The Human Resources blog looks like an interesting new source for visual and industrial design inspiration.
David Pogue offers some suggestions the selection of non-jargony words when writing/speaking about technology. Most of these I agree with. Here's a few:
* Enable. Who on earth says, "Enable the GPS function"? Only user-manual writers and computer-book authors. Say "Turn on GPS" instead.
* Support. I don't mean "support" as in "tech support," although even that term is a corporate creepy cop-out (it means "help line"). No, I mean the verb, as in, "The laptop supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth."
In no other corner of modern discourse is "support" used that way. I use "has," "offers" or "works with.
I've caught Chuck Todd using a desktop touch interface a few times on MSNBC to click through poll charts. While John King has been using a Perceptive Pixel-designed touch wall, Todd has been using a Microsoft Surface interface on a desktop. The device and manipulation of data on the screen looks very natural on this show, especially for the kind of information he's speaking to. I think whenever there's a lot of visual information to add to a story, this kind of an interface has potential to be very helpful and I look forward to seeing what they do at MSNBC and on other shows.
This is my first case bound book notebook. I took a one day workshop at the Center for Book Arts to continue pursuing my obsession with notebooks. It is half filled with Bienfang 8x8 to the inch graph paper and the other half is Borden and Riley bleed proof paper. The section of papers is stitched into a text block that is drilled on left side to create this landscape orientation.
Sumopaint, by Snap Group Ltd is looking to be a really slick Flash-based online graphics creation and editing tool. It has a very complete list of functionalities with shapes, brushes, layers, text editing, filters, and many of the features you'd expect from Photoshop or (ack) GIMP. Users can share images for community editing, create and view versions, and add comments.
This looks like it might turn out to be an excellent resource for those looking at doing things like shared whiteboarding and prototyping without the real-time editing. On the surface this appears to be only a Photoshop-like tool, but if you were to leverage the community and versioning features, the possibilities for a flexible tool like this become pretty interesting. Check it out.
Jared Spool writes an excellent article describing how to give a good design critique.
A well-done critique is a way to step away from the specifics of the design process and better understand how to create great designs. We do this by starting with the current design and asking "What is it we're really trying to do here?" and "How close are we to doing it?"
The design crit is one of the most valuable parts of the design process to me. Interaction designers and information architects without design or art backgrounds often find themselves new to the critique, but over time learn that the practice is a necessary aspect of evaluation and assessment of the work. The dialog, reframing, and perspective offered in the critique really helps the designer working in isolation. Spool offers some good advice for how to frame comments positively and respectfully, how to develop a healthy environment for critiquing, and how to use the crit to keep designers thinking about possibilities and alternative solutions.