13 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2017
    1. A mental map (or cognitive map) is our mental representation of a place. It includes features we consider important, and is likely to exclude features we consider unimportant.

      (Urban planner Kevin Lynch, early 1960s)<br> Elements of mental maps

      • paths
      • edges - boundaries and endings
      • nodes - focal points like squares and junctions
      • districts
      • landmarks

      Modern maps could use augmented and virtual reality to help clarify those elements, making a place easier to navigate and use. But they can also add useless noise that makes the place seem more confusing than it actually is.

  2. May 2017
    1. Neither Apple nor Microsoft really captured the essence of what made the Smalltalk system powerful. They used it as a model to make computers more accessible, but they left out the aspect of letting people bend the system to their will, to customize it to be just what they want. Their systems were really an object-oriented facade over a traditional, non-object-oriented system. They lacked a consistent metaphore of everything being an object. The web has been even more stultifying in this regard (I mean the web interface), though Firefox has helped some, so I hear, with the concept of browser extensions.
  3. Mar 2017
    1. Jessica Helfand in her essay The Dematerialism of Screen Space (2001) critiques the phenomenon of design practise being led by developments in software engineering. She argues that designers should take the initiative: “design must submit to a series of commands and regulations as rigourous as those that once defined Swiss typography. Aesthetic innovation, if it indeed exists at all, occurs within ridiculously preordained parameters: a new plug-in, a modified code, the capacity to make picture and words ‘flash’ with a mouse in a non-sensical little dance. We are all little filmmakers, directing on a pathetically small screen – yet broadcasting to a potentially infinite audience. This in itself is conflicting (not to mention corrupting), but more importantly, what are we making? What are we inventing? What are we saying that has not been said before?” Helfand here is referring to the web, but her argument applies equally well to designing tablet publications. Designers of book and magazine apps should be asking themselves those last three questions. Since tablet publishing conventions are in the process of being formed (like child invention), we have a unique opportunity right now to influence their direction.
    2. Some key themes arise from the two NNG reports on iPad usability: App designers should ensure perceived affordances / discoverability There is a lack of consistency between apps, lots of ‘wacky’ interaction methods. Designers should draw upon existing conventions (either OS or web) or users won’t know what to do. These are practical interaction design observations, but from a particular perspective, that of perceptual psychology. These conclusions are arrived at through a linear, rather than lateral process. By giving weight to building upon existing convention, because they are familiar to the user, there is a danger that genuinely new ideas (and the kind of ambition called for by Victor Bret) within tablet design will be suppressed. Kay’s vision of the Dynabook came from lateral thinking, and thinking about how children learn. Shouldn’t the items that we design for this device be generated in the same way?

      The idea of lateral thinking here is the key one. Can informatics be designed by nurturing lateral thinking? That seems related with the Jonas flopology

    3. The document argues that the use of illusionary surfaces and objects will lead to a more intuitive and pleasurable experience for the user. It also, yet again, looks to prior conventions for solutions rather than starting afresh.
  4. Nov 2016
    1. Every theorem of mathematics, every significant result of science, is a challenge to our imagination as interface designers. Can we find ways of expressing these principles in an interface? What new objects and new operations does a principle suggest? What a priori surprising relationship between those objects and operations are revealed by the principle? Can we find interfaces which vividly reveal those relationships, preferably in a way that is unique to the phenomenon being studied?
    2. Speech, writing, math notation, various kinds of graphs, and musical notation are all examples of cognitive technologies. They are tools that help us think, and they can become part of the way we think -- and change the way we think.

      Computer interfaces can be cognitive technologies. To whatever degree an interface reflects a set of ideas or methods of working, mastering the interface provides mastery of those ideas or methods.

      Experts often have ways of thinking that they rarely share with others, for various reasons. Sometimes they aren't fully aware of their thought processes. The thoughts may be difficult to convey in speech or print. The thoughts may seem sloppy compared to traditional formal explanations.

      These thought processes often involve:

      • minimal canonical examples - simple models
      • heuristics for rapid reasoning about what might work

      Nielsen considers turning such thought processes into (computer) interfaces. "Every theorem of mathematics, every significant result of science, is a challenge to our imagination as interface designers. Can we find ways of expressing these principles in an interface? What new objects and operations does a principle suggest?"

  5. Apr 2016
  6. Feb 2016
    1. A study of typing strategies among both touch-typists and self-taught typists.

      http://10fastfingers.com/typing-test/english<br> Test your typing speed by typing a series of random words for one minute.

  7. Nov 2015
    1. There is a lot of evidence that quite subtle changes to user interfaces can have dramatic effects on how the interfaces are used. For example, the size of a search box or the text that accompanies it can considerably influence the queries that people submit.

      -- David Elsweller

    2. The whole gendered usage of hearts seems to have escaped Twitter. So does the fact that people fave (with stars) in complex ways - they are bookmarks, they are likes, they are nods of the head. But they are not indicators of love. I feel very weird loving tweets by random men I've only just started a conversation with. Not that there's anything wrong with feminine. But women - and men, in their own ways - are well-aware of how feminized visual signals get read by others, and in an identity space like Twitter, I suspect that will really minimize usage. Or at least until we all get used to it.

      -- Bonnie Stewart

  8. Jul 2015
    1. The on-line annotations were also more likely to be anchored in complete sentences.

      This seems odd. Maybe the interface in some way pushed them toward this? For instance, I sometimes think the way that Hypothesis shows the quote in the annotation card severs it from its context in such a way as to make it seem out of place when highlighting just that portion seemed fine inline.

  9. Nov 2014
    1. the interface currently works quite slowly, much slower than regular web content.

      This may be browser-side speed. Most of the heavy lifting of the application is done in the client.