June 27, 2003

iChat AV has spell check

One quick item of note: Not only does iChat AV have great sound and wonderful video (been privy to both), but it has spell check. Yes spell check in iChat! I have been waiting for this for so long. It does not seem to be documented anywhere that I have found, but when I mis-type the words get a red underline, just like spell check in Safari, and I have the option of fixing.

June 25, 2003

Keynote Theme repositories

Looking for a new Keynote theme? Check these out:

This list was updated on 6 June 2007. This page gets a lot of traffic and wanted to capture the current state of things and add in Keynote Theme Park.

June 23, 2003

Interact Lab research papers

Department of Informatics, University of Sussex, Interact Lab, HCI papers provides offerings in: Pervasive Environments and Ubiquitous Computing - Shared Interaction Spaces; Playing and Learning - Tangibles & Virtual Environments - Collaborative Learning; Theory & Conceptual Frameworks; Technology Mediated Communication; and Interactive Art. [hat tip Anne]

iChat AV is off this planet easy and usable

The Apple iChat AV is insanely cool and easy to use. My TiBook had a built in mic, who knew? My friend Jeff rang and started talking. I typed back that I could not talk. Then Jeff asked why he could could hear Steve Jobs talking, which was being streamed on my TiBook. He said talk, I did. Jeff heard.

Once again Apple has made an application that is insanely simple and just works. I have never been repeatedly impressed with any computer company the way I have with Apple. This is the way we all dreamed computing would be. Who knew it would take so long, yet who knew it would be today to make voice over computer so simple.

I just flat out love Apple. There have been no headaches or other problems with any of this. How un-PC and how very Apple (yes I know the Mac is a personal computer). You must get a Mac and join the ease of computing and get out of computing hell.

G5 is sexy

Apple's new G5 has made me drool. It is georgeous design and the sucker flat out flies. I am so wanting one of these to replace my desktop PC. I live in my TiBook laptop, but really would like to have a Mac desktop to be a home base. The TiBook is my homebase, but it is not optimal for me. Don't get me wrong I love the TiBook like no other computer I have had to date.

The beauty of the G5 case would make me want it on my desk top to stare at it.

Safari renders pages much better

Yes, I downloaded the new Apple Safari browser and it now nearly perfectly renders one page it has always mangled. I can now read the International Herald Tribune in my favorite browser.

The one downside in the few minutes of playing with Safari is it still does not let the user tab between all form elements. The user can not tab to select boxes, nor check boxes. This is a major usability problem in my viewpoint, but I may switch and use it to use the CMS tools here are vanderwal.net as I need the spell checking.

June 21, 2003

Currently listening to Lamb and Massive Attack

Currently listening to Lamb What Sound, which I picked up after extended playing at a listening station. I am really enjoying this, which has tones of early 90s euro alt rock. I also added Massive Attack 100th Window, which sounds like a matured Propaganda, but with Sinead singing.

June 20, 2003

Mob Project provides levity

Through a NPR All Things Considered discussion, Gawker snippet, I have learned about the Mob Project, as explianed by Wired. I found this to be a wonderfully silly idea. The All Things Considered discussion of Mob Project (20 June 2003) had the NPR interviewer laughing.

Steve Champeon on the Future of Web Design

Steve Champeon on Progressive Enhancement and the Future of Web Design. This is almost like sitting with Steve and getting the background and how that reflects for future of markup and Web design directly from Steve.

Managing large image libraries in iPhoto 2

Derrick Story provides guidence on How to Manage Large Image Libraries with iPhoto 2, which has been a problem for many. Large in this case is a Gig (GB) or more of images.

I found that closing the rolls in iPhoto 2 made the speed of iPhoto greatly improve.

June 18, 2003

Phone butler learns your ways

The Beeb offers insight into the Phone Butler. This phone app learns what calendaring events the user will set and which she does not. The learning how the user thinks is the wonderful part. This could be a nice step forward for artificial intelligence (AI) if it would grasp the fine discriminators.

In the past I have opened up my calendar requests to a coworker to accept and reject invites for me. This was needed as many days I have back-to-back meetings and face-to-face time on my way back from meetings. An application that could do this and respond when there are overlaps in appointments and know which has priority would be great. If it could synch my work and outside life across five machines and devices and four Operating systems and six applications I would be in floating on clouds.

June 17, 2003

San Francisco fixes a landmark and discovers a hidden gem

In the midst of all this new fangled technology and its joy and complication is a story of the San Francisco Ferry Building clock getting repaired. The story and photos are wonderful and bring to heart a piece of San Francisco I dearly miss. I miss a lot about living in and about San Francisco, but there are gems tucked away in the city, much like the clock repair shop, that have an old world charm and feel.

The Washington, DC area is missing much of this tangible work feel. There is a violin repair shop here in Bethesda that has this touch of reality, but many of these places are missing as are the neighborhood that surround these shops. New York is filled with these neighborhoods and tangible trade shops. Many of the operations in the DC area have moved out to the suburbs and strip malls next to tire stores and muffler repair shops in newish stucco boxes built with out character.

When I lived and worked in San Francisco I would take vacation days to get to know San Francisco better. I would choose a neighborhood, sometimes my own (Haight Ashbury and inner Richmond) and spend the day walking, seeing, and hearing the pulse of the neighborhood. I truly enjoyed North Beach as it would take me right to Europe by hearing Italian spoken in shops and apartment windows, the smell of Molinari's, seeing laundry drying on a line between apartment buildings, and having a late morning espresso before lunch. The small stores and shops create the character of the neighborhood and the neighborhoods in San Francisco are distinct and often including small streets with privately owned shops. There was no confusing Clement Street, Haight, North Beach, the Mission, Noe Valley, the Castro, nor many of the other neighborhoods in San Francisco. Each of these areas has their own distinct character and their own hidden gems.

June 16, 2003

Sitting on the porch

We finally picked up some furniture for our sun porch this weekend (more accurately, Joy picked up). This evening we sat in the screen porch and looked out into the yard smelling Magnolia tree blossoms and looking at a rose blossom on a rose plant we did not know we had (we have a great variety of plants that keep color in the yard 9 to 10 months of the year). I brought my dinner outside and ate and took it all in. A little black beans with Sambhar (can be purchased from Terrapin Station Herb Farm topped with cheddar eaten with corn chips was perfect for the cool grey evening listening to the breeze blow through the trees and bushes.

June 15, 2003

Bullfighter from Deloitte Consulting

Saturday's New York Times discusses Deliotte Consulting's Bullfighter a jargon removal tool. This is used to make financial reports and business communication clearer. The application reportedly works much like spell check. The tool even works in PowerPoint, which a well known carrier is the business jargon virus.

June 14, 2003

Trackback hype debunked

Joshua picks up on the trackback conversation, but there are many problems with the comparisons of trackbacks and referrer tracking (I am posting this for clarity not to poke at my friend Joshua and comments are not turned on for his entry or I would post there). It sounds like referrer logs are not set properly in what Joshua is using for a comparison to trackback. It may be that Movable Type is not set to take full advantage of referrers, which is sad. Joshua and the posts he links to explain trackbacks properly.

Of the three comparisons of trackbacks to referrer only one is correct, trackbacks do not require an actual hyperlink to the article to work properly (why one would not have a link to what they are discussing is odd as it is the Web). The other two comments are not correct if referrer logs are setup properly. In my last 100 referrers page I can see exactly what page a link came from (I used Charles Johnson's referrer as a base for mine). If the hyperlink is clicked from a permalink page I can see the exact page the link came from and if it links to my permalinked entry I can have categorical sorting also.

I have not seen a need for trackback on my site my referrer log (real-time) and access log show me exactly what is going on. Oddly there is always a lot of talk about trackback on blogs, but very rarely are they ever used. This may point to a usability problem with trackback. Referrer and access logs on the other hand do not need this extra step for the site owner to get the information.

Once I get unburried with paper work for work and have a clear head that the completion will bring I may implement a referrer version of trackback for public consumption, unless the lazy web does it first.

June 13, 2003

Zeldman's DWwS is a can't put down book for many

Today in my short drive to the Metro (about a mile) I saw two folks walking with Jeffery Zeldman's Designing With Web Standard in hand. One of these folks was walking and reading it. I wanted to reach into my backseat and get my copy to hold up and honk (not a good safety move so I held back by show of oneness).

I personally think this book rocks. This book helps prove I am sane as there are many discussions at work that this book will easily help support the decisions we made to incorporate standards-based Web development. We do not have a user base that permits the use of full XHTML and CSS2, like this site, but it has made maintenance of pages (45,000 to 55,000 pages in all with 8,000 or more done while moving to standards based validation or actually validating).

Jeffery does a wonderful job writing about the whys and hows of Standards based development and design. He also make understanding the benefits very easy to grasp.

This may be the one starter book for Web developers to help them sell Standards-based development or to learn why they should be embracing it and moving forward with learning and using it.

IE on Mac says bu-bye

All around the Web the announcement of the end of development of the MS IE browser (as pointed out by Tantek). Microsoft points to Apple users being better served by Safari, which seems very odd for Microsoft to claim. I am far happier with IE on Mac than I am with it on Windows.

During the redesign of this site to XHTML and CSS for layout and presentation I initially stayed to by the book and standards CSS. It took a couple tweaks to get IE on Mac to display what Camino (formerly Chimera) and other Mozilla variants displayed. I was still using unhacked CSS. When I finally had a look at what was happening from a Windows machine at work IE 6 was way off (the Windows box at home was off line for nearly 6 months as XP Home did not like the DSL connection and the connection speed was a third to half slower than on my Mac.

This experience truly had me appreciative of the work that Tantek and others put into the product. Many of the Microsoft product seem to be better built for the Mac than their Windows counter parts. IE on Mac has definately been a shining star for Microsoft in my opinion.

I still tend to use IE on Mac for online banking and some e-commerce efforts as some site's use javascript or other elements that do not quite function right in other browsers. I have been hoping for an update to catch up in speed of rendering to that of Safari or Camino and to fix a few remaining bugs in how it renders standards based sites (W3C standards not, what Redmond calls standards). Ciao IE.

June 11, 2003

Metheny offers relaxation

I am really enjoying Pat Metheny's new solo recording of him using baritone guitar titled One Quiet Night. (This was one of the items in the ill fated shipment.) The sound quality of the disk is fantastic. The baritone guitar has great breadth and offers a warm depth to the sounds. The music is very relaxing and has shades of New Chautauqua, which is one of my favorite acoustic guitar recordings and may have been the album that got me hooked on acoustic guitar and prepared me for Windham Hill Records. The song Over on 4th Street really brings Chautauqua to mind.

CSS to hover links in paragraph

I know this has been posted everywhere else in the world of those who care about CSS, but I need this at hand for me... CSS to links in paragraphs until a mouse moves over the paragraph. Stuart does a very good job of showing how this works.

UPS finally delivers with no explaination

UPS finally delivered the package today after "resetting the delivery date" 6 days later so that the package was "on time" and did not have to record a problem. No there is no problem having the package near its destination the day before the scheduled delivery is promissed then sending the package 1300 miles in 13 hours and being emphatic the package only went ground. Also emphatic there is not a problem with their system as it did not find a problem with having to change the promissed delivery date. They did not find it a problem that it would take a package five days to travel the same distance it did in 13 hours. UPS did not find it a problem that their customer service would stick to their story that the 1300 mile detour rather than a 25 mile delivery was an "act of God" or a weather problem.

I did find out that UPS does not like to admit they have problems or they actually messed up. They do like saying they are not responsible once the package is in their system, as the system looks out for the package.

June 9, 2003

Of all the choices

We have been reading about items for the babe (known as Junior to us) and trying to make decisions about what is best. There seem to be hundreds if not thousands of choices with everything. I do think we have found one pacifier we like. Now to find who sells these things.

June 8, 2003

Good Logo design review

In my Web travels this weekend I came across GoodLogo, a design review of product logos. The site states about itself:

In the era of multimedia like television and internet and the ever smaller getting competitive gap between companies, image is everything. On the internet for instance a company is almost completely presented by graphics and texts. No longer not only the performance of a product or service is the most important thing. The look&feel and the image of using and being seen with this product or service is just as important. For this and for some people a lot more reasons, the logo of a company and its overall branding is very much important.

By buying for example a car you're not just buying the car and its performance and luxurious interior, you also buy yourself an image created by good branding of marketeers and of course designers. These days a company without clear and clean branding won't last as long as it did posess these elements.

Visitors to the site can vote on their favorites. The site is based in the Netherlands so there is a good mix of European and American centric brands. The American brands seem to have higher rankings than the Euro-brands, which could mean more Americans are voting and are familiar with their home brands, or Europeans prefer American brands. The site offers "design cases" on some brands, but the reviews are rather sparse and left me wanting more. I'll be back.

Kevin Fox lifts the covers on his redesign

Following a current trend of public redesign process by designers, Kevin Fox puts his laundry out to air. I did part of my redesign in public, but not to the extent Kevin is doing (or Zeldman or Joshua Kaufman has been doing). Even post redesign overviews and commontaries are helpful.

Kevin is showing the steps many of us go through as a professionals. His analysis of audience usage patterns and wireframes are very helpful first steps that will frame the decisions made down the road. Many of us consider these the most important steps, but many more important steps will follow.

Maybe I should post the wireframes for this redesign. I think I ended up straying from the wireframes a bit as the header came to life one night and changed many things.

June 7, 2003

Photo galleries from September 2001

September 2001 was wonderful and a little hectic, to say the least. Hence, I have just posted three new galleries of photos from my trip to San Francisco in September 2001. Posted are People, Places & Things, Flowers, and Architecture. These are some of the 450 pictures taken on that trip. The galleries will get a little more tweaking to improve browsing structures, but they are there to enjoy.

This process of posting was eased as I finally turned on the Windows file sharing in Mac OS X, which even works with XP Home. I can now view the directories on my TiBook from the PC. This allowed me the ability to pull files to the PC and build Adobe Photo Shop Web photo galleries from them. I have build the photo libraries on the Mac using iPhoto, but the PS galleries are one of my favorites for layout (not for accessability nor standards compliant). This solution will work until I move Photo Shop to the Mac with version 8.

Gadget dreams

Danger announces a color Hiptop. Many are very excited about this, but some of the usability has me thinking I will go in another direction when my year is up with my black and white Hiptop.

Don't get me wrong I greatly enjoy my Hiptop and the functionality it has given me that no other device has done so far. But, I am now tied to three devices (and I do not have an iPod yet -- you are more than welcome to correct this malady buying it for me from my Amazon wishlist) my regular cellphone (nearly ubiquitous connectivity in area, vibrate function is strong enough to get my attention, speakerphone is outstanding, and clear auditory capabilities), Hiptop (for mobile e-mail, Internet, photos), and my Palm powered Handspring Platnium (synched calendar, addressbook, Strip, JungleSoft (city maps), and document readers (for books like Cory's Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom.

No this is not optimal. I am seeking a Palm-based device that can pull pop e-mail and Internet using the phone, possibly through Bluetooth connection, while giving me the Palm apps that can be synched with my laptop and desktop address books and calendar. It would be nice to have the phone synch the addresses and calendar too.

No, I do not like the Hiptop apps for calendar and addressbook. One, they do not synch only have bulk over write capabilities, or at least that I have found. Two, I personally find the Hiptop calandar to be almost completely unusable. I can not move about the calendar easily, nor change and drill into the events from various views. When sitting in meetings and trying to assess my availability for follow-up meetings or deliverables the Hiptop calendar does is not easily usable for that purpose. I am also bugged by the lack of copy and paste. I do like the keyboard and the form factor for typing and surfing, much more than any other handheld I have tried.

I am thinking Sony Clie and a Sony Ericsson phone may be part of the solution. I have read many reports on the location services tied to cellphones, which use triangulation from cell phone towers and their extreme inaccuracy, I may be interested in having GPS on the one of the devices to better use location based services.

Graduation reflection

Last evening Joy and I were walking around our yard examining new buds on plants and examining the state of weeds versus what we believe are plants (difficult to discern at times). We stopped to talk to our neighbor who invited us as a guest to another neighbor's high school graduation party so to meet more neighbors (the last opportunity to meet neighbors was the snow storms). We have great neighbors who take pride in our street and the high school. It was a wonderful gathering and I was very impressed with those who are graduating high school.

Then it hit me, I had more in common with the parents of the high school graduates than the kids. Granted high school graduates are now less than half my age, but it was a shock to my internal self. Growing up I always got a long very well with the adults, part of growing up an only child I suppose. Now I am an adult, but I am lacking that connection to adults.

June 6, 2003

Keith's Navigation Stress Test

I recently restumbled across Keith Instone's Navigation Stress Test. This will help greatly when trying to sort out browsing structure issues when thinking through how well the user from the whole in the eaves. This is a quick mental jog to ensure the user can find what they are looking for, which will help the site owner's whuffie

The user from the drainpipe

Jeff Lash has posted an on target article at Digital Web, How did you get here? Designing for visitors who don't enter through the home page. This has been issue for to encourage clients to look in their access logs. Most often 40 to 70 percent of a whole site's traffic has their entry point to the site at some other point than the front page. Many clients only think that people enter their site through a home page. The early Web years placed an insane amount of focus on the home page.

I have talked to Jeff about this a while back and he had the same experience with clients and in-house sponsors. Part of the change is eternal search has become much better. Many users head to Google to find what they are seeking rather than going to endpoint.com and clicking from their home page.

This focus shift requires sites to have browsing structures for their users. Test with outside users who are not familiar to the site by starting them in the middle. Check heuristics for each section and page. Does the user know where they are? Can the user find other related information?

Jeff nails this topic, which has more room to grow. Go read.

Testing HTML validation of output of tools

Knopf offers a componarison of how well Help Authoring Tools create HTML. The testing includes compactness of code, but even better is validating the output against the W3C. Dreamweaver MX does quite well in the testing. It would be good to expand the testing to some of the other tools, like FrontPage and GoLive.

UPS gets worse

The UPS snafu gets better. Today I tried following up with UPS, twice. I called during lunch to check where UPS though my package was. When they said it was put on a truck in Texas to be shipped to me I complained. They said it was a ground package so it had to be shipped ground and maybe it really was not in Texas. I asked how it would not be in Texas if it scanned three times in Texas (once in Fort Worth, and twice in Mesquite). I asked to speak to the supervisor, but after a wait I got the same person back who said it seemed the package would be out for delivery that afternoon. (It was not and that was the second time I had been lied to by UPS representatives in this mess.) The person asked if I could give my zip code to get a better time estimate. The person appologized as they had to "say the numbers outloud as they typed because the numbers get confused from their brain to their fingers".

I got home after the promissed delivery time this evening and their was no package. I called customer service again. To check on the package (the UPS tracking system on-line provides the exact same information customer service gives you) I called "customer service" again. This time they confirmed that the package was actually in Texas and was put on a truck to get to Maryland. This would take six days to get to me as that was the shipping time from Texas to Maryland for a ground package. I asked if the package could travel the 1300 miles in 13 hours like it had on June 4th. Customer Service said that was not possible for a ground package. I was told repeatedly that six days is the travel time for a package going from Texas to Maryland. When I pointed out the package was in Maryland two days ago and less than 25 miles from the delivery point, the customer service person returned to their script and said the package must have been rerouted because of bad weather or an act of God. I wanted to know what bad weather would cause the package to go from 25 miles from deliver to 1300 miles from delivery and an act of God would have been reported in the paper. At no point did UPS take any responsibility for the package getting mis-routed. I did get told a few times UPS only has the information in their database and they do not know where the package actually is and do not have control over where the package goes. I was told that UPS customer service can not identify a misrouted package only the computer system can identify a misrouted package and the computer did not see anything wrong with the package going to Texas after being 25 miles from the delivery site on the promissed delivery date. I asked the person on the other end of the phone if she saw a problem with a package being 1300 miles after it had been 25 miles from delivery to her. She started reading from the script. I asked her to stop reading the script and asked if calling customer service could correct the missrouted package. She said no customer service could not do that as their system did not show a problem. I pointed out that I was a customer with a problem with UPS service and wanted assistance. The script reading ensued again. I asked her to stop again. She did, I asked if it was customer service that I called as I was not getting any help and I was a customer with a problem. There was a very long silence. She said yes it was customer service very quitely and she appologized that she could not help me. That was a first for UPS, an appology. I asked who I at UPS could help, she said their was no over riding their system and there was nobody in the company that could do anything to help.

Nobody at UPS that I have talked to seems to think there is any problem with a package being very close to the delivery point then 1300 miles away on the delivery day. Very odd and a very sad state for what was a decent company.

June 5, 2003

CSS2 Browser support matrix

Mac Edition offers a Abridged Guide to CSS2 Support that documents in a matrix which browsers support what. Keep in mind that Gecko is Mozilla, which is Netscape 6 and up as well as Firebird (an insanely fast and standards compliant browser). It is also good to note that Gecko-based browsers render the same regardless of operating system, unlike Internet Explorer, which is different depending on operating systems. The matrix also includes how the browsers hold up to various hack tests, most of the test are for box model layout (Tantek and Owen Briggs tests included).

Inside the design process with Doug Bowman

Doug Bowman provides an insanely excellent essay on the design process behind his Zen Garden offering. This is an insanely wonderful description of the thought process that goes into wonderful design. Doug has all the proper steps, which is wonderful to see. If you want to become a graphic Web designer, it takes more than knowing PhotoShop, (X)HTML, CSS, Flash, etc. it takes understanding the process and how to approach each need to solve a problem or fill a need. This really illustrates the information design profession on for the Web.

UPS deserves new dented logo

This is now the third time in one year that UPS has screwed up a package shipment. This one takes the cake (the last one was delivery attempts that were never made). I have been waiting patiently for my Zeldman's Designing With Web Standards and Kuniavsky 's Observing the User Experience: A Practitioner's Guide to User Research to arrive. I ordered from the wonderful Amazon and took free shipping. This lottery shot caused UPS (they have a dented package for a logo for a reason) to get involved.

It seems that the package was 20 miles or so from delivery to me last night at 11:10 pm. Since the package was in Maryland last night I though an attempt would have been made today. No! Last night the package took a magical trip to Texas. The package is still in Texas. I called UPS and they would not take responsibility for their mistake. They would not appologize until I pointed out that is usually the role of customer service. Not only did UPS' customer service fail horribly, UPS does not seem to have the ability to fix their mistakes. UPS said I had to wait 6 more days as it was a ground shipment. The package made it from Maryland to Texas in about 12 hours and there is no way to get it back (not even on a plane) in less than 6 days. UPS has no idea how the package made it from Maryland to Texas, nor how it made it there so quickly. I suggested a similar miracle should happen to fix their mistake, but UPS stated they do not have the capability to do that.

Why does anybody trust UPS with their packages? Why does anybody trust UPS with their money in the stock market? I bet Enron could even fix their mistakes.

By the way, Amazon bent over backwards appologizing and offering what they could to ensure I would be a repeat customer. Nearly the same thing happened with UPS and me with a Barnes and Noble shipment five years ago. Neither UPS nor B&N would accept responsibility and pointed their finger at the other. I cancelled my shipment. Then I pulled the company account (where I was working) from B&N and put it with Amazon and Fat Brain, until B&N bought Fat Brain. Amazon has yet to let me down with customer service, or anything else for that matter.

Social computing needs more than chat

I was awake at an hour only God, ravers, and vampires would love this morning and stumbled across Bill Thompson's BBC article about social computing needing to be more than chat. I went to bed after I read this then thought I may have dreamt the article, and did not know where I had read it. The article brings the recent hype about social software down to earth as it was and has been a discussion point in many things Internet since the late 1980s and early 1990s. Bill does suggest we may have evolved enough to discuss the social changes that are brought about in a digitally networked world without discussion of packets and protocols.

This article also jumps into the attention ideas get when published in a weblog as compared to an academic research paper. Bill's perspective is the lack of research into what has been discovered and written about previously is detrimental to social software and networking moving forward. This resonates with those who have liberal education backgrounds that have been taught to seek out the fountainhead of an idea and find what others have communicated so to build upon experiences rather than offer up a "me too" or a "that was my idea" (20 years or centuries after it was common thought).

June 2, 2003

Finding Nemo well worth tracking down

Yesterday we went and saw Finding Nemo, which is a greatly entertaining movie. Much like the first few minutes of any Pixar movie we were amazed at the quality of the ditial elements. This time it was the water that was amazing. Soon the movie gets beyond just being stunningly amazing and sits right down into a solidly entertaining movie.

After watching Matrix Reloaded last weekend we really appreciated the extra time that is spent on Pixar movies, just getting it right, well getting it near perfect. Reloaded was good, but not outstanding and definately did not live up to the quality of story telling, editing, or special effects in the first Matrix. Nemo on the other hand was just stunning and the computer graphics are extremely well done.

We are going back to Nemo next weekend with two 6 (nearly 7) year old boys and one 3 year old girl. It will be a joy to watch it with them. We are already planning when we need to tactfully take the 3 year old for bathroom breaks. This last viewing was not really full as it was 11 on Sunday morning, but there were enough kids to add to our entertainment. There are some points where there is adult humor that gets those over 15 laughing and the kids give curtesy laughs. There are times when the young characters in the Nemo start singing and the kids in the audience start chiming in, very cute.

June 1, 2003

Usability of users who listen to Web sites

Ginny Redish and Mary Frances Theofanos have written Observing Users Who Listen to Web Sites article for the STC Usability SIG Newsletter. This article is a great insight into how blind and partially sited individuals interact with Web Sites that are being read to them by devices. This is a must read article.

This article helps developers understand how auditory reader users consume information. There are many similarities to users how use their eyes, but some of the devices we commonly use to assist auditory readers, like skip navigation, are not used as many developers think. The accessibility assistive technologies are still needed and still requested, as thie article points out. This article provides a great insight for those people who do not have a sight challenged user to learn from and to test their products with. Those who do not actually test their work or have never seen their work tested can only guess what is going on. This article helps developers get insight that helps us develop for accessibility from step one, which is where we must be thinking of accessibility.

What is up with edesign mag

It is looking like edesign mag is dead. The last two issues have not materialized, on-line or in print. Their calendar is stuck with March events upcoming. This all leads to a big bummer. I hope they are working out bugs or some other issues, as I really enjoy the publication. There are other graphic design magazines that I have read for years, but none that captures the electronic or digital media as well. The other options still treat electronic media as a new thing (which it is in relative years) rather than a fully integrated and stand alone industry. It would be a big bummer if edesign is lost is the dust.

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