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Archive for May, 2004

The proof of the site is in the reading (digital web mag redesign)

Monday, May 24th, 2004

Last week one of the most repeated items in the blogosphere was the release of the redesigned Digital Web Magazine (one of my favourite sites btw).

I must admit that on first look I didn’t like it. I thought it looked a bit blah, especially compared to the stronger previous visual design. But who am I to say – I have little visual design skill, so I wasn’t going to comment (especially when everyone else was saying how fab it was ;)

So why am I commenting now? Well something interesting happened during the week. I all of a sudden started to use the site a whole lot more. I discovered articles that I had missed first time ’round. I’d read one article and then follow it to another. I read the news from the screen instead of my RSS reader.

Why did this happen? Well, I truly believe that it was the improved IA. The listing of articles by topic is excellent – mostly well grouped, and much easier to find interesting things. It is easier to see what a particular author has written (providing an easy way to see articles that might be related), and the list of articles by title shows the breadth of content very well.

So the proof of the site is in the reading, not in the looking…

Donna Loves Jakob

Sunday, May 23rd, 2004

This is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. To explain I have to tell you how I was ego-surfing (this is embarrassing but worth it for the story)…I had been looking at Userati (I’m not listed) and was googling my name in combination with other people, partly to see how I’d rank if I was listed. This was actually an interesting way to ego-surf – my name alone shows too many results to find interesting stuff, but in combination, I found a lot of inward links that I didn’t know about.

So I googled “Donna Maurer” “Jakob Nielsen” just to see what would happen, and got this interesting looking result:

I was very surprised that my Boxes and Arrows bio would say that was one of my favourite websites. Then I realised that this was two snaps of information from the same page – it neatly snapped two sentences that when run together made complete sense. How bizarre – I know how all of this works, but it still caught me out…

(btw, Jeanene Landers Steinberg loves google and Jakob)

Ego surfing

Sunday, May 23rd, 2004

Went ego surfing tonight instead of studying. Found lots of links into my blog that I didn’t know existed, and lots of nice things written about it. But this is just about the best damn thing anyone has ever said about me:

“Donna runs what may be the most down-to-earth and humanely written blog on the topic I’ve ever seen. She doesn’t mix words or use industry-only terms to describe what she does, she just talks about it and I do believe she loves what she does.”

from Textbased

Word count obsessed

Wednesday, May 19th, 2004

I realised today that I’m a bit obsessed by word counts when I’m writing. I just can’t help myself – have to keep checking to see what I’m up to. I wish that Framemaker had a section on the status bar that kept count – then I wouldn’t have to click 4 times each time I want to check. And I wish that it could count whole books instead of individual files. And I wish that I could get it to ignore headings. And I wish…

Ohhhh…this is getting bad…

(but I did write around 3000 good words today…wanna bet on how many I do tomorrow)

wifi blogging

Thursday, May 13th, 2004

OK, this is much more exciting for me than it is for you – but I’m actually doing this wifi in Sydney!! Finally wifi is becoming available at a semi-decent price…

How much to intervene in usability testing

Thursday, May 6th, 2004

A good article by Clifford Anderson in the STC Usability SIG newsletter about how much interaction is appropriate during a usability test.

I’m quoted in a couple of places in this. Funniest quote for readers who know me personally:

As Donna Maurer puts it, “One of the hardest things to do is to learn when to keep quiet.”


Monday, May 3rd, 2004

So, for some reason, I keep having to edit the word ‘so’ out of the beginning of my posts (missed one a few days ago). I don’t know where I’ve picked up this bad literary habit, but I just found an old article by David Weinberger titled “So, you go” all about it…

Free wifi in Sydney

Monday, May 3rd, 2004

Gosh I hope this spreads fast – free wifi! My hotel internet connection is disconnecting me every 5 minutes. I’d change hotels to get free wifi…

There are a couple of other places offering wifi here. Optus offers it at the airport and some coffee houses (at $12 per hour), and Telstra offers it in McDonalds (at $14 per hour). I can really see myself whipping out my laptop to surf in McDonalds – NOT!

Weekend reading

Saturday, May 1st, 2004

The weather is nasty this weekend, so I’m staying inside, catching up on some reading goodies I found this week:

OK, I know that I’m not going to get through all of this – but given that the alternative is working on uni assignments, I’ll give it a go…