Worth a trip to the slammer. Illuminatrix
waxes poetic about Bonny
Doon Vineyards, and I must agree. I'm a big fan of their Ca'
Del Solo Big House Red (removed from frames context), a beefy
tasty table wine, great with pastas and red meat. My cup will soon
runneth over, as I found the delightful vino at Webvan.
Rosenfeld and I share
our thoughts on the design of Yahoo! Stores for Internet World.
Check out the print version for the revealing picture of me.
your own Sensation.
You an artist struggling to get seen? Well, 300
of feet of wall space at a Los Angeles gallery is up for bid
is the world coming to? Actually
humorous ad banners.
People read best what they read most. That phrase is an article
of faith with the folks at Emigre.
Care of the
we bring you this link to a paper titled "Readability
Of Websites With Various Foreground/Background Color Combinations,
Font Types And Word Styles," an attempt to measure what
people read best on a screen. The answer? Essentially, "it
the Place of No Place. Sarah
is preparing an ethnographic
essay on web communities, and her evolving notebook offers up
charged phrases such as
we send our
words out on the waves, radiate them across the distance in between
people--a distance that snaps with static and synaptic flashing.
As of October 18, I will be the Creative Director at Epinions.com.
It's official. I signed the contract today. I will be responsible
for the site's design, from information architecture to look-and-feel
to copy. I will oversee the development of the company's identity,
and work on integrating it into their marketing messages. I will
get very adamant about practicing user-centered design, and will
jump up and down lots to enforce my points.
I'd be lying
if I said the responsibilities don't make me nervous. They're pretty
big. Actually, they're simply big. But damned exciting.
won me over in a number of ways. They realized that they needed
an information design focused Creative Director, not a visual design
one. More than anything else, the site is a massive and increasingly
complex database, and making it understandable to the end-user is
the challenge--not simply making it look good.
is R. Guha, a brilliant architect
of the W3C's recommendation for metadata, the Resource
Description Framework, and his explanation of the "marketplace
for content" and the "scalable many-to-many communications"
folks I've dealt with there are smart and enthusiastic. They want
to have fun and make something important. They take their users
very seriously, and see their roles as to serve them. Without
the users' epinions, the site has nothing. These folks are receptive
to the process of design I follow to ensure that the audience's
needs are met.
A big part
of my responsibility will be overseeing a kick-ass team of brilliant
creative people who will make Epinions.com a site where people will
want to return, and who are excited about designing the human interface
to an exceedingly complex information respository. Right now, though,
there is no team. I need to build one. Want a job? We're
looking for the best in visual design, information design, and writing.
Send your resume and a note (all ASCII, in the body of the email)
to firstname.lastname@example.org, and
make it clear you're responding to this site (they get hundreds
of resumes and if your explicitness helps the HR folks sort them,
it's better for everyone).
looking forward to your feedback
on the site. It's gotten a strong response from the blog community,
and I'd love to know what you think could be done to improve it.
this is exciting. The mind reels. Well, mine does.
Drool. I am so desiring of these Eames
Storage Units. It's the cheapest I've found them, and they're
still quite pricey. Any help? Actually, if you've got any suggestions
where I can find affordable modern design on the Web, particularly
shelving/storage, it would be much
appreciated. I'm familiar with Blu
mignon with a side of financial projections. I ate at Foreign
Cinema last night, and poking around their site this afternoon,
found they offer up their entire
business plan for public consumption.
Alice has updated her splendiferous gallery of swoosh
logos, which proves that there's no design like copied design.
as I rounded second and headed for third, I realized the only way
I could reach the base was by sliding. Still, I ended up tagged
out, with torn shorts and a still-smarting scrape up my right backside.
The punchline? I was playing kickball.
Construct this! In response to yesterday's petermeme,
Vanessa pointed me to Lev
Manovich, a UCSD professor revelling in cinema and digital and
interface and new media. Beware of his site's rather odd pseudo-constructivist
design, and his annoying predilection towards posting essays as
Word documents instead of HTML. Some digging around turned up this
of readings for his Language of New Media course, including
chapters from his upcoming book published by MIT Press.
Lights. Camera. Click! Nina Franklyn wrote me:
about to start my dissertation for a BSc Hons degree in applied
psychology and computing. I need to find out about the cinematographic
metaphor - in interface design - but there seems to be very little
around. Do you know anywhere/anybody, please?"
Well, I knew of nothing
directly offhand, but I think there is much that interaction
designers can learn from filmmakers. The serendipity of the
question amused me, as I've been reading Narration
in the Fiction Film, though more for its discussion of narrative
and storytelling than for film technique. The book is really only
for film theory wonks--it's pretty dense and rhetorical.
Among other points, the
book discusses the seemingly obvious notion of how it's crucial
for a narrative set-up to trigger in people an interest in what
will follow. And it got me thinking--what web sites succeed at
truly seducing users to explore inside? What hooks people, makes
them willing to set aside time to engage? The first example that
popped into my head is The Onion,
whose headlines and introductory blurbs entice the reader and get
them clicking for more. What sites seduce
To get back to Nina's
original question (you were waiting for that, weren't you?), I poked
around on the Web a bit, and found some interesting leads.
is a treasure trove of HCI goodies, as it "seeks to develop
interdisciplinary approaches to studying interactions between
users and systems and to establish routes through which such
approaches might best be transferred to, and applied by, interface
AMODEUS features a tantalizing
pointer to "Cinematography
and Interface Design," but you have to email the authors
Barnard and Jon May,
both of whom have home pages to explore further) to get a copy.
Catriana Macaulay's thesis
and Interface Design: Lessons in the Use of Sound" pursues
the nonvisual aspects of filmmaking.
I also suggest to Nina
to pick up Brenda Laurel's Computers
As Theatre, while not about film, is an essential discourse
on the "theatric" metaphor in interface design.
Peterme's Guyde. Get it? It's a guide to guys. Guyde. Whoo-ee!
this is spurred by discussions I've had with women about male behavior.
are stupid. This thoughtful
essay delves into specific instances of male stupidity. Science
has shown this. (I must say, I love that scientific finding. It's
so perfect. So true.)
men don't "read between the lines" that well. We take
things at face value. If we're dating someone, and we're told, "I
don't think this is working out," we do not understand this
to mean the relationship is over. We understand this to mean that
you don't think this is working out. Which means it could work out,
if things changed. Particularly since this is just what you "think."
If you want
to stop dating a man, you ought to say, "I do not want to see
you any more." If you want to continue being friends, you can
say, "I will not date you anymore. I would like to be friends."
Clarity and precision are required.
Republic ads are a good thing because they teach us how to dress.
are crazy. Or, as W.C. Fields said,
"No doubt exists that all women are crazy; it's only a question
digging around, I've found that though I arrived at the thought
"All men are stupid; all women are crazy," all on my own,
it's quite a popular notion. A quote attributed to Matt Groening:
"Love is doomed to fail because men are stupid and women are
crazy." The title of the seventh track on this
CD "Men are Stupid (Women are Crazy)." You get the
tasty! Back in the headier days of my blogging
youth, I sought out a fair amount of design
often with the help of Perfect
Namedroppings. That fell by the wayside, but fear no more. The
Pixelpimp blog, run
by Pete Hoang, offers scrumptious
links to fattening design
experiences. Actually, considering
that anyone can add to Pixelpimp, it's treading on Atlas' hallowed
Just plain funny. Is "Tom the Dancing Bug." It's probably
the best comic "strip" out today. Successfully uses wry
irony (and not hip detached irony) to illuminate modern foibles.
You can catch the latest at Salon,
and archives here.
more about the form of the book. The latest issue (October 4)
of The New Yorker features John
Updike's review of The
Book on the Bookshelf, Henry
Petroski's latest tract on the design of objects. Updike imparts
some interesting facts about the history of the book, where it's
been and where it's going. He ends with a discussion of MIT's work
ink and paper, where a single sheet can be infinitely rewritten.
Who is to
say, at the end of the century that brought us the movies, radio,
radar, and the desktop ink-jet printer, that this cannot be? But
the concept feels less than bookish. Our notion of a book is of
a physical object, precious even if no longer hand-copied on sheepskin
by carrel-bound monks, which we can hold, enter at random, shelve
for future references and enjoy as a palpable piece of our environment,
a material souvenir of the immaterial experience it gave us. That
books endure suggests that we endure, our inner tale not write
in the water of an Overbook's e-ink.
The notion of "material
souvenir" is the best I've heard for the affinity of the physical
book. More thoughts? Voice them on Jen's "future
of the book" discussion.
A pretty good interview
with Haruki Murakami.
the works of Truman Capote, Raymond Chandler, F. Scott Fitzgerald,
Raymond Carver. I learned how to write through them. I think I
could figure out how they wrote through translation. I disassembled
the works and reassembled them again, like clocks."
63 of the victims who were on the subway train that day. If I’d
been on that train, I’d probably have hated them. But when I listened
to their stories, I loved them. They’re very hard-working, and
they love their families. They’re not happy when they’re commuting
on that packed train and going to the company and working so hard,
but they think that’s what they have to do. But at the same time,
I feel that if they went to war — for instance, to China — they
would kill many Chinese people because they are very, very organized,
you know. They work so hard."
Merholz movie reviews. Both on Epinions. First, I chime in about
Minus Man" (wherein I'm WUI--writing under the influence),
and my dad offers his wise, witty, and plot-revealing take on "The
It's, like, the future! Strange Brew is compiling a gallery
of "swoosh" logos. Having worked at Studio Archetype,
which developed brand identities, I saw many such marks created.
Not to fault Archetype's designers--they were an immensely creative
bunch who produced all manner of work. It's just that the clients
insisted on the swoosh. In fact, it was the subspecies "ball-and-swoosh."
(Yes, Archetype did that logo.) Considering how alike the logos
were, it became a joke around the office that the designers would
get replaced by some Kai Power Tool.
just me? At Epinions I slag Harry
Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I don't get it.
curry? October 5 marks the 30th anniversary of the first broadcast
of Monty Python's Flying Circus. Being a proper geek, I know
far too much about the show. Still, I found this
retrospective at the BBC online notable for some insightful
pre-history of Python.
For you codex-huffing freaks. Last week I received the Powell's
Books newsletter by email, and you know what? It's quite good!
Like, it's store propaganda, but clever! It's the kind of corporate
communication these guys
keep wanting to see more of. [And why are all the Cluetrain guys,
um, guys? And white ones, at that! Middle-aged white guys (who probably
live in the suburbs!) are so New Economy, so on the
freakin' bleeding edge. Taking on Big Corporations is so forefront!
Excuse me while I prostrate before your rebelliousness! You guys
get styled for your Fast Company photo shoot yet? SEXIST RACIST
PIGS! I SMELL DISCRIMINATION!]
I don't. I'm just feeling a little silly. Hi!]
new page. So many possibilities!