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Archive for April, 2003

Too much interesting stuff

Tuesday, April 29th, 2003

I should be studying, but instead I’m reading blogs. There is so much interesting stuff and good writing out there. Here’s some interesting things I found today:

-William Gibson’s blog (rumoured to be shutting down, but I can’t find confirmation) – this is gorgeous.
- IA jargon watch – from Jeff Veen. Funny stuff – I’m going to keep my eye out for more!
- Lots of good entries on Beth Mazur’s blog
- Too much on James’ and Peter’s. If I followed all links every day on these two I’d never study.

Aaarrgghh…no more reading, time to study!

Rude flash designs

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2003

Flash has a reputation for being “bad”. And having to hunt up Flash websites this week for uni, I can see why.

I have found lots of sites with Flash intros and fully Flash sites and, apart from some posted on SIGIA-L today, most of them are particularly awful. But it isn’t Flash at fault – it is poor interaction design and no consideration of users.

The two things that I noticed frequently were:
- non-intutitive navigation, often hidden
- opening up new windows, at a fixed size and not resizable.

The former just made it difficult to figure out what I was meant to do, but the latter made me mad.

I have a particular way of browsing – I’m on a slow internet connection and browse a lot. I use Mozilla or Phoenix, and usually open up heaps of tabs then go and make coffee while all of the pages load. I like to keep all of the sites I have open (and it can be up to 30) in one browser window. I **HATE** it when sites open up in new windows, and it is even worse when the windows are something tiny that I can’t resize. This is just so rude – it rips away all of my control. I just won’t continue with a site that does this too me. Life’s too short to bother!

PS. I’m enjoying Flash and I can see some interesting potential. So, if you have any Flash sites that you think are particularly wonderful leave me a comment…

Pattern Recognition

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2003

I just finished reading William Gibson’s “Pattern Recognition” (one of many reasons that I have not been posting lately).

Great read and very compelling…

Another bad technology day

Thursday, April 10th, 2003

Would you believe it – after having dramas figuring out a hand held mouse in front of a group of people yesterday, it happened again today. But today’s effort was figuring out how to use the mouse on a tiny remote keyboard…

And again, the technology got in the way of what I was trying to communicate.

Feeling dopey about technology

Wednesday, April 9th, 2003

I had an interesting experience with new technology day today.

I spoke to a group of people about a project at work. I raced into the room late from a previous presentation and had to start talking straight away – before my supporting stuff was on screen. So I was feeling a a bit flustered.

When the on-screen stuff was loaded, I was handed a new gadget – a strange wireless hand-held mouse. I can’t find a photograph of it (which says volumes for a couple of shopping sites that don’t have images of products…), but it had a trigger underneath and two buttons on top, held in the palm of the hand with index finger on the trigger and thumb to use the buttons.

Now this gadget was designed quite well. It was light, fit my hand comfortably and the buttons on top were easy to reach with my thumb.

But I felt like a total idiot – in front of a room full of people, I had to instantly learn how to use this gadget. Although it worked in a logical way – hold trigger to move mouse, hold & click to do a normal mouse click – when feeling flustered already, I just couldn’t get it together. This made me continually focus on using the technology rather than allowing the technology support my presentation. I stumbled every time I had to do something more complex than changing the slide.

I think, within a short time, I could use this quite intuitively and would enjoy doing so. But next time I’d like some time to practice…

Boxes & arrows article

Wednesday, April 9th, 2003

Cool – my article for Boxes and Arrows called ‘Card-based classification evaluation‘ has been published…