(not so quick) links #3

Yep, it’s been a while since my last update. I’ve been taking some time out to spend with my daughter, Kathryn! Hopefully posting will start up again with some frequency.

I’m even planning to combine the professional with the personal and review some interesting visualizations and interaction models in the baby-tracking space. No, I’m not kidding.

In the meantime, here’s a few links to start catching up:

  • A new framework – Todd W at Adaptive Path calls for a "new framework" for design: "Essentially, I am calling for an end to the decades-old framework that
    HCI, information architecture, and interaction design have been using
    for understanding users. That’s right, I say take a hike, task
    analysis! Good bye, user goals! These concepts are insufficient for the
    new kinds of systems we are designing.
    "

    It’s a good call! But I’m not sure it’s all that new (certainly the better designers I’ve worked with have long since broken from using pure task analysis, for instance), I’m not sure the need for designing systems and not products is the best or only reason we should look for a new framework, and I’m not sure the essay actually lays out what the new framework should, rather than just the fact that we need one. But the comments are excellent (look for the good one by eBay’s own Christian Rohrer) and overall it’s a great start a needed conversation.

  • Plot lines – "The end result is a staggering 76 floor plans in
    221 units—with none repeated more than a dozen times and well over a
    dozen of them unique.
    "

    Interaction designers who think structurally and in terms of components often make analogies to either Lego, or architecture. This Metropolis article about an apartment building in Copenhagen shows that what architects can do with structure and components that is elegant, but not simplistic. Read the article, but check out the insanely wonderful diagrams.

  • We feel fine – "The interface to this data is a self-organizing particle system,
    where each particle represents a single feeling posted by a single individual. The particles’ properties – color, size, shape, opacity – indicate the nature of the feeling inside, and any
    particle can be clicked to reveal the full sentence or photograph it contains."

    I’m a sucker for art made through clever data visualizations — and this has 6 different visualizations of people’s feelings posted online. Check out "mounds" — it seems that even expressed emotion has a long tail!

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