Notebook

Smart Experience has posted a 5 minute video showing different kinds of carousels in action and teaches you the three key design criteria you need to know to create your own. Excellent stuff and the best discussion of why carousels are effective, and a thorough review of the different kinds of carousels you might use. Check it for free now. This micro-seminar goes on sale soon.

The Wireframe Icons have been updated. PNG versions and contact sheet has been added for all icons. New icons including User (silhouette from front), Groups, Microphone, Clock, Phone, Printer, Power, TV Widescreen, Remote controls, Volume, alternate versions of Cart and Image, and much more have been added. Additionally, some icons have been modified for stylistic consistency.

If you've previously purchased these icons, you can update your set by logging in and heading to your Account page where you will see a "Files" link under your user name. Clicking the Files link will display your download. If you need assistance, please contact me.

Dan Saffer gave a fantastic NYC IXDA presentation, Tap Is the New Click, discussing the rise of touch interfaces, their place and adoption in society, and the role of the interaction designer in designing these direct manipulation interfaces. Every IA and IXD needs to watch this. A summary of the talk below:

Even though the technology has been around for decades, only now are we starting to see mass production and adoption of touchscreen and gestural devices for the public. Jeff Han's influential 2006 TED demonstration of his multitouch system, followed by the launches of Nintendo's Wii, Apple's iPhone, and Microsoft Surface, have announced a new era of interaction design, one where gestures in space and touches on a screen will be as prominent as pointing and clicking.

But how do you create products for this new paradigm? While most of us know how to design desktop and web applications, what do you need to know to design for interactive gestures?

This introduction to designing gestural interfaces will cover the basics: usability and ergonomics; a brief history of the technology; some elemental patterns of use; prototyping and documenting; and how to communicate that a gestural interface is present to users.

I've been wanting for the past year or so to do sketch style wireframes in OmniGraffle. My first requests for sketchy line styles were made to OmniGroup in the Spring of 08 along with a few other users, and I posted this comment to the OG List about this feature. I knew how to do this in Visio, and had read that CAD users have something called a "Jitter" line style, so I quietly campaigned for this feature.

Balsamiq launched, and I love it, and would use it in the right circumstances. But I still use OG for documents, so I felt in between places, and unsure how to bring that unrefined look into my UI prototypes. Then David at Design Commission told me about a method he uses to make sketchy wireframes in OG by exporting into Illustrator and importing back into OmniGraffle. David was definitely onto something there.

Today I figured I would play a little bit with the drawing tools in OG. Just because no one knew how to tell me how to do sketch style in OG, didn't mean you can't do it. So I looked at my tools. The pen tool is a tool (keyboard shortcut "e") I use to make irregularly shaped objects. I'm sure very few people use it. I knew that I could make curves and shapes with oddly placed anchor points with it. I also knew that you could add anchor points to regular shapes like elipses, circles, rectangles by making them editable, and then command double clicking on their lines.

Today I had my Eureka moment as I was walking down to Dumbo. I thought, "What the hell, why don't I just add points to squares and move them around?" I don't know how I could have missed that as a possible method. So I quickly put together the screencast above. Sorry about the poor audio quality. I was in a huge room with lots of people around talking while I recorded.

I really think OmniGroup could do a better job at explaining their software. If I worked there, I'd be doing screencasts like this all the time. I do a pretty regular job answering readers' and friends' questions about OmniGraffle.

Some of you may already know this, but I've been planning on writing and ebook for a long time now--one that helps you get the most of OmniGraffle. I think it's often dismissed as being too light or whatever, but believe me, there is a lot this thing can do. Sadly, some of these things aren't well documented, and probably many of the uses and applications we've come up with were not predicted by OmniGroup. So I feel like it's up to me start showing others publicly what I've been playing at rather than doing it on a one to one basis.

I'm going on vacation in a week and am taking my netbook with me to get ideas organized. Over the past year or so, I'd been outlining all of the advanced features I use in the event that I could find time to publish them in a useful manner. I feel like that time has come, so while I'm away, I'm going to start the work of looking at what I've got so far, and preparing to write. Stay tuned.

This is a nice diagram of the user centered design process and an overview of the methods and techniques which might be used. The HCI toolkit is managed by Bas Leurs for Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences.

Smashing Magazine expound upon what makes a well designed 404 page in their latest design gallery which features 50 examples.

Inspired by the gallery, I made a more useful 404 for Konigi as well.

Fubiz has done a beautiful redesign. The gorgeous video below showcases the redesign, giving you a taste of what to expect as you begin to use it. I'm really digging the Mosaic view and the Popular carousel in the sidebar.

Peter Morville and Jeffrey Callender have been compiling a list of UX deliverables and have summarized 20 of them succintly on the Semantic Studios site.

This list describes twenty user experience deliverables with links to relevant resources and examples. Clearly, these artifacts of the process are not the whole story. We must also think about the relationship between goals, methods, and documents. And yet, for many of us, deliverables are the coin of the realm and merit special attention.

I've taken the 20 deliverables and put them into a single, full-sized poster-like image in PNG or PDF format if you want to view them that way. There's also a cute image that shows the deliverables as a Treasure Map. Go read the article for the full 9.