Satisfying UI design is often illogical
“Usability tests and theories about interaction are tools. Very useful tools, but still just tools — not purposes onto themselves. The real goal is user satisfaction, and some of that is really illogical and messy.”
The new Tumblr looks impressive
“It’s been six months since we launched Tumblr 2.0. We’ve spent a lot of time looking at the ways you’ve been using Tumblr, want to be using it, and could be using it. Today, we’re delighted to show you the culmination of all your feedback and support. The most powerful and simple application we’ve ever built.”
More on email vs. RSS
“As much as I’d like to see RSS replace email, it’s just not going to happen overnight. RSS has to become brain dead simple to use. When the soccer moms, myspace kids, construction workers, and grandmothers can use RSS, commercial email will give way to RSS. Because RSS is a lot better.”
Book: “The Architecture of Happiness”
“It’s the architect’s task to design buildings that contribute to happiness by embodying ennobling values. While he makes no claim to be able to define true beauty in architecture, he suggests some of the virtues a building should have (illustrated by pictures on almost every spread): order combined with complexity; balance between contrasting elements; elegance that appears effortless; a coherent relationship among the parts; and self-knowledge, which entails an understanding of human psychology, something that architects all too often overlook.”
Dean Kamen previews new prosthetic arm
“Inventor Dean Kamen gives a 5-minute talk about the extraordinary prosthetic arm he’s developing at the request of the US Department of Defense, to help the 1,600 “kids” who’ve come back from Iraq without an arm (and the two dozen who’ve lost both arms). Kamen’s commitment to using technology to solve problems, and his respect for the human spirit, have never been more clear than in this deeply moving clip.”
Send photos straight from your camera to Flickr
“First your phone went wireless, then your laptop, now finally, your camera! Never scrounge around for a USB cable again! Eye-fi is a magical orange SD memory card that will not only store 2GB worth of pictures, it’ll upload them to your computer, and to Flickr, Facebook, Picasa (or 14 others) wirelessly, invisibly, automatically!”
The best/worst logo remakes of the century
“When it comes to re-branding a corporate identity, you would imagine that the CEO would take great care in making such a decision. In some cases, this is not true. In fact, there are many cases where you begin to question the sobriety of those in charge when they decided to remake their brand.”
What a spec can’t reveal
“A spec can’t reveal everything. Clients can’t use the spec for their real work, and they’ll never notice just how many keystrokes it takes to do basic operations until you get, at least, a UI prototype working. A good way to defend yourself against this is to deliver lots and lots of interim versions to the client: real, working interim versions, and get them using it so you can build feedback into future iterations. Rather than going off in a cave and building something for a year, only to find out that 9 months of that work is wasted, you show the client something every month, say, and get instant feedback and then you adjust directions if needed.”
Review of Leopard
“It’s a cornucopia of Obviously Bad Ideas, again addressed more thoroughly by others. This is like the folder icon situation all over again, but even worse. It’s an example of sacrificing usability for the sake of purely aesthetic changes that are far from universally loved (to put it mildly) in isolation, and inexcusable given the price paid for them.”
Motorhead Messiah
“Johnathan Goodwin can get 100 mpg out of a Lincoln Continental, cut emissions by 80%, and double the horsepower. Does the car business have the guts to follow him?”