Notebook

The ultimate resource on Grid Systems. You'll find links to articles, books, tools, and other resources related to grid systems here.

Via Coudal.

The UX Booth is a group that writes about User Experience, and offers free Website Usability Reviews that all designers and developers can benefit from.

Via Digital Web

A UX (User Experience) Book Club is a get-together in which people interested in the area of user experience come to discuss a book relevant to the discipline.

The AppGap releases the Appopedia, a directory and review site for "2.0 apps" for work.

Motionographer is a source of inspiration for filmmakers, animators and designers.

The New York Times fashion section article, "Blogging at a Snail's Pace" discusses slow blogging, a near Ludd-like movement against the practice of posting quick and in high volume. It's like slow food versus fast food. Slow bloggers discard the belief that webloggers need to post often, because the reflectiveness of thought and quality of writing suffer. When comparing the slow versus fast differences, Barbara Ganley, a blogger who writes from Vermont had this to say.

Ms. Ganley, the blogger in Vermont, has a slogan that encapsulates the trend: “Blog to reflect, Tweet to connect.” Blogging, she said, “is that slow place.”

I don't have a distaste for fast blogging because I watch the fast blogs, and because I'm somewhere in between, doing a little of both the fast and terse and the slow and thoughtful. I have found myself posting when there is time, and thinking about each entry as I deconstruct interfaces and visual designs. I once saw a tweet referencing Konigi that was surprised I didn't post more. It's because I try to post more thoughtfully.

Another interesting example from the article is dawdlr, the rebel twin sister of Twitter. Dawdlr asks the same question essentially, "what are you doing, you know, more generally?" But the twist is you answer by postcard.

I love the idea of dawdler. Email, blogging, etc. has meant that I get and receive a lot fewer letters and postcards from friends and family. Close friends and family know I was passionate about letter writing, and tended to spend as much time crafting the actual letter and envelope as much as I did the writing and selection of the additional contents I'd send along. There's something about the time in between replies that makes each letter that much denser and saturated in meaning.

My blogging arc has been somewhat wavy. I started blogging iaslash as a reblogger in 2001 and slowly started doing more and more critique and review there, and then retired from that blog in 2005. Over the course of my personal blog at urlgreyhot, I wrote lengthy essays, but essentially turned it into a microblogging site as I focussed on Konigi. Now, I do something in between the fast and slow. There's no high volume, and neither is there the multi-scroll essay. And I mix in some time to look at and tweak the tools I use in the real world.

Maybe I'm trying to be something more like the good, reliable neighborhood restaurant. I don't know. I'm just happy you come to visit so I can serve you.

I got this in my email from Facebook.

Unfortunately, the settings that control which email notifications get sent to you were lost. We're sorry for the inconvenience.

Wow. Really? I agree with what M. David Peterson had to say about the issue. Sounds like they've got some inexperienced engineers running the show.

If this had been a web service with critical data that wasn't backed up, people would be pretty pissed. When I went to check my email notifications settings, however, everything seemed to be intact. What gives?

Flashbulb Interactions's Working through Screens is an excellent, well-illustrated ebook on concept design for designers and product developers. The key point here is how to use design tools and methodologies to get the right design for the problem.

Working through Screens is an online book for product teams creating new or iteratively improved applications for thinking work. Written for use during early, formative conversations, it provides teams with a broad range of considerations for setting the overall direction and priorities for their onscreen tools. With hundreds of envisioning questions and fictional examples from clinical research, financial trading, and architecture, this volume can help definers and designers to explore innovative new directions for their products.

...

Product teams can make significant progress toward these aims by changing how they get started on designing their products — by beginning with an emphasis on getting to the right design strategy and design concepts long before getting to the right design details.

There can never be enough discussion in the literature on this topic in my opinion, because understanding the problem and getting the right design is so important for success, especially when it comes to application design. The book is free to download, so check it out.

On InfoQ Tobias Komischke highlights some aspects of colors and color perception together with recommendations for UI design.

That's OmniGraffle, not Original Gangster. It's been over a year since the last update to my OmniGraffle Wireframe Stencils. I'm due for a new version after some cleanup and organization into separate stencils to make use of OG5's nice new stencil panel. The above is the current state of my working stencil in all its ugly glory.

Also in my stencil directory are a bunch of pre-fabricated stencils for the projects I've worked on in the past 2 years at Sling and at Traction. So there's a lot of social networking, video controls, and now a growing arsenal of application-oriented controls now that I'm helping to define the user experience of Traction Software. You'll hopefully be able to try some of that stuff out in Q1/2 of 2009. And sometime in '09 you'll be able to use those stencils as well, as I plan to release them to the public.

There will be more on the toolset after the new year, so stay tuned.

Andy Polaine's review of books for designers.

Although there are several good design websites that occasionally have book reviews, there didn’t seem to be a single place online where you could get constant updates and reviews of new (and sometimes old) design books.

Design books are often expensive and contrary – sometimes the book is worth having for the physical production values alone, sometimes for the images, sometimes for the words and, occasionally, for all three. We wanted to cover those elements in our reviews so that you know whether it’s worth owning.