The future of WireFrames

Really interesting article about not only the future but the past of wireframes: http://www.madebymany.co.uk/the-future-of-wireframes-00991.

Its talks a lot about website wire framing, but they are such a general resource that it is worth taking the time to take a look at this article.

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Really nice simple UI

This is from an application called Caoo, a new application by Chris Liscio of SuperMegaUltraGroovy:

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It helps musicians to learn to play music by Ear and I must say its one of the nicest looking single window interfaces I have seen for a while.

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beauty, fun, pleasure and emotion by Don Norman

As you might have seen on this site I am a big fan of Don Norman, and this is a great video from Ted:

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The future of Firefox – tabless

“Oliver Reichenstein and Aza Raskin, head of user experience at Mozilla, have been thinking about the future of tabs in Firefox, and some of the resulting mockups are quite intriguing.”

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Via readwriteweb

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Expression Blend 3 preview

Its now available:

http://blogs.msdn.com/expression/archive/2009/03/18/download-expression-blend-3-preview.aspx

Haven’t got much to say about it yet as I am just downloading it as I type this.

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Concept Maps for download

Some really inspirational and beautiful concept maps for download over at Dubberly Design Office.

Most are about A3 in size, and all are worth looking at!

The work on their site in Application design is also worth some minutes of your time.

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Card Sorting: Designing Usable Categories

Images have been uploaded to flickr from Donna Spencer’s upcoming book “Card Sorting: Designing Usable Categories”:

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There is also a very interesting article on Boxes and Arrows, Card sorting – a definitive guide with a much needed explanation of what card sorting is:

“Card sorting is a quick, inexpensive, and reliable method, which serves as input into your information design process. Card sorting generates an overall structure for your information, as well as suggestions for navigation, menus, and possible taxonomies.”

Of course there are alternative methods, such as affinity diagramming.

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Book review: The Design of Everyday Things

Originally published in hard cover as The Psychology of Everyday Things (same book except for the preface, introduction, and title) this book by Donald A. Norman has become something of a classic in the field of Human-computer Interaction, but I would encourage anyone to remotely interested in the world around them to spend some time reading it.

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Even two decades after its release the message contained within is even more important than ever. As the world around as gets ever more sophisticated and demanding of its hosts and users, the everyday interactions we deal with require even more thought to help us go about our tasks.

Dr Norman describes very well some of the tasks we do everyday and what process we go through in doing these tasks to help illustrate the problems facing the design of everything from taps, software, door knobs to car radios.

One of the points that I loved was it is most often the users of the object that blame themselves for not being able to use something well when more often than not its the object at fault. Time and time again Norman is able to link the brain and thinking and the device that we actually want to use.

Its an extremely accessible book, not just in its everyday subject matter but as you start to read it you notice and bring your own experiences in to his examples.

Enlightening and thoroughly recommended.

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Interesting Microsoft video

Interesting because of the subject matter but also because of the UI work done. I can’t see all their visions working in the near future, but some things we are already seeing today.

<object width=”400″ height=”220″><param name=”allowfullscreen” value=”true” /><param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always” /><param name=”movie” value=”http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=3732475&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=&amp;fullscreen=1″ /><embed src=”http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=3732475&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=&amp;fullscreen=1″ type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowfullscreen=”true” allowscriptaccess=”always” width=”400″ height=”220″></embed></object><br /><a href=”http://vimeo.com/3732475″>Microsoft Sustainability</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/tipodgraphic”>Alvaro┬┤C</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.

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Nokia releases Qt 4.5

Nokia has release Qt 4.5, improving on such features as the QtWebKit module (embedding Apple’s WebKit in to Qt applications), the Qt Creator GUI IDE application, performance improvements, 64bit Cocoa support, and lots of other small improvements.

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More information is available at http://www.qtsoftware.com/.

This all seems very good news for existing customer of QT but cross platform GUI development is something that I am really against, as native UIs always have significant advantages. Not least the guidelines for developing for that operating system is always easier when using native controls.

There is also a very important feeling that one gets when using an application rendered with native controls that doesn’t seem to exist with other solutions, QT included.

Take for example Opera, although their branding is very good, and the application is well thought out, it just doesn’t feel as tight as a windows application, when you use the file menu it lacks certain important features such as the underline so that you know that you can use the alt shortcut keys.

On the Mac the controls in the menu’s and particularly the bottom bar just don’t line up properly.

Its a great browser, its just a pity that it doesn’t feel native.

Opera, it should be noted, is not based on QT, they have their own layer, much like Adobe has theirs (with of course the known problems associated with it).

This is a topic that I intend to expand upon in an upcoming post.

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