Friday, May 30, 2003
IA, IT, DI, DO, CTC, CIA
An interesting paper about the challenges the CIA faces in getting and processing information. It sounds like a mess. For some reason, I thought people in an information gathering organization would have the best tools and processes for doing just that. But apparently not.
Wednesday, May 28, 2003
I sat through six hours of users stumbling through the designs I've worked on for the last five months today. How exhausting! With day two tomorrow. Although it is great when something works and a user just instinctively gets it. Which, thankfully, is happening more often than not. This is also the second round of testing, so it isn't as painful as the first round, where users tripped over everything like blind men in an unfamiliar room. It's so nice to actually do user testing, however. Kudos to Ameritrade for giving us the money to do it. It's such a reminder that our personae are real people with real goals who have to work every day on our site.
Tuesday, May 27, 2003
I'm reading a very fascinating book by Bruce Sterling called Tomorrow Now. One notable section (Stage III: The Lover) is really all about design: product and interaction design. Or as he refers to it, Gizmo design. Whoa. This definately goes against like likes of, say, Alan Cooper or Don Norman, who are all about simplification of interfaces. But wait, there's more... Ok, so, why would people buy these gizmos if not to accomplish tasks? Just to have them because they are cool? Sterling argues that more and more, tasks are about establishing connections and relationships, not about accomplishing things in and of themselves. I'm not sure I necessarily agree with that. My job is about as information age as you can get, but even so it isn't only about connecting with people and thoughts. There are also things that need to be done and created. Ouch. That is where I work. Like I said, a fascinating book, with much to think about.
Whoa. This definately goes against like likes of, say, Alan Cooper or Don Norman, who are all about simplification of interfaces. But wait, there's more...
Ok, so, why would people buy these gizmos if not to accomplish tasks? Just to have them because they are cool? Sterling argues that more and more, tasks are about establishing connections and relationships, not about accomplishing things in and of themselves. I'm not sure I necessarily agree with that. My job is about as information age as you can get, but even so it isn't only about connecting with people and thoughts. There are also things that need to be done and created.
Ouch. That is where I work.
Like I said, a fascinating book, with much to think about.
Saturday, May 24, 2003
Blue about Blue at the Mizzen
I finished the 20-book Aubrey/Maturin series. It's quite a literary achievement, although the series doesn't quite end as it should have and the last three of the books are really kind of stunning in their callousness towards some major characters. Otherwise, I agree decidedly with David Mamet in his elegy for Patrick O'Brian: there can be genius in genre books. Too often these days, writers forget that one of the main purposes of literature (of any art, really) is to Delight. POB never forgot that. I hope the upcoming movie isn't too bad.
I hope the upcoming movie isn't too bad.
Thursday, May 22, 2003
Email Tax Sarcasm
Of course the solution to stop email spammers is to tax email. Brilliant solution. Really.
Wednesday, May 21, 2003
Elvis is King
His last couple of albums have been sub-par, but Elvis Costello is still pretty cool.
The Jayson Blair Witch Project
Being married to a reporter, the Jayson Blair v. New York Times scandal/debacle has gotten a lot of play in our house. I find it sort of amusing, that someone could be hanging out in Brooklyn, churning out fake NYT front page stories. Another amusing tidbit is that he proposed a book deal based on the fake stories he was doing. You gotta admire that.
Tuesday, May 20, 2003
Total Information Awareness
Apparently the TIA system is about to be switched on and our privacy about to be switched off.
Friday, May 16, 2003
Blue OvalIf Ford's blue oval
The new Bush Tax Cut is an absurd gamble. Haven't we tried this before and watched it balloon the deficit? Wouldn't this money have been better spent bailing out state govenments, which are having to cut services aka jobs? The Democrats have to hit Bush as hard as they can on the economy if they want to beat him in 2004, but I don't see that happening. Instead, they're focused on universal health care and on who can be the most boring candidate. Sigh.
Thursday, May 15, 2003
Mousetrap, Writ Large
A really amazing commercial for the Honda Accord. Apparently it took five months to set it up and 606 takes to get right. It's practically a M.F.A student's master's thesis project.
Wednesday, May 14, 2003
Turn and Face The Strange
Well, the three regular viewers of this site will notice that it's changed a little, in preparation for my move to Pittsburgh next month. New address. New site structure. And, most importantly, a new blog that will focus on my school experience.
Monday, May 12, 2003
Defining Gen X, Y, and the Millennials
The concept of generations (as detailed in the fascinating book Generations) has interested me for years now, so it's neat to see how advertising has really latched onto the idea and is refining the characteristics of the current generations.
Wednesday, May 7, 2003
Painting and Programming
Fascinating article/speech by Paul Graham about the links between painting and hacking. A lot of what he has to say is also applicable to interaction design as well. I was especially heartened by the discussion on how to work: sometimes you tackle the ambitious, sometimes the routine. You work by working, not by thinking about how you are going to work.
Thursday, May 1, 2003
US News and Word Report ranked the program I'm starting next month as number 2 among multimedia/communications grad schools. Damn you, Cal Arts!
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