Archived entries for Design

RIA’s, Accessible DHTML, Prime Rib and London

Phew, it’s been a hectic but great week. I’m off to London in a few minutes to participate in the Yahoo! Europe Web Development Conference (where I’ll be presenting and co-presenting four sessions), but I wanted to report on some of the things from this past week while they’re still fresh.

On Monday I gave a presentation to our User Experience and Design group. I work in the Presentation Platform Engineering group, and part of my job is to help bridge between Design and Engineering. (Before joining the Platform Engineering team, I worked on the Platform Design team, so I can speak both languages to some extent.)

With so much changing in interface development this year, it’s important to coordinate the creation of a new vocabulary for rich internet interfaces. I’ll write more on this in the coming weeks, but you can check out Bill Scott’s blog post for his take on my talk, where he focuses on Storyboarding Interesting Moments, a part of what I talked about.

Though all the words didn’t flow as well as they do sometimes for me, the presentation was well received and generated some excellent discussion. Larry Tesler, our SVP of UED, was one of several that had some kind words for me afterward. I would be remiss if I didn’t pass most of the credit to Eric Miraglia, a colleague and great mind who’s been instrumental in developing our vision. (More on that from Eric, here.)

On Monday night, I joined Victor Tsaran (our Accessibility Product Manager) at a casual dinner of about a dozen Bay Area accessibility folks from Adobe, Macromedia, Apple, IBM and Sun. Over Italian in San Mateo, it was a great chance to meet others addressing the needs of accessibility community. This theme continued for the rest of the week.

On Wednesday, I went to the Mozilla Foundation, for a co-presentation between IBM’s Accessibility Architect Aaron Leventhal and Yahoo!’s Victor Tsaran. They discussed the IBM/Mozilla Accessible DHTML project, first supported in the new Firefox 1.5. It’s great stuff, and will be critical as the web moves to richer interfaces.

On Friday, Aaron presented a technical overview of the capabilities to a team of our engineers, answering questions and giving guidance to engineers investigating the “Accessible DHTML” approach.

Friday night I had dinner in Pac Heights at the beautiful home of a friend of a friend, a promenient SF lawyer. The prime rib was perfectly cooked, and we laughed quite a bit. The five-course meal and case of wine took the wind from my sails so I didn’t get around to packing at all last night. As soon as I finish typing this post I need to quickly pack — clothes are almost out of the dryer, and I need to leave for the airport in about 66 minutes.


Can’t wait to be laying on the white sands of Culebra in two weeks, away from web and world. (We went last year too, and couldn’t resist going again. I don’t have a Ph.D., but it’s still suits me fine.)

Lots of jobs out there these days…

Freelance, contract, full time… Startups, consultancies, big players… Remote and onsite… A day doesn’t go by lately that somebody doesn’t ask me, “do you know any web developers looking for work?”.

Are you a CSS stud with JS chops and a passion for semantic markup? If so, and if you’re interested in hearing about some of these gigs, feel free to shoot me an email at nate at koechley dot com or leave a comment on this post.

(I’m most familiar with web development / frontend engineering jobs, but if you’re looking for design, user experience or engineering work, I can keep you in mind for those too.)

BrainJams Unconference this Saturday (2005.12.03)

If you’re in the Bay Area this weekend (December 3rd, 2005), join us at BrainJams.

BrainJams Events are open spaces where the participants decide on the content of the event within a basic framework that includes one on one knowledge networking in the morning and open discussions on how to best use emerging technologies in the afternoon.

The format for the two morning sessions borrows from Speed Dating and Knowledge Cafes: Talk one on one with somebody in your group for 5 minutes. Rotate to a new person every 5 minutes. Repeat until you’ve spoken with each person in your group. Same thing in the second hour, but with a new group of people and ideas. Before lunch you’ll have shared passions and projects with more than 20 people.

After lunch is a quick Teen Panel moderated by Noah Kagan. We’ll hear how social services, blogs and communities are being used by this demographic.

The rest of the afternoon is for three tracks of quick, user-led sessions. Not demos, but real people sharing knowledge about which tools they use, and how.

It is a chance for new comers and everyday people to learn from the “powerusers” and other real people just like them. It is a chance for people to suggest new ideas for making the tools more useful. It is a chance for us to begin gathering stories of how people actually use the tools many of us are building. … Each session will have a Jam Leader and a Podcaster/Vlogger who will help facilitate the conversation and keep it on track.

It’s looking like a very interesting day full of passionate people. Come join us.

Thanks to Chris Heuer for organizing this, what a guy.

The Next Innovation?

Michael Arrington, “dedicated to obsessively profiling and reviewing new web 2.0 products and companies,” writes on his TechCrunch blog today about Companies I’d like to Profile (but don’t exist). It’s a pretty interesting list of problems yet to be solved. I’ve been hoping for #1 (Better and Cheaper Online File Storage) for a long time — I believe it would be great for many people. As a voracious consumer of online content, I’m personally looking forward to #8 (Podcast Transcriptions).

While we’re talkin’ wishlists, I’d also propose #8b — the reverse of #8 — which would take a text document and turn it into a podcast.

Don’t risk losing your photos!

This showed up in my inbox today:

We’re happy to store all your memories at the Kodak EasyShare Gallery, but because you haven’t made a purchase in the last 12 months, we may begin deleting stored images from your account. Don’t risk losing your photos!

You’re gonna delete my images?!!! You gotta be kidding me. Don’t you get it?

Picture are irreplacable treasures. Digital information is hard to maintain. (Fried hard drives. Obsolete file formats. New computers.) I want my grandchildred to have a digital shoebox of all my photos, so they can enjoy them as I enjoy my grandparents collections. I think anybody who shoots digital photos worries about this. Apparently Kodak – the people responsible for the shoebox of photos from last century – doesn’t get it.

Storing things online let’s me outsource the upkeep of my data. That’s a key part of the value proposition. I can let somebody else worry about backing up the hard drives, and maintaining redundant data centers to prevent Act of God loss.

I initially put some photos up on Kodak for exactly that reason. I was worried about using a startup service because maybe they’d go out of business and disappear some day. I wanted a trustworthy brand that would be around well into the future. Guess I was wrong – guess these old companies really don’t get it afterall.

As the records and artifacts of my life move online more and more completely, the network has a tremendous responsibility to safeguard and maintain that info. Any service that doesn’t take the seriously has no place in my life. It goes 10x for photos.

Hello Flickr. Hello Yahoo! Photos.

Top Ten Web Design Mistakes of 2005 – Jakob Strikes Again

Jakob Nielsen published another installment of Mistakes. This time, the Top Ten Web Design Mistakes of 2005.

He’s been sometimes off the mark over the years, but all10 ring true this time. At least 8 of the 10 regularly annoy me both as a user and as a web developer.

Give it a read. Even if you already know what they are, it’s worth hearing it and seeing it one more time.

(Of his ten, #3, #7 and #10 are the most annoying to me as a user. Which do you dislike most?)

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