Teaching, Promoting, Cheering UX and SEO Since 2002

Latest Inspiration From My Usability Design Reading Pile

The following are some of my reading finds that caught my eyes recently from the world of web design and user experience….

Daniel Kuo’s The secret life of elevators made me remember the elevators at the Broadway Marriott hotel in NYC. Their elevators are a series of glass tubes that shoot up and down the center of the hotel. A computer assigns you the elevator after you tell it what floor your room is on.  It was interesting to watch first time users learning how to use it, including me.

Every time I try to imagine returning to corporate life and their idea of the software development or web design cycle, I cringe. I have no tolerance for department to department head games and employees who don’t understand teamwork. Still, I like to know what’s happening out there, in the event that somebody talks me into leaving my comfy office. This piece from Nate Fortin is one such inspirational read, called A unified approach to visual and interaction design.

Don’t you dare PDF me! I have some pet peeves about PDF downloads. The first is when I’m not warned beforehand that the link does not take me to an HTML page. The other is not knowing how many pages the download will be. A plain “download PDF” link to a 59 page document to read or print is something that takes consideration and at least a warning. PDF Manuals: The Wrong Paradigm for an Online Experience asks the logical question:

If we’re giving manuals to users to read online, why do we design and write them for paper?

If you happen to be one of those people who calls their computer “Aunt Bessie” or “Frank”, this piece on computers by Don Norman called People Are From Earth, Machines Are From Outer Space is a fun read.

I love love love anything I find about or by Luke Wroblewski and this interview, Future Practice Interview: Luke Wroblewski on web form design is worth checking out.

If you have to be number 1, this site will ruin your day. It’s a ranking chart of internet marketing blogs called Winning The Web IM Top Blogs. The Cre8pc blog was in the top 100 and now it’s not. I should have grabbed the badge when I was hot.  It’s a nice ego blast type of thing but unless I can bribe my way back up in rank, the thrill is gone.

Neil Mason‘s, Creativity and Analysis: Finding the Perfect Blend, held my attention and that’s saying a lot because analytics typically puts me to sleep. From his article,

People still worry too much about technologies rather than worry about what they’re going to do with the technologies.

Gord Hotchkiss has been thinking a lot lately and coming out with some outstandingly thoughtful articles. This is just one example…The Quest for Information.

Gord writes,

When we seek information, we tend to either know what it is and where to get it, know what it is but not where it is, or, most challengingly, we don’t even know what it is we’re looking for.

Search behavior is the theme of Shari Thurow‘s recent, The Most Dreaded Keyword Phrase

I have been keeping keyword diaries from a number of advanced searchers to not only see how they are formulating keyword phrases, but also why they are formulating keyword phrases. In usability, we do this by encouraging test participants to think out loud. Query formulation is an important area of search usability.

Inspiration and Ease of Use

33 Free Tools to Make Your Website Better

Cligs, Short URLs with analytics

40+ High Resolution Blank Template (Free) Stock Photos

How to Style a Table with CSS

Ok. This is awesome. 50 Beautiful Free WordPress Themes by Jacob Gube.

This was even more mind blowing…also by Jacob, 30 Beautiful Examples of Grunge in Web Design.

and finally, if you’re hunting the perfect Content Management System and think there are only about 3 to choose from, go grab a bowl of ice cream, come back and browse this sweet puppy, CMX Matrix.

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