February 29, 2000
This man is a
fucking genius. And he has too much time on his hands.
Keep your hands off me, you
damn dirty ape!
this multimedia eyecandy delight.
[All kinds of plug-ins needed.]
Memories, of the way we were. The original Mosaic Communications
(which became Netscape) site.
Oh, he does! Word
is Andy Edmonds has a blog.
Doesn't seem to have the time for regular updates, not that I know
anything about that.
Do I really sound
like that? Reading an interview
of which you were the subject is like listening to your voice
on a tape player.
February 28, 2000
Guh. You can read any MIT Press book on cognitive science online
once you sign up with Cognet.
This is a frickin' treasure trove of tasty information. I'm stunned
they're offering it up.
February 27, 2000
What was that again? Andy Edmonds (who clearly ought to have
his own blog) turned up this
meaty paper on a revisiting of the short term memory study mentioned
Feb 23. Poking around the site, I also found this chapter on categorical
perception, which resonates with my past musings about categories
and taxonomies, but which I simply don't have the time to read right
now. In fact, all of these
papers appear worth perusing.
Clickpath. So, a friend
told me of the final posting of World
New York (a site I had never before visited), which in turn
pointed me to Ironminds
(a site I ought to visit more) wherein I devour all of Michael
J. Nelson's humor columns, and, because Nelson worked on MST3K,
it made me wonder what's happening at Gizmonics,
the site of MST3K creator Joel Hodgson, and I see that they've redesigned,
and utilize an interesting and clever interface scheme--Joel and
his brother Jim are the interface. And, as an obsessive formalist,
I've got to give full props for fiddling with the creation
of television. One hopes it doesn't remain confined to the lab.
February 23, 2000
From my coworker, Stink,
comes a coupla tidbits.
Funny reviews of bad
The classic, and oft mis-used, study
on short term memory introducing "7 +- 2."
February 21, 2000
Talking heads. Frontwheeldrive
is an e-zine of interviews with leading practitioners of new science
and newmedia. petermeme readers will likely be interested in what
Wurman has to say on coining "information architecture,"
and how Edward Tufte is "completely wrong."
February 20, 2000
I've chimed in. So, I've submitted my
answer to Derek's question, "What the hell is a weblog?"
February 18, 2000
Wright cites Scott McCloud
as an inspiration source for his new game, The
February 15, 2000
Oh, really. So, Lindsay,
just how did commercializing the Internet make it irrelevant? I
thought that taking it out of the ivory towers of academia and research
laboratories and making it easily available to all boosted the Internet's
relevance. Which wouldn't have happened without commercialization.
February 14, 2000
Well, it's like the NBC peacock,
but, it's, uh, a butterfly.
Branching out. Looks
like Wal-mart is entering some new
markets. [NOTE: This no longer works.
As you can't point people to specific pages within Walmart. Because
it runs on Broadvision. Which sucks, by
Happy freakin' Valentine's
Get on the same page.
View the exploits of "Action
Item, Professional Superhero."
Deny this. Douglas
op-ed piece on last week's denial-of-service attacks (and how
they reflect the shaky foundation of The New Economy) is hampered
only by some pining for the halcyon days of internet yore, you know,
before commercialism mucked up everything (and, incidentally, made
it all relevant.)
February 13, 2000
Wear and tear. Martin
points us to "History-Enriched
Digital Objects," an essay on recording interaction history
on digital objects, such that a system can learn more about them
by the way their used. Implications for email abound. If you repeatedly
return to an email, it's likely more important. Emails replied to
have different weight than those that just sit there. An email that
warranted a lengthy reply is likely more important than one that
was given a one sentence reply.
More on email. A search in the HCI
Bibliography pointed me to "Email
Overload: Exploring Personal Information Management in Email,"
a thorough study of how email applications are failing in providing
ways for users to manage their correspondence in relevant ways.
It also features the only expletive I've ever seen in a CHI proceedings
"[email] is the
best that's ever happened for covering your ass ... because while
the guy's on the phone, he says, well, I sent that to you a week
and a half ago, and you think, shit, I never saw that. But you
say, 'really? Yeah, oh yeah, I remember reading that', as you're
Unforunately, the paper
seems to have been truncated when it was uploaded, but there's tons
of good stuff there.
There's much more to
say about email, as its utility has evolved since this paper was
written a few years ago. I'm overwhelmed by automated alerts, announcements,
and spam--and I'd hazard to guess you are, too.
Cute. Played with
Day applet yet? Interesting how they're providing a popular
forum for net.art... Is this a sign of things to come? Particularly
in that goofy animations seem to have nothing to do with
the Google "brand." The applet's creator, Ken
Perlin, is something of a computer graphics legend, with a homepage
featuring tons of demos, including Java-enabled
zooming user interfaces (based on Pad++).
Oh, looky! Pad++ is dead, but it's spirit lives on in Jazz,
a Java-based ZUI system. Progress!
Peter van Dijck wrote
me with an interesting development pertaining to how folks navigate
a site he's designed:
I wanted to share some
usability testing I've been doing. After trying out several navigation
methods, and testing different sitemaps with users, I decided
to put a sitemap on every page. This is for a small content site
(about 50 or so pages). The surprise was that the live statistics
show that the sitemap, even though it is at the bottom of the
page, is used for over 60% of all navigation on the site (except
of course for the back button, which I can't log automatically.)
So people really, really
like it. I had expected it to be used for 10 to 25% of the navigation.
That's what I wanted
to share with you. Do you have any ideas about this? Does this
surprise you, or not really? Do you think this kind of automated
usability testing (clicks on the navigation get logged) is useful?
(the live statistics are here,
and the website is here)
While I was surprised
offhand, upon clicking through the site, it actually seems quite
natural. First, as the sitemap is at the bottom, it's the natural
next step after someone has read through the page. Also, the sitemap
is extremely detailed--one click gets me to exactly where I want.
The alternative, to click to the top of a section and then dig in,
is cumbersome. Additionally, the sitemap is conveniently out of
the way--the user can attend to the task at hand, and then, when
finished, knows to go to that place down there to move on to the
next thing... I think this is why the sitemap works better than
the embedded links--embedded links potentially derail trains of
Make sure to read Peter's
post to Evolt.org on mapping the user's experience, wherein
he utilizes that delightfully hoary analog--the book!
February 11, 2000
(yes... I know... i've got some petermemes brewing...
particularly one about email applications and how they SUCK and
don't serve the needs of contemporary email usage. if you have interesting
thoughts on email app interfaces, email
Bay Area Spankers Alert! From an email from the Asylum
Hey guys, Believe it or not we are struggling to hold on to our
Bottom of the Hill show on April 2. The manager of the club seems
a little nervous, so I need help.
If everyone of you in the bay area would e-mail Anthony Bonet
and let him know how desperate you are to see the Spankers, how
no earthquake, overpriced cover or difficult parking could keep
you away, then maybe we'll see you guys.
Also, pass the word. We really need to inundate this guy with
e-mail or it may be another year before we see our bay area friends.
Thanks, John, the evil manager
February 8, 2000
Judge not, lest ye be judged. Never having been much for that
aphorism, I've accepted a role to review the entrants of the 5k,
a wee competition for best Web design limited to 5 kilobytes.
What I Learned at
Dave Eggers' reading.
That my home
needs a smoke detector. (Maybe two!)
That 15 Crescent City residents died in a tsunami caused by the
Thomas really is.
That Dave Eggers is a *big* hit with cute San Fran smarty-pants
Tangled Web. A
nifty Java applet
visualizes the sundry connections between the leading players in
the internet industry. Click and drag!
February 7, 2000
The McSweeney's Representative is in town! Any other SF'ers
heading tomorrow to A Clean
Well-Lighted Place for Books to see Dave Eggers read?
February 6, 2000
I'm very happy to be home.
A dictionary for pronounciation.
The word "evil" ought to be pronounced as if being
uttered by a mad elderly woman rocking in a chair on the porch of
a dilapidated house in a post-apocalyptic rural town. "Eeee-villl.
EEEE-vill!!!" Wild cackling is appropriate.
February 4, 2000
Coupla talks. So, I've spoken on User-Centered Design and
Search Design here at WebNYC. Many thanks
to those who pointed me to interesting search interfaces!