Who Watches the Watchman?

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Let’s say you own a big building full of valuable stuff. How do you make sure that the night watchman patrolling your factory floor or museum galleries after closing time actually makes his rounds? How do you know he’s inspecting every hallway, floor, and stairwell in the facility? How do you know he (or she) … Continue reading Who Watches the Watchman?

Experience Design User

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A week ago, Jesse James Garret veritably bellowed the words “user experience designer” in his plenary address at this year’s IA Summit in Memphis, attempting to create some common ground between the information architects and interaction designers in the room and across the industry. In a strong and deeply-felt speech, he admonished the community (-ies?) … Continue reading Experience Design User

Web 2.0 Incomplete

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Two weeks ago, BusinessWeek’s next Design and Innovation blog asked for my thoughts on this month’s Facebook home page redesign, as a kind of follow-up to my thoughts in those same virtual pages a year ago. I was asked to opine on the new design without having viewed the actual live site, which was launching … Continue reading Web 2.0 Incomplete

Are We Designing Interactions or Designing Software?

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One of the problems faced by designers trying to integrate their work with most software development processes, even (or possibly especially) with Agile development, is that the literature makes no distinction between software development and software design, or at least no distinction that makes any sense to dedicated user experience designers. The common complaint among … Continue reading Are We Designing Interactions or Designing Software?

Touch the Universe

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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

Farewell

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I loved this picture so much I just had to find a way to look at it every day to make the moment last. And now, if you have an iPhone, you can, too. Presenting the Farewell George Bush iPhone Wallpaper! Download it. Credit for this image is “Reuters AFP/Saul Loeb/Pool” (UPDATE: Full credits in … Continue reading Farewell

Interaction 101

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Like every other advanced human activity that can be taught and learned, there must exist a set of fundamental skills required to use interactive things. I’m not talking about behind-the-scenes design or development skills, but end-user skills. Not just what used to be called “computer literacy” (although that’s part of it), but more basic cognitive … Continue reading Interaction 101