All posts from
April 2005

Metaphors We Surf The Web By PDF logo

“The way people think about the World-Wide Web (WWW) has implications for the way that they navigate it. In this paper, we discuss the nature of people’s metaphorical conception of the WWW, as gathered from interviews with beginning and experienced web users. Based on linguistic data, we argue that people naturally think of the web as a kind of physical space in which they move, although information on the web is not physical, and web users do not actually move. Nevertheless, such metaphorical thought is motivated by the same basic image schemata that people rely on to mentally structure everyday life.” (Paul P. Maglio and Teenie Matlock 1998) – courtesy of iai digilib

Liquid Information

“(…) a research project at UCLiC in London in cooperation with Doug Engelbart in California. We are aiming to make text more interactive – turning words into hyperwords. Why? Most electronic communication has focused on the production of information, not the digestion of information. In order to make informed decisions in our work, it’s not enough to rely on automated systems – we need to get the right information into our heads.” (About Liquid Information) – courtesy of nooface

Introducing User-Centered Design to an eGovernment Software Development Company

“When I started working for the company in December 2002, the user interface department was growing fast. Instead of a small number of generalist Web designers, it was becoming a large collection of specialists, with titles such as information architect, visual designer, art director and producer. These new employees, each with their own specific backgrounds, brought with them a surprisingly wide array of new words for what they did, their own jargon. The department’s manager realized something had to be done before his team turned into a new Tower of Babel.” (Peter Boersma – ASIS&T Bulletin Feb/Mar 2005)

The (Poorbuthappy) State of European Information Architecture

“In France, IA will probably never take off, at least the current style of US-centered IA. In Belgium, there are a few companies doing interesting IA/UX work, mostly for large clients like J&J and such. But as a field it’s pretty unknown. I blame Belgian’s lack of self-promotion. In Holland, there is a bit more awareness (and historically more ‘design’ awareness) around IA, but also some confusion about what IA really is. There’s another Dutch ‘IA’ organization with a very different take on what it means. I’ll report back on Spain later, but I have noticed there is a bit of a UX scene there.” (Peter van Dijck)

The State of Computer-Human Interaction

“You might say it’s the toughest problem to solve in the modern world of computing; it’s certainly the hardest to define. This month more than 1,800 designers, programmers, academics, professional researchers, industrial engineers, artists, and musicians gathered in Portland, Oregon, for another bash at the question, How do you make these monstrous electronics we’ve created easier and more pleasant to use? Welcome to CHI 2005, the annual meeting of the Association for Computer Machinery’s special interest group on Computer-Human Interaction (ACM SIGCHI).” (Quinn NortonO’Reilly Network)

Ten ways to improve the usability of your ecommerce site

“More and more money is being spent online as consumers switch to shopping on the web. Yet so many websites don’t seem to have considered the usability of their ecommerce site and of their ordering process, resulting in users prematurely giving up and abandoning their shopping basket. Here are ten ways to improve the usability of your ecommerce site, so that you can maximise your conversion rate and help convert the contents of users’ shopping baskets into orders.” (Webcredible) – courtesy of guuui

Put the ‘card’ back into card sorting: Computer-aided paper sorting (Caps)

“Card sorting is a powerful technique for assessing how users group related concepts together. In its simplest form, a researcher would write concepts – usually menu items for interaction design – on cards and ask users to group related items together. In a closed card sort, the number of groups and their names are fixed. In open card sorts, the number and names of groups are determined by the participants, although the researcher may specify limits (3 to 5 groups, for example).” (William HudsonSyntagm) – courtesy of cityofbits

Development of the Genre Concept

“The elements of this framework can be traced back in the theory of genre, as it has developed during the 20th century. The overview of this development below covers the dominant ideas and theories, that have given rise to the genre concept as summarized by Berkenkotter and Huckin. The first part is an outline of modern genre theory. It summarizes the historical background, necessary to understand the application of the genre concept to digital communication. The second part is a review of literature on digital genres (or cybergenres). This section is more detailed than the first part. The broader context is ‘genre as framework for electronic publishing’. This point of view is inspired by the idea, that genre creates shared expectations about the form and content of communication. In this way, genre characteristics are relevant to the design of electronic documents and websites, and genre analysis can be incorporated in the broad field of content engineering (or information engineering, as it is named elsewhere). Leading questions are, in which way such an approach might help to increase the effectiveness of electronic documents, and how the engineering process itself could benefit from a detailed analysis of generic elements.” (Leen Breure – University of Utrecht) – courtesy of peterme

Web Application Solutions: A Designer’s Guide

“Web Application Solutions is a guide that helps designers, product managers, and business owners evaluate some of the most popular Web application presentation layer solutions available today. We compare each solution through consistent criteria (deployment & reach, user interactions, processing, interface components and customization, back-end integration, future proofing, staffing and cost, unique features) and provide an overview, set of examples, and references for each.” (Luke WroblewskiFunctioning Form)

The Annoyance, Irritation, and Frustration of The Mobile Phone: A Design Challenge

“We are in real danger of a consumer backlash against annoying technologies. We already have seen the growth of mobile-phone free zones, of prohibition against phone use, camera use, camera phones, in all sort of public and private places. The mobile phone has been shown to be a dangerous distraction to the driver of an automobile, whether hands-free or not. If we do nothing to overcome these problems, then the benefits these technologies bring may very well be denied us because the social costs are simply too great. There are many sources of frustration or potential liability.” (Donald A. Norman) – courtesy of usabilityviews

Changing the Way People Search for Information, Through Algorithms and User Interfaces

“(…) in 10 years, we will look back on todays search interfaces and recognize them as a simple and limited way to interact with information. After all, she explains, a 5-inch-long rectangle with a long list of text results beneath it doesnt do much to help people make sense of the billions upon billions of unorganized bits of data in the world.” (Susan Dumais – Microsoft Research) – courtesy of usability in the news