12 Feb 2008

UX News Round-Up

12 Feb 2008
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Logo Evolution

Neatorama posted last week on the evolution of company logos. Along with reproductions of the logos through time are brief histories of the name changes, mergers, and executive decisions that framed each adaptation. Companies included: Adobe, Apple, Canon, IBM, Google, LG Electronics, Microsoft, Mozilla Firefox, Nokia, Nortel and Xerox. The post also includes interesting background on things like the Google Doodles, and the reason for the bite out of Apple’s apple. This week, Wired published a more detailed history of how Google got its logo in the first place.

Interactive Election

News outlets turned on all their interactive toys last week with election coverage. During Anderson Cooper’s election coverage on Super Tuesday, CNN unleashed its “magic wall”, a motion-sensitive monitor displaying election data. The New York Times online showed off its Democratic and Republican win maps, with sort features by state, candidate and percentage reporting. More data-rich eye candy exists on the New York Times site in the form of primary calendars that include delegate counts, and charts and graphs of percent-of-vote and delegate win results. NPR.org has its own interactive calendar with win maps by party, and additional delegate total charts. Across the Atlantic, the BBC online got in on the game with an interactive map of the U.S. election race so far, and the “key” races to come, including state-by-state breakdowns of primary results and additional reporting on the potential causes for and events leading up to wins and losses.

Tesler Talks

In an interview, ZDNet’s Editor-in-Chief Dan Farber speaks with Yahoo VP of User Experience and Design, Larry Tesler, about his experiences at Xerox Parc, Apple, Yahoo and the changes and methodologies involved in his work. After an opening discussion of the creation of the GUI at Xerox Parc, Tesler notes that changes to computer user interface would be much more difficult to make now than they were 30 years ago when the industry changed from a green screen command line to the gui–the difference being that there were fewer users on the green screen then than there are on computers now. Tesler and Farber also touch on the methodologies involved in making changes (compromise and leveraging new technologies), and dealing with ‘Tesler’s law’ (though it’s counterintuitive to business, adding time to your schedule that will make a small decrease in a user’s schedule is still beneficial. There will be many users…).

ID/IXD

David Malouf offers thought on the relationship between Industrial Design and Interaction Design on Core77. While ID may have grown out of a more aesthetic consideration, Malouf writes, the burgeoning ubiquity of complex technology in all products requires industrial designers to consider the user interactions that attend product use. At the same time, Malouf points out, Interaction Design is not confined to the realm of digital use, and its principles and theories may be applied to product design broadly. The article closes with a brief history of Interaction Design, and ways to learn about it: academic programs, a brief booklist, and online communities of interaction designers.

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