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August 30, 2002

many things happening these days.
i've been (finally) trying to distill a few scattered thoughts into a coherent whole but my Jedi Master is skeptic about some of the conclusions, so i am double checking my assumptions. we'll see.

thanks to Matt Webb here's an interesting (if a bit old) paper on "Software Engineering Issues for Ubiquitous Computing" from Gregory D. Abowd of the Georgia Institute of Technology. some of the concepts (transparent interaction etc.) sound similar to what Adam Greenfield has been thinking about lately.
also Peter Morville has a new article out, "Ambient findability", that somewhat relates to the same themes.

wanted to mention it yesterday but forgot to: do read Paul Ford's latest, "Notes: Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes. sent shivers down my spine.
"We have no fatal flaws ourselves; we are surrounded by them, dancing with them, forced to live with them in order to survive".

on a lighter note here's Dennis Mahoney sending himself viruses over email. hilarious.

Posted by fabio sergio | 8:49 AM | permalink


August 28, 2002

the great people over at PointForward have a new article on "The impact of video usage in mobile communication".

"The main insight gained from the study was that real-time one-way video, together with two-way audio communication, was a very powerful tool for showing and sharing location and creating virtual presence. However the integration of video functionality into a multifunctional mobile device can have many risks as there are major concerns about the misuse of video (and other related location-based information indicators) that will create an invasion of privacy and the feeling of being monitored or tracked. Therefore there are many implications for the interaction and industrial design of video functionality in a mobile device.".

Posted by fabio sergio | 1:23 PM | permalink


August 27, 2002

make sure to read Dan Hill's post on what IDEO's Bill Moggridge calls a "New Rationalism" and how that links to adaptive design.

while we are at it Yoz Grahame has interesting ideas about "Commonspace", or mixing realspace with dataspace and how that links to location-based services and the Semantic Web.

Posted by fabio sergio | 8:45 AM | permalink


August 21, 2002

check out Matt Webb's latest ideas about 3G services.
i particularly like his TiVo-like concepts.

next steps along that direction?
once you record all you say and do you could as well play it back.
StreamYourLife: the real world, always on, for all to see.

Posted by fabio sergio | 10:14 AM | permalink


August 20, 2002

less-than-optimal production processes mean that the "solid" side of a user interface (buttons, keys, joysticks...) and its "soft" side (usually a graphical user interface) very often end up lacking any harmony.
it feels as if the SUI and the GUI were designed by separate teams and then one day someone suddenly realized one had to deal with the other.
but what if the two were instead seamlessly integrated from the start?
it seems this is what a company called Wildseed is somewhat trying to do.
mp3-player "skins" meet the real world.
a disclaimer: i'll leave any comment on the quality of the result to you.

on a different note there's also someone who took the face in interface...well, quite literally.
take a look at Anthropics to discover how a hamster can be "the face of digital communication".

Posted by fabio sergio | 6:40 PM | permalink


August 13, 2002

from the Usability Professionals' Association's 2002 Conference here's a fantastic overview on Information Architecture deliverables and processes.

Posted by fabio sergio | 9:38 AM | permalink


August 08, 2002

Victor Lombardi has written a very interesting article that starts from Content Management Systems and ends up being a very good intro to the whole concept of the Semantic Web.

[via Christina Wodtke]

Posted by fabio sergio | 12:06 PM | permalink


August 05, 2002

you know the saying: "When all you have is a hammer everything becomes a nail"?
well, it works both ways.

thanks to Peter Merholz here's a great article about what you get mixing mobile connectedness and human beings: swarm-like behavior.
Emergence anyone?

on a slightly different (but related) note, a slightly old-ish, extremely up-to-date article from Point Forward about "Uncovering the new wireless interaction paradigm".
for another one of those "Somebody had it all figured out already, way before you did"(TM) moments.

Posted by fabio sergio | 4:48 PM | permalink


August 02, 2002

"From information overload to interaction overload".

i was cleaning up my desk yesterday and found quite a few sheets of paper with notes and diagrams scribbled on them.
one had the sentence above written on it with quite a few arrows pointing to it.
i have no recollection of where i read it or who actually said it but i remember thinking that it just rang true.
chance wants it that yesterday i also got hooked up in the usual "click of consciousness" browsing/reading habit of following link after link trying to gain knowledge on a topic and at one point i ended up on Eric Scheid's IA Wiki site.

on his page(s) on Emergent Architecture he writes:

" by having just enough information for the next step and trusting fluid interaction with the information space users avoid information overload and information anxiety...".

...and that's when it all came together for me.

the always-connected artifacts we carry with us are slowly eroding the idea that we should "carry" (know) ALL the information we need to go from "point A to B", to achieve a task basically. maybe any task in the future.
for example right now I (and most of my friends tell me the same) hardly set a specific (date, time, place) appointment with anybody anymore, as we trust our mobile phones to allow us to hook up at the last minute or so.
even most phone numbers are gone from my memory as they are always handy on silicon in my pocket...come to think about it I do remember my friends' teen-age phone numbers but I have no clue about their current ones.
the same can be said for driving direction to an unknown place: i'll gather "just enough" info to leave my garage and then rely on GPS or phone-driven data to get me where I want to go.

it's as if the granularity of the information required to move comfortably in a certain "domain" has changed, at least to a certain extent. i now feel comfortable knowing "just enough" to get around so to speak and rely on "pulling" data when i need it to fill-in the gaps.
i see it happening more and more even with books or documents too. we increasingly rely on the fact that the information we need will be accessible just when we need it wherever we are.

all of the above also links to what people like Peter Morville are saying about "The age of Findability".
by now I know there's already more data out there than I'll ever need so I won't even try to gather and read it all.
i'll rely on the fact that I know it's "out there" and I can access it. what matters then is that I can find it.

if this is true the starting sentence starts to really make sense.
the main problem might not be anymore filtering the ever-increasing amount of data available out there into knowledge.
the problem becomes managing all the complex interactions with that information and with the various devices that allow us to access that information.

think about even very simple things, your contacts and phone numbers for example.
i have some of them on my phone's SIM, some of them on my computer's email client address book, some in my web-mail contacts page, some long forgotten in my old PALM.
how many times has it happened that you didn't have the "right" device with you? or is that the "right" information? and where should it be stored? somewhere on the network? or should it be on a "master" storage unit you control and accessible through the network? and what about the many different interfaces you need to learn to use and manage that information?
and what when that "knowledge" you want to access is just "other people"?

got to think. please contribute.

Posted by fabio sergio | 9:48 AM | permalink


August 01, 2002

mr Ford goes 2009-scenario-wild on "How Google beat Amazon and Ebay to the Semantic Web".

[late as usual behind quite a few good people.]

Posted by fabio sergio | 10:58 AM | permalink


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