I’m a regular reader of Emily Chang’s eHub, one of my sources for learning about interesting web app and services. Emily recently launced a new showcase of interesting finds with PicoCool.

A global community dedicated to uncovering the cool, whether in art, design, environment, culture, architecture, fashion, travel or technology. Our community finds and shares tiny bytes and unique content from the world of peer media, social networks and subcultures. We discover upcoming designs, cool products, micro-trends, subcultures, artists, human experiences, innovations, philosophies, technologies, and more.

Somewhere in the undiscovered and the mundane lives real brilliance. PicoCool is about uncovering these microscopic moments when things first begin.

Check it.


The History & Evolution of User Experience Design

On the Tea with Teresa podcast, Teresa Brazen interviews Adaptive Path’s Peter Merholz to talk about the history and evolution of User Experience Design.

User experience design is, at its core, a philosophy that products and services should be designed so that they are pleasurable and easy for people to use. While that might seem an obvious design approach, it’s actually not the way many designers historically thought about making things. In fact, it wasn’t until the 1990s that an industry came together around this particular approach to design.

I did some research to try uncover the history of this field, and, I didn’t find a lot - partly because it hasn’t been around for long. So, I had tea with Peter Merholz, who has been involved in the industry since its very early stages. We had a great conversation about what it was like when the industry started to come together and where he thinks it’s headed.

Listen to the podcast at Tea with Theresa.

Via @jeepu


Communicating Concepts

Victor writes about some of the less obvious points when it comes to presenting and communicating concept designs.

When I see concepts that are received well, the concept itself can usually only take a portion of the credit. Just as important is how the concept is communicated. Some of this is common knowledge: make it look good, choose the right level of fidelity, show it in context. Others are maybe not so obvious…

Head to Noise Between Stations for the low down, because your job doesn’t stop when you’ve shipped the doc.


Complete Beginner's Guide to Information Architecture

For those new to Information Architecture and the role of the IA, UX Booth has written an introduction to the field and role, by taking a look at how some noteworthy IAs have defined the discipline, and looking at some of the work that is typical of our craft.

It can be confusing to understand the role of the IA, because in many cases, IA encompasses more than what is defined in this primer. Depending on where you work, especially if you work in smaller teams, the IA role has a tendency to overlap other disciplines and do research, user testing, and interaction design. But UX Booth has provided a somewhat purist definition of the theoretical role which is very helpful. JJ Garret’s Elements of the UX provides a good description of where IA fits into the bigger picture and Rosenfeld/Morville’s Information Architecture for the WWW or Christina Wodtke’s Information Architecture are excellent places to get to know the nitty gritty of IA work.


Konigi Wants to Grow

I'm going to be tearing things up a little while Konigi gets a clue about what it is. I started playing with this blog in Nov 07 as a more organized way of doing my visual design and user interface design sets on Flickr, and think it's still going well. But over time I've found myself drawn to re-blogging and writing the occasional essay, reminding me of my first try at blogging when I did iaslash. And then the old sketchbooks full of ideas that came out of all those great conversations with IAI peeps in Monterrey and my iaslash readers kept returning, and I found myself wanting to find time to work on some micro-projects to build IA/IXD tools.

It's been a little over a year since I started announced Konigi, and it feels like time to take this site a bit more seriously and use it as a platform for other kinds of the learning, sharing, and collection of resources that I've wanted to do for some time. Konigi wants to be better and do more with its life. So I'm going to start with a few little design tweaks and evolve the site organically as time becomes available to help this baby along.

So what's coming? I have a series of instructional essays that I've outlined and have started writing. I have a wonderful new community project planned that that will be possible through Peldi Guilizzoni, the gracious and talented creator of Balsamiq. And I'm going to play at opening up the site a little more until stuff gets broken. The Modus Operandi will be to just do stuff rather than doing so much thinking and talking, to do it wrong, to fail, to have people mock me, and be left standing at the end. As always, I plan to give away some stuff, charge a little for other stuff, and push a few smallish projects forward with the help of friends to fill gaps where we need educational/learning resources.

Finally, I personally want to do more and contribute more outside of this community, and I'm hoping to find a way to give away more to people in need. The sale of things on this site has really taken me by surprise and now I want to do something better and more meaningful if I'm in a position to do so. I'm still not sure what I'm going to do, but when the idea begins to take shape I'll let you know what that's all about.

So onward. Grow up little, Konigi. Make something of yourself.