All posts from
January 2007

The Top 100 Alternative Search Engines

“Ask anyone which search engine they use to find information on the Internet and they will almost certainly reply: “Google.” Look a little further, and market research shows that people actually use four main search engines for 99.99% of their searches: Google, Yahoo!, MSN, and Ask.com (in that order). But in my travels as a Search Engine Optimizer (SEO), I have discovered that in that .01% lies a vast multitude of the most innovative and creative search engines you have never seen. So many, in fact, that I have had to limit my list of the very best ones to a mere 100.” (Charles S. KnightRead/Write Web)

User Experience Teams & Information Architects

“User Experience is critical for the success of products. Consumers/end users have come to expect an integrated, easy to use experience of web sites and applications. No single individual can perform all tasks necessary for user experience and a team needs to be created that takes corporate politics into consideration and properly balances the goals of the individual team members.” (Mike OrenShiny Happy People)

What If Our Systems Could Do The Rest?

“What if, in addition to (or perhaps even instead of) managing content types, templates, and taxonomies, our CM systems managed stakeholders, goals, audiences, information, and publications. What if instead of simply automating Web site creation, our systems managed the full domain of issues involved in collecting and distributing information? Systems these days are quite good at making the details of CM easier, but are no help at all with the big picture. In fact, they leave most organizations with the mistaken idea that they have confronted their CM problems simply be installing a CMS. In this talk, I’ll lay out the contours of the full CM domain of issues and discuss what you can do to confront them with or without software.” (Bob BoikoPlone Conference 2006)

KeyContent: Unlocking communication

“Our mission is to provide a place where expert content developers, technical communicators, information architects, and web designers can come and express their views about the profession. Whether you are publishing an article or commenting on someone else’s, or collaborating with others to write an article, or submitting one you have already written, we have a place and the tools for you. These collaborations and resources are created for and by professionals who want to keep up with the important issues in the transformation of technical communication.” (KeyContent.org blog)

Interview with Doug Bowman

“My general interest (and without a doubt, my current position at Google) is pushing me to think about scale more often. Small scales and large scales. One of the components of my talk at Web Directions North will deal with scale of impact. Using our skills and innovation in technology and design to impact the greater good. The web reaches approximately one billion people now, and that number grows every day. Put one page or one application out there for the world to see, and, given the right factors, millions of people could potentially see it, experience it, or be inspired by it within days. How can we use that power for good? Can we harness our collective knowledge and skills to impact and make a difference both locally and in remote parts of the world?” (John AllsoppDigital Web Magazine)

SpiekerBlog 2.0

“All new in 2007, except the old materials in the archives. Those will eventuelly either be refreshed or delted. New stuff will be added whenever called for. The German text will no longer interfere with the process of reading English. It now has its own site.” (Erik Spiekermann)

Connecting Cultures, Changing Organizations: The User Experience Practitioner As Change Agent

“Readers of UXmatters probably know that user-centered design (UCD) and usability activities have the most positive impact when they’re carried out early in the ideation, design, and development cycle. Probably, many of you have worked in organizations that weren’t very experienced in UCD or usability engineering. You may have experienced something like the following the interchange with a development manager (…)” (Paul J. ShermanUXmatters)

Giving You Fitts

“One of the most well-understood and salient principles underlying the ergonomics of graphical user interface design is Fitts’ Law. Named for Paul Fitts, a psychologist at Ohio State University, Fitts’ Law is a mathematical model of fine motor control which predicts how long it takes to move from one position to another as a function of the distance to and size of the target area. Papers outlining what became known as Fitts’ Law were published in 1954 and 1964.” (Jensen Harris – An Office User Interface Blog)

The iPhone User Experience: A First Look

“A collective gasp was heard around the world following the January, 2007, MacWorld Conference, when Steve Jobs pulled the wraps off the long-rumored iPhone. He proclaimed it a revolutionary product with a brand-new ‘multi-touch’ interface as breakthrough and breathtaking as the mouse interface of the 1960s.
Is iPhone as revolutionary as claimed? Is the multi-touch interface truly breakthrough as claimed? Yes and no. Let’s take a look.” (Bruce ‘Tog’ Tognazzini) – courtesy of puttingpeoplefirst

Taking personas too far

“(…) although personas are essential design tools, we think some people may be losing sight of the fact that they’re just tools, and tools with a specific purpose, at that. Lately, we’ve been seeing a lot of gold-plated hammers – unnecessarily elaborate communication about personas – and some fundamental misunderstandings about the relationships among research, personas, and scenarios.” (Kim Goodwin – Cooper newsletter)

Early and often: How to avoid the design revision death spiral

“One lesson we’ve learned over the past several years here at Cooper is that on the vast majority of our projects, intimate client collaboration is a critical ingredient for success. This is a lesson that we have sometimes learned the hard way; collaboration can be messy, unpredictable and has often forced us to compromise what we thought was a supremely clear and elegant vision. Despite these growing pains, we have now come to embrace the unpredictability and compromise; through well-managed client collaboration, our designs are stronger and are more likely to serve our clients’ needs and satisfy the goals of end users” (David CroninuiGarden.net)

Jon Bosak Closing Kenote XML 2006

“It’s hard to remember now just how different this community was ten years ago. There were only a few hundred SGML experts in the world, a goodly number of whom came to this conference every year. Very few groups in existence today could boast the level of intelligence, the breadth of interest, and the depth of independence, not to say downright weirdness, evidenced by the SGML community of a decade past.” (XML 2006 Proceedings) – courtesy of timoreilly