Archived entries for Design

Data Ocean vs Document Lake

Friend and Yahoo! Developer Network (YDN) Director Matt McAlister has a good post today on Creating leverage at the data layer.

Matt cites Tim Berners-Lee from a recent interview saying that the future of the web is one where we and our agents “can access all the data” via a “much more seamless and much more powerful” interface and experience made possible “because [of] integration.”

That’s different than how it’s been. Documents are a subset of Data. The Web has been a lake of Documents. It is becoming an ocean of Data.

We’ve surfed the lake of documents with a web browser. But a web browser is not always the right tool for the ocean of data. One of many examples is that many people consumer Twitter via a desktop client like twitterific or twhirl. In fact only 45% of recent messages (of people I follow) were posted via the web interface. It’s not a stretch to conclude that a majority of twitter users have determined that there is a better way to interact with twitter’s data than with a web browser. (If not the stats, then certainly the trend.)

I see that as evidence that A) some new interfaces are required for some new types of data; and that B) the web has interesting data to consume outside of a browser.

In the same vein, Matt writes that “Social networks are a good user interface for distributed data, much like web browsers became a good interface for distributed documents.” He’s right: social networks are a great way to consume the so-called vitality stream.

Moving on he writes that the markets and technologies supporting this new world “are still in very early stages.” His notion that “there’s lots of room for someone to create an open advertising marketplace for information, a marketplace where access to data can be obtained in exchange for ad inventory, for example” is important.

There’s more good stuff in his post, but I gotta get back to my other work. I didn’t even mean to write this much about it — so i’ll stop now and let you head over there if you want – but I’ve got a bit more that I’m mulling that I’ll try follow up with.

Presenting YUI at OSDC.TW in Taipei

It’s just been confirmed and announced that I’ll be speaking in Taiwan at the Open Source Developers’ Conference on the 12th and 13th of April 2008, on the campus of the School Of Continuing Education, Chinese Culture University in Taipei. My talk will offer an insider’s tour of the YUI Library:

The YUI Library is an open-source, a la carte JavaScript library for building richly interactive Web apps using techniques such as DOM scripting, DHTML, and AJAX. This library, free for the world to use, is the exact same code that is used globally and at massive scale on scores of Yahoo! sites. In this session, Yahoo!’s Nate Koechley will talk (and answer questions) about the design and technical philosophies behind YUI. You’ll learn what the library can do for you, where it’s heading, why and how Yahoo! decided to open-source it, and how you can use it to provide an outstanding user experience for your visitors.

OSDC.TW 2008 時間

在經過最後確認之後,我們已經正式公佈 OSDC.TW 2008 的時間跟地點:

時間:2008/4/12-13
地點:中國文化大學推廣教育部博愛校區 – 大新館

New York Delft on Antiques Roadshow

“New York Delft” is a hip placesetting designed by my cousin in New York. They were recently “featured” on Antiques Roadshow:

For more information (or to order a set) visit his firm’s web site at http://www.lovegroverepucci.com/

"Control" or "Why is interactive design different from print design?" (Khoi Vinh presentation)

The Web is not Print. I’ve said it a million times.

But it took the master, Khoi Vinh, to express why. He doesn’t have all the answers yet, but he states the problem space more clearly than I’ve heard elsewhere. And that’s half the battle.

Here is his presentation posted on Slideshare. If you’re involved in web design or web development, do yourself a favor and click through it. It’s called "Control".

He is, of course, a great storyteller, so while I’ll post a few quotes here you’re much better off reading his slides directly.

If narrative is the guiding principle of traditional design, then control is its most important tool. But the guiding principle of interactive media is not narrative — it’s behavior. Designing for behavior means transferring some measure of control from author to user.

What are we designing? Digital media is as different from print as a speech is different from a conversation. They’re both exchanges of information between people. But one is a controlled environment and the other is uncontrolled. In fact, what we’re talking about here is the difference between documents and conversations. Digital media looks like writing, but it’s actually conversation. This push and pull is essential to media evolution. Documents and conversations are not mutually exclusive. They are inherently dependent upon one another.

Video: Information R/evolution

Information R/evolution is a five minute video telling the story of the transformation from a world of categorized information to a world of living information the we all enrich continually. It’s from the same guy (Michael Wesch) and in the same style as "Web 2.0 … The Machine is Us/ing Us."

When his "Web 2.0," video came out I wrote that

Perhaps the so-called ’social web’ isn’t about connecting people, but about information conservation: If a person chooses to do something — no matter how small — it’s inherently interesting, precious, and valuable.

I still think that’s true, and I find more support in this new video:

Here is "Information R/evolution" by Prof. Michael Wesch:

Hap tip to the information aesthetics blog which is a great source for "data visualization & visual design."

Web Visions 2008 Conference

I just received word that one of the better conferences around is back for another year. Web Visions, the annual event in Portland, Oregon, will be May 22-23 (Thurs-Fri).

Join the rockstars of design, user experience and business strategy for two days of mind-melding on what’s new in the digital world. Get a glimpse into the future, along with practical information that you can apply to your Web site, company and career.

Session proposals are being accepted under the end of 2007.

It’s really a lovely conference, and I recommend that you check it out if you’re in the area (note that it’s light on dev and high on design topics). I love that it’s smaller and more personable. Plus, the friendly, thoughtful vibe that is Portland carries into the conference itself. It attracts more passionate folks instead of 9-5ers, and that’s a good thing. Plus, it’s especially affordable. Registration isn’t online yet, but sign up on their site to be notified.

Perhaps I’m partial because the first conference talk of my career (First Things First: IA and CSS) was at WebVisions 2004 (thanks for Christina Wodtke)

More Info



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