Category Archives: User Interface Design


cd-roms and ipads – analysis of publishing as a workflow and why iPad will not save glossy magazines.

“For those of you blessed with senile amnesia or youth, CD-ROMs were the first wave of “interactive media” in the mid-eighties, and the great hope for publishing houses struggling to understand what they might be doing in the 21st century. Companies from Dorling-Kindersley to News Corp threw millions into CD-ROM publishing, with very little ultimate return.”


Ian Betteridge: notes for a talk on designing for the iPad Technovia

Frederic Filloux on design, newspapers, iPad

“The fundamental fracture between print and digital media lies exactly here: paper is a fantastic vector for a reading experience driven by curiosity; the web is a cold medium utterly efficient for a search-based, focus-driven reading.
How to reconcile the two? There is no single (nor simple) answer. Such solution will arise from a combination of User Interface evolution with a real ability to deal with new devices, and with better search implementation.”

Monday Note

iPad DJ video YouTube

Rebirth by Propellerheads is out for the iPhone iPad next?


iPhone OS 3.0

Live iPhone OS 3.0 event coverage from

“We are SO excited about this. Incredible features for devs and our customers. Let me re-cap: in-app purchase, peer-to-peer connectivity, accessories, embeddable maps, push notifications, cut/copy/paste/undo, landscape keyboarding, MMS, new app (Voice Memos), CalDAV / ICS subs, stock enhancements, search and Spotlight… just a few of the more than 100 new features and 1k new APIs that make up iPhone 3.0.

3.0 ships this summer for free.

As a bonus, we’ve enabled it to work on the original iPhone. The hardware’s changed though: MMS and A2DP won’t be available on the original iPhone.” iPod touch users: $10.

Developer beta today, shipping for the rest of us this summer.”

LSE students respond to Digital Britain

London School of Economics MA students respond to Lord Carter via WriteToReply:

Reminder: interface enhancement for reading long documents in a browser

Readability: a bookmarklet which strips the junk from web pages. Reclaim the web for reading

Don’t forget Tofu (Mac only). Reflows text in columns from any document, system-wide. Simple, improves quality of life

Inside BBC: How we make websites

Michael Smethhurst Information Architect @ BBC radio labs
How we make websites

A Slideshare presentation of the text. Inevitably, a bit technical: the BBC build database driven websites which handle a huge amount of content. Also, and understandable by anyone interested in building any sort of website, some of the sketches and diagrams they use to communicate.
Some extracts

“Concentrate on modelling real (physical and metaphysical) things not web pages.
Run focus groups and speak to users. Get them to sketch their understanding of the domain and again sketch back at them.
Try to think of your website as a coherent whole; not as a collection of individual products. And as ever, don’t expose your internal organisational structures through your website. Users don’t care about departments or reporting lines.
Data licensing is one of those areas that often gets ignored in project planning.

At Audio and Music we tend to use large walls and lots of post-its to design our URIs… It’s important not to confuse URI design with site structure and user journeys…URIs are your promise to the web and your users.

Never stop testing.”

iPhone NDA, patents, innovation


“At my company, our lawyers advised us to keep what we considered more-or-less public software under NDA for a very long time because demoing software to someone under NDA, no matter how many people it is, avoids “publishing” the software and any inventions contained therein.  We know Apple’s been building up a patent strategy around multi-touch; maybe their lawyers believe there are patentable inventions described in the iPhone SDK and they are telling Apple to keep everything under NDA until they know provisional patents can be filed within a reasonable amount of time (you get a year after publishing in the US, but in the EU, I think you forfeit any patent claims once your invention is “published”).”

continues at Daring Fireball

Multi-touch, patents, lawyers: plausible. Continue reading iPhone NDA, patents, innovation

Free software usability

Matthew Paul Thomas has a piece which tries to get to grips with the causes of poor usability in Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). He doesn’t dodge the problems and their origin in FOSS development methods and the rewards for participating in FOSS. He also has proposals for tackling the problems.

Free software usability

Back in 2004 John Gruber wrote an influential piece called Ronco spray-on usability. Here’s an extract:

“UI development is the hard part. And it’s not the last step, it’s the first step. In my estimation, the difference between:

  • software that performs function X; and
  • software that performs function X, with an intuitive well-designed user interface

isn’t just a little bit of extra work. It’s not even twice the work. It’s an entire order of magnitude more work. Developing software with a good UI requires both aptitude and a lot of hard work.” Continue reading Free software usability