Fćrslur laugardaginn 31. júlí 1999

At 03:00: Metaphors in UIs 

Metaphors we compute by: bringing magic into interface design (Feelings Stuck in a GUI web: metaphors, image-schemata, and designing the human computer interface) by Tim Rohrer is a good read. Offers a nicely philosophical perspective on UI design.

I find the idea of feeling-based vs. conversation-based UIs really interesting. The sentence "The magic of the Macintosh trash can "goes too far" because it violates users gut feelings." struck me as being so true.

<RANT>Feelings are something that is forgotten all to often. I for one tend to feel "problems" in (Web-based) UIs, both as a user and as a designer, that I then find hard to explain or rationalize. I still *know* there is a problem. </RANT>

One good quote: "I believe we work best when we can forget about the computer's (or the designer's) point of view and concentrate on expressing ourselves and getting our work done."

Also on (mis-)use of metaphors in the Mac-oid Desktop GUIs, The Anti-Mac Interface. Good.

Lots of links: Center for the Cognitive Science of Metaphor Online.

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At 02:00: Possibly Useful Usability Links 

I grabbed these URLs from a posting on comp.human-factors. I haven't really looked into any of them yet, but will soon. Here goes:

Also, Yale's Web Style Manual is a good basic read.

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At 01:00: Permanent Banner Ads 

In his last newsletter John S. Rodes of WebWord.com talks about his ideas of introducing a 'Permanent Sponsorship Model' for the content on his site.

This is an intersting idea. While temporary, random-ish banner-ads may be a flop, permanent sponsorship of content might just be worth doing. The Client knows exactly what he's paying for, and the permanent association of this company/product name with the sponsored content (most probably) creates strong branding-effect.

I agree with most of Rodes' ideas on the subject, but there are, however, a few points that I felt missing from his rant:

  • Wouldn't it make sense to offer sponsors to decide which articles to sponsor themselves, rather than have them blindly sponsor every bit of content to be published over a certain period of time?

  • And what about old material on the site? Why not allow permanent sponsorship of that too? (At a reduced price of course.)

  • Also, I think auctioning high traffic items might prove profitable. There could be a fixed price on temporary banner-space for a short period of time while popularity (and quality) is being evaluated by both the site-owner and interested parties (sponsors). Then a permanent ad-placement would be made available to the highest bidder. Leftover pages could be offered cheap (or auctioned) in packs of ten or so.

  • On the technical side, It could be handy to have the ad-banners reside at the sponsors' own servers. This would give them the ability to change their banner from time to time to reflect changes in their business.

    (One of the biggest advantages of this sort of system is that it can work quite efficiently on static or low-tech websites - since the site owner doesn't need to keep track of exposure and clich-though rates, and needs not manage the banners or links at all.)

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