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
After waiting six months on a pre-order waiting list, I finally got my Fitbit two months ago. I was really looking forward to it — as a big fan of the Nike+ running tracking system, I was excited about Fitbit’s promise to not only track my running and walking, but to track my sleep patterns … Continue reading For Sale: Fitbit. Like New.
What is interesting about Wikipedia? I’ll give you a hint: It’s not how it it is made. A “wiki” is a content source powered (in general, completely powered) by social software technology, with people collectively creating and refining the content. The online encyclopedia Wikipedia is the quintessential wiki — while there are other major wikis, … Continue reading Pedia Tricks
I’ve submitted two talks for the 2010 SXSW Interactive conference. As you might know, SXSW’s selection process includes a period of public review to gauge general interest in the panels submitted (they call them “panels” even though many of the submissions, including my own, are single-speaker sessions). I would be deeply grateful if you, gentle … Continue reading Please vote for my SXSW panels!
Apple is famous for their minimalist aesthetic, and infamous for occasionally taking the aesthetic too far and sacrificing usability. There’s the famous round mouse for the original iMac. There’s the symmetrical third-generation iPod remote control whose identical volume and previous/next buttons are impossible to distinguish. While not as egregious as the previous examples, Apple’s iPod … Continue reading Apple in Stereo
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
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?
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