corporate web filters, but my company just started filtering out web mail (Yahoo!, Hotmail) services along with the usual sex/porn filters. This really sucks eggs, as I usually check my personal addresses (studioid/iaslash) through Yahoo! Damn you Lucent!

Reactions to Schofield's "Web users suffer from the fall"

The Guardian has posted readers' reactions to Jack Schofield's column, where he wrote last week that "the web was rubbish and getting worse" and blamed designers and site developers.

From toybox to toolbox. Has the web lost its luster?

This NY Times article says it has for Glenn Davis, creator of the Project Cool Site the Day, who misses the quirky and fun sites like the coffee and fishtank cams, the Mr. Potato Head site. True enough. Since Glenn stopped doing the picking himself, I've found that the Project Cool sightings have been anything but cool. They neglect to mention, however, that in the place of those cams and such, we have the web version of reality-based tv -- the weblog, voyeurism at its finest.

According to a 2000 and 2001 survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project in Washington, average surfing session times went from 90 to 83 minutes and that the toybox turned into a toolbox. People used the web more to conduct business, aiming to get off as quickly as possible. Gasp!

I don't know. I find the web more interesting today because it is more of a toolbox. I set up all my travel online. I search for real estate. I couldn't do these things as easily and conveniently before. And with the proliferation of business sites, came the need for information professionals (i.e. information architects) to organize it all. Nothing unexciting about more jobs for info geeks.

B&A: Taking the You out of User and Summit Wrapup

New in Boxes and Arrows.

Rashmi Tambe's Zooming Interface resources

Rashmi Tambe's ZUI site has a load of resources related to the topic including a bibliography of important papers and articles.

Thanks, Antenna

Keith Instone's poster

Keith Instone's Breadcrumbs poster presented at the ASIST IA Summit is available from his site.

Dan Brown's posters

If you caught Dan Brown's posters from the IA Summit, you'll be happy to know they are available with a host of others on his site.

Right-hand navigation

Am looking for related research on this topic, so please comment if you know of any. On SIG-IA, George reminds me that left-hand navigation came about as a convention because " in the early days of the web was that coding-wise it was easier to deal with variable browser window sizes by anchoring it to the left."

Thanks, Jim and Whitney for some of the links

Text-only is not accessible

New on Frontend Usability Infocentre.

    For many people, accessibility means providing a text only version of a website. However, for many impaired users this does not offer a good experience and it can actually reduce usability for all users. What's more, it is usually not even necessary.
We are blind to site visitors' needs

In Computer Weekly Dan Benatan discusses the problem of being unable, as web site designers, to understand user perspectives/needs.

    Web site owners operate from a position of knowledge of the industry they serve. They know things about their products and markets that they perceive to be general knowledge or common sense. ... They fail to recognise that a sequence of operations that seems entirely natural to them may be completely senseless to others. Just as an author is handicapped when proof-reading or editing his own work, those within an industry cannot easily see from the perspective of an outsider. Usability testing can help, but it is not a complete answer.
Pushless IA?

Lou Rosenfeld talks about the advantage of pushing content to users using email.

    As we all know, exactly 96.7% of the information architecture we do is associated with a web site. But you don't have to be a marketing genius to know that push is often as important, maybe more so, than pull. And that email is the killer push application that just about everyone already uses.
Faceted classification articles

Thanks to James Rout for forwarding these article citations.

Faceted classification resources

Resources for learning more about faceted classification, suggested by Louise Gruenberg at ASIS&T IA Summit. Most are only available in print.

  • Gopinath, M. A. "Postulational approach to analytico-sythetic classification." Library Science with a Slant to Documentation and Information Studies, 22(4) December 1985, 205-229.
  • Gruenberg, Louise. "Faceted classification, facet analysis & the Web."
  • Neelameghan, A. "S. R. Ranganathan's general theory of knowledge classification in designing, indexing, and retrieving from specialized databases." Library Science with a Slant to Documentation and Information Studies, 34(1) March 1997, 3-53.
  • Spiteri, Louise. "A simplified model for facet analysis:Ranganathan 101." Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science, 23(1/2) April-July 1998, 1-30.
  • Spiteri, Louise. "The essential elements of faceted thesauri." Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, 28(4) 1999, 31-52.
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