Thursday, October 13, 2005

One more thing?

After complaining about how Apple are driving the depreciation of value in their iPods by releasing too frequently, here's my commentary on their recent keynote:
  • The remote control is a very good example of Jef Raskin style interface design. Well done!
  • Who's going to buy music and videos when you have podcasts and movie trailers?
  • Your line-up has never looked this good? What's so great about a black and a white model? Give us some decent colour - what happened to black and red?
  • Amazon has had customer reviews for years - what took you so long? (To repeat that phrase used in relation to Apple's switch to the x86 architecture. Do I see a pattern of late adoptism here?)
  • Where's the productivity?
  • You didn't quote Mossberg on the scratchability of your iPods, did you?
  • Well done for dropping the eMac - I believe it no longer fits in the line-up (using Jobs jargon).
  • Congratulations on your taste of music - I've been following Wynton's music for years!
Now, I won't comment on the two major versions of iTunes within 5 weeks of each other, as the marketing strategy behind it, and the numbering scheme, seems straightforward to me.

In any case, hope you get better soon, Steve! (Healthwise, that is.)

Tags:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Wynton Marsalis

Saturday, October 08, 2005

GNOME 3 vs. KDE 4 - sensible workflows

Mockups for KDE 4 and GNOME 3 (scroll down to the pictures) - looking fairly alike? Which is no bad thing. ;)

Well, I can't say it enough times: there are clear relationships between different data types, especially multimedia, and these need to be taken into account in interface design. An example of this is my Mugar project (interface description at the bottom of page).

What I mean is, slideshows want music, phone calls want to go into the address book, photos may want to have character recognition performed on them, text messages may want to be forwarded as emails, spreadsheets may want to be converted to databases, and address book entries may want to be emailed to colleagues.

So you'd identify the sensible interactions of your datatypes, and implement these in the interface. It looks like GNOME and KDE are beginning to learn this. Also, if anyone can tell me what this strategy is called, do please let me know!

Like I've probably said before, this is what I think Apple are up to with their Automator. Once they've found out what users are actually doing, they'll concentrate on those workflows in their GUI design.

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Saturday, October 01, 2005

Ideas for Website Baker

This is a post for Ryan Djurovich, the developer of Website Baker, one of the most user-friendly web content management systems (CMS) out there.

So here are the first few suggestions I have for the next version (v3):
  • in the navigation menu browser on the admin interface, remember which submenus were open and keep them open unless closed by the user
  • implement syndication (RSS)
  • make links update themselves automatically when a section is moved up or down the navigation menu hierarchy, or when media are moved between folders
  • make sure all main templates are W3C conformant so that people who enter html manually can check that it's correct without being inundated with error messages actually caused by the template
  • have an option to have the main menu horizontal and the submenus vertical - there are probably templates that allow this already
  • the wysiwyg html code generation needs some work - I can't remember the specifics of the problems I had, and for me they're easy to resolve using the raw html interface, but not for other people... Maybe it's still useful for me to mention it.

Reply all for marked list

cross-posting from mozillazine:

Would be really nice if I could mark a number of emails, and send a new message to all senders (and optionally other recipients). By marking I mean the normal process of selecting mails with shift and mouse cursor or cursor keys.

The situation I envisage is when you've just sent out some instance of mass communication (a press release, say), and ten people get back to you with the same question. Select those emails, click "send to all", write, send off - simple? I think so. And useful. It's very Apple, but they haven't come up with it yet!

You could even give people the option to save the list into their address book after they send the mail, similar to the way that Yahoo mail always asks.