Monthly Archives: June 2002

Somebody out there on the Lazyweb[tm] do this. Please! Personal mind-marketmaps

“Random Idea:

  • take the access logs from a weblog
  • work out how many hits each individual entry gets
  • use this to choose a background colour for that entry

Now adapt this process to work in realtime. The more popular stuff (which is likely to be the most interesting) will stick out, less popular stuff will fade into the background, giving attentive visitors an easy way to jump straight to the best content.”

» : Ambient Page Stats

Really, really going to have to write up some stuff about Ben Fry‘s talk; but in the mean time, Peter’s been talking with another info.vis.Guru, Marti Hearst:

“Marti forecasts a significant change in how visualizations are approached. In the past, they’ve been treated as standalone applications, “Look at this thing! And how beautiful it is!” Where as the key for the future will be incorporating it as a small part in a larger system, integrating it with the rest of the interface. In doing so, this will require visualizations to seriously take the problem that users want to solve into account, a motivation currently lacking from many visualizations.

» peterme: marti hearst and info visualisation


“Experiences happen through time and space and reflect a context that’s always greater than we realize. Building understanding for our audience and participants necessarily starts with context, yet most of our experiences with computers and devices, including application software, hardware, operating systems, websites, etc. operate as if they’re somehow independent of what’s happening around them. Most people don’t make these distinctions.”

…which leads nicely into Quinn:

“CLIs have long been our retarded little friends that do whatever we say, but only if we say it exactly right.

GUIs are more intimidating; they get the first and last words in. They use language and visuals to speak to us as something closer to equals. We’ve kept them largely separate and tried to keep them both very non threatening.

Our metaphors were as dry and workaday as you can get: our solopsist desktop, WIMP. The next metaphor which has already started to poke out a bit (especially from the net) is more organic.

It changes and flows with us and engages us more completely. It exists and is even active when we aren’t looking at it. It incorporates language, written and verbal and the virtual physicality that we have now without the GUI. As such, it incorporates more of us and has the opportunity to move with us and with the network as a whole, both other machines and people.

Computers don’t exist in vacuums anymore, nourished by long carefully drawn out strings of characters. It would be good to stop behaving as if this is the more powerful way to use them. This isn’t just a new metaphor for the GUI, it’s a new metaphor for computer use that the GUI and CLI and a verbal component could wrap around.”

» Computer Human Values by Nathan Shedroff

» Quinn at Post OS UI