Archive for Tag ‘User Experience‘
Published on Monday, March 14 2011
"I Am" photo by Allison Felus, cc-by (http://www.flickr.com/photos/wrestlingentropy/405308094/)
The metaphors we use to describe digital technology end up misleading us.
We attempt to understand new technologies by bringing the context of previous experiences and hoping to find relevant analogies, but those analogies often carry other unintended meanings and can obscure possibilities.
For example, we think of the urls our browsers request as:
- Sites we visit (geographic / spatial metaphor, as in cyberspace)
- Pages we read (publishing / media metaphor, as in web publishing or content management)
- Applications we use (software metaphor – as in web applications)
- Communities we join and interact with (sociological metaphor, as in online community management)
- Stores we browse and shop (retail metaphor)
In turn, this means we think of the people who interact with our digital experiences as visitors, readers, users, members, and shoppers. These get all mixed together in actual usage, and there are complexities in each. (In social networking, for example, we also think of each user/member as a node in a network – drawing on a shared mathematics concept which underlies computer networking, social networking, and graph theory).
The challenge is how to use these metaphors to understand the new experiences while being careful not to let them constrict our thinking about what is possible.
Published on Monday, July 12 2010
Last week, Google unveiled YouTube’s Leanback experience. Like YouTubeXL before it, Leanback is aimed at users leaning back, away from their keyboards – perhaps with their laptops or desktops hooked up to their TV.
Published on Friday, May 15 2009
In addition to the 2.0 release of the Times Reader, which also went live this week, the NY Times released Times Wire, another new user experience for consuming news from the NY Times.
While Times Reader focused on creating a desktop experience that had some of the richness of the print edition, this one is focused on the kind of rapid update stream of information made popular by Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, et al.
Published on Thursday, May 14 2009
(via Dion Almaer and ReadWriteWeb)
Mozilla Labs posted a screencast yesterday of a new feature as part of the Weave project, which enables OpenID at the browser level, which will have potentially significant impact on adoption and use of portable identity technology.
Weave is a Mozilla Labs project, started back in December of 2007, which (before this latest announcement) was mostly known for their Sync service, which can synchonize (and keep in sync over time) bookmarks, saved passwords, browsing history, and tabs, keeping your firefox browser experience consistent across multiple computers. It’s quite useful for those of us who have a work desktop, home desktop, and laptop, or some other combination of multiple computers regularly used.
This new effort, however, integrates OpenID into the Firefox user experience:
Published on Thursday, November 20 2008
Why isn’t this a feature of every modern email system?
Forgotten Attachment Detector
(This is a feature on Gmail Labs, which you’ll find under the settings label in Gmail)
The use case is so simple. The user writes “Attached you’ll find” or “in the attached” or something like that – basically anywhere they use the word “attached” – if there is no attachment, ask the user if that’s ok.
The number of times you say “attached” and don’t mean to attach a file is presumably outweighed by the number of times you mean to attach a file but hit send before you attach it.
How can I get this in Apple Mail or (sigh of the reluctant user) Entourage to do this?