Archive for June, 2006

Friday UX links

June 30, 2006

So maybe this will become a tradition:

  • Thomas Vander Wal discusses the concept of being a Technosocial Architect (“To many people technology gets in the way of their desired ease of use of information. Those of us who design and build in the digital space spend much of our time looking at how to make our sites and applications easier for people to use. Do you see the gap? The gap is huge!”)
  • History of the Button (“Up until the 1980s, all buttons were physical…”)
  • Definition of User Experience Revisited (“Make it easy to be happy”)
  • The Power of the Marginal (“If I had to condense the power of the marginal into one sentence it would be: just try hacking something together.”)
  • Ross Mayfield posts a link to an update of a case study on enterprise wiki and blog use (“Specific use cases such as managing meetings, brainstorming and publishing and creating presentations collaboratively…”)

Happy Fourth of July weekend!

Google offers new Checkout service

June 29, 2006

Seen in

The Web has long needed a universal checkout process. eBay’s PayPal and other online payment services rely on the various “shopping cart” applications of the Web sites they serve. While browser add-ons such as Siber Systems’ RoboForm can complete much of the order-processing information that different sites require, they exhibit little consistency in the type and quantity of data they collect.
Also, as you place your personal information on more Web servers, your security risk grows. Last but not least, the Web forms themselves are often poorly designed: How many times have you had to reenter all the information in an order form because a single field was skipped or included invalid data?

Google Checkout stores your credit card number, mailing address, and other ordering information. You can view all of the orders you place through the service on a single page, and Google limits how much of your information it shares with its vendor partners.

The article does note a potential security risk:

While having a single repository for all your orders makes makes online purchases much faster and simpler (and potentially more secure), Gmail users and other people already registered with a free Google service may have to beef up their security–one log-in name and password opens them all.
Until I signed up for Google Checkout, I didn’t worry much about someone gaining access to my Gmail inbox, because it contains no sensitive data. The first thing I did after adding the Google Checkout information was to change my Google password, and I’ll continue to do so regularly as long as I’m using the service.

What's the big IDEA?

June 28, 2006

I’ve been meaning to mention the IA Institute’s upcoming IDEA 2006 conference. (It stands for Information: Design, Experience, Access.) It’s being held at the Seattle Public Library, Central Library on October 23-24. I have a feeling I’ll be too busy to make it, but it looks intriguing and I’ll at least try to follow it via the blogosphere.

Newsweek picks cool design sites

June 27, 2006

In other realms, they say when it makes Newsweek or Time (especially the cover), a phenomenon is over. Let’s hope that’s not the case for the hipster design-y sites picked in this Newsweek Design Dozen article (forward by Chris).

PeopleAggregator relaunches

June 27, 2006

I seem to recall playing with a prototype of PeepAgg back in the heady social-web miniboom of 2003 but it seems that the real thing is now in alpha.
I was invited, I joined it, and I’m poking around. In many ways it looks like other social network systems, especially Yahoo! 360 and Tribe, in that, like both of them, it allows you to integrate content hosted elsewhere (such as Flickr photos, Delicious bookmarks, and presumably blog posts and other RSSable streams, most likely including events and reviews and such).
There’s a fairly subtle friendship model, though subjective of course, with five distinct levels, from haven’t met, to acquaintance, through friend, good friend, to best friend.
(PA founder Marc Canter considers me, and no doubt countless others, as a good friend.)
There are both Groups and Networks and I haven’t figured out what distinguishes them. I also haven’t figured out how to plug in my content from elsewhere, and I’m reluctant to hand-populate yet another profile.
More as I have time to explore.

Seattle today

June 26, 2006

I don’t know why they say Seattle is rainy because, like, I was there today and it was sunny and hot – over 90 degrees, so I hear.
Also, the space needle? Totally pointy.

Corporate web 2.0

June 26, 2006

Dan noticed this article in which CNET says big business is embracing Web 2.0, which in this context seems to refer to the two-way web (or, as one author put it, the Living Web):

Though it lacks a precise definition, Web 2.0 generally refers to Web services that let people collaborate and share information online. In contrast to the first generation of Web offerings, Web 2.0 applications are more interactive, giving people an experience more akin to a native desktop application as opposed to a static Web page.

Friday UX links

June 23, 2006

Scaling back the blog(s)

June 23, 2006

I just don’t post to RFB much these days. Nor do my other contributors. Does that blog need to continue? Should I put it to rest? I like the “this day in” stuff from the past, but of course a lot of it is dated. Is there any value to a legacy blog-on-blogging that doesn’t even have a post about, say the recent beta release of Vox from Six Apart?
Plus what do I do with the moderate traffic pointing there from Google? Redirect it to x-pollen?
Likewise, do I need to keep supporting The Power of Many till the end of time? I swear, next book I write I’ll blog about it in an existing blog instead of spawning a new one. If the book needs its own website, it can get its blog content by republishing a feed from my main blog on the topic, along with a set of delicious bookmarks tagged with ‘presence’.
I would like to recommit to blogging here daily. I’ve been neglecting the personal side of my life blogwise, at the expense of professional concerns and the occasional political or other current-affairs type posting.
I miss the daily journaling aspect of blogging and I think it’s helpful – for me, at least – to reflect on a daily basis on what’s going on around me.

Taking the desktop metaphor somewhat literally

June 22, 2006

Lifehacker links to a video demonstrating a proof of concept caleld BumpTop desktop. I’m not sure I’d actually want to manage my work this way but some aspects of the demo are fairly compelling. (via antiweb)