Notebook

This is a neat table listing and categorizing visualization methods from the folks at Visual Literacy

Just getting around to reading Jon Kolko's Thoughts on Interaction Design, which is available online now that the printed book is no longer available.

Lighthouse provides 10 basic guidelines for designing for people with partial sight.

"Impaired vision often makes reading difficult by: Reducing the amount of light that enters the eye, Blurring the retinal image, Damaging the central portion of the retina best suited to reading."

If you've come here for the free wireframe and storyboard graph paper, you might also be interested in these 4 great resources for free printable graphpaper with uses for craftmaking, math, science, and writing.

  • Incompetech and PrintFreeGraphPaper
    Generator that does a ton of different formats including some excellent specialty papers, e.g. music notation, perspective drawings, geometric grids, and more.
  • Print Free Graph Paper
    Generator with graph papers for science and math e.g. polar, isometric, logarithmic, hexagonal, probability, and Smith Chart grids.
  • PocketMod
    Small notebook generator that let's you print a customizable 8 page notebook from a single folded 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of paper. Add graph paper pages, to do lists, calendars, games, and RSS feeds.
  • Printable Paper
    Several grid and lined paper including a bowling score sheet. Seems like scoring/stats sheets for a few other sports, e.g. baseball, might be a popular addition.

Adaptive Path release Janice Fraser and Scott Hirsch's research on the ties between business value and user experience. “Leveraging Business Value: How ROI Changes User Experience” originally cost $395, but is now being offered for free.

Download the report (412K PDF)

I'm a big fan of Pilot and Pentel mechanical pencils. At home I use the larger Pentels, but when I'm out, I carry around the small red Pilot Couleur above attached to my small Moleskine. Ideas often come when I'm away from the desk so I feel like I always have to have pencil and paper wherever I go.

The Pilots have a rubberized coating, hold 0.5mm leads, and hide an eraser under the push button. They stay snugly attached to the Moleskine strap and don't flop around. I also found that you can buy cyan leads at 0.5mm, so I recently acquired a second Pilot. As you can see, they both fit perfectly to the side of the notebook. Now I can sketch in gray or blue, and if I want to share, I can use a paper trimmer, tear out pages and scan. Love love love. These pencils are from Japan, so you can get them at places like Kinokuniya.

I thought the pics might interest some. I spent a little time trying different ways to attach a pen/pencil to my Moleskine, and have found that what I'm doing works very. The Moleskine above is a Reporter, so the strap goes across the short side rather than the long. This lets you clip your pencil perpendicular to the strap on the long side as shown above. Much better positioning than with the regular Moleskines.

There are a lot of other creative hacks out there to attach your pencil to your Moleskine if you don't like my method. Everyday Innovations, makers of the PicoPad sell a pen holder called the Book Sling that also seems well designed, although I haven't tried one yet.

Hope this gives someone some inspiration for their ultra mobile sketching rig. Happy sketching!

Using the Konigi Storyboard Graph Paper to plan stop motion animation

My son got his hands on the storyboard paper and started sketching a stop motion animation sequence in the cells. He just started his second session in a stop motion class. This is one of the things I used our printed graph paper for, but because that was printed in black/gray on our laser printer, I had a hard time knocking out the grid lines mixed in with his drawings. Now, since this is on the cyan grid, I can scan 6 cells on each page, cut/crop each box visually, then knock out the blues. Can't wait to try this out myself for something.

You can find the free printable storyboard graph papers in the tools section. Notepads are on sale here.

Ars reports on a study by the psychology department at NC State that will appear in the Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. The study tested how college students respond to fake dialog boxes in browser popup windows and found that the students are so anxious to get the dialog out of the way, they click right through obvious warning signs.

Follow-up questions revealed that the students seemed to find any dialog box a distraction from their assigned task; nearly half said that all they cared about was getting rid of these dialogs. The results suggest that a familiarity with Windows dialogs have bred a degree of contempt and that users simply don't care what the boxes say anymore.

The authors suggest that user training might help more people recognize the risks involved with fake popups and the diagnostic signs of genuine Windows dialogs, but the fact that the students didn't appear to spend any more time evaluating the fake dialogs raises questions as to whether education is enough.

37 signals gave the soapbox to crowdSPRING to justify the crowdsourcing and spec work platform and the debate ensued. I got through about half of the long rant, then half of the comments, and called it a day.

I've already chimed in about my opinion for crowdSPRING. I believe there is a place for this market, and if small businesses will support it with dollars, then it will continue to exist. As a lot of designers commented, market places like this don't threaten them. Someone going to crowdSPRING doesn't really expect depth of experience for what they pay. Like it or not, this marketplace appears to be thriving and a good number of designers of varying levels of experience are participating, much to the disappointment of AIGA. Nevertheless, the debate rages on.