Sketching as Communication

Johnny Holland has an article on Sketching as Communication. The video is a bit long but the first half is worth listening to. Mark Baskinger talks about sketching in industrial design and interaction design. He points out why interaction designers should work on their sketching skills.


Curiosity in Design

I love this technique California Pizza Kitchen is using. This article asks if we should be doing more of it in interaction design. I would say yes if you are having a hard time getting repeat visitors or users.

“Here is a rather interesting promotion from California Pizza Kitchen. At the end of my dinner (along with the bill) I was given the “The ’Don’t Open It’ CPK Thank You Card.”

It’s a coupon, with an interesting twist: You bring this with card you next time you come back to CPK. You’ve already won something, from a free appetizer up to $50 dollars (or more). But you don’t know what you’ve won until your next visit (see where this is going?). The instructions are pretty clear: Whatever you do, do NOT open this or whatever you’ve won is null and void! A manager has to open this for you when you return. You are guaranteed to get something worthwhile—and this is a critical part or arousing curiosity. Coupons are too explicit—”here is your 20% off.” Scratch offs and lottery tickets are most likely to reveal nothing. Here, the fine print teases you with a list of the possible prizes. Now I’m curious: which prize have I won? This is a mystery that needs closure.”


Surprise! Surprise! I looked at the new apps installed and there was BrowserPlus. It was not even under the Yahoo folder.

Anyway, it is a pretty cool idea. Here is a little snippet of what they advertise:
“The most unique attribute of BrowserPlus is its ability to update and add new services on the fly without a browser restart or even reloading the page! As a user, this means no more installers to run or losing your place on the web. For developers, you can check for and activate new services with a single function call, pending user approval – we handle the complexity of software distribution and updates for you.”

The photodrop demo is intriguing. they created a little flickr uploader and editor that works directly through your browser with the same richness and direct manipulation of a desktop app.


Innovation and unique ideas seem to be on the top of mind for product and service people these days. This article is an interesting summary with a few links for further reading at the bottom.

Design for Interaction: Ideation and Design Principles

“The purpose of brainstorming is not to find the one perfect design for your project. That will come later. Instead, the reason to ideate is to generate many concepts as rapidly as possible. At this point in the design process, quantity — not quality — is what matters the most. You want a wide variety of concepts that approach the project from a wide variety of angles. Even ideas that seem outlandish and completely unfeasible are welcome”

Quantifying the User Experience

This article reminds me of similar breakdowns and comparisons used for expert systems in the late 80s and early 90s.

I came across this from the comments on an article seeking the philosophical approach or methodology to user experience on Johnny Holland.

“Perhaps like all forms of design, in practice user experience design rarely resembles the execution of a method, so much as it resembles the practice of an art. There is a heavy reliance on intuition, and when a designer does choose to refer to some piece of shared knowledge, that knowledge usually takes the form of a pattern (in the architectural sense) rather than empirical studies or a unified theoretical framework”

HTML Application Rapid Design Tool : Cappacino and Atlas

280 : Cappacino and Atlas

I am ready to check this out. It looks cool. A quick way to build html applications. I like the idea that they are focusing on application development on not on website development. This looks promising.

Beta is coming out soon. They have done a good job with publicity and are looking to charge $20 for the beta. I love it. I hope this works out for them.

Beyond the Mouse

I really enjoyed this video of a design to replace the mouse. Instead of coming up with an out there kind of experience that would require a different paradigm of interaction, 10gui extends the use of your hands. Can we extend the idea of the mouse pad to something more useful. make it bigger and include multitouch capabilities? Change some of the interaction models to mirror natural hand movements and gestures?