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.

Tue, 20/11/2007 - 7:26pm.

Understanding Web Design

"Web design is the creation of digital environments that facilitate and encourage human activity; reflect or adapt to individual voices and content; and change gracefully over time while always retaining their identity."

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Tue, 20/11/2007 - 7:15pm.

Do Canonical Web Designs Exist?

According to Joshua Porter, they do. The difference is that, unlike graphic design, web design has to be experienced in order to be judged. You can’t appreciate it on the graphic design alone, the interaction design and experience is what counts.

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Tue, 20/11/2007 - 11:45am.

The Future of Reading (A Play in Six Acts)

Mark Pilgrim on the negative issues of the Kindle: DRM restricts your freedom, makes you dependent on one provider for hardware and services, and makes you give up your privacy.

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Tue, 20/11/2007 - 11:42am.

The B-List: Let's talk about frameworks (again)

A very insightful article on the pros and cons of using snippets, libraries and frameworks.

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Tue, 20/11/2007 - 11:36am.

Kindle: Amazon's New Wireless Reading Device

Product page of Kindle, featuring demo video’s, feature lists and reviews. It’s interesting how Amazon positions this device directly at analog book readers, by demonstrating its uses outside and in your daily life.

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Tue, 20/11/2007 - 11:25am.


"So the Kindle proposition is this: You pay for downloadable books that can’t be printed, can’t be shared, and can’t be displayed on any device other than Amazon’s own $400 reader — and whether they’re readable at all in the future is solely a

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Mon, 19/11/2007 - 1:30pm.

Theocacao: Satisfying UI Design is Often Illogical

"Usability tests and theories about interaction are tools. Very useful tools, but still just tools — not purposes onto themselves. The real goal is user satisfaction, and some of that is really illogical and messy."

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Mon, 19/11/2007 - 1:19pm.

The Future of Reading

"Amazon’s Jeff Bezos already built a better bookstore. Now he believes he can improve upon one of humankind’s most divine creations: the book itself."

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Mon, 19/11/2007 - 1:10pm.

Ask Tog - Keyboard vs. The Mouse, pt 1

"We’ve done a cool $50 million of R & D on the Apple Human Interface. We discovered, among other things, two pertinent facts:

  • Test subjects consistently report that keyboarding is faster than mousing.
  • The stopwatch consistently proves mousing is faster than keyboarding."

(From Bruce Bruce Tognazzini’s research for Apple’s human interface guidelines from 1989).

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Mon, 19/11/2007 - 12:57pm.

Web2Summit: Make Life More Like Games

"Game designer Jane McGonigal’s session this morning had a thought-provoking twist: instead of thinking about how to make virtual reality more like real life, think about making real life more like games. Why? Because games, networked games specifically, work better than real life."

This principle is clearly visible in popular web 2.0 sites today, such as flickr.com, youtube and facebook.

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Mon, 19/11/2007 - 12:55pm.


New social structures for new (networked) texts. Comment press is a Wordpress extension that allows networked dialogue structured around texts. This paper analysis its development as a possible venue for the future of electronic texts.

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Mon, 19/11/2007 - 12:35pm.

Videos of people using assistive technology | 456 Berea Street

As so adequatly demonstrated at @media05, the best way to make a case for accessibility is to demonstrate its use. Short of such a performance, these videos are the next best thing.

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Mon, 19/11/2007 - 12:32pm.

Nate Koechley: “The YUI CSS Foundation”

"In this 40-minute presentation, Nate takes you on a detailed tour of the YUI CSS foundation, its philosophy, and its usage."

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Mon, 19/11/2007 - 12:29pm.

65 Excellent Flash Designs

Lots of inspiration here, graphic-wise and from an interaction design point of view.

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Mon, 19/11/2007 - 12:24pm.

Multi-Touch for Your Laptop

As the title says. It’s still in the prototype phase, and works with infrared camperas attached to the back of the screen to detect movement.

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Mon, 19/11/2007 - 12:18pm.

Content Protectionism

The TV series industry faces the same tough choices as the music industry – to embrace the opportunities and constraints of a new medium of distribution, or die fighting.

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Sun, 18/11/2007 - 9:37pm.

Building a Data-Backed Persona

"Web analytics can provide a helpful starting point to generate data-backed personas; this article presents an informal 5-step process for building a “persona of the people.” These personas won’t be as robust as the ones based on fieldstudies though.

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Sun, 18/11/2007 - 9:32pm.

'Navigatiesysteem' voor blinden en slechtzienden

(In dutch) "Blinden en slechtzienden kunnen in de toekomst gebruikmaken van een systeem dat hun onderweg informatie geeft over de route die zij afleggen. "

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Sun, 18/11/2007 - 9:31pm.

Crappy Personas vs. Robust Personas

Personas should be based on solid research and fieldwork, not on internal guess work (in that case, you’re better off without them).

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Sun, 18/11/2007 - 9:29pm.

Humanized > Weblog: Songza Launch

Songza: a music search engine and interface showcase from Humanized, featuring goodies such as in habituatable pie-menus, only two icons, high density of content and a correspondingly low amount of interaction; undo instead of warnings; and transparent me

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Sun, 18/11/2007 - 9:27pm.

Personas Suck

Andy Budd says that the proper use of personas depends on the context, just as any other design tool.

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Sun, 18/11/2007 - 2:05pm.

Veer: Ideas: Fancy

Absolutely lovely type accompanied by a very inspiring slideshow.

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Sun, 11/11/2007 - 10:45am.

Persona-lizing a site

"Personas take web marketers beyond what they think they know about customers and into shoppers’ heads and hearts"

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Sun, 11/11/2007 - 10:44am.

Ethical Search Engine Marketing and Web Site Usability

"Should we look to trends in search engine development and SEO techniques to persuade web owners that simplest is best for website usability and ‘findability’? My instinctive reaction to that question is “NO!”. Designing and marketing for the low

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Sun, 11/11/2007 - 10:33am.

Stacks Overlays

Make the Leopard stacks a bit more useful with these overlay icons.

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Wed, 07/11/2007 - 7:43pm.

How Useful are User Interface Patterns?

"In my experience, time is usually better spent working to solve the problem than navigating through a pattern library in search of a ready-made solution." The alternative is to compile your own, informal library of interface solutions.

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Tue, 06/11/2007 - 1:58pm.

Google’s Social Design Best Practices - Bokardo

A nice list of best practices of social design dos and don’ts, found in Google’s OpenSocial documents.

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Tue, 06/11/2007 - 1:56pm.

Where's my Gphone?

"Android is the first truly open and comprehensive platform for mobile devices. It includes an operating system, user-interface and applications — all of the software to run a mobile phone, but without the proprietary obstacles that have hindered mobile innovation.”

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Tue, 06/11/2007 - 1:45pm.

Vodafone Receiver

A wealth of academic articles on mobile phones and their (social) uses.

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Tue, 06/11/2007 - 1:40pm.

WordPress 2.3 New Taxonomy

"One of the more important added features for WordPress 2.3 was native tagging which required a completely revamped taxonomy schema. " Their taxonomy/terms database scheme is very much like the relatively old, but very powerful implementation in Drupal.

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Tue, 06/11/2007 - 1:31pm.

Three Important Benefits of Personas

This article describes very nicely how designers can use persona’s to prevent the classic mistake of ‘grounding’ themselves as the center of the design process.

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Mon, 05/11/2007 - 7:07pm.

The Future of News: How to Survive the New Media Shift

"News organisations cannot continue to ignore the global shift from institutionally controlled media to user controlled media. They have to redefine their processes and face the obvious question: Do we still need old media for news?"

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Fri, 02/11/2007 - 2:46pm.

Drupal Wins Overall 2007 Open Source CMS Award

While the best PHP CMS went to Joomla!, Drupal took the best overall CMS in this Packt Publishing contest.

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Fri, 02/11/2007 - 1:34pm.

Interaction criticism in action

Interesting design critique that applies Heidegger’s concepts of present-at-hand and ready-at-hand to the disturbed interaction flow of http://www.infinityart.ro/.

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Fri, 02/11/2007 - 12:24pm.

Tagline Generator - Timeline-based Tag Clouds

A little gimmicky, but interesting nonetheless: "Tagline Generator by Chirag Mehta is a simple PHP codebase that lets you generate chronological tag clouds from simple text data sources without manually tagging the data entries."

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Fri, 02/11/2007 - 12:13pm.

OpenSocial - Google Code

The significance of this can’t be understated… "OpenSocial provides a common set of APIs for social applications across multiple websites. With standard JavaScript and HTML, developers can create apps that access a social network’s friends and update fe

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Sat, 27/10/2007 - 12:32pm.


From Mozilla Labs: "Prism is an application that lets users split web applications out of their browser and run them directly on their desktop."

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Fri, 26/10/2007 - 9:18pm.


Dutch Network for interaction designers.

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Thu, 25/10/2007 - 11:27am.

Of forests and trees

Interesting commentary and questions on the poynter study that examined the differences between screen and print newspaper reading: “If newspapers are windows onto the world, what are the consequences of shrinking that window to the size of an ipod screen?” Our class on Experimental Media features an assignment which asks us to come up with possibile answers for this question.

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Thu, 25/10/2007 - 11:21am.

Where Are You Now?

"For digital products and services, the next dimension of user experience we should consider during design is location." Also very relevant for my thesis (navigation on the web)

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Thu, 25/10/2007 - 11:17am.

Webdesign Rules!

(Dutch) Voor opdrachtgevers lijkt dit een zeer nuttig boekje over de mogelijkheden en onmogelijkheden van het Web.

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Thu, 25/10/2007 - 11:15am.

vi.sualize.us: social bookmarking for images

I often search up dozens of images with specific moods, colors or ideas as part of my design research and creative inspiration. This tools enables you to bookmark images and share them. Nice for scrapbooking or visual mappings.

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Thu, 25/10/2007 - 11:11am.

Unlimited Images for Your Content with Drupal and Flickr

Using Flickr as your image manager using a module to bridge between Drupal and Flickr. There’s a nice explanation how it works, yet no link to the actual module (yet)…

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Thu, 25/10/2007 - 11:09am.

Visualize Backtrace | drupal.org

"The Visualize Backtrace module enables you to visualize the sequential order of Drupal function calls for a given page load in both a hierarchical tree flowchart and table format."

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Sun, 21/10/2007 - 3:35pm.

Does Telling Someone to “Click Here” Actually Matter?

Interesting issue: apparently, the click-through rates on meaningless, yet actionable texts, such as "click here", is 8% higher then meaningful, accessible, searchable yet, non-actionable text such as "continue reading".

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Sun, 21/10/2007 - 11:48am.

The Google Maps pushpin meets real life

A very nice example of web navigation entering real life.

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Sun, 21/10/2007 - 10:31am.

Delicious Monster Library

This is a great example of using a different metaphor for ‘navigation’ on the web. Delicious monster is a Mac application that indexes your media – books, movies, music – and presents it in a gorgeous shelf interface. This is its web version.

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Sun, 21/10/2007 - 10:28am.

Web Creep Again

Cross-pollination of web elements to other media, in this case, television news broadcasts. I wonder if they usability-tested this? :-)

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Sun, 14/10/2007 - 6:44pm.

The Graphical Keyboard User Interface

The command line is on a revival as an interaction design principle. This article argues for a marriage of GUI-based and text-based user interface for Firefox, much like applications such as Enso or Quicksilver.

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Sat, 13/10/2007 - 12:24pm.

Color Association in Game Design

"Color is one of the most basic visual components of a game, but what are its psychological effects? Activision’s James Portnow looks at all the pretty colors and their psychological effects as it relates to game design."

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Sat, 13/10/2007 - 12:01pm.

A Brief Message: Arrogance and Humility

I love this brief message by Clay Shirky: “Arrogance without humility is a recipe for high-concept irrelevance; humility without arrogance guarantees unending mediocrity. Figuring out how to be arrogant and humble at once, figuring out when to watch users and when to ignore them for this particular problem, for these users, today, is the problem of the designer.”

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Sat, 13/10/2007 - 11:52am.

User Interface of the Day #1: Dontclick.it

A very good design commentary on the pure hovering interface of Dontclick.it.

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Sat, 13/10/2007 - 11:29am.

JQuery Cycle Plugin

Very nice image slideshow plugin for jQuery, with custom configurable transitions and easing support.

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Thu, 11/10/2007 - 10:52am.

ContextMenu plugin

"ContextMenu is a lightweight jQuery plugin that lets you selectively override the browser’s right-click menu with a custom one of your own."

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Thu, 11/10/2007 - 10:35am.

Reactive Paint

How cool is that – wallpaper that reacts to heat, a painting that react when you touch it, or the daily calendar that fades away during the day.

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Thu, 11/10/2007 - 10:34am.

Cheers to Fronteers

Short introduction to Fronteers, the new organisation of front-end web developers in the Netherlands. By Arjan Eising, board member.

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Thu, 11/10/2007 - 10:32am.

Forget the iPhone. Get a Nintendo DS (Part 1).

"I needed to blow out the candle to solve a puzzle. (…) I blew into the microphone and out went the candle."

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Thu, 11/10/2007 - 10:30am.

Interactive Gestures Pattern Library

A wiki for "the collection and dissemination of gestural interface information and patterns, such as found on such devices as the iPhone and Wii." Very interesting stuff, especially as these devices have become more accessible to a large audience.

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Thu, 11/10/2007 - 10:23am.

The Information Architect as Change Agent

“In this article I argue, with a bit of logic and a bit of experience, that IAs can do their jobs better if they understand organizational change management, even if they don’t need to be change management specialists. I’ll also suggest a variety of concepts and practices that can (hopefully) help IAs in their change agent role, and I promise to throw in something entertaining as well.”

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Thu, 11/10/2007 - 10:10am.

Fronteers - de nieuwe belangenvereniging van front-end ontwikkelaars

(in Dutch) Front-end ontwikkelaars maken de voorkant van een website – HTML, CSS, Javascript, Flash etc. Voor iedere serieuze web ontwikkelaar in het grootste belang om zich hierbij aan te sluiten! (Ik ben lid sinds de oprichting).

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Thu, 11/10/2007 - 10:04am.

iPhone Human Interface Guidelines

"This document introduces you to the iPhone environment and how it shapes the user experience of iPhone content. Then, it explains how to design a superlative user interface for your web content so it displays and works well on iPhone. "

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Thu, 11/10/2007 - 10:03am.

Spread to Enlarge - Designing for iPhone, Wii and Other New Web Devices

How can we use gestural interfaces for the web? More devices are allowing gestural interfaces, should there be more standardization on the interaction paradigms (like copy & paste, or drag & drop)?

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Sun, 07/10/2007 - 10:07am.

Anti-Patterns Talk

"Sometimes it is most instructive to look at design patterns in reverse— as a set of anti-patterns. In this talk, I am exploring the common mistakes that designers & developers make when attempting to craft a rich web experience."

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Sun, 07/10/2007 - 10:06am.


"An open protocol to allow secure API authentication in a simple and standard method from desktop and web applications." Another piece of infrastructure desperately needed to enable an open social graph.

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Sat, 06/10/2007 - 1:56pm.

Ten Ways to Make More Humane Open Source Software

A (very lengthy) discussion of some do’s and dont’s for OSS usability.

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Sat, 06/10/2007 - 1:26pm.

Scrollovers - A New Way of Linking

Cute, but I wonder about its usefulness. However, it does raise the question on wether the traditional way of presenting link hovers is actually the best or most natural way.

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Sat, 06/10/2007 - 12:53pm.

CSS SiteMap

A nice way to visualize a (navigation) list or sitemap.

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Wed, 03/10/2007 - 11:16am.

Grid Layout

"The Grid Layout Javascript enables web-developers to stick to a Grid Layout quickly and simply by including the Grid Layouts Javascript file and simple XHTML code." Of course, built with jQuery.

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Wed, 03/10/2007 - 11:02am.


Really like the design of this site!

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Wed, 03/10/2007 - 10:59am.

Design Shack

"Inspirational CSS, Web 2.0 and Blog Design." Note the well-thought out navigation at the bottom: you can even search by color or layout.

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Fri, 28/09/2007 - 10:47am.

Het ‘menu’ is een combinatie van spraak- en taalstoornissen

"Een hiërarchische techniek als een menu past niet bij de wijze waarop de mens werkt. Verder stelt de gebruikelijke wijze waarop de opties in hoofd- en submenu geordend zijn, een mens niet in staat efficiënt te vinden wat hij zoekt."

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Fri, 28/09/2007 - 10:14am.

The Challenge of Dashboards and Portals

"“In the same way you can create a cost-effective kitchen from a standard components such as cabinets, islands and fittings, it is possible to combine building blocks to create an executive dashboard or enterprise portal to meet your particular needs.

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Fri, 28/09/2007 - 10:13am.

Introduction to the Building Blocks

"Part two now outlines the design principles underlying the building block system, and the simple guidelines for combining blocks together to create any type of tile-based environment."

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Fri, 28/09/2007 - 10:12am.

Building Block Definitions (Containers)

"This story is the third in a series of articles sharing a design framework for dashboards and portals. It describes the Container components of the Building Block system in detail. "

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Fri, 28/09/2007 - 10:09am.

Useful Products with Multi-Touch

"But the problem with most multi-touch concepts is while they look cool, they do not really solve any new problems. Microsoft Surface created something special, not because of the technology (many others had done the same), but because they created a new

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Thu, 27/09/2007 - 11:46am.

Hoe komt het dat computers moeilijk te bedienen zijn?

"Why designers can’t understand their users: developing a systematic approach using cognitive psychology". The thesis of Leonard Verhoef, who provides a cognitive psychologists point of view towards human computer interfacing.

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Tue, 25/09/2007 - 5:52pm.

If I Told You You Had a Beautiful Figure...

Create microformats-based images (with captions and all) and include this Javascript to dynamically add classes based on the image width. This allows you to sensibly style your design.

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Tue, 25/09/2007 - 4:51pm.

2 Handed Document Navigation

Using a touchpad and a mouse together for two-handed document navigation – much like you read a newspaper.

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Tue, 25/09/2007 - 12:52pm.


"Web 2.0 and social software consulting and social interaction design." Lots of articles and whitepapers on the design of social software and interaction.

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Tue, 25/09/2007 - 12:43pm.

Magic Ink: Information Software and the Graphical Interface

A great study on information/visualization/interaction design. This case study of a train widget is awesome – using interactive maps and sentence-based design to pick your train.

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Tue, 25/09/2007 - 12:20pm.

How Do Users Really Feel About Your Design?

“So far, no one seems to have developed easy-to-implement, non-retrospective, valid, and reliable measures for gauging users’ emotional reactions to a system, application, or Web site. In this column, I’ll introduce you to a promising method that just might solve this problem. “

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Tue, 25/09/2007 - 10:46am.

AskTog: First Principles of Interaction Design

“The following principles are fundamental to the design and implementation of effective interfaces, whether for traditional GUI environments or the web. Of late, many web applications have reflected a lack of understanding of many of these principles of interaction design, to their great detriment. Because an application or service appears on the web, the principles do not change. If anything, applying these principles become even more important.”

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Tue, 25/09/2007 - 10:44am.

Is Navigation Useful?

"users look straight at the content and ignore the navigation areas when they scan a new page." I wonder if this research still holds up, and if so, how we can account for it.

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Tue, 25/09/2007 - 10:43am.


"This is a high-speed, low-overhead port of Douglas Crockford’s JSMin JavaScript minifier to PHP." Useful for including several Javascript files and packing them on demand.

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Sun, 23/09/2007 - 5:58pm.

CSS Frameworks + CSS Reset: Design From Scratch

The nitty-gritty on CSS frameworks, another fine Smashing Magazine overview.

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Sun, 23/09/2007 - 5:47pm.

We Are Opening the Social Graph

Six Apart announces tools for enabling you to visualize and manage your social graph, using OpenID, hCard XFN, FOAF and the other open standards around data portability.

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Sun, 23/09/2007 - 5:35pm.

Throng Unveils New TV Listing Design

Interesting interaction design: a TV listing service that uses color and weighted lists instead of tables & grids.

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Thu, 20/09/2007 - 9:43pm.

Designing the 'Future Of' Sites

A look behind the process that went into the FOWA/FOOA/FOWD conference sites.

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Wed, 19/09/2007 - 11:32am.

Art, Design, Programming, Junk food and cuisine.

Good analogy of prefab design with junkfood, and custom-created design with haute cuisine.

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Wed, 19/09/2007 - 11:30am.

Official Google Blog: Our feature presentation

With this presentation software, Google Office is a fully-featured competitor for other Office suites, with the added advantages of real-time collaboration, version management and private/public publishing.

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Wed, 19/09/2007 - 11:24am.

Picture Persuasion in Facebook

Interesting insight on the persuasion in Facebook, the significance of uploading your picture in Facebook, and how it is an act of social compliance that sets you up for accepting more of Facebook’s choices.

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Wed, 19/09/2007 - 10:09am.

LastGraph: Home

Neat visualization of your LastFM music listening trends.

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Mon, 17/09/2007 - 12:04pm.

jQuery 1.2.1: Quick Fixes for 1.2

Something is seriously wrong with jQuery’s release policy, as API changes are introduced in minor releases merely a week after the release of 1.2. A beta or RC period to allow stabilisation would be appropriate to manage this better.

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Mon, 17/09/2007 - 12:00pm.

jQuery UI: Interactions and Widgets

A consollidation of several existing UI-related plugins and new ones rolled into one, with a focus on stability, speed, documentation and demo’s. Although this release seems too rushed, since many plugins aren’t ready yet, and many don’t work reliably cro

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Mon, 17/09/2007 - 11:50am.

Sweating the Small Stuff

Who would think simplicity is so much work? Aaron Swartz on his latest ventare, explaining how this little web page creator took 6 months to complete.

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Sun, 16/09/2007 - 12:55pm.

Symlinks + Drupal Multisites

Very useful discussion on the use of PHP’s symlink function to maintain your multi-site Drupal installation.

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Sat, 15/09/2007 - 5:46pm.

jQuery for JavaScript programmers

"Most introductions to jQuery focus on designers and inexperienced developers. I’m going to try to explain why jQuery should be of interest to experienced programmers as well."

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Sat, 15/09/2007 - 11:22am.

GUI, webontwerp, psychologie en human efficiency

The published work of cognitive psychologist Leonard Verhoef on GUI design. Verhoef is quite an expert, having designed the interface for the ticketing system of the Dutch railways. (in Dutch only…)

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Sat, 15/09/2007 - 7:39am.

Undo Made Easy with Ajax (Part 1)

Clever and easy way to use undo with Ajax-based applications: use an event queue to hold the delete requests, and only send it out as soon as the user navigates away from the page.

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Fri, 14/09/2007 - 10:40pm.


CouchDb is "a database which isn’t relational, where the connection API is REST, and where queries are written in JavaScript and data is returned as JSON." (via Kryogenics.org)

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From the portfolio

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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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