Friday, September 29, 2006

Ich bin ein Berliner (for the weekend)

Today I am one of the many European Information Architects who will travel to Berlin for EURO IA. I will moderate a panel on IA processes and hope to enjoy the other presentations as well as discuss the ideas on posters with their presenters.

When I was in Berlin for Design Engaged I had a couple of hours to discover Berlin (plus the evening strolls with the other participants) and this time I will not have many more. Still, there is one thing I want to see: The Holocaust Memorial. Hopefully it will show up in my Flickr stream...

Sunday, September 17, 2006

testing: bloglines claim post (please ignore)

This post is meant as a verification post for Bloglines. Please ignore (oops, too late!)

Coming to tag clouds near you: "freechasing"

I just read a post called Filesharing: Free as in peanuts? on David Weinberger's excellent JOHO the blog.

In it David introduces a great name for an existing concept: freechasing (pronounced as in "purchasing"). In his own words: "It means taking for free items you value but that you wouldn't have paid for."

It's a wonderful idea and I expect to hear a lot more of it. As of now (Sunday, September 17, 8:04PM, GMT+1), there are no hits for "freechasing" on!), but I expect that to change radically very soon...

Experience Design event in Belgium

If I wasn't going to Berlin for EURO IA 2006, I'd love to attend this event:

Opening Conference for the Belgian Experience Design Lab, on September 29 in Genk (Belgium).

Nathan Shedroff ("Mister Experience Design") will keynote, and there will be host of designers present from places such as RCA, Zollverein, Experientia, as well as Belgian local and regional representatives. The event seem to be held at the site of a former mine.

If you care about Experience Design, and happen to live/be in the neighborhood, I encourage you to attend this event! (and come to Berlin later that evening or the next morning)

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Autism-Spectrum Quotient: AQ-test

Many people call me a profession-idiot (in Dutch: vakidioot), and some went as far as calling me an autist. So when I read about this test, I wanted to take it.
Psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen and his colleagues at Cambridge's Autism Research Centre have created the Autism-Spectrum Quotient, or AQ, as a measure of the extent of autistic traits in adults. In the first major trial using the test, the average score in the control group was 16.4. Eighty percent of those diagnosed with autism or a related disorder scored 32 or higher. The test is not a means for making a diagnosis, however, and many who score above 32 and even meet the diagnostic criteria for mild autism or Asperger's report no difficulty functioning in their everyday lives.
Take The AQ Test

And the result? Let's say I scored well above average and hereby report no significant difficulties functioning in my everyday live.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

EURO IA numbers looking good (register while you can!)

Being a (not-so-active-thanks-to-Kasper) member of the EURO IA organizing committee, I was just informed that the upcoming EURO IA summit promises to be a well-attended event.

A month before the conference we have almost reached last year's final numbers, and seem to be going in the direction of a 100% increase in attendance!

Let me use this opportunity to point you to:Join us while there's still room!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Wabi-sabi for information architecture

As you may have seen from a previous post, I am reading Stewart Brand's "How Buildings Learn: What happens after they're built". This time, my eye fell on this paragraph (on page 71 of my edition) where I couldn't help but read "information architecture" wherever it read "architecture", so I changed that for you:
"One of the things which we are searching for is a form of [information] architecture which, unlike classical [information] architecture, is not perfect and finite upon completion... We are looking for an [information] architecture rather like some music and poetry which can actually be changed by the users, an [information] architecture of improvisation."
The next paragraph ends with the question:
"What would an aesthetic based on the inevitability of transience actually look like?"
In my view, this is yet another description of the ancient Japanese philosophy called wabi-sabi.
I already used some of that philisophy's ideas in a proposal for a user experience design approach for Web2.0 (in the shape of my poster for Design Engaged) and this quote gives me confidence that it can also be applied in the fields underlying User Experience. I guess it is time to re-examine that poster and see how it applies to information architecture.

Sighting: tag-cloud as style element

When, on their blog, Adaptive Path pointed me to Chumby, I saw in the left-most column something that made me go "ugh!".They used a tag-cloud as a style element! The early-warning module is actually designed as if it was a tag-cloud, even though the text is meant to be read linearly. Granted, they only used two font sizes but combined with the "random" spacing between the chunks of sentences, the visual similarity is clear. Of course it helps that they used colours from the original set of Web2.0 colours (as shown here).

I am afraid we'll see a lot more of this Web2.0-abuse soon... Have you seen other examples?