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This week’s Link Drop Contextd is slightly longer because I wanted to include as many posts about Tropicana reverting back to their old packaging. I have a couple more notes about that process below. The week I came across a lot of posts that had tried to turn data into some meaningful data, usually with a diagram. Some were more successful than others as you’ll notice. UX was on my mind again, though I should throw out the question if you’re a designer how can it not be a consideration?
This is one of those design times that I do think should be taken note of. The last time I felt this way was when UPS introduced their new mark. This time a company, Tropicana in this case has gone back to their previous design which carried a lot of equity. I can’t recall this kind of pull back happening like this before. It’s kind of interesting to read how mainstream media outlets are talking about the story. I wasn’t entirely sure how many posts were out there with the story so I threw out the question on twitter to those that follow me. Above is what I got for posts. Did I miss any?
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I’m not a huge fan of basketball but found myself posting two sites related to that sport in the week’s Link Drop Contextd. In the NYT Magazine piece about Shane Battier and his invisible stats, one take away is that there’s always potential to see something else that no one has bothered paying attention to – and applying that to something. Very applicable to almost anything out there. Twitter makes a strong comeback with a couple new links, so does food and music blogs. Till next week, thanks for coming back…
On Rating Systems
I’ve wondered about the usefulness of numbers in rating systems too. What’s the difference between 3.5 and 3.7? How is that going to make your decision that much easier? But then again pass/fail or great/sucks doesn’t always help either.
Blogs aren’t the magical publishing tool for everything, but it’s been put to good use with this design work. I’ve come across some of this stuff outside in the real world. Nice to see the whole package in one place.
How we pick blogs
I’m always interested in how someone makes editorial decision, for this post it’s how a blog is chosen to be in Hype Machine. And to think I just thought they allowed anyone…
A lot of really quick posts with good links to more links and even better info.
What do you mean when you’re talking about creating a twitter group? It might have to do with one of the two mentioned in this post.
What the CBC should know about Twitter
Every media source that has any type of online community should be asking the above question. What kind of expectations and experience do the people that follow have with twitter, and what do they want? Maybe there’s an unexpected opportunity. Either way the responses from the above question are worth a read.
Select one of L.A.’s 87 neighborhoods
Super cool idea about location of areas of a neighborhoods. People can make their own area names. It would be really cool to see something like this in Manhattan, and have a bunch of different people outline areas themselves and compare. If you see that in New York Magazine anytime soon, remember where you read it first.
The No-Stats All-Star
This was the perfect article to read on a Saturday morning eating a bagel and lots of coffee. Sometimes it’s better to disregard the conventional rules and make some new guidelines for measurement.
how campaigns work. beats me.
Sill one of my new fav. blogs that make me think, the above post has a number of ideas that I can’t summarize in a line or two. But the thing to note for me is that an agency is likely to deliver the same sort of results as they did in the past due to their own organizational inertia – or they’re taking their past experiences as a cue for future work. So much for innovation…
Playstation 3 Media Centre
There’s a lot of talk about different web apps finding their way on to the tv. Most notably there’s boxee and hulu in the news fighting, but there’s others out there too in the game.
The Wayfinding Handbook
I’m currently reading this book for review (almost finished). I’m really liking it (recommend it as a buy) so when I found out there was a website I was oh cool, what additional info do they have that the book wasn’t covered. Sadly I’m not sure why they bothered putting up that page – there’s nothing going on. I can think of about a 100 different things that they could have done and all they bothered doing was a five second ppt slide. Just when I think designers are realizing the potential past paper – brutal flash sites like this pop up. I don’t get what they were hoping to gain from the experience they presented. I’m hoping I just missed the button to click next, but I don’t think there is one…
I’ve always had a sketchbook with me back to the days when I was in school. They’ve never been that pretty and def. not something to show other people as a best practice as what to do. Over the years the sizes and formats have changed. I’ve had big hardcover books, moleskine’s and now I always carry a small muji w/ me. But I’ve never felt completely at ease using them. Looking back now, I’ve had an uncomfortable permance dealing w/ ink to paper. It wasn’t until I started working at daylife that I really started working with a whiteboard. Simple interaction stuff, nothing that fancy. About a month ago while I was working at home on some data flows for the new ten15am site (coming soon) I blurted out to twitter “i wish at this precise moment at home that i had an erasable white board” b/c I couldn’t get down on paper what I wanted.
About a week later I found myself at the muji store in the nyt building b/c I had to buy some new pens and sketchbook. As I was walking around I discovered that muji sold a couple different sized whiteboards. Thinking back to my initial issue I bought the mid size board that’s pictured above. I don’t know what the exact size is so I placed an iphone on top of it for scale. I also picked up a brush and a pen. The pen is actually pretty cool but there’s two pieces that you have to buy. There’s the ink and the actual pen, though from the packaging I wouldn’t have known that I needed both pieces if one of the people at muji hadn’t mentioned it to me. As an visceral experience, putting the ink into the pen and watching the white felt tip go black is actually a really cool thing to watch. If you end up getting one you’ll know exactly what I mean… In the end the total price was about thirty dollars.
After bringing that board home I sketched out a ton of things, it opened up a lot of freedom to explore options that I never felt I had on paper. I was so pumped I went back to muji the next day and bought another whiteboard for work. Typically when I’m happy w/ where the idea is on the board (or not) I’ll take a quick picture from my iphone and email the image to me so I have a copy of it somewhere. That allows me to have a record to come back to. The proportion and size of the board fits nicely with the iphone and everything is readable. Now that I’ve been working with this process for a while I’m not sure how I could have worked without one. So if there’s one takeaway from this post – go find yourself a whiteboard b/c it might open up things in a great way.
I’ve been meaning to do this whiteboard post for a while, but it wasn’t until I saw a video clip on smarterware about coldplay on 60 minutes where for a couple minutes Chris talks about process. I’ll spare you from watching the whole thing (unless you’re a fan and then you should start from the beginning) and fast forward to about 7:01 when Chris is described as a list maker that puts notes on scraps of paper and anything else that’s available including his piano. Such a great idea to be able to relax enough to let an idea come together. I was a bit surprised that the pen is permanent and not like whiteboard erasable – but to each they’re own I guess. Either way it’s worth watching to see how someone else works out concepts. He also briefly talked about rules, tons of rules – b/c they’re important in his own words. If you’re making out specifications for a project that idea of rules is something that’s relatable.
The last couple of weeks have been pretty busy for me, and as a result the number of posts being included in my weekly Link Drop Contextd has been reduced. That’s not necessarily a bad thing b/c I don’t think anyone has time to read forty plus entries in one sitting. If there’s any pattern this week to notice, politics played a pretty minor role in what interested me web wise. Information on display always interests me, but it’s moving in a direction where I’m wanting to see how people archive and come back after the initial burst of data. Anyhow… thanks for checking up this Friday.
360 – Urban Villages in Paris (1920)
I’m not that familiar w/ the history of urban planning of Paris, but I’ve always enjoyed looking at how the city rolls out. This map is shows that spiral in a really nice way that integrates some of the different breakout percentages.
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This is such a cool idea, def. going to make my own nyc version of this. It might be kind of do a trade w/ someone in a different city that makes one too…
You Can’t Sell News by the Slice
I kind of like collecting these type of stories about how object to monetizing news. The thing is, this question is practical in almost any other industry at the moment – not just news.
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WHAT DIDN’T HAPPEN
Since discovering this site a couple weeks (maybe month ago), I’ve been fascinated with the re-contextualization of this info into something it was never intended to be.
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I’m still kind of thinking wtf happened w/ the CCTV building fire.
After reading a quick post from A VC titled Status (continued) it got me to thinking about some of the things I didn’t really consider for myself when I started sending my twitter action to my facebook status. What I wasn’t expecting which happens from time to time, is that a conversation starts from the people that are connected to me via facebook. Most of the time those people are on twitter to, but that conversation probably would never have happened on twitter.
I can’t speak for anyone else, but I think that the conversation is semi private makes things a lot more relaxed. If that conversation was available to anyone to read I wonder how those responses would change or happen at all. This isn’t a mind blowing discovery but it’s interesting to note how people interact via different online applications that have different levels of protection.
Very early this morning Daylife (where I work as the Design Director) released its latest version of Daylife Select at http://select.daylife.com/. As iterations go, I’m very happy with the additions that we all made. The home page, navigation bar, quote detail page all received extra attention and serve’s a lot more functionality. I was also able to start looking at product icons – hopefully some of the high level nav topics will be next on that agenda… As per usual there’s some significant backend improvement too, but that’s for the engineers and developers to explain.
My personal fav. new addition is the timeline. For any chosen topic you can view how many articles were published. It’s very telling to see when things spike, plus it also allows someone to go back in time very quickly to see the archives which is really important when data is flowing at the speed of light. This page will def. evolve over time depending on what needs arise, but for the time being I really like how people can get an equal sense of info flow for a day, and then move quickly to the next or previous day. If you used a page like this to show a lot of stories or blog posts what would be important to you?
Hopefully not too many of you will mind seeing two posts in a row about Daylife, but it is where I work and I don’t talk that much about it. I also at time’s hope people don’t think I’m limited to the design of DesignNotes. Daylife get’s the innovative design ideas for the moment. But more importantly I would encourage you to dive into the site and let me know what’s working and what seems weird. As with any release there are some bugs and tickets have already been made, but I’m sure there’s stuff we’ve overlooked.
I follow a lot of headlines for a number of reasons – b/c I’m interested in what’s going on out there, and I’m very curious to see how people are passing out info, that info usually being some sort of news bit. When I design I typically lean towards trying to connect an image as much as possible to a headline to give it context, plus people are more likely to be drawn to images that look interesting to them. Conventional thought is once they’ve become interested in the image they’re more likely to click on the headline. But then there’s times when it’s not appropriate either. And what’s tripping up that theory for me is a tumblr site that has the headlines to BlackBook Magazine. I’m not sure if http://bbook.tumblr.com/ is coming from someone inside the publisher or not, that’s actually not that important to my point below.
Before I explain why that tumblr site is actually more successful than its visual real site for my point and click habits I need to mention that I’m not a huge fan of using tumblr personally. I’ve created three sites and haven’t been motivated to update them regularly. But what I will mention is that my opinion of the tumblr has changed significantly. I get more traffic from tumblr sites to DesignNotes then I do for search from Google. My seo has never been that bad so that’s not the issue, when people reblog a post and someone decides to visit, they viewer knows exactly what they’re going to get. Search from Google can be a bit of a guess and doesn’t always satisfy why someone would want to come to a site. But I digress…
Back to why I’m more likely to click on those BlackBook tumblr headlines to the nicely designed real BlackBook Magazine site: As sad as it is for a visual person like myself, the stripped down version from tumblr gives the power to the words as opposed to having my eye follow many, many different starting points. It’s not noise per say, but too many options. Of course the reverse could be said if all I saw was 1000’s of headlines with no context. The power of the writing lives and dies with the tumblr site which is kind of risky. If it’s not a great headline I’ll never click it (unless someone passes me the link at a later date), as opposed to a sub par headline but great image that may pique my interest in clicking. “It all depends” is the easy way to look at it, but it leaves things up to interpretation which is always a gray area.
While thinking about the plain headlines it got me also thinking about Bloomberg’s news site which is anchored with just headlines. Stark headlines letting the content speak for itself should be a winner for the same reason why I mentioned tumblr above. The thing is that I don’t visit that often – not b/c of the writing but b/c I can’t take the black background. It’s a personal preference that I’ve come to accept. But soon as I reverse the site to white it’s infinitely easier for me to read.
Would I recommend that every site kill all their images and just go headlines? No, most sites kind of look like everything else which at this moment in time is part of the online UX beast. That trend will change, just not tomorrow. However it would be interesting to give people a couple options on how to look at a site. Just as some sites allow for people to increase the font size or change the background colour, maybe there should be a button that stripes all the images and just gives headlines. That would be interesting to see.
Before the Super Bowl I figured that I might use twitter once in a while to make a comment, but as the game and commercials began I was re–twittering or RT’ing more so. I was passing along comments that I thought were worth mentioning to those that others might not have read since they possibly weren’t following the same people. I made a comment from time to time but the majority of my publish button action was from other people’s content. I was acting as curator and editor from my twitter position. Occasionally the RT would exceed the 140 character count b/c the added name pushed the available space. So on occasion I had to edit the tweet to get it to a point that would fit into the space. A common edit would be turning the word “advertising” in “ad”. But it got me to thinking. There was nothing holding me back from changing the entire comment of the RT into something completely different – and attributing that info to someone else. That kind of action is unlikely but does allow someone to really sabatoge a twitter rep to some degree. I also noticed that when you click on the RT persons name, it doesn’t send you to the original post but a general feed of that person. If that person is a heavy twitter user the original post could be pages back and not viewable after the original click. The above board shows the ux breakdown and a typical post.
So with a couple modifications I tried to figure out a way that would give the indication if the tweet was indeed the original RT or if it had been modified in any way. The quickest way was to show a lock to indicate whether it had been kept the way the post was intended to be, or have it unlocked to indicate if it indeed had been open. I also placed a text version at the end of the post as most twitter readers don’t show any image aside from the profile pic. Fairly simple stuff – I also changed up what it meant to show the RT. Turn that into part of the link for the original post, so if I click on that I get the actual post without needing to try to figure out when in the flow a post came from.
I also mocked up what it the changes would look in TweetDeck. In my guesstimation the RT is kind of an untapped action at the moment. There’s lots of interesting conversations that can branch off of a RT. It’s impossible for me to know if people are doing strange things with a RT and a username, but the potential is there to be not so nice with it. A bigger issue however is that it’s annoying to click on a RT url and not getting the direct post. That is something that should be considered sooner than later.
This week I thought I go with quantity and quality for Link Drop Contextd and leave the commentary short and sweet and let the site titles speak for themselves. Considering how much I enjoy football and that it’s the super bowl this weekend, I’m surprised that I didn’t come across that many related links. I’m also surprised that I didn’t mention one related link about Twitter. Till next week or blog post, ciao…
QuickPost 2: Super Bowl Ad Live-Blog.
Interesting concept, kind of interested to read the commentary once things get to the fourth quarter and many beers have been drank. Too bad it’s not open to anyone commenting…
Haven’t had a chance to read all of this info, but it looks like a great reference none the less
As I’m focusing more on quality vs quantity it’s interesting to see how smaller patterns emerge after a weeks worth of filtering. This week seemed to be a combo of ux, tech and ideas – not a huge departure from most of my Link Drop Contextd’s I realize. What is different again is the format. Still tweaking it a bit. Aside from the size of images and format the colour is also slightly different. I’ll be posting about that later today. Until then happy Friday clicking.
Flowing Data put together a visualization of tweets around the time of Obama’s inauguration. Really fascinating to watch the spikes leading up to and after 12 noon on the 20th of January 2009.
I really like the idea behind the modules of Bug Labs, this post is a good starting point to click off a bunch of links that look at opening up the user experience as they move forward.
I was underwhelmed by the options at the last Triennial at the Cooper-Hewitt among many other things (like no cameras to photograph design stuff – it’s not art after all). I’m not sure how the vetting process happened last time, this time they’ve opened up the nominations which makes me very happy. If you think something should be nominated you now have the opportunity. You can also view what has already been nominated and by who. Great transparency, let’s just hope when the open the exhibition a person can take photos for their own private use…
I’ve walked through this exhibition at the MoMA a couple times though I haven’t paid that much attention to it aside from photographing it. Next time I’ll be taking a closer look.
I’m not a huge fan of micro sites (or flash), this one maybe shouldn’t even be categorized as such anyways – but, it’s a really informative site on what to pair cheese with. Next time I buy some cheese I’ll be keeping this site in mind with what I want to drink with it.
I liked how they broke down how forum discussions tend to flow. But the better info they present is in the form of a question about how to follow a twitter discussion.
I was kind of skeptical if people would even submit photos to cnn to have them stitched together. Looks like some people are and the visuals is kind of cool. I think the ui is slightly jittery but as a first attempt it’s pretty cool.
Every once in a while I get the chance to take a look back on a how a post was created and the loop it made. One of those times last year was looking at how one sticker on the street started a lengthy bounce around on my different web outlets. This time around its more about visualizing the site posts that were combined to create my original post on Football and Chess (and design) and what that spawned. A couple days after I made the football and chess post I received a comment about another post talking about football (and design) that I should take a look at. From the other side with that football post that Scott Burnham wrote I suspect that he saw some traffic coming from my post. He then in turn posted about my post which I am now posting – quite the loop eh?
There’s nothing that extrodinary about my diagram aside from illustrating all the sites that were in play. What’s interesting to me is that if a intermediary had not made that original comment there would not have been any chance to build on what was started. And to take it one step back, if there had been no outlet for someone to comment on the first post I did I probably wouldn’t have seen Scott’s post. And if I had been completely freaked out by copyright laws I would never had reblogged the content that made up my first post. Hopefully by describing the process of where I got to this moment hasn’t totally confused you. If it has, just follow the above image as it’s showing the exact same thing simplified.
and on a seperate note, you might want to check out www.sportsbabel.net as it’s got a lot more posts and info about sportocracy…
Over the holidays I installed TweetDeck for my MBP and TwitterFon for my iPhone which in turn made Twitter more interesting to me. I’ve been going through cycles with Twitter where it’s been more social, switched over for some sort of info gathering, switched over again for blog content, switched over as an experiment – you get the idea. Exploring different reason to blast something out on Twitter. As a point of reference this post kind of sums up the framework that Twitter created that allowed for TweetDeck and TwitterFon: The irrestistible future of organizing: think of brand as a living system.
If you’re not familiar w/ TweetDeck, it’s a desktop application that refreshes in pretty close to real time. It’s a constant update and flow. It was pretty overwhelming for the first couple of days trying to keep up. That real time flow for me was fascinating to watch, similar to when Twitter set up that live election Topic Feed. Before installing TweetDeck I was somewhat selective with my sources b/c it’s pretty hard to follow 1000’s of feeds in one stream. The great thing about TD is you can create list filters. What that means is I can create a stream that just flows people I know, another that’s just news and another that is everyone. Down the road I’ll probably create a couple more focused filters, but at the moment what I have works for me. Especially the news feed. The constant flow of headlines is great for a news junky like myself. Collecting that list was a bit of a pain, I kind of wished I had come across this wiki that list an enormous list of Journalists, Bloggers & Media Outlets on Twitter before I started. There’s a couple clunky things with TD, especially the scroll buttons. They’re not bug enough for me to drag, but as a stream system it’s pretty useful.
My Twitter app of the moment for my iPhone TwitterFon. It’s got a pretty nice UI with some simple but effective sections. There’s the main window for content flow, but the greatness is how you can find more info off of one tweet. The biggest failure so far with apps that have a UI for the iPhone is the lack of being able to dig deeper into one particular section. If I click on one particular tweet there’s as many useful options as if I had full openess on my MBP. Actually, I think TwitterFon has a better UI than Twitter itself. Nice additions include geo tagging and allowing to attach images. It’s actually more work to do the same thing on a laptop. Who knew that a mobile app could make things easier than it’s laptop counterpart. I could go on, but I think the above screen shots give you the idea.
I like combining stuff to see what I get, especially with quotes like above. Both of those excerpts are relatable to not only their respective sports but to the bigger picture of design from my pov. If you can follow me for a sec I’ll explain why. In Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design (Interactive Technologies) by Bill Buxton, he describes trigonometry (something that is fundamental to navigation) “more often than not they recast the problem in a different representation that simply side-steps the need for the task to be done”. In football it’s about moving ideas from point A to B by dealing with challenges, while in chess as Fischer illustrated, turning a complex process into something that was simple in it’s brilliance. Isn’t that what design is about?
Wanting to take a look back so I can figure out how to proceed with 2009, I grabbed a bunch of notable posts that I thought were worth spending a bit more time with. Below each image I’ve made a note now that I’ve had some time away from each of the original posts. Here’s to the new year and thanks for visiting, and linking and commenting and…
This seemed like a great idea at the time, trade my shuffle with someone else and hear some new music. I ended up trading but due to my own business it took way too long to trade back with her. I learned my lesson – anyone else want to try trading?
I wanted to combine some of my photography with a listing of location. Another idea with good intentions, problem was it took a lot of time to map it out and I had no way of exporting the data offline if I wanted to. So after a while I stopped posting to that map.
This was before things really took off with Obama, I had seen the Hope graphic floating around the web but this was the first image I saw of it actually on the streets. A while after that post someone mailed me a couple of the posters. That was a very good day.
There was an interesting discussion after I posted this – unfortunately when I installed Disqus after the fact that comment stayed in the old database of comments. In effect the person was objecting to the commercialization of the idea of the Ghost Bike. At the time I was pretty much on the opposite side thinking that a company shouldn’t have to worry about worry such things. As I’ve walked a lot through the city and seen those white bikes out there, that person may have been correct with their objections.
This project is still going on for a couple weeks, but the number of people that saw it and contacted me after this post was quite amazing. Not sure where this project will end up but up until now it’s been interesting to watch it grow.
There was three events that were sort of art, sort of design that I really enjoyed seeing. One was MoMA’s Design and Elastic Mind Exhibition, Murakami at the Brooklyn Museum and Buckminster Fuller at the Whitney. I would have luved to have blogged more about the last two exhibitions but since they don’t allow photography inside I’ll just mention that it’s a stupid policy that will hurt them more than what it will help. Banksy’s installations would be up there too in really good things to have seen now that I think about it.
Just like the Frietag instruction booklet I mentioned above, Camper’s shoes are a product that other designers should want to strive for. They are perfect for the weather of NYC and never wear out. There’s only two brands of shoes that I buy, Camper and Giraudon.
There’s a lot of really smart stuff in this book. In my top 3 of things to read, and more interestingly I don’t think this book will date itself as much as some of the others along the same genre that came out this year.
For all the chatter of sites that tagged brands, I think Dear Adobe changed the game more so than any other UGC site. If I was wanting to study site concepts for company’s, this is where I would start. And no, Adobe didn’t design the site.
A couple weeks ago I mentioned the release of Daylife Select on the blog. This is an updated post following our latest release. I want to preface this a bit by mentioning that a lot of people at Daylife made the latest version at http://select.daylife.com kicks some serious ass and I’m just one person that had a hand in it. This is coming from my pov and shouldn’t nec. be seen as official commentary in anyway. I’m just happy that it got released and that there’s some really cool stuff I want to mention… I couldn’t help but smile a bit as I watched the PSFK video of Good Ideas in 2009 in Digital as they pretty much talked about what Daylife can do already as an aggregate. So I might recommend listening to that video as you click around our Daylife Select.
There’s a couple significant things that this release accomplished in my eyes, the site now is starting to have a personality (no more all white boxes), we’ve opened a lot more ways to view photos in the news, and we’ve been able to place quotes in context. There’s also a ton of backend improvements, but an engineer is better qualified to talk about that. I’ve used Banksy to illustrate of that Daylife Select can do. There’s the topic page that collects all the data that we can pull in via Headlines and articles, photos, videos, quotes, wikipedia and related topics. The topic page has four main tabs that collects each of those media types and a fifth that is an overview of everything. The photo tab now has a button that will now display all the images in a grid format that allows you to go through a ton of images really quickly. Once you find an image you want to see by itself it will go to a photo detail page, where you can see even more photos underneath.
One of my favourite features about Daylife Select is that it can pull quotes. I can get a glimpse of what a lot of people are saying quite quickly. Up until now you would click on the quote and it would send you off site. Now when you click on a quote it goes to a page that will allow you to read it in context and find more quotes of similar nature. The page needs a bit more design luv, but that will come soon enough.
Of course there’s more stuff coming up for Daylife Select, but until you can actually click to see it you’ll have to wait. As I mentioned in my previous post, I’d encourage you to click around and let me know what you think works and what doesn’t. Did something seem weird – that kind of info. As you can imagine the site is in constant growth and evolution mode.
It’s a minor thing, but this morning when I went to click on a button to see a video, the button said “read” on it. Nothing serious about that though I wonder if view would have been a better choice. That then got me to think about actions after you click. How often do you click on a button that usually says “read” to get more info and all you do is scroll, grab a bit of info an move on? Are you really reading or more like viewing? Kind of like back in the day when tv was relevant and you were passively taking things in.
This morning in my inbox I had a link for Project No.8’s holiday giftguide. I’m a fan of the scroll as it allows the person exploring a site to set the speed for how they want to find information. The giftguide’s simple approach by breaking the info buy into three different prices isn’t pushing the boundaries of information design, but buy lumping all the products together you don’t have to worry about superficial names of the objects. The photo quality isn’t great but it is clear enough that you know what you’re going to get. The placement of the < previous | next > buttons is very smart too, you never have to move your cursor when you start clicking. It’s a simple site that is doing some really smart things – I wish more product sites would follow that lead. Check out the site yourself at www.projectno8.com/holiday.html
Last night to a standing room only IxDA NY audience at R/GA for Dan Saffer presented what I’m going to guess is an outline of his new book Interactive Gestures: Designing Gestural Interfaces(you can download the first chapter at the site) that is coming out soon. At the end of his talk he mentioned that he would be putting up his slides which I’ll link to once I see them on the Kick It site. You can download the Tap is the New Click Presentation HERE. He likened the next couple of years of gestural interface experimentation to the early years of the web – both the good and bad. As a primer on this emerging field I though the talk was pretty good. I’m hesitant to do a play by play of points b/c that’s what his book and slides can do clearly. But what I want to do is point out a couple things that I found interesting from the pov of someone using an iphone, kiosks and the clapper.
There’s two types of touch screens – iceberg tips which have a small target yet there’s a larger surface surrounding that target that is live. The other is adaptive targets which is kind of like the keyboard on an iphone. As you type in letters the sensors guess what is more likely to be the next letter and create a bigger target b/c of it. On communicating interactive gestures there’s three points to consider: 1. attraction, 2. observation and 3. interaction. If you have an iPhone you know about the unlock slide to turn it on. That type of interaction is known as attraction affordance. It introduces the person to a type of gesture that the interface uses. As for a philosophy to consider, the simpler the task should equate to the simpler the gesture. The best designs dissolve into behaviour.
The q & a afterwards was surprisingly good – my experience in the past at talks in general has not been the case. Some topics covered included tech. will be abused as necessary, sensors as a green issue in bathrooms, face recognition for ads, gesture pollution, will a room be an apple or microsoft room – the implications of that, brainwaves are not gestures, will gesture be patentable or gestures plus a response system be patentable and wearable technology.
IxDA NY and R/GA filmed the event as well. Once I find that link I’ll post it here too.
Last week I spent a couple days in Minneapolis taking in Adaptive Path’s UX Intensive. I would have really enjoyed taking the full four days but couldn’t b/c of work commitments. In any case two days was better than none and had the chance to take the Information Architecture and Interactive Design days. The obvious question to answer would be “how was it?”. The simple answer would be to say it was good… But how good and was it worth attending – and I would have to say I was able to connect a lot of dots that I had been thinking/doing but was looking for a bit more structured organization, and it really helped me provide a lot more confidence in how I approach design – so yes it was worth it.
The IA day was by Chiara Fox with help from Leah Buley. The day was divided into four sessions; Metadata & Controlled Vocabularies, Content Analysis, Content Modeling, and Classification & Site Structure. Each of those sessions had an exercise – some were group activities while others were individual. The Interaction Design day was put on by Dan Saffer and Kim Lenox. Again the day was divided into a number of sessions; Introduction & Characteristics of Good Interaction Design, Making Models from Research, Ideation, Design Principles, Innovating Design Methods, Fixing Broken Products and Prototyping. The activities themselves were there own sessions as opposed to the IA were it seemed like it was more of a reinforcement of the concepts on a high level. The ID exercises were Making a Conceptual Model, Brainstorming, Design Principles, Innovating a Design Method and Device Prototyping.
Each day included a workbook that contained all the slides and exercises. The context for all the exercises was for a fictitious hotel in California. All the presenters were quite clear and smart which at times made the learning slightly deceiving. They would share a point that was to be emulated in an exercise, and when I thought I had taken everything in found it challenging to complete. They made things look a lot easier than it was – that was something that I overheard a bit from others. In a lot of ways that’s a good thing – they knew their stuff and we had to learn.
The biggest takeaway wasn’t any particular session or thought, but wanting to take what I had learned and implement it as part of my daily design process. It’s taken almost a week of going through my notes and reviewing the slides. That of course only goes so far without hands on action. I’m pretty excited to see how I can do that in the next couple of months. I’ve put up some photos of my experience on flickr, you can get more info about the Information Architecture workshop at http://tinyurl.com/4hjfpc and the Interaction Design workshop at http://tinyurl.com/4xzqby. Conferences have their place, but for me at this point in my career the hands on workshops are a lot more valuable to me. If you have the time and resources I would highly recommend trying to get in to any of there workshops, it’s a great opportunity to enhance what you already know.
Like all absolutes, there are none – though I was struck by two recent things I read on the web recently. From the Barbarian Group website I was in a section called barbaripedia where they “talk” to potential people. One such person is the outside Art Director. What was fascinating about the conversation was that they’re trying to talk to a lot of different skill sets, both the young hotshot and the old person that still design web stuff in illustrator in cmyk mode. I just liked the candor of how they go about letting people know how some aspects of web work should be produced. Read the full conversation at http://tinyurl.com/62sxdj
The other post that made sense to some degree was from 37 Signals in which they talk about Why They Skip Photoshop. Both the points they make and all the comments for and against that idea are worth considering. While I don’t think Photoshop is going away anytime soon I’ve yet to read something that really throws out the practical reasons why sometimes Photoshop isn’t the best way to show comps. Read it for yourself at http://tinyurl.com/6fl5ot
People are happy to tell me I’m a dork – usually I’ll shrug and tend to agree with them. Keeping that in mind while I wonder out loud why two sites that I both enjoy decided to stop providing services I’d expect on a really slow weekend confirms the dork factor. At the moment twitter is essentially useless when I try to see older updates (I’m guessing they’re doing some upgrades) while I’m more irritated to discover muxtape killed all 12 tracks I had uploaded recently. When I’m getting something for free I suppose that’s going to happen. What struck me this time was that being honest with a notification wasn’t enough. Things happen, people can fix mistakes – fair enough but a better model for me is trust a pay service that guarantees that when I save information outside my secure areas it stays there.
I found a handy iPhone weather site via EverydayUX (which incidentally is a blog you should check out regualarly) that has a nice relative feature. It gives you an approximation on how the following day will compare to the previous day. The iphone url is pretty tough to find at www.wunderground.com so i’ll save you the trouble and mention the iPhone url is i.wund.com/