Monthly Archives: October 2001

Signweb is my favourite site right now. For some reason, stuff that I’ve read a million times about visual design, usability or wayfinding just seems so much fresher when recontextualised by a site that’s also trying to sell me giant plastic-engraving machines.

This article has a great little colour-combos-for-legibility panel on page two:
Can’t Your Read the Signs?: Graphic layout effectiveness is measured in seconds

On a related tip:

“From small electronic objects to large airports, color plays a powerful role in helping you use the device or navigate the space. Unfortunately, color is only beginning to gain recognition as a critical component in “usability.” The following information presents a few of the many ways color can succeed or fail.”

A diagram that asks if “Terror” is an open system by a retired system designer.

It’s a little Yoda-esque* and high-level for my liking and as such not a successful for me as the previous diagram they published.

A nice little comment from the author, though, at the end of the piece; more widely applicable to our field, perhaps:

“As system designers, we are always designing systems for others to use. There is nothing worse than being on the end of the plank, with everyone telling you it’s great and it’s OK to jump. In other words, dissent produces a better system. Any comments or questions, please?”

* by Yoda-esque, I’m refering to the diminutive jedi-master’s riff on cycles of violence: “anger leads to fear, fear leads to hate, hate leads to suf-fer-ring…

Dunno if peter reads my blog, but in a spasm of synchronicity, he’s posted a big riff on ‘Information Ecology’; referencing a book called “Information Ecologies: Using Technology with Heart”.

It sounds fascinating, not directly mapping to my stab at defining an infomation ecology in the‘rulespace’ piece, and far more developed (let’s face it, nearly anything would be). But my “information powers of ten” still stands I think as a way to plug these perspectives together.

Go and read the piece on PeterMe: Biological metaphors for information processes? On “The hell,” you say!