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Petskull
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: 127 Halcyon Road, Marenia, Atlantis
Insane since: Aug 2000

IP logged posted posted 11-27-2007 22:33 Edit Quote

As long as I'm talking to myself here-

I just found out that back in 2000, Joel Spolsky wrote a book out on the history and elements of UI design.
User Interface Design For Programmers (The whole book)

Chapter 1: Controlling Your Environment Makes You Happy
Chapter 2: Figuring Out What They Expected
Chapter 3: Choices
Chapter 4: Affordances and Metaphors
Chapter 5: Consistency and Other Hobgoblins
Chapter 6: Designing for People Who Have Better Things To Do With Their Lives
Chapter 7: Designing for People Who Have Better Things To Do With Their Lives, Part Two
Chapter 8: Designing for People Who Have Better Things To Do With Their Lives, Part Three
Chapter 9: The Process of Designing a Product

I came across this link in the comments of the following Slashdot article:

The User Experiences Of The Future
Patrick Griffin writes: "The way that we interact with technology is almost as important as what that technology does. Productivity has been improved greatly over the years as we've adapted ourselves and our tools to technological tasks. Just the same, the UI experience of most hardware and software often leaves novice users out in the cold. The site 'Smashing Magazine' has put together a presentation of 'some of the outstanding recent developments in the field of user experience design. Most techniques seem very futuristic, and are extremely impressive. Keep in mind: they might become ubiquitous over the next years.'"

CPrompt
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: there...no..there.....
Insane since: May 2001

IP logged posted posted 11-27-2007 23:54 Edit Quote
quote:

Petskull said:

As long as I'm talking to myself here-



because I don't say anything, doesn't mean I'm not listening

I frequent the web developers hand book quite often though. I've seen this book before but have forgotten about it. I'm gonna take a bit to read it though.

Later,

C:\

kimson
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Royal Horsing Ground
Insane since: Jan 2005

IP logged posted posted 01-31-2008 18:08 Edit Quote
quote:

Petskull said:

I just found out that back in 2000, Joel Spolsky wrote a book out on the history and elements of UI design.
User Interface Design For Programmers (The whole book)


This book is sitting on my desk as we (rather I) speak - the 4 hours it took me to read were one of my most well-spent work time for a very long time.

The link you provided is interesting too -- well, it will be interesting to see which ones of those devices/interfaces really take off. I think the main lesson to take out of this all is that every single of these examples are a huge effort towards making the computer model match the user model -- which is the only way to make a good user interface (a concept that is so well introduced and described in Joel's first and second chapter). This is probably the single most important rule I had never really grasped, and certainly the most useful to me in my process of learning about UIs and UX.

Now

quote:

Petskull said:

As long as I'm talking to myself here-



This may apply to me too, but if you want to go on with the discussion, I would be more than happy to do so.

argo navis
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Switzerland
Insane since: Jul 2007

IP logged posted posted 01-31-2008 18:17 Edit Quote

My quick 2 cents : it's time, in terms of interface design, to come up with new things.
One of the changes that will most certainly happen in the next years is "multitouch" technology, as in the Ipod touch
or Microsoft Surface or other competitive products (~coughcough~) (yeahyeah, I am talking about hardware here for a change).

Knowing what's there, and what has been, is great, but I recommend focusing on what's next because
technology progresses fast, and you and I can expect stunning things next year.

kimson
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Royal Horsing Ground
Insane since: Jan 2005

IP logged posted posted 01-31-2008 18:35 Edit Quote
quote:

argo navis said:

it's time, in terms of interface design, to come up with new things.


In terms of output (devices and hardware) this is absolutely true. But the underlying rules and processes will not change: what makes a good interface, how to present information and data? Those are the real questions. You can make all the flashy MP3 players or mobile phones you want, if average Joe can't use them, they are useless. Granted, the quality gets better and better.
How we interact with those devices and how they look like is only a way to serve those rules -- and the iPod touch is a great achievement, but not the ultimate interface.
Have a look at this thought-provoking blog post: http://infosthetics.com/archives/2008/01/tufte_alternative_iphone_interface_design.html
Note: I deliberately directed to this amazing blog rather than directly to Edward Tufte's website, because it is such high quality I have it as my home page.

argo navis
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Switzerland
Insane since: Jul 2007

IP logged posted posted 01-31-2008 18:50 Edit Quote

Am out of time Kimmy, my "stuff" is moving faster than expected these days - I am not saying Ipod touch is the panacea,
but it brings interface design into completely new grounds - like the WII does : the fact of putting your whole hand on a screen
and having it react completely changes the possibilites.

The core of marketting is still the same, our views don't diverge in the slightest - but for medias like that, you'd need to
think in terms of "the user's fingers can now touch his virtual reality".

Catch me in private if you want to know the details, but I really cannot feed the debate further.

Kisses & Peaches from your favorite bastard.

kimson
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Royal Horsing Ground
Insane since: Jan 2005

IP logged posted posted 02-01-2008 10:12 Edit Quote
quote:

argo navis said:

my "stuff" is moving faster than expected these days


This is great news! I wish you all the best with it.

quote:

argo navis said:

Catch me in private if you want to know the details, but I really cannot feed the debate further.


Shame, I would much rather keep this public: I value your opinion as much as others' around here.

quote:


argo navis said:

The core of marketting is still the same


I am not talking about marketing here, but indeed of user interface. Marketing has nothing to do with this. Or rather, the one single thing it has in common with user interface -- and this is very important -- is that the user/customer is absolutely central.

quote:

argo navis said:

think in terms of "the user's fingers can now touch his virtual reality"


This is exactly my point, above. In real life, when we press on a button, we reach out and press on it with our finger. In virtual life, there are "intermediaries" or "extensions of our body" that help us do similar actions (e.g. click on button with a mouse, etc.) The iPod touch and other touch screen devices make it all more "real life"; in other words, they match the user's model better.

Now what I find interesting, and what this thread could be about, is the following:

We can enhance physical interfaces to make user experience better, and this is all about design and ergonomics. Now what interest me even more is: what makes a good virtual interface, when you have no means of reducing the barriers imposed by the physical properties of the hardware? And to which extent is this an issue, considering that we are developing all this technology to overcome these barriers? Until everyone has the Internet on touch screen at home, it is absolutely crucial that we put every effort into designing good user interfaces.

I am only starting to ask these questions for myself, and would really appreciate your opinion on all this, guys.

So to start a conversation in a simpler way: what is your favourite "virtual" user interface? I insist on "virtual", because for now, I would like to leave the physical side apart (of course touch screens are better than traditional screens in many ways).

[edit] typos [/edit]

(Edited by kimson on 02-01-2008 10:17)

argo navis
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Switzerland
Insane since: Jul 2007

IP logged posted posted 02-01-2008 19:43 Edit Quote

Good point about marketing and interface design : deeply different things, but they all are user oriented.
I tend to mix up the "big" non-verbal communication topics these days (marketing, sales, graphic design, seduction, etc..) -
as I am working on a small conference about NLP for school.

Anyhow, to answer your question :
- ipod touch user interface, especially the "coverflow" feature.
- some great Flash designs : Jonathan Yuen - guy is good.
- Beryl on Linux : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yw78IIEbzHs - not only for the eyecandy, but getting used to the shortcut makes my desktop 4 times bigger
and I can get an overview at once by entering "desktop cube" mode.



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