Notebook

Pacemaker, the mobile MP3 DJ device that debuted last year with a 120 GB hard drive, is getting a 2.0 release this spring and offering an additional lower capacity 60 GB hard drive option, and a new user interface.

I was enamored with this device and the way they could incorporate most of the possible mixer and track selection controls for 2 deck track mixing into a single, albeit large, handheld device with their original product UI. The newly redesigned UI looks like it made some usability tweaks and subtle improvements. For instance, there's a new scrolling behavior that highlights your alpha headings. Some filtering options look like they'd be welcome improvements as well. For those that actually DJ, there are a bunch of new effects in there too it seems. The hardware remeains the same.

Now the lower price point and an improved UI, I might actually get one of these. It's still pricey, but over the years my use of 1200s, Trakktor, and Torq have diminished to near nothing. I get by now playing with a DS KORG. I miss DJing, but this may be the toy for me.

Ryan Singer posted a article on 37 Signals, deconstructing the design of the global navigation header on Github. In his example he points out the problem with the "Repositories: All | Search" links in the account box in the upper right of the screen, which suggests that those links are scoped to the user shown in the box.

This a great example of how visual grouping and proximity could be more effectively utilized to help users make sense of the available controls. Seems a bit strange to me that the Repositories link is in that area at all. Singer suggests moving the avatar to the right. I might even go further by moving the repository and search links to a different area or better defining the separation of those functions with the user information might be effective in this case. Removing the bounding box certainly helps to alleviate the perception of scoping created by the group, but a better visual structure could be represented here.

Nick Felton's annual report continues to take mundane data and meticulously render superb stastical diagrams and information graphics. If every corporate Power Point chart looked this good, fewer people would be bored out of their skulls in meetings.

Wireframes Magazine featured an entry on using sticky notes for UI design. I know a lot of us have done something like this before, whether it's using sticky notes or something else. I have occasionally sketched large and used transparent vellum with tape in the past.

Victor Lombardi has started Service Design Design Patterns, a wiki for capturing design patterns about service design. There are other places to learn about design process and methods; these patterns try to describe aspects of the service itself.

Google's Quick Search Box is a QuickSilver-like launcher that lets you search your computer for applications and data, as well as search the web, and your Google Apps accounts. I presume this will also eventually replace the search interface provided by Google Desktop. The project is in beta and is provided via the Labs.

From their blog:

One of our goals at Google is to make your search experience as fluid as possible. While much of our work is focused on Google.com, we're trying to make it just as easy to search outside your browser.

For the last year, we have been working on a new, open-source quick search box. Today, we are releasing our first developer preview for the Mac.

Via @factoryjoe

patternBrowser is an amazing design pattern library produced by the Interface Design Team of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam. I've spent a little time looking through the interaction design category, and there's a lot of great examples there, and most importantly they've done the work of organizing and describing each problem/solution thoroughly. Check it out.

Wikipedia has an excellent table of JavaScript frameworks that compares the features of Dojo, Echo3, Ext, Google Web Toolkit, jQuery, midori, MochiKit, MooTools, Prototype & script.aculo.us, Pyjamas, qooxdoo, Rialto, Rico, YUI, and SweetDEV RIA.

How cool is this? A CSS Design gallery showing sites as viewed through the iPhone.