jibbajabba's blog

Blogging and Googling

Matt Jones discusses a new practice that ScottAndrew is using on his blog. Below each post, he has a link to search Google on the topic that his blog entry is about.

It's a really interesting idea. Read more about the concept at Matt's site. I'm thinking I might do something similar with Drupal using titles or the classification terms (when version 4 is released).

Photoshop 7

Adobe finally announced Photoshop 7. Now I can finally stop using Classic and stay in OS X :).

Weblogging and journalism

So much writing lately about weblogging and its relationship to journalism and mass media.

kottke talks about the reworking or information through peer to peer journalism and the emergence of a collective network of blogging nodes. Maybe even a collective voice / ideology as well? And AndrewSullivan thinks that weblogs are one possible future for journalism. In his manifesto, he suggests that blogs act as guides leading individuals to what's important and are therefore as important as the corporate machines of journalism. And if the NY Times is writing about blogging, they're probably also assessing to its relevance to their business.

Elsewhere, webvoice ponders if something is cooking over at Pyra.

Step out of the way of the professional

Scott Andrew is so money. I sympathize with his recent CSS rant because I have done and still do client-side development (Markup, JS, CSS). I stay away from technical issues at work because I'm not a CS person or a sysadmin. I'm sure the same advice applies elsewhere.

    I don't see any value in listening to opinions on web standards from people who don't even do web design, especially when it's fairly clear they don't really care. And I'm really tired of seeing web designers and developers being treated as second-class citizens by people who don't even live in the same world. To them I say: step aside, and let us professionals do our jobs.

    Client-side dev is hard enough as it is without people who don't do web design and don't care about web design grandstanding about topics they have no real interest in.

ia/recon 5/6: Tomorrow's Architect

[E]mphasizing specialization may hinder the progress of the discipline.

Part five of JJG's reconnaissance of the field continues with some thoughts and observations about the need to create a body of knowledge of IA work for specialists and non-specialists alike.

    In order for the discipline to progress, we must open the dialogue to include these non-specialists, to allow them to contribute to the development of our body of knowledge. But this, in turn, requires us to acknowledge that the discipline and the role are separate, and that the discipline can be practiced by those in a wide variety of roles.
Valcasey: Notes on visual and interaction design

Notes is a laundry list of design principles with links to some inspirational examples along the way.

thanks, LucDesk

Virtuosos of the Experience Domain

Paper (PDF) on experience design by by Elizabeth B.-N. Sanders, President, SonicRim.

There is a lot of talk lately about “Experience Design”. Companies sell experience design, but don’t define what it is. On-line discussion groups debate who the virtuosos of the experience domain should be. Design educators wonder if they should be teaching it. And they wonder how they should be teaching it.

In this paper I will address the following questions:

  • What is experience?
  • What is experience design?
  • Who is creative?
  • How do you design for experiencing?
  • Who are the real virtuosos of the Experience Domain?
  • Does this perspective change design education? How?

thanks, Elegant Hack

Interaction Design: Beyond human-computer interaction

The book site for Interaction Design offers the introductions to all of the chapters and links to many useful resources. More about the book:

    Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction is an up-to-date explanation of the design of the current and next generation interactive technologies, such as the web, mobiles, wearables. These exciting new technologies bring additional challenges for designers and developers - challenges that require careful thought and a disciplined approach. ... The text covers a wide range of issues, topics and paradigms that go beyond the traditional human-computer interaction (HCI).
Wearable computing in Japan

Cam pointed to this article that discusses the vision for wearable computing in Japan. The Reuters article discusses computing devices built into clothing. Japan -- gear lusters wonderland.

[got that gear-lust term from the BT interview in MacAddict]

Blog this: Weblogs and their effect on democracy in the media

Harry Jenkins discusses the impact of weblogs on democracy and grassroots communication to the masses and the effect on mass media.

    What will happen to democracy in the current media environment, where power is concentrated in the hands of a few publishers and networks?

    Media scholar Robert McChesney warns that the range of voices in policy debates will become constrained. The University of Chicago Law School’s Cass Sunstein worries that fragmentation of the Web is apt to result in the loss of the shared values and common culture that democracy requires. As consumers, we experience these dual tensions: turn on the TV and it feels like the same programs are on all the channels; turn to the Web and it’s impossible to distinguish the good stuff from the noise. Bloggers respond to both extremes, expanding the range of perspectives and, if they’re clever, creating order from the informational chaos.

Jenkins suggests that bloggers can reshape the media landscape.

    In practice, the evolution of most media has been shaped through the interactions between the distributed power of grass-roots participatory media and the concentrated power of corporate/governmental media. ... [G]rass-roots intermediaries may have a moment to redefine the public perception of new media and to expand their influence.
Is Weblog Technology Here to Stay or Just Another Fad?

That's what the NY Times wants to know. The Times' article is only vaguely interesting because they discuss the possibility of porting applications like Pyra's Blogger to corporations for internal use and to portal applications.

    But is this a truly new media species, with the power to command the attention of big Internet media companies? Or is it simply that in this, the Internet's fallow period, anything even remotely buzzworthy is given more of a spotlight than it deserves. Is the Weblog, in other words, a fad that is destined to fade?

    ...

    As the popularity of Weblogs grows, companies hoping to make money from the medium are finding opportunities selling the supporting technology to consumers and — if all goes as planned — portals that would do the same.

Sounds like the klogs idea that people like Doug Kaye are evangelizing for knowledge management.

Knowledge management: Can information be counterproductive

Gerry McGovern goes to town with metaphors to explain knowledge management and how our minds work to transform information into knowledge. He likens the ability of our minds to hold knowledge to a cup's ability to hold so much water before overflowing and wasting its contents.

    Think of the mind as a cup and think of information as water. You pour information into the cup (mind). After a while, the cup becomes full. If you pour in more information, the cup will overflow and the information will be wasted.

    The idea here is that the mind has a certain capacity to retain knowledge. After a certain amount of knowledge has been retained, the mind is full. Pouring in more information serves no productive purpose.

    ...

    Most of us are probably like the cup. We have a certain knowledge threshold. We spend time acquiring information about a subject which we turn into knowledge. Over time, this knowledge hardens into opinion and attitude. In such situations, much new information about the subject is ignored and flows off us.

But wait... There's more (he says, in a Ginsu knife spokesperson's voice).

    Time is the oil of the new economy. Attention is the car. Knowledge is the destination. Information is the map.
New Classification Engine Launches

Announcement in Content Wire, Taxonomies about SmartHaven, a new classification tool.

    The Classification Engine automatically structures a company's' existing information according to a taxonomy (structured category tree) that is specific to the user needs.
Getting the measure of taxonomies

Information World Review article about using taxonomies for information management (requires free subscription).

    Many people use the term taxonomy as if there was a single manifestation of the tool, but it might be better to use the phrase taxonomic approach to reflect the many different ways in which they can be built and used. What relates them all are 3 factors: 1. information overload, 2. a comparatively low level of end-user information literacy, and 3. the difficulty experienced by conventional search engines in dealing with very large numbers of heterogeneous (in several senses) documents. The following 3 functional types will serve to illustrate this point: 1. the taxonomy as a display method, 2. the taxonomy used by commercial information providers, and 3. a variety of taxonometric approaches to improve subject access through enterprise information portals.

This is a pretty decent article discussing the common taxonomic approaches in use today. We are all probably most familiar with taxonomies used for display purposes. What is less visible is the approach used by commercial information providers and in-house information services organizations servicing enterprise applications. The latter 2 make up the real meat of taxonomic methodologies, where complex semantic rules are constantly managed by information professionals.

All the news that's fit to post

Shift asks, "Will newspapers survive?"

    Daily papers don't have nearly the impact and influence they used to. More and more, we're turning to the web to get all the news and analysis. So will papers survive?

    ...

    Newspapers have always been in the business of reporting news, breaking news, analyzing news, but now that job is done adequately, and with much more immediacy, on the internet. For example, people flocked to the web in droves on 9/11 to learn everything they could about the disaster and to connect with others. Most of the print papers were light-years behind in their coverage of the biggest event of our generation.

The Information Architecture of Liberty, London

Here's a cool article on city of sound comparing the organization of store products to information architecture. Talks about organizing products based on user behavior rather than on brand.

    Amidst all their usual fabulous porn, Wallpaper* have a good piece on the in-store layout at the Liberty clothes store in London; specifically their switch of 'information architecture' (though they don't use that term) away from organising around brands towards organising into trends. It's based on the notion that people are more comfortable mixing and matching brands to form a look - Top Shop with Prada, say; that trends shift rapidly; and that brands increasingly have their own shops. It also enables Liberty to introduce new items/brands to customers. So, essentially, the store has observed user behaviour, noted high levels of interaction within trend, choosing their own style rather than a brand's imposition of a single unified look. Not so much a separation of content from presentation; rather a separation of trend from brand.

thanks, blackbelt jones

Resources for doing layout with CSS

I've been slowly building a list of resources for doing layout with CSS, which may be of interest to site developers. Many of these links are culled from glish and the css-discuss list.

Omnigraffle mindmap palette

If you use Omnigraffle and are into doing mind maps to organize and brainstorm, you might be interested in this mind map palette from Scotland Software.

Empathic Design

This article on elearningpost.com discusses a user-centered approach to designing elearning projects. The article is applicable outside of elearning and bases much of its methodology on a paper by Harvard Business School Professors Dorothy Leonard and Jeffrey Rayport titled "Spark Innovation Through Empathic Design" (will cost you a couple US dollars for the PDF). The Leondard and Rayport paper talks about empathy and ethnographic research as a component of user centered design.

thanks, Xplane, Xblog

Steve Krug Interview

Acclaimed Usability Expert, Steve Krug, talks with Jude Murray of webBusters.

thanks, LucDesk

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