Congratulations, Selena!

Selena got a job at One Media today. Congratulations!

Speaking of One Media: So, I’m playing around with this interesting interface on (flash required). At first I thought, “Wow this is so cool! What a great way to sync up the words with the pictures.”

Then I started thinking that it would have been a lot more accessible if they had just put all the pictures on the page with the words next to them, like this:

Click for full size image -- One Media garden design interface imagesWell, it turns out that to put those pictures top to bottom would take a page at least 770 pixels wide and 1035 pixels tall – and that’s without any branding or site navigation. Yipes!

…turns out that the “designy” solution is probably better in this case. What do you think?

Jakob’s Arrow

(Note from Dec. 2001: Some of the links in this post were no longer valid, so I removed them and italicized the words that used to be linked, for reference.)

I’ve scrapped the pending re-design. I think the design of a bio-blog really ought to reflect the ‘blogger’s personality. Me, I’m a pretty simple guy. That design was NOT me. In terms of what the design will finally look like, who knows…on my mind right now is MegNut’s new ultra-minimalist approach. Bravo Miss. Hourihan!

Speaking of re-designs, while writing this, I noticed something on that needs a re-design: the arrow Jakob uses to build his bread crumb trails. Has anyone else noticed how crappy that thing looks? On his “Why This Site Has Almost No Graphics” page, he makes mention of the glyph and states that “Download times rule the Web.” If that’s the case, then maybe Jakob should skip the ugly anti-aliased arrow, and go with my slimmer, trimmer, copyright free version:

[Image] Jakob's arrow Jakob’s arrow, 116 bytes
[Image] Brad's arrow Brad’s arrow, 59 bytes

One for the money, two from the show…

Well, the Practicing Information Architecture conference was great! I hope to reflect on it more in a later post. For now, you can enjoy a couple pics I took:

mmm...continental breakfast

Peter Merholz talking to a very short woman

By the way: I added a new book to the wish list: It hasn’t been published yet, but sounds quite interesting. A Pattern Approach to Interaction Design is the title. The author, Jan Borchers, will be presenting at the February meeting of BayCHI. Let me know if you’d like to join me?

One last thing…my sister gets into town tonight. Woo Hoo! Expect updates to be infrequent, at best.

EyeVision, Redesign & HCPI 2

…got together with the TI Crew and watched the Super Bowl yesterday. Forget about the game and the adverts, EyeVision was clearly the crowd favorite at our gathering!

The redesign is coming along. In addition to looking better and being easier to manage, my ‘blog entries are going to be date based as opposed to title based – so I don’t have to make up a meaningless title every time I want to let you all hear about my fabulous life.

Intel Architecture Labs is hosting its second annual Human Centered Product Innovation Conference (sorry, no external web site). If any of you are interested, let me know and I can get you on the invite list (It doesn’t cost anything, but you’ll have to pay for transportation to Oregon and lodging). The list of speakers is pretty impressive, including Dr. Clotaire Rapaille, known for his “archetype research” process, Sarah Susanka of Not So Big House fame, Bill Moggridge and Jane Fulton Suri from IDEO, Red Burns from NYU’s ITP, Rick Robinson from Sapient, Nokia phone designer Frank Nuovo and others. I can’t wait!

Oops…almost forgot to mention: the conference is from April 30th to May 2nd. Registration ends February 15th.

Go with the flow…

You know, I’ve been meaning to read Csikszentmihalyi’s book, “Flow : The Psychology of Optimal Experience.”

I just haven’t gotten around to it. The topic seems interesting enough, though I’m aware that some people think Csikszentmihalyi is an idiot. See: The Flow Experience: The Summa Cum Lousy of Bad Psychology.

Still, I’m curious…and today I found an interesting set of papers written by Thomas Novak and Donna Hoffman, of Vanderbilt University, concerned with providing a conceptual model of how flow works on the Web. You can get the lot of them at their Research on Flow page.

I recommend taking a look at all the papers available there (not just the final draft). The beginning of the first abstract, for example, is a great two minute introduction to the concept of flow.

Back to basics…

With so many things for an interaction designer to think about, it’s easy to forget about good ol’ Fitts’ Law!

What’s Fitts’ Law, you ask?
In a nutshell, it states that the time to acquire a target is a function of the distance to and size of the target. The shorter the distance and the bigger the target, the shorter the time it takes to, say, click on it.

For more information, check out this great (and fun) introduction to Fitts’ law, written by prolific software designer, Bruce Tognazzini.

The Invisible Computer – Don Norman

I finished Don Norman’s book, “The Invisible Computer“, a few weeks ago. I figured I should recommend it, since I thought it was so good.

A large portion of the book is focused on an issue that I’ve been working on lately. Namely, changing the culture of our organization, such that our Management recognizes that while Marketing may “know” the user, they do not necessarily know about software design.

Making this change is difficult to do, as Norman highlights on page seventeen, “Technological Change is Simple; Cultural, and Organizational Change Is Hard.” This is especially true at Intel!

I made my first steps towards enacting this change during the work I did on the Intel® E-mail Effectiveness Coach.