User experience

Desktop frameworks

Writing about intrastructure below, I suggested that a large gap in our current environment was for integrating desktop frameworks. Bill Olivier has an overview presentation [ppt] about component-based development in e-learning where he talks about this need. He identifies the following starting points: NetBeans/eclipse/JSR 198, Mozilla, Chandler, and Lionshare.

The library website

There is an interesting digest of Libqual results in the current ARL Bimonthly Report. What particularly caught my eye was the discussion of the library website: Yet according to LibQUAL+TM data, many library patrons, particularly undergraduates are not taking full advantage of the information available from library Web sites. While about 40% of faculty at … Continue reading The library website


One thing that has come out of the election is a variety of interactive maps. Tim Bray drew attention to Andrew Tanenbaum’s. I found the BBC’s quite useful this morning for catching up on results around the country.

Westerville web

I like Westerville Library’s web presence. It thinks about itself in terms of user interests, rather than library offerings. It incorporates news headlines. It gives you access to the catalog directly from a search box on the home page (all libraries should do this), has some materials from the interesting Anti-Saloon League Museum, and packs … Continue reading Westerville web

Watch that page

A colleague recommended this service. I have not used it. WatchThatPage is a service that enables you to automatically collect new information from your favorite pages on the Internet. You select which pages to monitor, and WatchThatPage will find which pages have changed, and collect all the new content for you. The new information is … Continue reading Watch that page

Mastery and user interface

Jakob Nielsen on different user interface experiences. He classifies the experiences as involving mastery, mystery, or misery! The original ideology of hypertext and the World Wide Web, as expressed by Vannevar Bush (1945), Ted Nelson (1960), and Tim Berners-Lee (1991) makes individual users the masters of the content and lets them access and manipulate it … Continue reading Mastery and user interface

Olympic icons

Like many others, I have been intermittently watching the Olympics. The Munich Olympics were the first I really registered. I find that the ‘event icons’ used there are very closely bound up with my experience of the games: many were so eonomically suggestive of the sport they represented that they seemed immediately ‘right’. I wondered … Continue reading Olympic icons

Reading RSS

Steve Gillmor makes an interesting observation about the uptake of RSS. I wonder what proportion of readers of popular blogs consume them via RSS and how many actually visit the website. This phenomenon coupled with the emergence of the search engine as the user’s preferred entry point further distances people from the browse and aesthetic … Continue reading Reading RSS


Via Neil Beagrie I came across TRENDWATCHING.COM: global source for hot consumer trends and related new business ideas in 2004. There is some arresting phrase-making amid the neologistic and rhetorical excess. A few interesting trends for libraries to note: Generation C: “The GENERATION C phenomenon captures the tsunami of consumer generated content that is building … Continue reading Trendwatching

Search and visit

Jakob Neilsen: Increasingly, the Internet user experience is becoming one of dipping a toe into websites rather than truly “visiting” them. Using search engines as their Web interface, people simply grab query-related nuggets from sites, but don’t engage with the sites themselves. [When Search Engines Become Answer Engines (Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox)] The web search engine … Continue reading Search and visit