Archive for January, 2010

Resisting the baroque temptation and design is harder than it looks, at BayCHI in February

January 27, 2010

This coming February 9 is approximately my one-year anniversary as co-chair of BayCHI’s monthly program and so far I’m enjoying the responsibility a great deal, even with the occasional panic that sets in when each new cycle rolls around.

The BayCHI Program for February features Elaine Wherry from Meebo and Jeff Green from EA. Elaine will discuss What Web Application Design Can Learn from the Harpsichord and Jeff will share some painful but revealing experiences crossing over from journalism to game design in Easier Said Than Done: One Critic’s Painful Transition to Interface Design.

As an aficionado of both music and games, I’m really looking forward to the analogies and lessons these two will share. Elaine is one of the founders of Meebo and she and I have had some really interesting conversations about the history and philosophy and pragmatics of digital product design.

Jeff is something of a famous wit, dating from his days writing the back-page humor column for Computer Gaming World (later Games for Windows Magazine), his various podcast escapades, his Greenspeak blog and of course on on the twitters. He has recently transitioned to a new role at EA, as editor-in-chief (and podcaster) for the EA.com website, and he may still be licking his wounds from his “if you’re so smart” encounter with the challenging realities and tradeoffs of interface design on a deadline.

Should be a great evening!

Meg Whitman is a biter

January 26, 2010

You can't copyright a title

Tipped off by my old buddy and collaborator Levi Asher, I learned that Meg Whitman and her as-told-to coauthor do in fact favor recycling, at least when it comes to book titles:

hey, i was here first!

Since I own the domain called thepowerofmany.com, I’m thinking about redirecting it somewhere interesting at least through election day. Any suggestions?

via (Twitter / Levi Asher)

Your users are mental

January 25, 2010

[imageIn writing Designing Social, Erin and I wanted to include as many voices as possible and represent a wide variety of perspectives. We did this by stealing coopting curating many patterns and tropes already unearthed and documented by smart web people over the past decade and we also invited a large roster of brilliant web folk to contribute essays.

Bit by bit we are making sure all the essays are available online, either hosted on their authors’ blogs or personal websites or in some cases included in the project’s wiki.

Recently, my colleague Tom Hughes-Croucher reprinted his essay on your users’ mental models on his blog, and I think it’s worth reading even if you aren’t designing or developing (yet) in a social context. I love his first line: “One of the things I like about computers is their ability to create magic,” and – to me – the nut graf is here:

The Web is probably one of the least benign environments for a user on their computer and yet it is arguably the most successful computing platform. Using the Web there are numerous contextual or circumstantial errors than can occur, however the majority of users have no mental model with which to understand and recover from them.

…but “read the whole thing” as we used to say on the blogterwebs.

(image courtesy of Mary Harrsch)

Passing Thoughts from 2010-01-14

January 14, 2010
  • designing #
  • designing with a glass of red wine #
  • Boot and Shoe Service on #Yelp: Wanted to try the new restaurant and see Pandora at the Grand Lake. Couldn't get in … http://bit.ly/8lNgb2 #
  • making far-from-pixel-perfect mockups #
  • This is how I do this http://flic.kr/p/7vzhVF #

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Passing Thoughts from 2010-01-13

January 13, 2010

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Passing Thoughts from 2010-01-12

January 12, 2010

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