UI Design Blinks 2010 – Overview

By Gerd Waloszek

Gerd Waloszek Welcome to this column of brief, blog-like articles about various UI design topics – inspired by my daily work, conference visits, books, or just everyday life experiences.

As in a blog roll, the articles are listed in reverse chronological order.

See also the overviews of UI Design Blinks from the years 2011, 2012, and 2013.

 

2010 Blog Roll

Zoom dialogDecember 16, 2010: Caught in an Accessibility Trap...

Recently, the phone rang, while I was busy at my computer. My wife handed the phone over to me because my old friend Fiete was at the other end of the line and needed some assistance. He had issues with his telephone equipment and asked me to call him back and also send him a fax to check whether the equipment was working properly now. While talking with him, I tried to complete a task at my computer that I had already begun: prepare and print out a Christmas postcard. After having started the print job, I went downstairs to send the fax. ...

Read more...

December 14, 2010: Virtual Possessions

Virtual PossessionsAt the DIS (Designing Interactive systems) 2010 conference in Aarhus Denmark, Will Odom from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) was one of the speakers who stood out for me. In two talks, one directly devoted to the topic and another one touching on it, he discussed "virtual possessions" – a new category of possessions that people have increasingly acquired over the past few years. I had not heard of this term before, but was familiar with the concept. Others, however, may well ask: "What on earth are virtual possessions?" ...

Read more...

December 7, 2010: Processing Strikes Back – Simple Table Lenses Programmed Using Processing

Table LensIn my previous UI Design Blink, I was very imprudent: I promised to write a further blink about my experiments with presenting the bubble chart data as a Table Lens that I would program using Processing. This promise committed me to actually perform such experiments, despite the fact that I had more pressing tasks in my work queue than playing around with Table Lens charts. ...

Read more...

Hello Ecxel! November 25, 2010: Excel Strikes Back – Bye-Bye Processing – Hello Excel?

After my colleague had presented her slides to her team, another colleague – who is interested in data visualization – contacted her and made a number of suggestions for improving them. In particular, he suggested using the table lens as a graphical representation of some of the data that was presented in the slides. He also suggested using Excel's bubble chart feature to present the rating data on one of the slides and provided some sample graphs and data. However, as you may recall, I previously reported that I had failed to create bubble charts from my colleague's rating data using Excel and instead used Processing to program a chart myself. ...

Read more...

November 16, 2010: Bye-Bye Excel – Hello Processing!

Hello Processing!Recently, my colleague had to prepare a presentation that included two tables full of numbers. We realized immediately that these tables were hard to read and the main phenomena difficult to detect. Therefore, I decided to export both tables to Excel and create diagrams from them. One of the tables consisted of ratings for test stations and also included the mean values. A scatter diagram was the solution to this presentation problem, and the mean values could be highlighted so that they would stand out. ...

Read more...

November 12, 2010: Annotators Not Welcome in the Age of Ebooks

Commenting not allowedI was recently busy preparing a review of the book Analyzing Social Media Networks with NodeXL by Derek Hansen, Ben Shneiderman, and Marc Smith. This was my first "real" review of an ebook because I do not have a printed copy of the book as backup. So this review was my test bed for reviewing ebooks. ...

Read more...

October 20, 2010: A Lengthy Substantiation of Jeff Johnson's Book, Designing with the Mind in Mind

Stuart CardIn his foreword to Jeff Johnson's book, Designing with the Mind in Mind, HCI pioneer Stuart Card states that the design of interactive computer systems is, at least aspirationally, a science. But he immediately confines this activity to "a kind of joint computer-cognitive engineering, that is, science-based techniques to create interactive systems satisfying specified requirements." The phrase "science-based techniques" implies that there is a counterpart to UI design in science. Card, who together with Allen Newell and Thomas Moran, gave a name to this counterpart back in 1983, reveals it: "Providing a supporting science and engineering for building interactive artifacts has been a founding aspiration of the field of human-computer interaction." ...

Read more...

October 7, 2010: People, Elevators, and Sustainability...

Signage at elevatorSustainability has become a frequent topic in the UI field, be it in magazines (such as Interactions), at conferences, or in practical work to design products that help reduce carbon footprint or energy consumption. Nathan Shedroff's book, "Design is the Problem", is a good and comprehensive resource for starting activities in this field. In particular, I found the following distinctions in his book useful: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Restore, and Process. I can quickly assign activities, presentations, or papers to one of these five categories and thus get an idea of their significance and possible impact on the overall sustainability issue. ...

Read more...

October 7, 2010: User Experience??? Hmmm...

The term "User Experience" resounds throughout the world. Today, many companies claim that their products offer an outstanding user experience. After all, UI professionals have conferences at which to discuss what the term actually means. Not surprisingly, everyone seems to have a different opinion, as I learned at the INTERACT 2009 conference. ...

Read more...

October 7, 2010: Means and Thresholds as Attractors – The Boomerang Effect

Explanation of boomerang effect After an election, there are usually heated debates about why a party lost votes, particularly if it turned in an excellent result at the previous election. Similarly, people wonder why a sportsman fails in a competition if he excelled in a previous one, when he performed much better than usual. However, this "movement toward the average" is not at all mysterious – it is just the effect of a statistical phenomenon known as "regression toward the mean". ...

Read more...

 

Last Revision: 03/16/2014

An den Anfang   Home

Gerd Waloszek
gerd (at) waloszek (dot) de

Imprint

made by walodesign on a mac!