All posts from
January 2005

Designing the Future: Exploring China’s Design Transformation

GK VanPatter interviews Lorraine Justice – “I was also frustrated with the universities and the corporations in the US. I worked in both for many years and the structure and atmosphere was not inclusive for design. People were protecting their own turf on all accounts and didn’t have room for the new guy (design). Many of us in the design profession spent every day promoting design through our work and other venues, but people are loathe to give up what little power and security they perceived they would lose if they made design important. I did see improvement over the last twenty years, but what alarmed and amazed me is that the Chinese government understood design and all its implications.” (NextD Journal 5.2)

Information Visualization and the Challenge of Universal Usability

“Information Visualization aims to provide compact graphical presentations and user interfaces for interactively manipulating large numbers of items. We present a simple ‘data by tasks taxonomy’ then discuss the challenges of providing universal usability, with example applications using geo-referenced data. Information Visualization has been shown to be a powerful visual thinking or decision tool but it is becoming important for services to reach and empower every citizen. Technological advances are needed to deal with user diversity (…) but also with the variety of technology used (…) and the gaps in user’s knowledge (general knowledge, knowledge of the application domain, of the interface syntax or semantic). We present examples that illustrate how those challenges can be addressed.” (Catherine Plaisant – Univ. of Maryland – HCIL) – courtesy of usabilityviews

Can many agents answer questions better than one?

“The paper addresses the issue of how online natural language question answering, based on deep semantic analysis, may compete with currently popular keyword search, open domain information retrieval systems, covering a horizontal domain. We suggest the multiagent question answering approach, where each domain is represented by an agent which tries to answer questions taking into account its specific knowledge. The meta‚Äďagent controls the cooperation between question answering agents and chooses the most relevant answer(s). We argue that multiagent question answering is optimal in terms of access to business and financial knowledge, flexibility in query phrasing, and efficiency and usability of advice. The knowledge and advice encoded in the system are initially prepared by domain experts.” (Boris Galitsky – First Monday January 2005)

Crafting a User Experience Curriculum

“What user experience information is most essential? What core user experience concepts and skills should be conveyed to every member of a web development team? As I pondered these questions, it occurred to me that I was missing something important. I was forgetting that user experience is not just about concepts and skills, it is also about perspective. I needed to teach the students to think like user experience professionals. In fact, I needed to do that first, because this would make it easier for the students to acquire the necessary concepts and skills.” (Jason WithrowBoxes and Arrows)