Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

Participatory Design/Co-creation – Liz Sanders presentation at IIT Design Research conference 2008

April 26, 2011 Leave a comment

Participatory Design and Co-Creation are powerful trends in Design. Here’s a video of Liz Sanders speaking on these topics from the IIT Design Research Conference in 2008:

For related material from Sanders, please see the article Co-creation and the new landscapes of design.


Mark Zuckerberg interview at Web 2.0 Summit 2010 … thoughts on Social Business Design

February 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Here’s the video:

The comment that hit home with me, at approx 17:05 minutes into the interview, Zuckerberg comments:

I think that over the next 5 years, most industries are going to get rethought to be social and designed around people. This is kind of the evolution we’ve seen at Facebook.

On that topic, off to a Gamestorming workshop with Alexendar Osterwalder in Berkeley this weekend. See also the work being done at the Dachis Group on Social Business Design.

BTW, my second favorite quote from the Zuckerberg interview is Zuckerberg’s response to Tim O’Reilly’s question about the importance of building the right cultural DNA is to Facebook. Here’s what he says:

We have these values that we write down, and there are 5 of them that we write down. The two I’d focus on right now that I really try to hammer home every day are “move fast” and “be bold and take risks”.

Technology companies … just tend to get slower, and then they get replaced by smaller companies that are more versatile. So one of the things that I think about every day is how can we make this company operate as quickly as possible. And often that’s encouraging people to move quickly, but a lot of it’s about building really good infrastructure that enables people to move quickly on top of solid abstractions that we built. And that’s a real big deal I think.

As a Business/Enterprise Architect, I really appreciate the value of “solid abstractions” to a flexible, agile, performatn business operating platform. Working for a traditional media company, I think this appreciation and focus can sometimes be lacking. I think it’s understood in some general way be senior management, but I think senior executive of traditional media companies have a long way to go to appreciate the role of Architecture in contributing to business operational agility.



News Media, Innovation and Technology – 2010 in review/Trends for 2011 (links)

January 3, 2011 Leave a comment

This post is a compilation of various links around News Media, Advertising, and Technology that were of interest to me as I reviewed the year past, and look forward to 2011. Sorry if the links seem a bit arbitrary – many were “filling in the gaps” of my current view of the world. Hopefully you find something of interest, if only the taxonomy 🙂 .

A – News Media

A1 – News Sites

Adam Westbrook’s blog

News for Digital Journalists – Knight Digital Media Center

News Leadership 3.0 blog – Knight Digital Media Center

Online Journalism Review blog – Knight Digital Media Center

Guardian – Media news

A2 – News Voices

Emily Bell blog; Emily Bell – Twitter

NewspaperTurnaround.Com; Matt Derienzo – Twitter

eMedia Vitals

A3 – 2010 Year in Review/Predictions for 2011

Publishing industry year in review 2010 – eMedia Vitals, December 2010

Series: Predictions for Journalism 2011 – Nieman J-Lab, December 2010

10 Predictions for the News Media in 2011 – Vadim Lavrusik, December 2010

Video: top trends in journalism in 2011 – Adam Westbrook, January 2011

Maybe not much will change at all: 2011 journalism predictions from Malik, Gillmor, Golis, Grimm, more – Nieman J-Lab, December 2010

Jonathan Stray: In 2011, news orgs will finally start to move past the borders of their own content – Jonathan Stray, December 2010

A4 – News Media Strategy/Business Models

Changing Interactions with News Media – NY Times’ Alexis Lloyd – Glenn Assheton-Smith, August 2010

What A Difference A Year Makes – John Paton, December 2010

John Paton’s Dec. 2 Presentation at INMA Transformation of News Summit in Cambridge, Mass. – December 2010

For Newspapers, the Future Is Now: Digital Must Be First – Matthew Ingram, December 2010

Newspaper Execs: Still Denying, Still Crying and Still Lying to Themselves – Judy Sims, November 2010

Smart Stuff – Mark Potts, December 2010

Why TBD is Important – Mark Potts, August 2010

Are Newspapers Sticking to a Premium Strategy Amid Digital Disruption? – Rick Edmonds, July 2010

Dave Winer: There’s no good place for a new Maginot Line for the news – Dave Winer, December 2010

Discussion: Whither Journalism? – Web 2.0 Summit 2009, October 2009

A5 – Community Development/Audience Engagement

C3 presentation for the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association – Steve Buttry, October 2010

10 Tips For Aspiring Community Managers – Adam Lavrusik, September 2010

Social Media is not Community – Rachel Happe, July 2008

Community management The ‘essential’ capability of successful Enterprise 2.0 efforts – D Hinchcliffe, Sept 2009

40 Great Resources for Developing a Community Management Strategy – Vanessa Memies, November 2009

A6 – Citizen/Community Journalism Takes a Community-Driven Approach to Newsgathering – Vadim Lavrusik, August 2010

“A completely new model for us”: The Guardian gives outsiders the power to publish for the first time – Nieman J-Lab, September 2010

The missing link in journalism curricula: Community engagement – Vadim Lavrusik, May 2010

The Register Citizen Newsroom Cafe

The Register Citizen Community Media Lab

The Register Citizen Community Journalism School

25 Cool Things About The Register Citizen Newsroom Cafe

A7 – Content Strategy

Content Strategy and Publishing – My introduction to – Glenn Assheton-Smith, October 2010

Discussion: The Future of Content – Web 2.0 Summit 2009, October 2009

A8 – Content Networks

Glam Media Set to Overtake AOL: Verticals vs Portals – ReadWriteWeb, November 2010

AOL to Acquire TechCrunch: Padding Content for Media Network – September 2010



A9 – Social Media in News/Journalism

The Future of Social Media in Journalism – Vadim Lavrusik, September 2010

News Orgs Take Social Media Seriously by Hiring Editors to Oversee Efforts – Poynter Institute, January 2010

How News Organizations Are Generating Revenue From Social Media – Vadim Lavrusik, November 2010

A10 – Social News

The future of news reading: a social reading experience – News 3.0, December 2010

The Social Guardian points to the future of real-time news sharing – The Next Web, December 2010

The New York Times Truly Takes up Social Media 267.0 – November 2010

A11 – News Streams/Syndication

How News Consumption is Shifting to the Personalized Social News Stream – Vadim Lavrusik, August 2010

I Want This New Facebook Filter Feature – Marshall Kirkpatrick, December 2010

What will 2011 bring for journalism? Clay Shirky predicts widespread disruptions for syndication – Clay Shirky, December 2010

Scott Karp: Clay Shirky’s right that syndication’s getting disrupted — but not in the ways he thinks it is – Scott Karp, December 2010

Top 10 RSS and Syndication Technologies of 2010 – ReadWriteWeb, December 2010

A12 – Hyperlocal

Newspaper Launches Hyper-Local Location-Based Service – Jason Falls, December 2010

A13 – Mobile News

Smartphone growth, Murdoch’s Daily, and journalism for the poor: Predictions for mobile news in 2011 – Nieman J-Lab, December 2010

How Mobile Technology is Affecting Local News Coverage – Mashable, May 2010

Smartphone Users Prefer Mobile for Breaking News [STATS] – Mashable, December 2010

A14 – Video Journalism/Storytelling

Meet the online video heroes of 2010 – Adam Westbrook, December 2010

A15 – News Readers

HuffPost NewsGlide: Version 2.0 of Our iPad App – Paul Berry, December 2010

iPad news apps may diminish newspaper print subscriptions in 2011 – Reynolds Journalism Institute, December 2010

With a New Version, FLUD Hopes to Take on Pulse And Flipboard as Your iPad News Reader – TechCrunch, December 2010

A16 – Provenance

The importance of provenance – Jeff Jarvis, June 2010

Google News and Source Citation – Nathan Yergler, December 2010

Provenance on the Web going Mainstream – Think Links, November 2010

AP Begins Crediting Bloggers as News Sources – The Next Web, September 2010

A17 – Authenticity/Transparency

Wikileaks: Power shifts from secrecy to transparency – Jeff Jarvis, December 2010

How Wikileaks has woken up journalism – Emily Bell, December 2010

Goodbye mainstream media. It’s been fun. – Adam Westbrook, December 2010

Jay Rosen on Jay Rosen on Wikileaks The watchdog press died; we have this instead. – Jay Rosen, December 2 2010

How propaganda is disseminated: WikiLeaks Edition – Glenn Greenwald, October 2010

The myth of the opinionless man* – Jeff Jarvis, July 2010

He Said, She Said Journalism Lame Formula in the Land of the Active User – Jay Rosen, April 2009

A18 – Innovation in News Media

Liquid Newsroom – Steffan Konrath, News 3.0

Meet the ideaLab – John Paton, July 2010

The 100 Percent Solution: For Innovation in News – Jay Rosen, October 2010

A19 – Entrepreneurial Journalism

Entrepreneurial Journalism curriculum at CUNY – Jeff Jarvis, November 2010

CUNY’s Entrepreneurial Journalism program – Jeff Jarvis, December 2010

A20 – Other

8 Must-Have Traits of Tomorrow’s Journalist – Vadim Lavrusik, December 2009

So You Want to Be A Journalist? – Vadim Lavrusik, December 2010

Guardian Changing Media Summit 2011

CBC Office of the Ombudsman

B – Advertising & Marketing

B1 – Top Sites

BIA/Kelsey Blog

Brian Solis

Borrell Associates

The Bad Pitch Blog

Screenwerk – Greg Sterling’s blog

Advertising & Marketing – Mashable

B2 – 2010 in review/Predictions for 2011

Top 10 Digital Advertising Innovations of 2010 – Mashable, December 2010

6 Predictions for Digital Advertising in 2011 – Mashable, December 2010

5 Predictions for the Public Relations Industry in 2011 – Mashable, December 2010

B3 – Advertising


How to do better than Groupon in building local advertising market share – Robert Niles, OJR, December 2010

Ignoring The Content Network? Think Again To Vastly Improve Conversions – Search Engine Land, March 2009

4 Tips for Developing Content Network Campaigns – Target Marketing, February 2010

Why the Fashion Industry Is Betting Big on Branded Online Content – Mashable, December 2010

B4 – Mobile Advertising

Top 5 Mobile Advertising Trends To Watch – Mashable, August 2010

5 Ways HTML5 Is Changing Mobile Advertising – Mashable, September 2010

Mobile Ads News and Trends Android Requests Up, iAd on the Rise, RIM Joins the Game – ReadWriteMobile, September 2010

B5 – Social Media Marketing

Ogilvy PR 360 Digital Influence Blog

The Daily Influence – Ogilvy PR

How Big Brands use Social Media Marketing – GasPedal – Glenn Assheton-Smith, January 2010

GasPedal – Word of Mouth Marketing; GasPedal on Vimeo; GasPedal presentations

Social Media Business Council

Brains on Fire

4 Social Media Marketing Predictions for 2011 – Mashable, December 2010

B6 – SME Marketing

HOW TO: Get the Most Out of Facebook Insights for Small Business – Mashable, December 2010

5 Predictions for Small Business in 2011 – Mashable, December 2010

35 Essential Social Media & Tech Resources for Small Businesses – Mashable, November 2010

How SMBs Can Start Using Facebook Places Now – Mashable, September 2010

Beyond Foursquare: 5 Location-Based Apps for Your Small Business – Mashable, August 2010

How Small Businesses Will Use Social Media in the Future – Mashable, August 2010

SMB 2011 Resolutions: Fine-tune That Social Media Strategy – ReadWriteWeb, December 2010

C – Business Models and Innovation

Leveraging Network Effects – Sean Parker from Web 2.0 Summit 2009 – Glenn Assheton-Smith, January 2011

Creating value – Umair Haque is my new hero – Glenn Assheton-Smith, December 2010

Creating Platforms for Social Innovation – Grant Young from Zumio – Glenn Assheton-Smith, December 2010

Business Model Innovation – Alexander Osterwalder – Glenn Assheton-Smith, July 2010

Architect Frank Gehry inspires Management Theory – the intersection of Business and Design – Glenn Assheton-Smith, August 2010

Bill Moggridge on Design and Business Innovation – Glenn Assheton-Smith, August 2010

D – Commerce

The Rise of Social Commerce – Brian Solis, September 2010

The Rise Of Social Commerce – Charlene Li, September 2010

Speed Summary | Wired Feb 2011 Cover Story on Social Commerce – Social Commerce Today, January 2011

Social Commerce Top 10 for 2010; Outlook for 2011 – Practical eCommerce, December 2010

Facebook Launches Big New Social Commerce Service for Local Businesses – Social Commerce Today, Novermber 2010

Facebook Deals Guide [Download] – For Brands & Retailers – Social Commerce Today, November 2010

Top Trends of 2010: Social Shopping – ReadWriteWeb, December 2010

Roundup of Social Commerce Predictions for 2011 Phase 3 (Sophistication) – Social Commerce Today, January 2011

Social Commerce – leveraging the Social Graph to facilitate commercial transactions (links) – Glenn Assheton-Smith, January 2010

Oodle’s Craig Donato on the emerging Social Marketplaces category – Glenn Assheton-Smith, January 2010

E – Technology

E1 – 2010 in review – top trends/products

ReadWriteWeb’s 2010 in Review

Top Trends of 2010 Internet TV – ReadWriteWeb, December 2010

Top Trends of 2010: App Stores – ReadWriteWeb, December 2010

Top Trends of 2010: The Rise of Tumblr, Posterous & Light Blogging – ReadWriteWeb, November 2010

Top Trends of 2010: HTML5 – ReadWriteWeb, November 2010

Top Trends of 2010: Social Shopping – ReadWriteWeb, December 2010

E2 – 2011 Trends/Predictions

Mary Meeker, “Internet Trends” – Web 2.0 Summit 2010, November 2010

JWTIntelligence – 10 Trends for 2011 in 2 minutes – JWT Intelligence, November 2010

100 things to watch in 2011 – JWT Intelligence, December 2010

95+ Predictions for the Web in 2011 – January 2011

2011 Predictions: Richard MacManus – ReadWriteWeb, December 2010

2011 Predictions: Mike Melanson – ReadWriteWeb, December 2010

2011 Predictions: Klint Finley – ReadWriteWeb, December 2010

E3 –  Multimedia

The Mobile Photo Sharing Boom Is Here – Mashable, December 2010

E4 – Social Media

Social Media Trends for 2011 – iMedia Connection, January 2011

5 Ways Cities Are Using Social Media to Reverse Economic Downturn – Mashable, December 2010

For Restaurants, Social Media Is About More Than Just Marketing – Mashable, December 2010

E5 – Social Networks

6 Predictions for Social Networks in 2011 – Mashable, December 2010

E6 – Geolocation/LBSs

Most Promising Company For 2011: SimpleGeo – ReadWriteWeb, December 2010

Foursquare’s Dennis Crowley: Location Will Connect Us – Om Malik, December 2010

E7 – Local Search

Google Unveils Hotpot, a Recommendation Engine for Places – Jolie O’Dell, November 2010

E8 – Real-time Web

Top 10 Real-Time Web Products of 2010 – ReadWriteWeb, December 2010

E9 – Mobile

5 Predictions for Mobile in 2011 – Mashable, December 2010

Top 10 Mobile Products of 2010 – ReadWriteWeb, December 2010

What Were the Top Mobile Trends of 2010? – BIA Kelsey, December 2010

Mobile Year in Review 2010 – Mobile Future video, December 2010

2011 will be the year Android explodes – CNN, December 2010

Mobile TV Coming to 20 U.S. Markets by 2011 – ReadWriteWeb, December 2010

E10 – Game Mechanics

5 Predictions for Game Mechanics in 2011 – Mashable, December 2010

HOW TO: Use Game Mechanics to Power Your Business – Mashable, July 2010

Top 5 Ways to Make Your Site More Fun – Mashable, April 2010

E11 – Relevance & Recommendation

Genieo: A Recommendation Engine that Learns From Your Browsing Habits – ReadWriteWeb, September 2010

E12 – Semantic Web

Top 10 Semantic Web Products of 2010 – ReadWriteWeb, December 2010

Web Linking Gets Deeper with New Standard for Link Relations – ReadWriteWeb, October 2010

LookBackMaps – Building a Location-Based Time Machine – ReadWriteWeb, November 2010

SPARQLZ Shines as a Vision for Linked Data Made Easy – ReadWriteWeb, August 2010

Mapping People to Products: Hunch & GetGlue – ReadWriteWeb, August 2010

BBC World Cup Website Showcases Semantic Technologies – ReadWriteWeb, July 2010

E13 – Internet of Things

Top 10 Internet of Things Developments of 2010 – ReadWriteWeb, December 2010

Beyond Social: Read/Write in The Era of Internet of Things – ReadWriteWeb, July 2010

E14 – Big Data

Technology forecast – Making sense of Big Data – PriceWaterhouseCoopers, June 2010

Foursquare Searching for Data Scientist – A Sign of Things to Come? – ReadWriteWeb, December 2010

Which companies have the best data science teams?

DJ Patil – LinkedIn

E15 – Web Development/Design

The Top 8 Web Development Highlights of 2010 – Mashable, December 2010

10 Predictions for Web Development in 2011 – Mashable, December 2010

4 Predictions for Web Design in 2011 – Mashable, December 2010

How the iPad Is Influencing Web Apps – Mashable, December 2010

5 Design Trends That Small Businesses Can Use in 2011 – Mashable, November 2010

Top Trends of 2010: HTML5 – ReadWriteWeb, November 2010

HTML5 for Web App Development – from Google I/O 2010 – Glenn Assheton-Smith, December 2010

Why Designers and Developers Should Care About Internet Explorer 9 – Mashable, September 2010

E16 – Facebook

Facebook Accounts for 25% of All U.S. Pageviews – Mashable, November 2010

Facebook Profile Pages Becoming Irrelevant – ReadWriteWeb, August 2010

Dan Brown on Concept Modeling

September 26, 2010 Leave a comment

I work for an organization that is current embarking on a rather significant metadata initiative, that will inevitably require some serious modeling of concepts and relationships.

Therefore, I was very delighted to come across a presentation that designer Dan Brown, author of the book Communicating Design (2nd ed. has just been released), gave at the IA Summit 2008 titled Concept Models: A Tool for Planning Interaction. A video of the talk can be downloaded here, and the accompanying slide show is here (although for some strange reason, the text is garbled, but you can see all the images from the talk).

Dan Brown says “by far”, he gets asked more about Concept Models than any other design artifact. He uses Concept models for several reasons: (i) to get a better personal understand of a domain, (ii) to communicate and share that understand with others, (iii) to begin to evolve a common vocabulary (or set of terms) around a domain, and (iv) as a design tool. He doesn’t emphasize building a formal semantic model, but it’s a pretty logical next step.

I’ll provide a couple of visuals, just to get a “feel” for what Brown means by a concept model. Here’s a slide from his presentation modeling essential concepts around the hospitality domain:

And here’s a wonderful model developed by Bryce Glass to understand and describe Flickr:

Finally, here’s an article Brown wrote in March 2009 explain his use of concept models: In Which a Concept Model Makes Me Giddy.

Interesting stuff.


Luke Wroblewski on Parti (or the main idea) from Interaction09

September 25, 2010 2 comments

Luke Wroblewski, former Chief Design Architect (VP) at Yahoo! delivered a very provocative presentation at Interaction09 titled Parti and the Design Sandwich. The talk focuses on 2 main themes:

  1. The notion of Parti (also referred to as “the Big Idea”, which Wikipedia defines as the chief organizing thought or decision behind an architect’s design presented in the form of a basic diagram and/or a simple statement
  2. The Design Sandwich – which Wroblewski says “is really the way that we can make informed decisions that help us deliver on this big idea, this parti.

His talk borrows heavily from the book 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School, by architect Matthew Frederick.

Furthermore, Wroblewski approaches the concept of parti not from the vantage point of a traditional architect, but from the perspective of someone who architects digital spaces in the role of an Interaction Designer.

The video is displayed below:

The presentation slides accompanying the video can be found here.

I have to say that this notion of parti presented by Wroblewski has really influenced my thinking around modeling and explaining complex spaces lately – as a way to rise above the detail to get to the “essence of the thing”, in a simple and visual form.

Anyway, the rest of this post explores some of the key messages delivered by Wroblewski in his presentation.

Introducing the concept of Parti – or “the Big Idea”

OK, so what is this Parti notion? I mentioned above that Wikipedia defines parti as “the chief organizing thought or decision behind an architect’s design presented in the form of a basic diagram and/or a simple statement“.

Wroblewski quotes Frederick who defines parti as “the central idea or concept of a building“. Here’s the presentation slide:

Parti is much more than just a concept. Says Wroblewski:

The interesting notion behind that is it’s the Big Idea behind a structure. So a structure in the architect’s world could be a building. A structure in the Interaction Designer’s world could be something different.

And in particular, what makes this a little bit different than what traditionally people talk about as product vision, or a mission statement, or a core idea, is the way Fredrick outlines how architects depict this and work through this, in which he says “It’s expressed as a diagram that depicts the overall organization or the overall structure of something. But at the same time really points to experientially or aesthetically what’s the theme of it. How does it roll up together.

And I think this is where that distinction really falls, which is that there’s almost a design artifact this product vision, this big concept – which isn’t necessarily the case when you get some sort of thing coming from someone on the business side or the product management side – that’s a statement right, here’s our vision statement – “we’ll be #1 in 5 years”. It’s a very different kind of articulation of where you’re trying to go.

And particularly the things that really resonated for me is this concept of the small diagram representing the big idea, and its organization and experiential sensibility. I thought that was cool.

Frederick presents examples in his book that illustrate this core concept of a building in a simple and straightforward way. Here’s the slide Wroblewski presents:

Here’s Wroblewski’s comments on Frederick’s illustrations:

So if you look at this “odd shapes intrude on a pure space”, you kind of get a sense of how that might feel, you get a sense of what the core idea is of the building, and how it might manifest itself.

Or “L’s in conflict” – there’s kind of a tension there, you can sort of begin to think about what that might feel like, and how that might act.

I do think that even these simple diagrams – especially the odd shapes and L’s in conflict – they do depict the general floor plan for the building, but they do have an aesthetic or an experiential sensibility. You start to get a sense of how they might actually engage you on an emotional level versus just a functional level. Functional level, it’s like “oh, I can put my office in here”. Emotional level, you might start to think about how you’d actually feel working in that space, the kind of mood it creates, and so forth.

Applying the Parti concept to the redesign of the Yahoo! homepage

Wroblewski then proceeds to discuss how this notion of parti can be applied to his recent work (in early 2009) redesigning the homepage. I’m not going to elaborate on his discussion around the redesign of’s homepage. If you are interested, please view the video.

A Parti must reflect its environmental forces

However, I will briefly address some broader concerns that Frederick discusses in his book around applying the parti concept. And the first is that a Parti is deeply related to its environmental context, which is inevitably shaped by several forces. This is illustrated in Wroblewski’s slide below:

On the one hand, this is very reminiscent of the notion of forces applied to architectural design patterns in the manner that Christopher Alexander discusses.

However, I appreciate the reminder that the “core concept”, and the “essential structure and aesthetic design” of “the thing”, must also reflect, and be an expression of, the fundamental forces to which it is subject to in its environment and usage.

A Parti diagram will address the essential concerns for a project in a holistic way

Wroblewski quotes Frederick:

A parti diagram can focus on any specific aspect of architecture that it defines. It could be massing, spatial hierarchy, site relationship, core location, interior circulation, public/private zoning, solidity, transparency, and so on and so forth.

Wroblewski then adds:

But not every little diagram covers all those sorts of things. So if there’s something that’s really defined by its core location or there’s something that’s really defined by its spatial hierarchy, that’s the center point of the little parti diagram.

The key message here is that a Parti diagram will address the most essential forces or factors acting on the design, and it will address those factors in a holistic way.

The Design Sandwich – Using the Parti concept to help guide Design Decisions

In the second part of Wroblewski’s presentation, he discusses how design decisions should reinforce the core concept of the design (i.e. the parti). This perspective is shared by Frederick, as presented in the slide below:

The Design Sandwich

The Design Sandwich is a conceptual framework developed by Wroblewski to provide a framework for making good design decisions that align to the parti (or the big concept or idea) underlying the design. Here’s how Wroblewski describes it:

The Design Sandwich is really the way that we can make informed decisions that help us deliver on this big idea, this parti.

So without further ado, here’s what the Design Sandwich looks like:

Wroblewski describes the different elements of the Design Sandwich as follows:

Design Principles

And at the very top is this notion of Design Principles. And Design Principles, as I’ve laid it out here, are really filters we’re going to use to see if the decisions we’re making line up with that central concept. So if this is a guidepost, a thing to use to evaluate where we’re going, these are the sort of checklists, or high-level principles that we’re going to use to see if we’re going towards it, or if we’re going away from it. And if we’re going away from it, we should probably change what we’re doing.

Design Considerations

At the bottom, you have what I call Design Considerations. These are the factors you weigh when you consider what design decision you’re going to make, what solution you’re going to go with. It could be the environment, the technology, skill level of people, the domain, goals, needs, existing workflows, so on and so forth. There’s this whole slew of things we have to think about when we choose between even simple things like interaction elements.

Patterns and Best Practices

Luckily there’s ways that we can make some informed decisions out of those considerations. And one of the most common ones that people talk about in interaction design circles is Patterns and Best Practices.


So the other set of informed considerations that we get is by Testing.

Design Decisions

And that’s sort of my middle-of-the-sandwich composite, which is this is where we make Design Decisions, right? We go from looking at all these opportunities and limitations, and all this different context and things we have to consider when we decide what to do with a specific aspect of the design. We can test some of that. We can turn to Patterns or Best Practices for some of that. But across the whole board we have to make decisions.

And why do I focus on decisions so much? And why is this sort of the whole “meat” of this sandwich?

Well two things. One is I care a lot about how Design Decisions get made because I see a lot of decision-making squandered to org chart. I see a lot of decisions squandered to who screams the loudest. I see a lot of decisions squandered to things we’ve done before, or things that are out of context, or things that don’t relate to the project we’re doing.

Applying the Design Sandwich – Case Study

Wroblewski then gives a couple of examples of how the Design Sandwich can be applied to organizing a couple of design books that his group at Yahoo! had recently published. The slide below shows how Key Considerations, support Key Principles, support the overall parti – “Fast and Effective Web Forms” – of Wroblewski’s book Web Form Design:

A Parti is subject to change

Wroblewski concludes his talk with a final, powerful message – that the overall coherence and integrity of a parti is subject to change over time. The slides below quoting Frederick really say it all:


In Summary

So here’s the summary slide for the talk.

A truly wonderful and inspiring presentation.


Social Design Patterns – Crumlish and Malone presentation at IDEA 2009

September 22, 2010 Leave a comment

A nice presentation at the Information Architecture Institute‘s IDEA 2009 conference by Christian Crumlish, who is the curator of Yahoo!’s pattern library and Erin Malone. A link to the presentation can be found here – scroll down to the Social Design Patterns Mini-Workshop presentation. The slide deck that accompanies the presentation is shown below.

Crumlish and Malone are also the authors of the book Designing Social Interfaces – which I would list as one of my top 3 books on social web design, along with Josh Porter’s Designing for the Social Web, and Gavin Bell’s Building Social Web Applications.


Designing for the Web in the World – Fascinating

September 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Another wonderful talk from Interaction 10. This one from Timo Arnall titled Designing for the Web in the World:

I found the presentation very beautiful actually – particularly the segment where a little girl is interacting and playing with RFID-enabled physical objects in her world (odd that this potentially invasive technology could be experienced as having a humanizing effect).

The pace of innovation and change is so incredibly rapid, it’s almost hard for the nervous system to adapt (well, my nervous system anyway!)


Peter Morville – the Future of Search from Interaction 10

September 4, 2010 Leave a comment

An interesting presentation of the nature and future of Search from Peter Morville at Interaction 10.

[Vimeo 9687950]

Here are the slides from the talk:

Morville is a long-time writer on all things Information Architecture – and is the author/co-author of 3 books: Information for the World Wide Web (3rd ed), Ambient Findability, and Search Patterns: Design for Discovery, upon which this talk is based.

More information on the Search Patterns book can be found at the website.


IA TV – fantastic Design learning resource

September 4, 2010 Leave a comment

Just stumbled across a fantastic website: IA TV (or Information Architecture Television). A wonderful collection of resources on digital media design and interaction. Just to give you an idea of the breadth of videos available at the site, here’s how the site categorizes its videos:

Whoa! Obviously not just a collection of pragmatic videos on how to design site navigation.

Just a sampling of videos that I found at the site. Here’s one:

Here’s another – a TED talk by Nathaniel Kahn, son of the great American architect Louis I Kahn, the producer of My Architect (a documentary that I absolutely loved BTW):

And finally, if you want pragmatic instruction on website design, there’s that too. Here’s a clip on the basics of wireframing:

Anyway, check it out.


Jesse James Garret on User Experience Design – from UX Week 2009

August 28, 2010 Leave a comment

A really quite profound presentation by Jesse James Garrett – co-founder of Adaptive Path and coiner of the term AJAX – at UX Week 2009. Here’s the video:

One of the joys of being a relative newbie to the world of design – Product Design, Experience Design, Web Design, Business Design, UX Design, Interaction Design, etc. – is you get to discover all these delightful ways of thinking about how people interact with the things they use in their world – and in particular digital media.