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thoughts and observations about design, information architecture and design history
Tuesday 10|29|02
Interviews and Reviews

This week on Boxes and Arrows I interview Jesse James Garrett about his new book, about the Elements of User Experience diagram and ask the perpetual question: Why does he always wear black?.

We also have a good review of Christina's new book Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web. These are definitely exciting times for IA.

Posted by erin at 06:28 PM | in Information Architecture :: | Link | Comments (0)

Tuesday 10|22|02
Writing with Images

Terrific hypertext index of George L. Dillon's course at the University of Washington, Writing with Images: Towards a Semiotics of the Web. Persuing through the chapters, I found an extremely rich dissection of the semiotics and symbolism of Image and text as seen on the web. Each chapter shows tons of examples to support the thesis. Dillon takes the reader through the history of image manipulation - first with the discussion of Imagetext - words in images, then he moves to look at photo montage and some of the history of that communication form. He then moves to collage with examples by Rodchenko and others. The next section is about Viewing the viewing, where the artist/photographer is part of the image and we the viewer are viewing the scene. Next he discusses art history, net art and overall contexts for imagery. Chapter six dives into maps and diagrams as they are used to represent information and discusses at length semantic space and the Visual Thesaurus and ultimately thoughts about hypertext and its visual representation. Dillon concludes with an overview of the evolution of semiotics and how those systems change over time and with the improving technology.

This looks like a terrific class and overview of semiotics in a very applicable and relevant context. I like how he goes back to the essence of semiotics: signs, symbols, signifiers and the nature of a visual language. He moves through the different type - studying the work of Magritte and Moholy Nagy and eventually moves into forms many of us are familiar with - site maps, hypertext diagrams etc. and speaks to those as communcation and imagery in and of themselves as much as what they represent.

Posted by erin at 10:51 PM | in Theory :: | Link | Comments (0)

Monday 10|21|02
This Just In...

We just published the first of several reviews of the new IA books out this last week on Boxes and Arrows. Jesse James Garrett's new book, The Elements of User Experience is reviewed in detail by Jeff Lash. Looks like a new book for the shelves.

Next week:: look for a review of Christina's new book Information Architecture:Blueprints for the Web. If you have bought the book, look for a couple of photo contributions from me in the book as well.

Posted by erin at 10:07 PM | in Information Architecture :: | Link | Comments (0)

Tuesday 10|15|02
Form Follows Function... or Does it?

Interesting article over at Boxes and Arrows, by the co-author of the Web Style Guide. Sarah Horton writes that "Beauty is Only Screen Deep" and speaks about her perception of the Web designer's job. Many think this article is unnecessary or obvious. The first comment on the piece simply says "Duh" But as editor of B&A, and a designer myself, I thought that the message still needs to be said. And it needs to be spoken by folks who were guilty of the very things Sarah speaks about and now "get" that the web is no different than other medium for the designer - in that the first lesson is to understand and embrace the medium.

Posted by erin at 05:39 PM | in Graphic Design :: | Link | Comments (0)

Monday 10|14|02
Wired News

Wired News redesigns and is W3C standards compliant. That's a big deal for a major commercial site to attempt this. I also like that they talk a bit about what has changed and why.

They have kept the same initial departments - and icons representing them (after 7 years we should know what they mean) but have altered the navigation structure and layout, as well as the colors.

I've always like Wired News and despite them now being owned by Lycos, am encouraged that they are continuing to pave the way.

Posted by erin at 10:55 AM | in Graphic Design :: | Link | Comments (0)

Sunday 10|13|02

daildala has another really interesting post right now. An homage to the work of designer Peter Saville and the label Factory.

Not familiar with either of these, this homage was very interesting. The work is astounding. The link to the discography goes to an amazing collection of information by Dennis Remmer.

Posted by erin at 10:38 AM | in History :: | Link | Comments (0)


This looks like it was a fantastic conference. If you are interested in typography, book design, type design, etc -- then this was the place to be.

Although proceedings from the conference don't appear to be online, brief synopses of the speaker presentations are available as are PDF versions of the conference newsletter.

This is definitely one to watch for next year.

Posted by erin at 10:23 AM | in Typography :: | Link | Comments (0)

Saturday 10| 5|02
Information Design reveals

There is a piece on (done in flash) that shows in a visual way, an interactive informational association of the info known by the FBI and CIA about Al Qaeda and potential attacks.

From the site:
“This interactive map, while not intended to be comprehensive, highlights what U.S. intelligence knew at particular points in time, beginning with the 1993 World Trade Center attack. (The capture of the plot's organizer, Ramzi Yousef, launched John O'Neill into his pursuit of Al Qaeda.)

Obviously, at the time pieces of information surfaced, much of it could not be fully understood and connected. Moreover, some clues simply weren't pursued and the CIA and FBI didn't always share information. ”

Posted by erin at 12:17 PM | in Information Architecture :: | Link

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DUX—Five Lessons Learned

Coloring Outside the Lines

Modeling the Creative Organization

Coming of Age

Talking With Jesse James Garrett

The Tool Makes the (Wo)man

AIGA Experience Design Summit #5 - Recap

AIGA Experience Design - past, present and future: An interview with Terry Swack and Clement Mok

Summit Beginnings: Saturday

Chicken Run: Summit Closing: Sunday

design history articles
Foreseeing the future: The legacy of Vannevar Bush

Learning from the Powers of Ten

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