I got an invitation to answer a questionaire from Amazon, and it turns out they use zTelligence. It must be the reporting tools, because the questionaire software was pretty bad: stupid error messages (and fairly dumb questions as well, although that’s not the fault of the software).
Test slideshow generated from an outline: I tried Radio a year ago, and didn’t really like it. I installed it again recently and started playing with it, and now I am really starting to like it. It really is next generation stuff.
The RadioPoint Tool lets you turn an OPML outline into a powerpoint-like silde presentation. Funky!
Victor provides a bunch of good links on the SIGIA list for when you need to align metadata between a bunch of different systems:
I would definitely suggest looking into TopicMaps when you need to merge a bunch of systems metadatawise! Really, do it. They are very cool.
Turns out XFML is also a file format:
“OmniForm’s XFML electronic files are based off the OmniForm proprietary XML format, and used exclusively with the OmniForm ActiveX Control in OmniForm Developer’s Edition.”
Victor hopes for software to play around with XFML soon – so do I. The language was designed so it would be easy to write software for. I’m also writing some myself and hope to get that finished in a month or so…
A good day: I finally published eXchangable Faceted Metadata Language version 0.1 today.
Shutterfly v2.0: another nice portfolio.
jaredRESEARCH: portfolio with some nice case studies, focussing on business goals and explanations of methodology.
Book blog: User centered book design. It’s kinda exiting to see UCD techniques work so well for a different medium.
Rereading this old article made me realize weblog software is already hovering between Stage 2: Checklist Battles and Stage 3: Productivity Wars. Wow. Things move fast!
New Architect: Inspirational Guidance (via Victor): a review of the book The Art of Innovation.
” [The talked to users …] But not just any users. Instead of hunting for “typical users”, the pre-screened, carefully segmented, demographically consistent humdrums who tend to fill up focus groups, IDEO sought out the “crazy user.”
For example, an office worker named Sally had developed her own idiosyncratic approach to teleconferencing that involved carting a bunch of individual speakerphones into a conference room, setting the phones around a table, dialing in each caller separately, and conducting the conference call in the open air of the room.”
You see now that’s interesting.
“The authors also talk about the importance of what they call “cross-dressers,” or team members who switch disciplines or specialties. Engineers turned designers, for instance, and vice versa. IDEO blurs disciplinary boundaries wherever possible. That’s especially true when it comes to research, a cornerstone of IDEO’s design process. Many design firms still treat research as a stand-alone discipline practiced by Researchers (with a capital R). At IDEO, research is everyone’s job.” (See Better questions, not more answers.)
The presentation is really nice: it’s good to see photos of the seminar floating by, together with quotes showing the main ideas. The site has some typical Flash UI fproblems (popup windows! Confusing navigation!) but I really like the way it lets you quickly get an impression of the seminar, very nice.
This little UI innovation is so darn useful I really want it in Windows, not just in one application. Can you guess what it does? (I could – a good sign.)
“And while I really like the idea of standards, I also shudder to think of where we’ll be in fifty years, if Opera’s position becomes dominant. Innovation will dry up because everything is ‘standards-based’ and the standards are ALWAYS a couple of years behind innovations. Having worked in a giant bureaucracy, and also for a small company, I prefer the latter because the standards are so much freer. Easier to navigate. […] I do not want a standards-based Internet which tolerates no new extensions, and for THIS reason, I am an Open Source advocate who is really excited about IE’s innovations, frustrated by Opera’s simple inability to allow a drag-n-drop interface within a browser. “
“All you need is a Windows laptop and your imagination.” The robot comes with easy to use software that lets you train it. Cool. I wonder how useful it will turn out to be to have little robots available this cheap (US$ 599). Will they become more than just a toy for geeks? And how much a factor will the user interface be in this?
“But while AOL’s subscriber growth has stagnated, MSN’s subscriptions have doubled in the past year alone. Significantly, half of the new signups are AOL defectors, according to Yusuf Mehdi, vice president of MSN. ”
The article describes Microsoft as a force of nature, which I guess it pretty much is for many companies…
Let me jump on this trend and state that “The page you are viewing now has been designed to show a large amount of content that can easily be scanned and is organized in an abvious manner“.
I don’t like that sitemap on novuspetroleum. They should have used text links for a small site like that. (Putting all the links on the homepage is a good idea.)
“But their biggest surprise came when they started adding random links to an otherwise regular network. The average path length didn’t just fall, it plummeted steeply.”
Which reinforces the idea I’m getting that we need unpopular links as much as we need popular ones.
A lot of new systems are being built that create value by automatically creating related links. They often allow for automatic reinforcement of popular links (by doing things like ordering by popularity) and as such can create problems by locking users in in a small world of connected websites, while limiting serendipity.
So you could argue that high value low popularity links are a lot better than high value high popularity links, since they have the additional function of promoting serendipity.
“For many skeptics, imode-type services will never take off in the U.S, for one simple reason: the car. In Japan, the ubiquitous mass transit system is often cited as a primary reason for imode’s success. The transit system creates a lifestyle full of “microniches” of time. There’s a lot of hanging around nearby bus, subway and train stations, usually waiting for friends or for transport. ”
I never thought about that… It nicely fits in with why schoolkids love mobiles.
“You can be sure, as with any technology, that once it becomes good, people will begin renaming what they have”, he said. “Watch the content management vendors start claiming that they have blogging functions. That’s an inevitability. There’s always a deliberate attempt to confuse the issue when the public finds something it likes.”