Archive for July, 2006

Is ANWR as ugly as they say?

July 31, 2006

Jim Goldstein was up in Alaska in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge recently and brought back these photographs.
He says, “A conservative friend asked me, ‘Is ANWR as really as ugly as they say it is? This alarmed me a great deal after having one of the best photo trips I’ve taken to date. The beauty of ANWR is almost unparalleled.”

Jakob says 1024 x 768 is cool

July 31, 2006

We talk about what screen resolution to design for a lot of the time, and the compatability cops are always trying to keep us mired in the past, man, but now usability (and hairstyle) guru Jakob Nielsen gives us permission to optimize for 1024 x 768 (Screen Resolution and Page Layout (Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox)).
Of course his own site, with its lack of margins or gutters, is hellacious on the eyes at high resolutions. The scanning length of his lines of copy alone is enough to try the patience of a saint.

Friday UX links

July 28, 2006

Postdated edition:

Web 2.0 'under reconstruction' icon-slash-movies

July 27, 2006

The Iconfactory (via Digg, or reddit, or something)

Latest 'Polar Bear' survey up

July 26, 2006

Beth Koloski, editorial assistant for the third edition of the Polar Bear book has posted an invitation to take another survey:

To gather information for the next edition of Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, Lou Rosenfeld and Peter Morville have been surveying the IA community.
The third survey, Software for IA, is now open. It consists of five questions, and we estimate it will take five to ten minutes to complete.
This survey closes on August 1, 2006.
The first survey covers trends in the field over the past five years, and the second provides general feedback on the second edition. Future survey results will be posted on the IAI site as well.
Results from the first two surveys are up on the IA Institute website.

Here are the questions:

  1. Over the past 3 years, which three software products have you used *most* to perform information architecture work?
  2. What software, if any, have you worked with in each of the following categories? If you’ve worked with several, please them list all. Skip those categories in which you haven’t worked with any software.
  3. What additional software categories should be on the list above, and what actual software have you used for those categories?
  4. Is there any other software relevant to IA you feel is important or interesting (even if you aren’t using it)?
  5. How do you find out more about IA-related software and tools? Any websites, books, lists, etc. you’d recommend to others?

Socialtext open-sources its core wiki product

July 25, 2006

I was going to post a link to this press release Socialtext Releases First Commercial Open Source Wiki | Socialtext Enterprise Wiki, when Dan pointed me to this CNet round-up of business-wiki related news. Looks like the idea is getting some traction in the business world. (One of our clients just pre-launched a wiki in stealth mode so its end-users can share tips on using their products. We’ll link to it when the time is right.)
Here’s an interesting tidbit from the Socialtext press release:

Socialtext also shared its Public Roadmap to help guide the developer community for the next three months. The roadmap includes a source code repository, Debian, Red Hat, SOAP and REST APIs, usability enhancements, and additional DBMS management beyond Postgres, starting with MySQL. The release at the end of this period, code-named Palladium, will mark the open availability of the first enterprise grade, corporate backed, Wiki to enthusiasts and commercial users alike.

Full disclosure: I’m friendly with a couple of the principals of SocialText.

Business process modeling tools

July 24, 2006

A recent discussion on the IAI list got onto the subject of business process modeling, and the frustrations some folks have had with Rational Rose.
Two recommendations for current tools were Processworks from Wizdom (uses the IDEF model), and IBM’s free Task Modeler (an Eclipse-based tool for modelling the user experience, (and for making DITA maps).
For more info on DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) see DITA markup, DITA map structure, and an IBM DeveloperWorks article on Design patterns for information architecture with DITA map domains.

Friday UX links

July 21, 2006

Seattle edition:

Free content management webinar

July 21, 2006

Scott Abel, Content Management Strategist at The Content Wrangler, Inc. alerted the community to a free webinar on Cutting Edge Web Content Management, July 26, 2006 at 2PM EST, to be presented by Ann Rockley, The Rockley Group:

Developing and delivering dynamic, personalized content via the Web for superior customer service.
Mountains of content. Multiple websites in multiple languages. How do you ensure that you aren’t recreating content and that the right content is delivered to the right person? A unified content strategy will enable you to save your content in a single place for distribution to anywhere – the Web, email, a cell phone or PDA, etc. Anywhere – as defined by your customer. In short, personalizing your content will drive revenue and improve service to customers and business partners.
Identifying the issue is easy enough, how do you do it? In this presentation, you’ll learn how to unify your content strategy to support dynamic publishing across multiple channels to fulfill the ideal of true one-to-one marketing. While the focus will be on the Web as a delivery channel, the discussion will include the need to deliver content via other distribution channels.

Progressive enhancement meets graceful degradation

July 20, 2006

In response to a recent post by Thomas Vander Wal, in which he said, “One approach, which seems to be growing in popularity is [to build] sites that work and Ajax and scripting to augment and improve simplicity,” Austin Govella replied, writing

The term of art for this is “progressive enhancement”. Often in contrast to the idea of graceful degradation: