The search is over. Many have heroically tried. But a decisive winner has emerged. Behold! the most elegant and usable conference badge design ever: This badge is from The Web and Beyond 2010, held in Amsterdam two weeks ago, where I spoke and saw many excellent sessions. Let me explain the mechanics of this great … Continue reading A Book on a Hook
I just finished reading Lolita; it was my first time reading it, but it was not my first Nabokov novel (having already enjoyed Pale Fire and Ada or Ardor). It was a 1955 American hardback edition, the first year Americans got their hands on the book. I don’t understand why anyone buys new classic books … Continue reading Reading Lolita On Paper
The graphic novel Persepolis, in addition to being a gripping emotional story and the only comic book to ever bring me to tears, is a masterpiece of comic art and a testimony to what you can accomplish through repetition of basic forms. What Persepolis writer/artist Marjane Satrapi can accomplish with a few simple pen strokes … Continue reading The Power of Small Multiples
A few months ago I heard a fascinating woman interviewed on the radio, Noreen Grice. Ms. Grice is a blind astronomer — something that, while initially surprising to me, actually makes perfect sense when you consider that most of today’s astronomy research is based on radio signals, mathematics, physics, and chemistry — and not at … Continue reading Touch the Universe
Fish Magic, 1925, Paul Klee It is said that a fish, even a really smart one, cannot really grasp the meaning of the concept “wet” because it is the only condition they know. There is no “dry” to compare it to. Humans, too, have a tendency to imagine that the way things are today is … Continue reading The Peculiar 20th Century
‘m not going to say much about Kindle — as an iPhone owner, I find both the device and the service colossally dumb. But the breathless excitement over the supposed “death of the book” is even more preposterous, especially to book lovers like my wife and me. For us, books, periodicals, and printed matter of all sorts comprise, quite literally, the very structure of both our intellectual and physical worlds. Kindle is an insult to our world view — Amazon should think of how to support technophiles and book lovers with the same service.
One basic assumption of good experience design is that people fundamentally don’t like change. They can’t deal with it, it’s too risky, and changes will all too often lead to failures. But the human mind’s capacity to adapt to change, sometimes rapidly and seamlessly, can be astonishing.
This book, “The Manual: How to Have a Number One Hit the Easy Way”, changed my life. It was written by Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty (aka The Timelords, aka The KLF) back in 1988, hot on the heels of their doing precisely what the title says: producing a number one hit in the UK, a cheeky little song called Doctorin’ the Tardis. Before I go any further, if you are the person I lent this book to years ago, please return it to me!
I suppose it’s as good a time as any to admit that I’m never going to read any Harry Potter books. I’ve got nothing against the series, actually. I’m sure they’re fine books and I’m glad so many kids, and many adults, enjoy reading them. It’s just that I can’t imagine actually sitting down to … Continue reading I’ll Never Read Harry Potter
The word “experience” comes from the Latin word “experÄ«rÄ«”, or to try. It’s strange, then, that in modern English the two words, “experience” and “try”, have such different meanings: when we try something we tend to take a sip or a nibble, get our toes wet, or go for a test drive around the block. … Continue reading Experience or Don’t Experience. There is no Try.