A possibly-dumb-but-intriguing thought that occured to me, Otwell and Hill while in Amsterdam:

could you use The Sims for:
a) persona driven design?
b) testing/simulating social software design?

Just as Intel and MacDonalds have paid for product-placement in The Sims Online, if the tools where available to designers to originate meaningful simualtions of their concepts, then wouldn’t it also make an incredible product testing and proving ground?

Auntie’s facelift

Well done to the team who worked on the new design for the homepage.

front cover of net magazineGo there… click on News or Sport then click back to the homepage. Try doing that a few times… Notice the background colour of box which you clicked the link from gets a few shades different?

It’s all coded so that whatever you click most gets reinforced over time, making it easier to find what you always want. A gentle, reactive form of personalisation that doesn’t take away any choices. Nice.

A lot of that code was by a clever young man called Paul Hammond. Paul’s a client-side coder, who worked in a massively-integrated way with Gideon, Julie and Caroline (the design team who you can see hilariously styled as a Matrix-style hit squad to the left) to realise this new design. Along with Annabelle who worked on the content/editorial, Andrew who is the picture editor and Steve who was the IA for the project (nifty new sensible categories box! yay!) it was a truly multidiscplinary user-experience design team which made it happen.

Great stuff and just a taste what’s to come.


The Anti-Doors

More on Doors soon. To people who’ve asked me how it was, I’ve simply replied so far: “usefully annoying”.

Here’s a snippet of the sort of voice and opinion that was notable by it’s absence, which skewers the root of my annoyance with the whole event exactly:

“Funny, isn’t it, how generations of international bureaucrats and guilty middle-class students have campaigned for decades against global poverty and oppression — but it takes the spread of technology, and a bit of free-market hustling, to really have an impact.”

» saving the world

UI = ubiquitous interface

From The Reg on Rhiengold/Smartmobs:

“For years we’ve been pointing out that the biggest computer company on the planet is not Dell, or Sun or IBM, but Nokia. At the four corners of the globe, people use these computers without even realizing it or sparing a thought about the ‘platform battles’ that the tech press chews over daily. It’s a popular revolt of sorts.”

Some flakey logicflips (of the type I am wont to perform) from this would dictate that Nokia has the most familiar UI in the world. I wonder has anyone created a website or interactive TV app, that slavishly copies the UI and interaction design of Christian Lindholm’s ‘Navikey’ interface for Nokia and recorded how it performs?

» The Register: Phones more disruptive than PC or Internet – Rheingold