Elsewhere archive

I regularly find interesting links on the web, which I collect on del.icio.us), a website for storing and sharing links. Feel free to add me to your network and/or subscribe to my links.

Sat, 01/03/2008 - 2:01pm.

TED2008: Visual blogging

A completely different way to tell a story: two internet artists are live blogging TED2008, using Autocad and Wacom’s, and presenting their visual work using giant multitouch displays.

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Sat, 01/03/2008 - 1:48pm.

St. Gregory’s of Nyssa Episcopal Church

Somehow, there are lots of great looking websites for churches. Here’s another one, with beautiful watermark images that give it a very distinct look & feel.

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Sat, 01/03/2008 - 1:45pm.

Sundance Documentary Film Program (DFP)

What a beautiful website!

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Thu, 28/02/2008 - 11:02pm.

Suggestions for installing the php GD ...

Apparantly, the only way to use the GD library on Leopard is to recompile Apache and PHP, since Apache is compiled as a UB and PHP doesn’t support DSO’s.

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Thu, 28/02/2008 - 7:14pm.

A Guide to Web Typography

"Today we’re going to talk about web typography in terms of a recipe of four fundamental ingredients. " Them being, of course, contrast, size, hierarchy, and space.

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Thu, 28/02/2008 - 7:12pm.

Extensible CSS Interface I: The Foundation

This is the first article in the four-part series, “The Highly Extensible CSS Interface”. By Cameron Moll.

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Wed, 27/02/2008 - 7:03pm.

Navigation Menus: Trends and Examples

As always, an excellent overview of some trends with beautiful examples from Smashing Magazine: ‘speaking-block’ navigation, mac-style, icons, vertical tabs, hand-written and some gems in the experimental section.

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Wed, 27/02/2008 - 7:00pm.

Pro Sharpening in Photoshop CS3 using Smart Filters

Good, detailed article with some excellent suggestions for sharpening images.

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Wed, 27/02/2008 - 6:58pm.

I Repeat: Do Not Listen to Your Users

Instead, make sure your application or website is capturing user activity in a useful, meaningful way so it can be correlated to user feedack.

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Wed, 27/02/2008 - 6:52pm.

N i c k A D | 2 0 0 7

Nice Flash-based portfolio website with unusual navigation: click and hold the mouse to active a menu.

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Wed, 27/02/2008 - 6:48pm.

Pattern: Refining Search

Good description of the "refining search" (or faceted search) pattern, with lots of video examples and technical advice.

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Wed, 27/02/2008 - 6:43pm.


Multitouch like it isn’t intended – very creative use of two iPhone’s and one Nintendo DS to create music!

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Wed, 27/02/2008 - 6:39pm.

The Drupal i18n Saga Continues. Here's Drupal 6 i18n!

Looks like the new version of the i18n module will fix most, if not all, of the current shortcomings in Drupal 6.

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Wed, 27/02/2008 - 6:37pm.

UI design for Drupal modules

Drupal modules have generally been developer-driven instead of user-driven. Glad to see some usability experts are now lending a helping hand, check out these great examples!

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Wed, 27/02/2008 - 6:26pm.

Social Publishing ≠ Social Networking - So What Is It?

The term social publishing is more descriptive of what Drupal does than Web 2.0. Interesting concept.

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Wed, 27/02/2008 - 6:00pm.

How to recreate Silverback’s Parallax

"Parallax scrolling is a psuedo-3D effect often used in side scrolling games to create depth. In this article Clearleft lead designer Paul Annett explains how he used the effect to great success on their newly launched Silverback site."

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Wed, 27/02/2008 - 4:35pm.

The Realm of Sociality: Notes on the Design of Social Software

"The paper’s main contribution to the field consists of the theoretical work on the sociality based conceptual model, identifying if and to what degree software systems can trigger social behavior, and the design framework that stretches beyond the more t

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Tue, 26/02/2008 - 12:24pm.

Applied Empathy: A Design Framework for Human Needs and Desires

"This third and final part of the series shows how this design framework maps to a variety of well-known products and experiences and illustrates how this framework can be put to practical use."

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Tue, 26/02/2008 - 12:20pm.

CSS Sprite generator

Handy (Open Source) tool to generate CSS sprites from multiple images, to optimise front-end coding by reducing the number of HTTP requests.

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Mon, 25/02/2008 - 9:02am.

Challenges for the CMS of Tomorrow and its Developers

This talk was easily one of the highlights in the Drupal devroom at FOSDEM 2008, a good look at social and economical theory and how it applies to social networking sites.

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Mon, 25/02/2008 - 8:59am.

How to Create Beautiful and Elegant HTML Lists Using CSS

A good look at default rendering across browsers, and some methods to get a consistent and beautiful look.

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Mon, 25/02/2008 - 8:56am.

50 Questions to Evaluate the Quality of Your Website

Handy reference list

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Mon, 25/02/2008 - 8:53am.

Free Vector Icon Set 1 - Containing 25 Icons

Some lovely gems here, and they’re free to use and modify for your own site.

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Thu, 21/02/2008 - 4:26pm.

Engaging User Creativity: The Playful Experience

“An often overlooked, under-appreciated, and rarely measured component of user experience is playfulness. “

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Thu, 21/02/2008 - 11:11am.

Navigating by Color in Maps by COLOURlovers

Some great examples of maps that use colour for navigation.

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Thu, 21/02/2008 - 11:10am.

Spatial Navigation and Opera

"Jan said "directional navigation works so well on mobile devices, I’m hoping it will get built into a browser someday." What he apparently didn’t realize is that at least one browser already implements spatial navigation. That browser is Opera. "

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Thu, 21/02/2008 - 11:08am.

The linguistic commandline, by Aza Raskin

“Unfortunately, the same thing is also true for the GUI: It’s matured, but hasn’t fundamentally changed in the last 23 years. We are still stuck juggling windows in a time-wasting dance to find the application we need to get a task done …”

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Thu, 21/02/2008 - 10:59am.

Videos of Interaction 08 presentations now online

A list of all videos of the presentations of the recent Interaction 08 conference. Inspiring and educational material!

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Thu, 21/02/2008 - 10:41am.

Nebonmedia, from idea to design

What a great portfolio, simple, elegant, showing off excellent graphic, coding and interaction design skills.

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Thu, 14/02/2008 - 7:57pm.

Drupal 6.0 released

With lots of usability improvements, multi-language support, new API’s and a fine round of theming improvements. Too badd I can’t upgrade yet since the two most important modules, CCK and Views, aren’t ready.

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Tue, 12/02/2008 - 3:36pm.

Nieuwe LUX-site gelanceerd!

I worked on this as theme developer.

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Tue, 12/02/2008 - 3:29pm.

Wikipatterns - Wiki Patterns

"Wikipatterns.com is a toolbox of patterns & anti-patterns, and a guide to the stages of wiki adoption."

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Tue, 12/02/2008 - 3:24pm.

Digg’s Design Dilemma Redux

"Digg continues to improve their interface to counteract gaming. How they have evolved the site over the last year provides good design insight for anybody working on social web apps."

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Tue, 12/02/2008 - 2:42pm.

TED Talks | Howard Rheingold: Way-new collaboration (video)

"Howard Rheingold talks about the coming world of collaboration, participatory media and collective action — and how Wikipedia is really an outgrowth of our natural human instinct to work as a group. As he points out, humans have been banding together to

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Tue, 12/02/2008 - 2:41pm.

The Four Viral App Objectives (a.k.a., “Social network application virality 101?)

On the way viral app growth can be stimulated, and the methodology to measure it. Lessons from a Stanford class on using persuasive technology on Facebook applications.

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Tue, 12/02/2008 - 2:37pm.

I Have No Words & I Must Design

"As game designers, we need a way to analyze games, to try to understand them, and to understand what works and what makes them interesting. We need a critical language. And since this is basically a new form, despite its tremendous growth and staggering

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Tue, 12/02/2008 - 2:36pm.

Seek or Show: Two Design Paradigms for Lots of Data

"Here are two design paradigms for handling large amounts of data, not to be confused (or combined) as web design meets desktop in rich Internet applications. "

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Tue, 12/02/2008 - 2:34pm.

Touchless human/machine user interface for 3D navigation

"Elliptic Labs is paving the way for use of computers and screens without touching, simply with the finger or hand in the air. Manipulate images, play computer games, control robotics or use touch screens without touching or without holding a hardware con

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Tue, 12/02/2008 - 2:27pm.

Usability Highlights from 2007

Interesting snippet: "Gaze plots from our recent eye-tracking studies also showed users skipping over important items in a too-long list of links or abandoning long lists of links altogether in favor of other page navigation."

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Tue, 12/02/2008 - 2:26pm.

Stop sharing spreadsheets, start collecting information

New feature in Google Docs: creating and sharing forms in spreadsheets, and mailing users to fill them out without registering.

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Tue, 12/02/2008 - 2:23pm.

The Immutable Laws of Web Design and Development

Nice collection of quotes and laws; ideal for use in presentations or papers.

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Tue, 12/02/2008 - 2:21pm.

The Importance of “People like Me” features

“People are more likely to react to people who they perceive as being like them. “People like me features are one of the most promising ways to help people find content that is interesting to them.”

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Tue, 12/02/2008 - 2:08pm.

Directional keyboard navigation could improve PC-based browsing too

Very interesting discussion on the differences between the tab-based keybard navigation and directional keyboard. Although implemented in mobile devices and Opera, no large browser offers this yet.

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Thu, 07/02/2008 - 7:24pm.

Drupal Primary Menus with Better Active Trail

Handy little snippet to add to template.php so the active menu will keep the class active.

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Sat, 02/02/2008 - 5:10pm.

Vera Hollink

This researcher has various publications on using intelligent algorithms to automatically adjust the navigation of websites to users behaviour.

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Sat, 02/02/2008 - 4:14pm.

OfficeMax Reinvents Navigation

Taking a cue from address books, the navigation is a simple alphabet with fly-out menu of all products that are sold.

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Sat, 02/02/2008 - 4:07pm.

TED: Jaw-dropping Photosynth demo

"Using photos of oft-snapped subjects (like Notre Dame) scraped from around the Web, Photosynth (based on Seadragon technology) creates breathtaking multidimensional spaces with zoom and navigation features that outstrip all expectation. "

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Sat, 02/02/2008 - 3:46pm.

Like A Super Hero

“Humans weren’t made for scrolling and searching. We were made for zooming.” Newsweek article on Seadragon, the experimental zooming interface acquired by Microsoft.

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Sat, 02/02/2008 - 3:12pm.

WWYUIGD? Two Guidelines for Writing Hell's Best CSS

Rant against YUI’s non-semantic classnames: "Guideline One: Meaningless numbers are great. Guideline Two: Words bad, Acronyms Good, Meaningless Letters Best"

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Sat, 02/02/2008 - 3:09pm.

A tour of Google's new Experimental Search. Verdict: awesome

“At Google’s new experimental search features page, a total of five projects are available for users to try: Alternate view for search results, Keyword suggestions, Keyboard shortcuts, Left-hand search navigation, and Right-hand contextual search navigation.”

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Sat, 26/01/2008 - 12:34pm.

Joomla! 1.5 Overview

Overview of all the changes in Joomla! 1.5, amongst which are a much improved user interface, better separation of application logic and templates, and the introduction of the MVC pattern for the core code.

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Sun, 20/01/2008 - 1:14pm.

Subtraction: The Story So Far

Interesting observation: frontenders place too much emphasis on behavioral design, while the Flash communityis mostly concerned with narrative design.

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Sun, 20/01/2008 - 1:11pm.

Theme developer module for Drupal 6

With this module, you can easily look up where you need to change the code of any piece of Drupal’s theme layer: "We have built Firebug for Drupal Theming. "

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Sun, 20/01/2008 - 1:09pm.

jQuery 1.2.2: 2nd Birthday Present

Speed improvements and bug fixes in this new minor release of jQuery.

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Sun, 20/01/2008 - 1:08pm.

Flickr: The Commons

Collaborative tagging the Library of Congres’s photo collection. Note that this collection has a new copyright, which is "no known copyright." Does that mean it’s free to use?

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Sun, 20/01/2008 - 1:04pm.

Information Design for the New Web

Includes an interesting section on how navigation has changed: "Many of these new ways to navigate involve providing visitors with tools for discovery while others present a visual representation of what is important, offering multi-tasking, time-starved

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Sun, 20/01/2008 - 1:02pm.

Adobe Flash Tutorials

Extensive list of Flash tutorials by Smashing Magazine.

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Sun, 20/01/2008 - 12:58pm.

Zooming User Interface

Wikipedia article on the ZUI: "In computing, a Zooming User Interface or Zoomable User Interface (ZUI, pronounced Zoo-ee) is a graphical environment where users can change the scale of the viewed area in to see more detail or less."

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Sun, 20/01/2008 - 12:56pm.

Coding Horror: Zoomable Interfaces

Short overview of ZUI concepts, advantages and the more widely known examples.

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Sun, 20/01/2008 - 12:51pm.

Zoom Metaphor - OLPC

The OLPC uses a zoomable user interface for network browsing.

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Sun, 20/01/2008 - 12:48pm.

Browse Goods

Great example of a zoomable user interface. The hierarchical shop is easily navigated by zooming in on the big boxes. Zooming and panning make sure you can drill down quickly while maintaining a high-level overview at the same time.

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Sun, 20/01/2008 - 12:45pm.

Big Ideas come out of Big Pencils

Interesting website that explores a ZUI navigation. The pencil is like a narrative line throughout the website, although its rather obtrusive and distracting after a while.

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Sun, 20/01/2008 - 12:44pm.

Gestural Zoom and Pan

"This page presents an unconventional interface for zooming and panning. Applications include drawing tools (Photoshop, Illustrator, etc) and Zooming UIs (Google Maps, BrowseGoods, Archy, etc)."

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Tue, 15/01/2008 - 7:37pm.

ZUI Specification

The specification for Jef Raskin’s Zoomable User Interface.

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Tue, 15/01/2008 - 7:35pm.

Basic information structures

Describing the various ways a navigation structure can be setup for websites.

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Tue, 15/01/2008 - 7:34pm.

10 Best Intranets of 2008

Short overview of the 10 best intranets, with some trends and a teaser to the full report, by Jakob Nielsen.

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Fri, 11/01/2008 - 11:26am.

Playgrounds for Data: Inspiration from NYTimes.com Interactives

Jared Spool analyses some interactive media kits from the NYTimes.com and deduces some general principles from them.

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Fri, 11/01/2008 - 11:17am.

Adobe Photoshop Tutorials - Best Of

It’s too bad the holidays are over, because digging through these wonderful tutorials can easily eat up all your time.

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Fri, 11/01/2008 - 11:15am.

SpoolCast: Making Data Engaging

Jared Spool has an intersting talk with the New York Times Interactive Design Team, who are responsible for beautiful interactive applications that accompany the news, such as the NYTimes Debate Analyzer.

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Thu, 10/01/2008 - 12:44pm.

Tables - Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better

Using display:inline-block and various browser-specific hacks to create a floated image gallery that remains on a grid.

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Wed, 09/01/2008 - 2:55pm.


Interesting concept: a 3d way of browsing, sort of like iTunes Coverflow on steroids.

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Tue, 08/01/2008 - 3:56pm.

Many Eyes

Webservice by IBM that allows you to create and embed data visualisations.

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Thu, 03/01/2008 - 1:50pm.

Facebook, Lifelets, and Designer Responsibility

SNS are increasingly faced with social design issues, but who’s solving them? And who should solve them?

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Thu, 03/01/2008 - 1:32pm.

Jellyvision: The Jack Principles

These principles can help to script natural-feeling, interactive conversations with machines. Very useful for textual interfaces, such as SMS or IRC.

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Thu, 03/01/2008 - 1:28pm.

Journal—Hacky holidays on OS X

A nice write-up by Jeremy on how to get your AMP-stack working on Mac Leopard.

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Mon, 24/12/2007 - 7:35pm.

Yahoo! Design Innovation Team

Nice interaction design experments from Yahoo!

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Mon, 24/12/2007 - 7:33pm.

Internet Explorer 8 and Acid2: A Milestone

"As a team, we’ve spent the last year heads down working hard on IE8. Last week, we achieved an important milestone that should interest web developers. IE8 now renders the “Acid2 Face” correctly in IE8 standards mode."

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Mon, 24/12/2007 - 7:30pm.

Wiggly Wobbly Blobs?

A usability critique of Youtube’s related video visualization: "Needless to say, this kind of interaction is called "Mystery Meat Navigation" and is known to be the number one thing "YOU SHOULD NOT DO" in terms of "interaction design" and usability."

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Mon, 24/12/2007 - 7:27pm.

A few rough notes on knols

"They tend to talk as though they’re building the library of Alexandria or the great Encyclopédie, but really they’re describing an advanced advertising network of Google-exclusive content. "

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Mon, 24/12/2007 - 7:18pm.

Mouseovers in Navigation

This week, Brian Christiansen and I discuss interactive mouseover techniques for navigation. Are they a good idea when it comes to actually using your site? Based on our testing, we don’t think so.

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Mon, 24/12/2007 - 7:14pm.

The importance of using lists for navigation

Nice overview of arguments for list-based HTML navigation.

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Thu, 20/12/2007 - 8:38pm.


The official website of Fronteers, the Dutch organisation for professionalisation of front-end development, has launched. Don’t like the design very much, but the markup is very good and they use jQuery.

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Sun, 16/12/2007 - 4:47pm.

Visitors from belgium @ the bbc

We had a nice chat with Chris during our visit in London.

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Fri, 14/12/2007 - 1:52pm.

Encouraging people to contribute knowledge

It seems like Google is building a Wikipedia competitor.

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Thu, 13/12/2007 - 2:58pm.

Perl on Rails - Why the BBC Fails at the Internet

"The problem is that the BBC doesn’t control its own technical infrastructure."

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Thu, 13/12/2007 - 2:52pm.

The Whale Hunt

"A storytelling experiment by Jonathan Harris". Using thousands of photo’s, Harris creates a visually compelling story that reports on a 9-day whale hunt.

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Thu, 13/12/2007 - 2:49pm.

Simile: Semantic web mashups for the rest of us

"I’m not suggesting that ontologies will play no role, but I’ve long believed that we need to evolve toward them from real data that people can create, use interactively, and begin to cross-combine. That’s exactly the approach that Simile is taking.

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Thu, 13/12/2007 - 2:46pm.

Information Design for the New Web

A look at the multiple forms of interaction and engagement that are now available to interaction and web designers with Web 2.0.

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Thu, 13/12/2007 - 2:43pm.

Drag-and-pop, push-and-throw, push-and-pop

An overview of a range of innovative interaction techniques focused on enhancing people’s ability to move content around screens.

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Wed, 12/12/2007 - 12:46pm.

Crayon Physics Deluxe

This is such a great game – draw physical objects to solve puzzles. We played the freeware version of this in class with a smart board, which allows you to sketch the objects with your fingers – it’s an amazing example of a gestural interface.

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Thu, 06/12/2007 - 9:39am.


Unintended forms of play: using the Wii controllers for DJ-ing!

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Wed, 05/12/2007 - 4:40pm.

A Preview of HTML 5

"With the introduction of a range of enhancements to form controls, APIs, multimedia, structure and semantics, HTML 5 promises to give authors more flexibility and greater interoperability."

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Sun, 02/12/2007 - 1:06pm.

Doelgericht ontwerpen

(in Dutch) Goede samenvatting van Coopers’ goal-directed interaction design. "Doelen geven ons een antwoord op de vraag, waarom en hoe gebruikers de website graag zouden willen gebruiken. Voor Interaction Designers kunnen deze doelen houvast geven, om te

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Thu, 29/11/2007 - 11:36am.

Google LatLong: Our Maps

"Starting today, Google Maps supports collaborative map-making, so multiple people can edit the same My Map. "

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Thu, 29/11/2007 - 11:32am.

New magical blue circle on your map

Google’s My Location provides an alternative for GPS – it uses your mobile phone’s proximity to cell towers to determine your (approximate) location. This is exciting and scary at the same time…

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Mon, 26/11/2007 - 6:24pm.


Another design pattern library. This one also provides code examples.

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Mon, 26/11/2007 - 6:06pm.

Dark Roasted Blend: Retro-Future: To The Stars!

For everyone who needs some old-fashioned sci-fi pics for our narrative enquiry research

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Sat, 24/11/2007 - 2:14pm.

Interesting Snippets - a photoset on Flickr

A great photo set (CC-licensed) with interesting quotes and factoids on changing media. Should be required source material for each new media teacher! :-)

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Thu, 22/11/2007 - 12:36pm.


These useful symbols can be used to identify HTML elements in a Photoshop or Illustrator webdesign page.

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Thu, 22/11/2007 - 11:45am.


What a great concept: ending world hunger while improving your language skills: "For each word you guess right, we donate 10 grains of rice through the United Nations to end world hunger. "

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From the portfolio

  • Cover page for my thesis abstract.

About this website

My name is Jeroen Coumans, I'm a freelance web designer, front-end developer and Drupal ninja from the Netherlands. I love to create beautiful, usable and accessible websites. On this website, you can find my portfolio as well as my personal weblog. Interested in hiring me? I'd love to hear from you.

After completing my BA in Arts and Culture I'm now doing a MA in Communication and Multimedia Design. More …


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