The Scourge of Arial

An older excellent article on the prevalence of Arial on computer desktops and a sidebar which shows typographically challenged designers how to tell Arial from the typefaces it was designed to imitate.
“Arial’s ubiquity is not due to its beauty. It’s actually rather homely. Not that homeliness is necessarily a bad thing for a typeface. With typefaces, character and history are just as important. Arial, however, has a rather dubious history and not much character. In fact, Arial is little more than a shameless impostor.”
Read: The Scourge of Arial and How to Spot Arial

BnA: Designing Customer-Centered Organizations

“Organizations increasingly view usability and user-centered design to be a key ingredient in creating high quality products. Designing for ease of use is a well-accepted goal, even if many organizations have far to go to create user-centered products. Even with the present downturn in the economy, more companies, from new media to established banks, have larger usability and design teams than ever before. Should we be content that we have come so far?”
Read: Designing Customer-Centered Organizations

Paul’s Interactions: Spit-Not-So, or What’s in the Layout?

“Many tasks involve the processing of information from different sources. Some information needed resides in the memory of the person. Other information is in physical things: dials, screens even the position of objects. Physical (and similarly virtual) objects act as memory aids. Is that all they do?”
“Physical objects do not just act as memory aids. They allow information to be directly perceived without any explicit interpretation being applied. They physically afford or prohibit behaviours and they change the very nature of the task for the user. Noughts and Crosses is not just easier because the square provides memory cues, it is easier because the cognitive processes involved in spotting winning sets has been changed, for example to ones involving direct perception based on location. Take the representational effect into account when designing interfaces and you can actively simplify a task.” (courtesy of InfoDesign)
Read: Paul’s Interactions: Spit-Not-So, or What’s in the Layout?

Blogging for Business: A presentation by 37signals

“Many companies paid (and still pay) thousands and thousands of dollars for full-blown CMS (content management systems) when many times all they really wanted to do was add a little dynamic content to their web sites. A blog can be seen as a tiny but mighty CMS. thinks so.
Ultimately using blogs in the corporate environment is about giving people who need to communicate the tools to do so easily, quickly, and in an organized manner and in one central location. ”
Read:Blogging for Business: A presentation by 37signals

Visitor experience design

“This model moves away from the solely content or task-oriented approach as this tends to lead to system-centric designs. What is important here is that this model supports the content and task-oriented perspectives, as well as integrating research and immersion. The inclusion of a research perspective provides insights leading to the understanding of motivations and emotions of visitors.” Courtesy of infodesign
Read: Visitor experience design

Learn to blog, blog to learn.

“Blogging pioneer Peter Merholz adds, "the power of Weblogs is their ability to immediately put form to thought. I can get an idea in my head–however [half] baked it might be–and, in seconds, share it with the world. Immediately, I get feedback, refinement, stories, and so forth spurred by my little idea. Never before was this possible."Also, blogs are easily linked and cross-linked to form learning communities. A few days after we met, Ashley emailed, "It was interesting how the next day you posted on your blog about our talk, about which David Carter-Tod commented on in his blog. One of my colleagues, Raymond Yee, noticed it after we had lunch, and I told him about our discussion. Then, Yee wrote a post about our circle on his blog. Of course, then I had to comment about it on my blog. It’s all an interesting little Web that blogs make happen so quickly."”
Read: Learn to blog, blog to learn.

Type basics

“100% practical. Sketches have been made to explain some basic issues in type design during the workshops. They get used to point out some problems which raise while creating a new typeface. Only some foundations are shown, no deep sophisticated details.”
Link: Type basics

A Simplified Model for Facet Analysis

“The purpose of this study is to propose a simplified model for facet analysis that incorporates the principles of facet analysis proposed by both Ranganathan and the CRG. The purpose of this simplified model is to act primarily as a teaching tool to introduce LIS students to a consolidated, and hopefully easy-to-read, classification model that will enable them to understand how faceted classification systems are designed and how they work.”
If you want to learn how to construct a faceted scheme properly you might try reading the following: AIFIA | A Simplified Model for Facet Analysis

Balancing visual and structural complexity in interaction design

People will complain about a visually complex page at the sight of it. But they will also complain if the information they need isn’t immediately available to them when they start using the site.

An article dispelling many of the overused misunderstood principles of simplicity that people believe (my self included at one time) would greatly aid the usability of a web site.

But from Edward Tufte:

High density is good: the human eye/brain can select, filter, edit, group, structure, highlight, focus, blend, outline, cluster, itemize, winnow, sort, abstract, smooth, isolate, idealize, summarize, etc. Give people the data so they can exercise their full powers — don’t limit them.

Clutter/confusion are failures of design and not complexity.

Read: Balancing visual and structural complexity in interaction design

Faceted Classification

A faceted classification uses clearly defined, mutually exclusive, and collectively exhaustive aspects, properties, or characteristics (a.k.a. facets) of a class or specific subject (Taylor, 2000). The idea for a faceted classification really began with the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) in which a standard number representing place (location) was appended to a subject number by a device now known as a facet indicator. However, Dewey did not develop the idea further and in the early 1930s, Ranganathan formalized the use of the fully faceted approach with his Colon Classification. Other classification schemes such as Universal Decimal Classification, now provide facets for places, time periods and forms. More recently, work has been undertaken to develop the Bliss Bibliographic Classification (BC2) into a fully faceted classification scheme.
Read: Faceted Classification