Interface Design & Layout

  December 09, 2002  

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet... Take 2

"The standard chunk of Lipsum used since the 1500s is reproduced below for those interested. Sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 from "de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum" by Cicero are also reproduced in their exact original form, accompanied by english versions from the 1914 translation by H. Rackham." There is also a lorem ipsum generator. Get some dummy copy... [see also another lorem ipsum source]

Posted by seralat at 06:36 PM | Permalink
Filed in: Interface Design & Layout
/CSS/ - a guide for the unglued

"This is not a complete resource, this is a fast resource. These are the sites that I refer to first, and that I tell people to read. When you want more, just about all of them have their own links to good sites." A good CSS resource put up by Owen Briggs. See the guide...

Posted by seralat at 06:12 PM | Permalink
Filed in: Interface Design & Layout

  September 09, 2002  

99.9% of Websites Are Obsolete

"Neither money-wasting versioning techniques nor the deliberate decision to support only one browser or platform will help today's sites work in tomorrow's browsers or thrive in the ever-changing world beyond the desktop. If these practices continue, costs and complexities will only escalate until none but the largest companies can afford to build websites." This excerpt from the upcoming book Forward Compatibility: Designing & Building With Standards by Jeffrey Zeldman is featured in the September 2002 Digital Web magazine. Read the article...

Posted by seralat at 08:08 PM | Permalink
Filed in: Interface Design & Layout
Font Sizes & Font-Family

From Sam-I-Am comes a useful and flexible font-size appearance checker that uses inline styling to test a wide rnage of font-size properties and units in fonts you can specify. Check font sizing...

Posted by seralat at 07:56 PM | Permalink
Filed in: Interface Design & Layout

  August 13, 2002  

Page Sizing Test Chart

This page has a background image that lays out various browser size measurements in a grid. It's a great way to see how big your existing browser window is. The page was put together by British designer Robert Charlton. See the grid... [Link posted by Ben Hyde on the ID-Cafe list]

Posted by seralat at 10:10 AM | Permalink
Filed in: Interface Design & Layout

  August 07, 2002  

Web Standards for Hard Times

"If you don't [code to standards], you may be relying on bugs instead of features to deliver the goods. They won't work forever. And by focusing on specific browsers instead of one syntax that works for all of them, you may be locking out surfers with alternative Web gadgets or special technologies, such as talking browsers for the blind." From the 6 August 2002 article by Paul Boutin in Webmonkey, this provides good ROI-style reasons to mark up to standards as well as useful mark up tips. Read the article...

Posted by seralat at 10:03 AM | Permalink
Filed in: Interface Design & Layout

  July 26, 2002  

Understanding how users view application performance

"Obviously, no single performance rule covers all situations. But we believe 10 seconds is the upper limit for user satisfaction, and at 40 seconds, performance becomes intolerable. These rules of thumb can be used as a starting point when evaluating Web application performance." From an article by Peter Sevcik in the July issue of Business Communications Review, reprinted in the Comdex Newsletter. Read the article... [Via a posting by Annabelle Hoffman on the CHI-Web mailing list]

Posted by seralat at 10:53 AM | Permalink
Filed in: IA - Academic Approaches, Interface Design & Layout

  July 17, 2002  

Beyond Usability:Process, Outcome and Affect in human computer interactions

"Users respond to interface 'beauty', and tend to relate usability to aesthetics in a fairly predictable fashion. Furthermore, users do not predict their own performance (process and outcome) accurately, especially at the early stages of use with a new interface. It is clear therefore from our studies of users that evaluations based on single experiences with technology do not provide stable estimates of long-term (or even medium-term) usability." From Andrew Dillon, of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at UT Austin. Read the paper...

Posted by seralat at 02:45 PM | Permalink
Filed in: IA - Academic Approaches, Interface Design & Layout, Usability

  June 30, 2002  

Readability Of Websites With Various Foreground/Background Color Combinations, Font Types And Word Styles

From a 1997 study by Alyson L. Hill, Stephen F. Austin State University, "The effects of 6 foreground/background color combinations (color), 3 font types (Arial, Courier New, & Times New Roman), and 2 word styles (Italicized & Plain) on readability of websites were investigated. Participants (N=42) scanned simulated websites for a target word; readability was inferred from reaction time (RT). An ANOVA showed significant main effects for color and font, and several significant interactions (Figure 1). A control experiment (N=21) using black text on shades of gray (to increase generalizablity to Internet browser settings), also found significant main effects for background gray level and style, and several interactions (Figure 2). In general these results suggest that there is no one foreground/background combination, font, or word style which leads to the fastest RT (i.e. best readability), but rather a designer must consider how each variable affects the other(s)." Read the article...

Posted by seralat at 09:59 PM | Permalink
Filed in: Interface Design & Layout

  June 26, 2002  

A Quiz Designed to Give You Fitts

A February 1999 Ask Tog column that highlights the importance of Fitts Law ("The time to acquire a target is a function of the distance to and size of the target. ") [Google search on "Fitts Law"], "So you think you are an interaction designer? Not if you cannot answer all the following questions quickly and with authority.... If you're not an interaction designer, but you know one—or you are thinking of hiring one—slip them just the questions, and see how well they do. I've used variations of this quiz for years during the interview process to good effect." Read the column...

Posted by seralat at 02:41 PM | Permalink
Filed in: IA - Practical Approaches, Interface Design & Layout, Usability

  June 24, 2002  

W3C CSS Validation Service

Need to know if your CSS is properly formed? This is the place to find out. Validate your CSS...

Posted by seralat at 05:53 PM | Permalink
Filed in: Interface Design & Layout, Programming Resources
W3C HTML Validation Service

This is an indispensable resource for checking to see if your pages comply with the appropriate web standards. In the words of the W3C, this is "a free service that checks documents like HTML and XHTML for conformance to W3C Recommendations and other standards." Validate your HTML...

Posted by seralat at 05:50 PM | Permalink
Filed in: Interface Design & Layout, Programming Resources
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet...

I use this way more often than I should. This is Will Munslow's Latin filler text generator for those of us too lazy to remember where we put this stuff last. Incredibly useful. Get some latin...

Posted by seralat at 05:45 PM | Permalink
Filed in: Interface Design & Layout

  June 21, 2002  

Ladislav Sutnar: Web Design Before the Internet

From the introduction to this June 2002 LOOP: AIGA Journal of Interaction Design Education article by Steven Heller, "As evidenced by his approach to logical navigation aids in catalog, graphic and environmental systems design, Steven Heller argues that Sutnar serves as an important pioneer for the functionality of visual information on the web." Read the article...

Posted by seralat at 10:52 AM | Permalink
Filed in: Interface Design & Layout

  June 20, 2002  

Macromedia Shockwave and Flash Players Adoption Statistics

Keep in mind this information is being brought to you by Macromedia themselves. See the data...

Posted by seralat at 05:04 PM | Permalink
Filed in: Interface Design & Layout, Statistics Collections

  June 17, 2002  

Web-Safe Swatch Collections

Downloadable swatch collections for many programs. Posted by seralat at 09:34 PM | Permalink
Filed in: Color Use and Theory, Interface Design & Layout

Vizcheck and Daltonize

Software for simulating the three main types of color blindness and correcting images for colorblind viewers. The software can either be run over the internet or on your local machine, and it's free. Visit the website...

The Red Queen Theory of Color

A November 2000 article from Bob Stein via Digital Web Magazine, "Website color, like clothing fashion, is about appealing, attracting, seducing. It's about appearing better than you are, or at least, better than you would otherwise be. There's a fashion industry in pixels just as fickle as the one in clothing." Read the article...

Posted by seralat at 08:59 PM | Permalink
Filed in: Color Use and Theory, Interface Design & Layout
Death of the Websafe Color Palette?

From a 6 Sep 2000 Webmonkey by David Lehn and Hadley Stern, "After the pixeldust settled, we looked at what was left of the ersatz websafe palette. There wasn't much. Admittedly, we got different results in what would seem to be the same conditions: one Win9x machine would fail for a color, and another such machine wouldn't. We decided to play it safe. Really safe. We found that only 22 of the 216 colors we began with did not end up being shifted incorrectly in at least one viewing environment. So, it looks like we have roughly 22 colors that are really websafe -- Windows and MacIntosh, Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator, 8-bit, 16-bit, and 24-bit compatible for GIFs and BGCOLOR. We call this the The Reallysafe Palette (hope you like green ...)." Read the article...

Posted by seralat at 08:40 PM | Permalink
Filed in: Color Use and Theory, Interface Design & Layout
Colorfield Insight

Colorfield Insight is a set of Photoshop filters from Colorfield Digital Media that help "web designers address accessibiliy issues in color design, providing filters for the three most common forms of colorblindness. Use Insight to check the legibility of your designs for color-deficient viewers. Insight is exclusively available for the Macintosh." Visit the website...

Posted by seralat at 07:47 PM | Permalink
Filed in: Color Use and Theory, IA - Tools & Software, Interface Design & Layout
So, What Size and Type of Font Should I Use on My Website?

From a 2 February 2000 article for Usability News by Michael Bernard & Melissa Mills, "This study examined TNR [Times New Roman] and Arial fonts for readability (accuracy in reading text material), reading time, perceptions of font legibility and sharpness, as well as general font type/size/format preference. To accomplish this, we used an IBM compatible computer and chose a monitor resolution of 1024 x 768 to reflect the current trend towards higher resolutions (GVU, 1998)." Read the study...

Posted by seralat at 07:03 PM | Permalink
Filed in: Interface Design & Layout, Usability
End of Web Design/The Beginning of Web Design

In this 23 July 2000 Alertbox, Jakob says, "Websites must tone down their individual appearance and distinct design in all ways: visual design, terminology and labeling, interaction design and workflow, information architecture" Read it...

On 24 July 2000, Michael Sippey of Stating the Obvious responds with this, "Standard methods of exchanging and delivering information will open up opportunities for Internet application developers to provide more distinct user experiences for more distinct target markets. If there's a market for a particular type (or brand) of user experience, information standards will only help create that market, by helping users avoid information-based application lock- in (a la Microsoft Office), and forcing developers to cater to the user interface and functionality needs of their particular audience." Read the rebuttal...

Posted by seralat at 04:38 PM | Permalink
Filed in: IA - Commentary & Criticism, Interface Design & Layout

  June 15, 2002  

Effective Web Writing

"Viewers and users both prefer chunks—stand-alone blocks of information, filling the screen with 100 words or less, requiring little or no scrolling. For viewers, chunks should contain very brief text excerpts with clear directions to the next big audiovisual jolt. Users need concise, well- organized, and well-mapped sites so they can go straight to what they want." A February 2001 article by Crawford Kilian in Web Techniques (now New Architect). Read the article....

Posted by seralat at 11:35 PM | Permalink
Filed in: Interface Design & Layout
Sizing Up the Browsers

"The purpose of this quick reference is to collect everything you need to know about the spatial aspects of the major browsers... [including] ... Canvas size ...
Text size ... [and] Form elements...." This is an invaluable resource for web designers from Steve Mulder on Webmonkey. See the article...

Posted by seralat at 11:23 PM | Permalink
Filed in: Interface Design & Layout
Design to realistic window sizes

"The "Available Width" and "Available Height" columns account for the operating systems and browser chrome without a vertical scrollbar." If you ever had to figure out maximum window sizes for a design, you'll love this page. Unfortunately, it only covers Mac and PC up through IE 5 (on PC) and the 4.x versions of Netscape. From Marlene Bruce on Evolt. Read the article...

Posted by seralat at 11:18 PM | Permalink
Filed in: Interface Design & Layout
A flying menu attack can wound your navigation

"Hiding options in drop-down and cascading menus is a problem even in repeated-use programs like Microsoft Word, whose users were for years shielded from desirable features such as mail merge. The Web magnifies this existing problem. Casual users - the bulk of the average site's audience - simply won't stop to study a site's interface for half an hour." This is an issue that comes up often enough on discussion lists that it's worthwhile reading about it in this article from Lighthouse on the Web. Read the article...

Posted by seralat at 11:05 PM | Permalink
Filed in: Interface Design & Layout
Text Display Readability Work

An excellent set of academic research papers on the subject of fonts and screen readability by Dr. Lauren Scharff of the Department of Psychology at Stephen F. Austin State University and Al Ahumada from NASA-Ames. See the resources...

Posted by seralat at 09:38 PM | Permalink
Filed in: IA - Academic Approaches, Interface Design & Layout, Usability

  June 06, 2002  

Design Language

"Combining wisdom and wit, Tim McCreight's Design Language dissects 100 design terms, including their etymologies, definitions and connotations.

Accompanied by specially commissioned illustrations (denoted with asterisks), Design Language creates fascinating snapshots of the words associated with the concepts and practices of design. "

An explanation of design terms from oneMedia. Visit the website...

Posted by seralat at 03:39 PM | Permalink
Filed in: IA - Resource Collections, Interface Design & Layout