Finally had a chance to take a serious look at Bob Baxley’s book Making the Web Work: Designing Effective Web Applications. It’s an overview of designing for applications – not just pages – on the web. Especially for beginning and intermediate students, it’s a solid set of lessons.
Matt pens some thoughts on easier programming, interesting to me is anything Andy Hertzfeld has to say. After struggling with Pascal and C in college I decided to put my braincells to full time work on the human interface design side instead. I think easy programming simply becomes part of the interface; like recordable actions in Photoshop. Normal programming stays hard (by becoming more advanced) and in the domain of people who dedicate themselves to it. I don’t plan to change my ways anytime soon.
Jeffrey Veen has some nifty glossary terms gleaned from a consulting gig. I especially like Framejack: v. to move a user horizontally through an architecture, switching the interface to another vertical, in the context of a single task. “If a user clicks on My Account while in the Checking vertical, they get framejacked to the Document Center.”
Her favorite time is just before the store opens. The brewing aroma the strongest, the morning light magical through the windows, the peaceful quiet outside. Today she [informally] inspects the shop, walking down a row of coffee barrels full of beans on both sides of her. Each is lovingly labeled. She stops at one,
$4 per pound
medium body and balanced flavor
I love this with a hearty breakfast of eggs and toast or as the final course of a home-cooked dinner of beans and rice
She glances around to make sure no one is looking, and sinks her hands deep into the beans. She closes her eyes and wiggles her fingers, feeling the beans dance around her fingertips. She smiles gently and savors the feeling.
Just sat in a Life chair in the Knoll showroom. I dare say it’s as comfortable as the Aeron, and manages this feat while avoiding the cyborg appearance. I guessed a simpler look would equal a lower price, but alas it starts at US $800. The array of fabric and color options might be worth the expense though, there’s enough variety there to change the look significantly.
Some curiosities seen in Hamburg, Germany:
The U.S. Customs Services erected a kiosk to receive comments and suggestions…
…but after booting up it awaits a password
What new office buildings look like
My First Sony. I love the three progressively bigger green buttons to adjust the volume. Oddly, the arrows on the rewind button point to the right instead of the left. This is because the tape winds to the left, but I wonder if anyone actually uses that little window to judge how much tape has played, especially 3 year olds? This is aggravated by how the tape goes in “upside-down,” tape first, which fooled some people using it. There’s a little icon and arrow to the right that tries to help with that. In spite of these little faults, a neat little way to bring music to children.
In the bookstore in the mall, two shelves devoted to books about tieing knots. Notice the supplied red and blue rope.
The apartment we stayed in had these little water heaters underneath each sink instead of using one big, centrally located heater. A small challenge to my notion of what infrastructure in a house should be centralized. Unlike most German appliances, they worked weakly and inconsistently.
In New York’s JFK airport, the Brooklyn Beer Garden. And we wonder why U.S.-German relations are strained.
…and leaving the technology at home. See you in about a week.
At the IA Summit, Peter Merholz commented that one issue with the phrase user experience is that it’s often misused as synonymous with user interface. I’ve heard this as well, and feel it’s only a matter of time before we start hearing, ‘The user experience is too green, can you make it more blue?‘
Perhaps simply adding an apostrophe-s could rectify this, speaking in terms of the user’s experience. Suddenly it is the user that has ownership and not the designer. It turns out Peterme already thought of that, but we haven’t given it a thorough try. I’m starting to.
The best thing I’ve read lately – and possibly the best summary of interaction design I’ve seen – is Marc Rettig’s Interaction Design History in a Teeny Little Nutshell (PDF slideshow). On how computers should work for us instead of vice-versa: ‘I like to listen to “Morning Edition” on the radio in the mornings. Why shouldnąt the broadcast follow me from bathroom to bedroom to kitchen, then into the car?‘ Link courtesy Peter Bogaards.
‘The conference will look at all facets of the product/service development life cycle and at all other facets of a business as decisions are made that affect the poultry experience…‘