To the list of illustrious jobs I’m honored to have been offered I can now add ordination to be a minister. I have a friend who’s a civil celebrant and needs help with a wedding he can’t perform for scheduling reasons. Too bad I’ll be out of town that weekend :)
Just installed my own little wiki. Not sure why I hadn’t done that earlier, it’s so simple and easy. I’ll use it to keep notes at work, where capturing and linking them quickly is more important that pretty presentation or sophisticated organization. It’s always a struggle not to resort to paper which traps ideas in places I never refer back to. And with Mac OS X, I can have a server on a laptop with me wherever I go.
If you had to create an introduction to IA in a booklet small enough fit in your wallet, what would you say? Maybe:
- user-centered, looks beyond the party purchasing the design to the end user
- includes research and usability testing (which is not an attempt to trump these disciplines, just explaining IA to the completely unitiatiated)
- complements Business Analysts & similar roles
- emphasizes the user because no other roles do this; acts as user advocate
- how they interact with other roles
- uses interaction design heuristics (not just esthetic or other judgements only)
- research done before reaching “comps”
- complements Graphic Design
- Emerged and borrows from LIS, CS, UCD, HCI, etc.
- …and brings something new, such as navigation of large info environments
- In a world of commodities, great design offers a unique proposition
- Not just web, but (imho) across many digital disciplines
- A descriptioon of the activities and thumbnails of documentation
- Where to go for more info
If you’re wondering why I’ve been so quiet it’s because I’m mind melding with Mike Lee.
Behr.com has some great Flash-based color selection tools. Intended for choosing paints, they could be used to choose any kind of color palette.
Last night I had some NYC IAs over and we talked about what kind of persona- or scenario-like information could be culled from server logs (Tanya raised the idea in her Info Foraging paper) along with tangents into linguistics and semantic networks. Tanya brought along Visualization of Navigation Patterns on a Web Site using Model Based Clustering, a 2001 work from researchers at the DataLab at University California, Irvine and Microsoft. The clusters of paths alone reveal interesting patterns of site usage that could inform design.
But also imagine following users in real time, watching which pattern they’re exhibiting, and dynamically altering navigation to help them follow that path. Compare this to the Accidental Thesaurus technique (hard-coding search results to popular queries) and the two together start to form another way of designing, of making changes based on actual behavior as opposed to building models based on research, making design guesses, then testing those guesses.