David Gillis David Gillis 35 posts

How Vimeo Did It: Online Community From a Designer’s Perspective

As a fan of Vimeo's, I was stoked to hear that Blake Whitman would be giving a talk at FOWD in NY. (You may recognize Blake from that time he had some questions about the homepage...) Blake's presentation showed that cultivating a vibrant community online is, in no small part, a tractable design problem.

I want my scrollwheel back!

Two steps forward, one step back. That's how I feel about the crappy media scrubbing interface built into the iPhone, iPod touch, and I guess pretty much all touch screen-based media devices.

meshU, April 6

I'm doing a presentation on Evidence-based IA and Design in a couple of weeks at this year's meshU event. I attended last year as a non-participant and got a lot out of it.

Gmail’s new panic button

Ok, so it's generally our policy not to blog about something that's already gotten exposure on sites like Digg (let alone made it to the top ten), but for this one I'll make a quick exception. Google just added an undo send button to its labs suite (or as TechCrunch calls it, a panic button).

Designing for Effective Resolution

As the kinds of digital interactive user experiences we're designing at T+L begin to move beyond the computer screen, fundamental things like display resolution become a little more complicated and a lot more interesting. Effective resolution is a perceptual term—I'll define it here* as the perceived pixel density of a display image at a given viewing distance.

Designing for Effective Resolution

As the kinds of digital interactive user experiences we're designing at T+L begin to move beyond the computer screen, fundamental things like display resolution become a little more complicated and a lot more interesting. Effective resolution is a perceptual term—I'll define it here* as the perceived pixel density of a display image at a given viewing distance.

CanUX Day 2, Part 2: Dave Gray from XPLANE

15 years ago, Dave Gray founded XPLANE, a visual communications company that has been pumping out beautiful graphical explanations for all sorts of clients, products and services ever since. His presentation at CanUX kept up the theme of drawing and sketching, but flipped the emphasis: while the other presentations were about communicating design ideas visually, this one was about designing visual ideas for communication.

CanUX Day 2, Part 1: Sketchboards

Last year, when Brandon essayed about Sketchboards on the Adaptive Path blog, Derek and I became instant fans.  Since then we've played around with variations of the method at T+L—sort of hedging it with our existing process—so I was really looking forward to this session. First we talked about the sketch part in 2 stages: Exploratory sketches: quickly saturate the design space by generating a number of rough options.

CanUX Day 1, Part 3: Five Sketches (Or Else)

I'm going to forego summarizing this one, since for me the topic of sketching was developed more fully in the next couple of sessions. (I'm probably biased though, because those sessions applied more directly to our specific practice at T+L.) Not that I didn't enjoy the presentation.

CanUX Day 1, Part 2: Swimlanes

Swimlanes is an early-process documentation method created by Yvone Shek and the folks at nForm.  As the image above demonstrates (here's a closer look), multiple perspectives on a given use-case or design scenario are laid out in separate tracks, or "swim-lanes." The idea is to capture and visualize implications of high-level requirements over time and in a parallel fashion.  This is good because multiple stakeholders (business people, designers, project mangers, technologists) can see and give feedback on what they need to make happen/accomodate to, leading to a potentially more balanced and inclusive discussion. To my mind, the key challenge here is making such a sophistic and integrated document like this flexible and agile.

CanUX day 1, part 1: Web Forms

Here's a quick update for day 1 of CanUX 2008, Banff Alberta. Luke Wroblewski kicked things off with what turned out to be a lively discussion of web form design—no small feat considering it was 9 in the morning!

Microsoft Talk @ ToRCHI

Had the opportunity to attend this month's Torchi event, featuring two guests from Microsoft. Lisa Anderson, MS Surface User Experience Director, talked about the fundamental shift from command line interfaces to GUIs, to what she called Natural User Interfaces (NUIs, I guess).