jibbajabba's blog

MetaBrowser

MetaBrowser is a Web Browser for Windows that catalogues Web Pages using Schemas such as Dublin Core, GILS and AGLS (Windows only).

Metabrowser allows metadata to be added to web pages accessible from a local or network drive or sent to an external system such as a Database or Firewalled Web Server. It has tools for controlled entry of metadata using Dublin Core, AGLS standards. Metabrowser also lets you build XML catalogues of web pages that harvesters can use to index your site using Netscape RSS channels and the Australian Commonwealth Harvest Control List standard. Metabrowser Catalogues can be maintained using Metabrowser to drag drop URLs into a customisable tree list.

New links go to top in Google results

Google is doing interesting things again to their search results. Will be interesting to see if they're going to keep the results from getting noisy.

SearchDay: Google Fires New Salvo in Search Engine Size Wars. News links, when they are found, are returned at the top of a result page. Not all queries cause news links to be displayed. "We're trying to make the coverage better while at the same time not decreasing relevance," said Holzle. "We're also shortening time between when news happens and we have it."

thanks Tomalak's Realm

PortfolioWisdom

IAWiki section on preparing your IA portfolio: PortfolioWisdom.

This page would be of interest to OutieIA?'s interested in either getting a full time job (ie. become an InnieIA?), or in landing a contracting gig...

Fulfilling the Promise: Borrowing from "Usability" for Better Cu

Noel Franus of CiQ in an article on Marketing Profs.com talks about bridging the gap between usability and marketing people.

Regardless of what you've heard about usability, set it aside for now, because what's important is the concept's overarching principle: the goal of usability, or user-centered design, is to build useful products and usable websites by a) researching customer needs and b) building solutions based on those needs.

The objectives of user-centered design are nearly the same as those within an advertising agency's account planning department, or with most respectable marketing research groups?you're trying to understand your customers' behaviors and motivations, and you want to let that knowledge influence the direction of your product and its promise.

Six Ways eGovernment Can Alienate Citizens

By Anthony Quinn, Dec 11, 2001 on Usability Infocentre.

A brief look at the issues facing eGovernment in Ireland, and some of the mistakes that must be avoided in order to ensure a successful rollout of Government services online.

Dreaming of hyperlinks

Lou, in his field of dreams, discusses hyperlinks with peterme and jjg.

The humble hyperlink is really quite a useful string of text. It's not unlike a user's search query. In fact, it often stands in for a user's query. And, if I can use the term loosely, it's a form of author-supplied indexing. At the same time! And authors are much happier to create links within their content than to index them the old fashioned way. Meaning there are lots of rich links out there that we might take advantage of.

...

So, if we assume that a link is a query that moves us from Document 'a' to Document 'b', perhaps we can extrapolate, using the same link to create Document Collection 'A' and Document Collection 'B'? Can we use those new collections to create context and reduce ambiguity as we continue our search for that nice string of text embedded in the original link?

I wonder. Has this been done? Doing this (performing searches, essentially, or executing server-side scripted pages that perform searches) with stuff that is indexed already using some scheme (automagic or human produced) is simple enough. Meaning is strung together using indexed terms or concepts. Execute searches on those terms to build pages and links to related stuff using relationships defined in your thesaurus or whatever more technical method you use. I think that is my understanding of Lou's concept. Or could just be my techy bent.

Incidentally, my field of dreams has Carravagio and Siddhartha coming out of the corn to chat. I never dream about hypertext or the web. If we could only communicate without the web, then that would be something. Hell, if we could communicate with the web, that would be something too! And who came up with this term "automagic"? I seem to be using that a lot lately.

DefiningTheDamnThing

A nice summary of recent discussions and illustrations that attempt to define the field of Information Architecture is growing like a Chia Pet at IAWiki. Numerous links to keep you busy scratching your IA/ID/UXD head.

Defining Information architecture is a re-occuring theme in all IA forums, and frequently leads to re-naming efforts as well, from information therapist to experience designer.

Arguments dredge up the history of IA, from its birth in database design and RichardSaulWurman's first coinage of the term to its development in the hands of LouisRosenfeld and PeterMorville. Arguments get lost in job descriptions [1] and cries of "that's not what I do!" Arguments get wild with dreams of grandeur, leading to hopes of creating a position of CXO. Arguments go round and round until they lose steam.

This page is dedicated to that ongoing struggle.

The Human Element: Knowledge Managements Secret Ingredient

On the other side of the index and classify everything mantra is the belief that humans do it better.

Unfortunately, some companies tend to paint an elegant, exaggerated, and over-simplified picture of the benefits of implementing KM software. They claim that new software can capture an entire enterprise’s documents and email messages quickly and, then, simply by applying a common indexing scheme and search functionality, enable anyone to find anything quickly. Indeed, there is value in implementing robust search and index functionality across large document volumes. However, does this type of implementation alone enable companies to manage and leverage intellectual capital? Rarely.

A KM initiative that overemphasizes aggregation and indexing can overlook the human side of knowledge management. Central to understanding knowledge in human terms is identifying knowledge that is truly sharable by people. Sharable knowledge—knowledge that people can reuse and apply to novel situations—isn't contained wholly in the documents and email messages of an organization.

A Summary of Principles for User-Interface Design

Talin on UI design.

This document represents a compilation of fundamental principles for designing user interfaces, which have been drawn from various books on interface design, as well as my own experience. Most of these principles can be applied to either command-line or graphical environments.

Pattern Languages For Interaction Design

Victor Lombardi's pattern language for interaction design report done at Razorfish March, 2000.

Designing the User Experience

Clark MacLeod's presentations (Flash) on visual design, process and information architecture. (March, 2001)

New York Times Navigator

New York Times Navigator Navigator is the home page used by the newsroom of The New York Times for forays into the Web. Its primary intent was to give reporters and editors new to the Web a solid starting point for a wide range of journalistic functions without forcing all of them to spend time wandering around blindly to find a useful set of links of their own. Its secondary purpose was to show people that there's a lot of fun and useful stuff going on out there.

thanks WebWord

A Synthesis of Ethnographic Research

Paper by Michael Genzuk, Center for Multilingual, Multicultural Research, University of Southern California.

Observational research is not a single thing. The decision to employ field methods in gathering informational data is only the first step in a decision process that involves a large number of options and possibilities. Making the choice to employ field methods involves a commitment to get close to the subject being observed in its natural setting, to be factual and descriptive in reporting what is observed, and to find out the points of view of participants in the domain observed.

thanks WebWord

DVD Menu Design: The Failures of Web Design Recreated Yet Again

Donald Norman guest writes for Useit.Com on DVD Menu Design.

Designers of DVDs have failed to profit from the lessons of previous media: Computer software, Internet web pages, and even WAP phones. As a result, the DVD menu structure is getting more and more baroque, less and less usable, less pleasurable, less effective.

Information Interaction Design: A Unified Field Theory of Design

Nathan Shedroff discusses the fields concerned with the design of communication and interaction and considers the commonalities between them.

The process of creating is roughly the same in any medium. The processes involved in solving problems, responding to audiences, and communicating to others are similar enough to consider them identical for the purposes of this paper. These issues apply across all types of media and experiences, because they directly address the phenomena of information overload, information anxiety, media literacy, media immersion, and technological overload--all which need better solutions. The intersection of these issues can be addressed by the process of Information Interaction Design. In other circles, it is called simply Information Design, Information Architecture, or Interaction Design, Instructional Design, or just plain Common Sense.

thanks infodesign

Information Architecture and Information Science

Paper by R. E. Wyllys at the University of Texas at Austin discussing Information Architecture, its origins and relation to information science.

This lesson discusses ideas associated with the phrase "information architecture" and relates them to aspects of the library- and information-science (LIS) professions.

thanks infodesign

In defense onf search

Peter Morville reacts to a UIE report on searching versus browsing.

Jared Spool loves to slander search.

He says "searching stinks." He proclaims it's "worse than nothing." He exhorts web designers to "keep users from using search."

And he backs up these defamatory accusations with $3,000,000 worth of user research data.

Is Jared right? Do his research results tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Is browsing better than searching?

No, No, and No!

Bus ride to the future

BBC article on ethnography.

Dr Bell is part of a group of psychologists, anthropologists and social scientists working for Intel on a new form of industry research called ethnography. This involves studying people to find out the difference between what they say they do and what they really do in their daily lives.

thanks WebWord

Dr. Tom's Taxonomy Guide

Thomas D. Wason's page on the IMS Global Learning Consortium site defines taxonomies and their uses. A selection of useful taxonomies is provided.

Interface Design Is Trickier Than it Seems

In the NY Times, David Pogue talks about designing usable user interfaces. This article reminded me of the discussions I frequently have with programmers -- often illuminating and always challenging.

In 10 minutes, Phil had talked me into designing a horror of an interface, something that nobody would ever understand or use. He also gave me a lesson in the difficulty of good interface design that I'd never forget -- and a lasting respect for the people who know how to do it right.

thanks Tomalak's Realm

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