We have lived in this world where little things are done for love and big things for money. Now we have Wikipedia. Suddenly big things can be done for love.

Clay Shirky

Irrational Weight Loss

After years of wielding a stopwatch as a weapon in the battle to streamline client web sites, I’ve noted an alarming trend to shed page weight at any cost — a good heuristic gone bad. The latest web page diet fad includes dropping wayfinding hints, icons...

All the news that’s fit to..

well, fit around its new ad format. The New York Times has hopped on the bulging bandwagon of sites that plop large, obtrusive ads smack in the middle of its pages’ content space. Also noteworthy [if not newsworthy] is the fact that they’re using the meta...

Cool Tool.

Take a spreadsheet, perform some electronic husbandry with virtual Post-It… ^H^H^H tiny adhesive scratch pad sheets, and you end up with something like Writer’s Blocks. Built for people who write [I first stumbled upon the product in a print copy of...

You Go, Google.

Google.com, who last week took home the Webby’s Best Practices prize –a new and singular award that honors overall excellence–finds itself singled out again, this time for its integrity in managing sponsored placements on its search engine. At the...

Haptics, Feedback and Immersion

It’s look and feel, right? Try this: move your mouse cursor to any part of the white background of this page, and click. Feel that? What you just experienced is precisely the same tactile feedback you get when you click on buttons and hyperlinks… a reedy,...

Context Switching

Somewhere in Dante’s Hell there must be a room, a pit–perhaps even an entire level–for those who commit the atrocity of abusive context switching. You’re probably far more familiar with context switching — and its abuse — than you...

WaSP

I’ve found it difficult to line up behind the Web Standards Project [WaSP]. Not because I don’t support the call to standards, but because one of the legs the group stands on includes pressuring users to upgrade to standards-compliant browsers. I think...

Not Found

The discussion on MetaFilter about the end of Assembler raises some very interesting points on the transient nature of the web, and the role of the publisher/artist/designer/author. At the same time it rings the alarm bells. Some very good people–folks...

Dumb and Dumber

Dumb and Dumber: a usability lesson from the phone system.Not terribly long ago the local telephone company in Kansas City introduced ten-digit dialing. Up to that point, phone system users within the Kansas City metro had been able to ignore the area codes that...

Mediums Writ Large

When Thug the caveman first scrawled an image of himself on a wall of stone, we can imagine the prehistoric critics — “Arg! Ick dannae throg!” Which, roughly translated, imparts that the cave art lacked passion, and what’s more Thug would be...

Mediums Writ Large, Part III

In which the author attempts some closure on this accidental essay–three parts released over two weeks? how rude!–and after which will bundle the whole mess up and place it in the articles section, where it rightly belongs. So what do we know about this...

Smart Tags?

Microsoft plans to introduce a new hyperlink widget in Internet Explorer on the Windows XP platform, expected to be released in October. I imagine you may have read quite a lot about these tags already. In case you haven’t, here’s a distilled...

Mediums Writ Large, Part II

So what is this invention, this medium, that has evidently caused us fits throughout the ages? Is it a tool? A toy? A myth? A medium is vehicle for communication. It’s a transport for the expression of ideas… a means for transmitting a message from the...

Mediums Writ Large, Part I

When Thug the caveman first scrawled an image of himself on a wall of stone, we can imagine the prehistoric critics — “Arg! Ick dannae throg!” Which, roughly translated, imparts that the cave art lacked passion, and what’s more Thug would be...

What’s in your shopping cart?

Jessie, the abominable golden retriever, is a fertilizer factory. Of course she produces the usual carpet bombs that any large dog is terrifically equipped to manufacture. She appears also to have an unlimited capacity to produce nitrogen, that elemental stuff that...

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