Web Strategy Discussion Starter

What follows is the text of a document I prepared to start and shape discussion about the future of the university website at my former place of work. The PDF version is what I actually presented, though in both instances I’ve redacted three types of information: the name of the institution (many already know, but […] » about 1500 words

GigaOM Mobile Site Launched

This week we launched a new mobile theme at It was out for just a day or two before Dennis Bournique surprised us with a review on I have no way of knowing if I would have linked to the review if it wasn’t positive, but I would likely have found a way to […] » about 300 words

Helvetic Neue On The Web

CSS Tricks tips “better helvetica.” Guillermo Esteves explains that specifying font names in CSS is really about specifying font families: If you want to use a specific font face, you have to use font-family along with the font-weight property, calling both the PostScript and screen names of that face for backwards compatibility Which, for a […] » about 200 words

Consumer Society and Citizen Networks Logo

Consumer Society and Citizen Networks “aims at promoting access of citizens to information on product safety, consumer rights protection, and to results of independent testing, as well as promoting wide public discussion of challenges facing the consumer society in Ukraine.” Their logo, however, is pure genius: Some sketches from logolog showing how it came together: » about 100 words

Edward Tufte On The iPhone’s UI Design

Edward “to clarify add detail” Tufte, who criticizes the PowerPointing of America, earlier this year posted a video on the iPhone’s UI design. He loves the photo viewer (except the grid-lines between images are too big), he loves the web browser (except the navigation bar takes up too much space), he calls the weather app an […] » about 200 words

Liz Danzico on WordPress Usability

Liz Danzico of Happy Cog Studios spoke today about her consulting with Automattic on the design of the WordPress admin interface. As with so many of the presentation today, I’m really hoping the slides will be published soon, as there are some great ideas coming out. Liz spent a lot of time watching WordPress users […] » about 200 words

Designing the Obvious

Robert Hoekman, Jr is speaking now on Designing the Obvious, his book and philosophy: These principles include building only what’s necessary, getting users up to speed quickly, preventing and handling errors, and designing for the activity. I just added the book to my must read list, but what I’m hearing here sounds like instructions to […] » about 100 words

Donald Norman — Everyday Things

I was especially young and impressionable when I discovered Don Norman‘s The Design of Everyday Things, but I still claim it’s required reading for anybody who’s read more than one post here at MaisonBisson. That’s self selection at work, but let me put it this way: unless you’re the only consumer of the things you create, then you need to read this. Now.

I feel foolish to have only recently discovered Norman’s website and essays. It’s there that I found he’s giving the commencement address today at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering Professional Masters Programs. He summarizes his prepared statement thusly:

If you work very hard, perhaps you too can get a silly hat like this (wearing my silly racoon-tail hat from the University of Padua). What is the moral? Take your work seriously, so someone might award you the hat (and the honorary degree that goes with it). But, as the hat illustrates, never take yourself seriously: strive to do things that matter, that make a difference, but have fun while doing so.

It’s cutesie, but I kinda like the message, and not just because today is also my birthday and I’m especially susceptible to schmaltz. Eh…

User Experience Map

I was this close to posting soldierant‘s Gobbledy Gook map, but, well… I guess I wanted to make a point with his user experience map, done in collaboration with the smart folks at Experience Dynamics. Take a careful look at the role of your competitors and a user’s expectations and goals. Yeah, we’ve all got […] » about 100 words

When You Hit Bottom And Need Design Help

stock.xchng has nothing on Flickr for searching, finding, sharing photos, except that they’re uploaded with the express intention of offering them for re-use. Some are available free, others free for non-commercial use, others with their own license terms.

But stock photos aren’t really the bottom of the barrel. No, for that you have to look at pixellogo. It’s there that you’ll see the sorts of things you can do to put some pop in a limp design. Meaning, it would seem, is secondary.

But don’t let any of this criticism suggest I’m not above taking tips from stock houses.

Art Deco Hair

Daniela Turudich knows vintage fashion. Her books include not only hair, but how to recreate a vintage wedding, vintage recipes and candy making, and Beauty Secrets of History’s Most Notorious Courtesans. Here’s the description from Art Deco Hair: Art deco has long been associated with uncompromising style and sophistication, and this guide to recreating the […] » about 200 words

Oooms Design Ist Sehr Gut

Guido Ooms has some pretty neat ideas. Engadget got high on his Anti Gravity Machine (you must watch the video), but there’s a lot more to see. I wish I could link to examples of his furniture, bottle holders, personal transportation devices, or dohickies, but his Flash-based site won’t let me. His Glassbulbs are pictured […] » about 100 words