Swedish agency Akestam Holst has created a contextual banner ad for retailer Playground Stores that selects an appropriate jacket for you depending on the weather where in your location. The demo seems hard coded, but is kind of neat. Would be really weird if they could figure out my gender and favorite colors.

Via Creativity

xSort is a card sorting application for researchers and information architects that want to get a better idea of their users' mental models for any given application or task. The software is free and works on Mac OS X.

The Konigi OmniGraffle Wireframe Icon Set is a set of grayscale cursors and icons that come in handy when designing wireframes, aka user interface schematics. This product includes a standard set of cursors, and many of the icons you need for the design of web-based user interfaces.

This set of icons is designed to work well with your wireframe stencils. You'll find rich text editor controls, file system actions, social interaction symbols, ratings and voting, and a host of other icons for most of the behaviors you may want to communicate with an icon.

Your purchase of this icon set entitle you to free upgrades forever. If you have suggestions for icons you'd like to see included in this set, please feel free to suggest them.

devSnippets collects 10 examples of multi-level navigation menus using Javascript libraries and CSS, and adds a little annotation about the methods and how they effects are accomplished.

Via @nourayehia

Boagworld looks at 10 ways to design an effective call to action.

Having an effective call to action is an essential part of any website. A call to action is not just limited to ecommerce sites. Every website should have an objective it wants users to complete whether it is filling in a contact form, signup for a newsletter or volunteering their time.

A call to action provides...

Focus to your site
A way to measure your sites success
Direction to your users

See the full article on Boagworld.

iPlotz is another new product offering web-based services for wireframing, mockup, and prototyping of websites and applications. This service allows users to create multiple projects, wireframe them with sketch-style editable components, generate images or PDFs of the wireframes, manage tasks associated with screens, and solicit comments from team members.

Bill Scott and Theresa Neil's new O’Reilly book, “Designing Web Interfaces: Principles and Patterns for Rich Interactions,” presents more than 75 design patterns for building web interfaces that provide rich interaction. They've shared the full set of principles and patterns they use for RIA design in this article.

TechCrunch shows off their second prototype, following Michael Arrington and company's challenge to come up with a $200 touch screen netbook tablet. Looks like the price would be closer to $300, but they're well on their way to proving the concept.

Fantastic TED video of Paula Scher looking back at her career for those moments where she was able to devote time and effort to serious play and create wonderful work, and contrasting it with the unfortunate moments when the serious becomes solemn. I love how this retrospective observation of her career brings her to conclude that the best of times for her as a designer is when she comes into a project with no grounding or bearing--those times where lack of history or reference point allows that kind of play to emerge.

Smashing Mag curates their top web design trends, and gives us the first of a multi-part set with these 10 great examples. It's a well picked, high quality collection of screenshots as is typical of these guys. They never disappoint. Here's a snippet describing the list:

Web design trends for 2009: recent developments, new design elements and new graphic approaches. We also discuss situations in which these trends can be used and present some beautiful examples.

Their second set of trends is forthcoming.

The OmniGraffle UX Template for interface and interaction designers has been updated to version 2.1. Included in this release are major alignment, grid, and layout changes. Added guides for 24 column grid with vertical and horizontal gutters on wireframes. Added appropriate guides to all templates that necessitated alignment guides. Added small wireframe and iPhone templates. Download it here.