I’m flying to Dublin today. Interaction 12 kicks off Wednesday, but since it’s a red-eye flight, I wanted to arrive a day early. I’m taking my wife along this year, so, tired though we may be, we’ll do some site-seeing after touching down early Tuesday morning. Wednesday morning, I’ll be participating in the local leader workshop. The conference proper kicks off with a reception Wednesday evening....
Working with Developers Survey: Job Situation
As a point of comparison, I asked survey participants some questions about their work context. What is your current work situation? If you are employed by a company, are you: How would you classify your company? Are you: I was actually surprised by the high percentage of designers working in software development firms, and the comparatively low percentage working in UX/design firms....
The Wrong Questions
I’ve been seeing a lot of questions recently along the lines of “Should Interaction Designers know how to do visual design?” and “Should Interaction Designers know how to code?” My opinion on both questions is that they are the wrong questions. There are very talented, successful, and influential IxDers that can do neither, so it is already proven that a good IxDer doesn’t have to. The question...
Simplified to the point of complexity
Since the beginning of DesignAday, I have made a single post per weekday, minus holidays and days I was traveling. Now, I don’t always get my daily post done on the day it’s for. As of this sentence, I am thirteen minutes late for Tuesday’s post. I have always, however, made sure to date the post for the day to which it was intended. Last night, however, I was surprised to find the time and date...
Working with Developers Survey: Titles
My survey was open from December 13, 2011 to January 14th. I advertised it through many channels, including the IxDA forums, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and DesignAday. I had 308 people view my survey, but only 90 actually responded. 82 completed it, giving me a 91% completion rate. On average, people spent 11 minutes answering the questions. I created a Wordle rendering of the job titles. It’s...
In Comparison: Multiple Selection, part 3
Parts 1 and 2 of this series of posts were the result of my exploration to determine the behavior I would specify for a new, browser-based UI. Now that I’ve explained how it works in Windows XP and Mac OS X Lion, it’s only proper that I wrap up by relating my own design rational. I sat down with the developer who is to implement the feature and went over my findings. She agreed that including an...
Agile 2012 Submission
I’ve been working on the presentation I originally submitted to Interaction 12, and I’ll be able to share the survey results here fairly soon. After posting the survey, I was encouraged to submit the talk to Agile 2012, which I have done. Please give the description a read, and let me know what you think. I have plenty of time yet to make changes to my submission before the final deadline. I’m...
In Comparison: Multiple Selection, part 2
Yesterday, I began to describe the detailed behavior of multiple selection in Windows and Mac OS. We took a detailed look at shift-clicking. Let’s add in control-clicking now. On the Mac, that would be a command-click, but there are some differences in behavior, so we’ll start off with Windows. Control-clicking selects non-contiguous items. Control-click an unselected item to add it to the...
In Comparison: Multiple Selection, part 1
How often do you think about the details of the basic interactions that make up the OS you use on a daily basis? Last week, I had to specify the behavior for multiple selection of list items in a browser-based application. The customer’s requirement asked for shift-clicking and control-clicking, just as you would find on the desktop. With the intent of making the behavior exactly like desktop OS...
Pick a Card
Another of last semester’s projects found my students designing tools in support of design methods. Kofi Opoku created a set of cards intended to be used when a team hits a wall during a brainstorming session. Whenever there is a pause in the action, draw a card from the shuffled deck and apply it to the problem that is being solved. You might find yourself thinking about how you would solve the...
Interaction Design Position Open
One of the projects I started working on early in my career, about eleven years ago, was with the Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technical Division, based near Indian Head, Maryland. We were hired to help their leadership conceive, prototype, and build a suite of applications that would help EOD warfighters plan and carry out their missions. Over the years, it has been one of the most rewarding...
This semester, I will be teaching my information visualization course for fourth time. It has been two years since I taught the course, and in that time, three noteworthy books have been published on the subject. Manuel Lima’s Visual Complexity: Mapping Patterns of Information is an absolutely gorgeous collection of network visualizations. I have yet to read the book, but from flipping through...
I received email from Verizon the other day informing me that they are changing the way their email servers work and that I would need to change the settings in my email application. I linked to their website, and it told me that I could use their Automated Email Setup to square things away. Okay, that sounds great. I clicked the button and was presented with this. I must meet the following...
Design Ignites Change
The final project of my course last semester challenged the students to identify a social issue in their community and address it through the design of a product or service. One of the two project teams selected bullying as their issue. They interviewed middle school students and counselors as part of their research, learning about how bullying is currently handled in the schools. Bullying is a...
Picking up where I left off yesterday’s post, there was one other thing about the Kinect that I thought was particularly poor, and again, I don’t know whether it is the fault of the Kinect or poor design of the games. The user interfaces were horrendous. I’m not talking about the actual gameplay, but the menus that allow you to select levels or options. On the Wii, menus all work pretty much the...
I had an opportunity to play around with an Xbox Kinect over the holidays, and while it is an interesting piece of technology with a lot of potential, I wasn’t particularly impressed. I first attempted to play Wipeout, based on the ridiculous ABC game show. The game couldn’t tell when I stopped running in place, so my on-screen avatar would frequently run right into obstacles or off ledges. There...