Notebook

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.

Function lists 50 great redesigns in a wide range of industries and product types from logos to automobile design.

A redesign can be worth its weight in gold if you get it right. There is a thin line between freshening up your design, and taking a step backwards with a redesign. Sometimes a redesign can be subtle and simple, and other times it can be a huge re-vamp of a company and it’s goals.

I don't agree with every redesign in the list, like AT&T, but this is a well thought-out and annotated compilation with some wonderful examples of brand and product transformations. Some are subtle, while others are dramatic. All transform the original in very creative ways.

Found on smartex, and believed by jibbajabba to occasionally be true of group brainstorming...

Wikipedia on "Brainstorming".

Although brainstorming has become a popular group technique, researchers have generally failed to find evidence of its effectiveness for enhancing either quantity or quality of ideas generated. Because of such problems as distraction, social loafing, evaluation apprehension, and production blocking, brainstorming groups are little more effective than other types of groups, and they are actually less effective than individuals working independently.[2][3][4] In the Encyclopedia of creativity, Tudor Rickards provides the article on brainstorming, summarizing the controversies. He also indicates the dangers of conflating productivity in group work with quantity of ideas.[5]

2. Nijstad, B. A., Stroebe, W., Lodewijkx, H. F. M. (2003). Production blocking and idea generation: Does blocking interfere with cognitive processes? Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 39, 531-548.
3. Diehl, M., & Stroebe, W. (1991). Productivity loss in idea-generating groups: tracking down the blocking effect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 61, 392-403.
4. Mullen, B., Johnson, C., & Salas, E. (1991). Productivity loss in brainstorming groups: a meta-analytic integration. Basic and Applied Social Psychology. 12, 3-23.
5. Rickards, T., (1999) Brainstorming, M Runco & S Pritzker, Eds, Encylopedia of creativity, San Diego: Academic Press Vol 1 219-228.

InformationWeek previews Windows 7, the successor to Vista, with 24 screenshots from a demo given by Julie Larson Green, Microsoft's vice president for Windows experience. Read more about Windows 7 in the InformationWeek article.

Rosenfeld Media and Smart Experience begin their webinar series. Registration is open now for the 2 opening sessions with Luke Wroblewski and Indi Young.

Or maybe we're just comfortable with the mix in of apps and music? No, not me. Artist and Album are certainly just wrong. Don't know how they can make that legacy labeling generic across music/movie/application. Creator instead of artist, perhaps. And just leave album blank for apps and movies. Album doesn't serve a purpose for apps does it? The link doesn't appear to work.

The New York Times teams up with IBM's Many Eyes project to provide word visualizations of data in the Vizlab.