Notebook

Smashing Magazine does a newspaper roundup in a week that saw the FT.com make news for its redesign.

These days, the design lines between blogs and newspapers are starting to converge a bit with those newspapers that take the threat of the blog format seriously. Smashing Mag does a good design of screenshooting and comparing what news sites are doing.

Chris Campbell or Particle Tree provides an excellent set of guidelines and examples for designing with users with color deficiencies in mind.

The User Interface Design Group at MIT has started their Teatime Blog. Info about the blog from entry #1:

The sharing of knowledge and ideas is of fundamental importance to the advancement of technology. With this goal in mind, MIT’s User Interface Design group meets once a day at Tea Time to brainstorm new ideas, review new technologies and ideas, and share their experiences working in the field.

If we hope to herald innovation by sharing ideas with a research group , then there’s a boundless value to sharing ideas and thoughts with the world at large. With this goal in mind, we will post a daily log of the musings and observations we discuss in our tea time meetings, and welcome your thoughts and comments about Human Computer Interaction, User Interface Design, and increasing the value and effectiveness of how we use technology

Russel Wilson of Dexo Design has done an excellent review of available UI Prototyping tools and provided tables comparing attributes including how fun they are to use, time to ramp up, and support for interactivity.

His final assessment is below:

1) Low fidelity mockups for idea exploration and communication: Balsamiq
2) Interactive prototypes to test and communicate interactions: Adobe Flex (Thermo may change my mind)
3) High fidelity drawing tool: Adobe Illustrator or OmniGraffle

The Email Standards Project is a community effort to ensure that emails render consistently. Similar to the Web Standards Project, the Email Standards Project community works with email client developers and the design community to improve web standards support and accessibility in email.

Kevin Arthur's Touch Usability is a blog devoted to usability news and research on touch screen interfaces.

Gazopa provides image upload and drawing interfaces for image search. The idea of finding similar images by comparing against a submitted image or drawing is not new, but search tools that use this tech have failed to catch on in consumer sites. People with information retrieval background might be familiar with IBM's QBIC, query by image content, technology for instance.

Gazopa looks very interesting, and the results are not bad at all, even with my crude bicycle drawing above. The Flash drawing tool is a little rough around the edges, but I'm sure that will improve as well. Looks like one of the best attempts to bring this to the masses so far.

Testing of proof of concept prototypes of radial menus. The idea is to get users to try to select the same menu item repeatedly as the radial menu changes from state to state and capture participants feedback on usability of the interface.

Excellent infographic in the Onion comparing Snow Leopard and Windows 7.

Product Planner is one an brilliant idea. Deconstruct the user flow of web sites, illustrate the flow with annotated screenshot flowcharts, allow users to copy the flow and reuse on the site. Like Konigi, this does a great job of capturing examples of alternative approaches to interaction, showcases them for you to compare, and allows you to select the best examples to learn from and inform you of approaches you may not have thought of. Excellent.

Here's an example flow chart of a sign up loop.

Sign Up Loop - New

View more Twitter user flows.

Inspire is a new site from Adobe Experience Design. With interviews, videos, and examples of work, the site is part magazine, part showcase, part news portal. It's definitely worth a regular watch.