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Historical views of websites

26 May

Here are a couple of ways to see what particular websites looked like in the past: The Wayback Machine and In both cases, the sites allow you to search by URL, and see what was captured. But they approach what they captured in slightly different ways.

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Unlocking creativity

16 Feb

Creative expression for more of us

I found this so inspiring—Khoi Vinh shared a story on his blog today, about someone who had been creating many, many collages with his new social creativity app, Mixel for iPad. Then Khoi discovered that the artist had limited mobility due to MS, and had written about how Mixel had enabled him to create much more easily because he only needed two fingers to use the app. Check it out… beautiful.

Flickr connects us globally with pictures

15 Aug
Two cats, Amsterdam shop window

Two cats, Amsterdam shop window

We were just two cats walking through Amsterdam in March — my 11th floor colleague Paul Rutter and I, in town for a web strategy workshop with our European team.  Paul, ever observant, pointed out a real cat, and a virtually identical paper mache cat, sitting in a shop window together on a Sunday afternoon. Too amazing, it was unposed: the shop was closed. I took a couple of quick snaps and posted to Flickr. Back from the trip, I used the photo in several presentations to explain a concept we were working out. (Interesting images can help keep people engaged, and frame things more intuitively than words alone.)

Yesterday, the artist from Amsterdam who made the cat contacted me on Flickr to ask if she could use the photo for a poster about the shop windows she designs and the art she creates!

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Design mojo nailed

23 Jul Final design standards posted on the wall

Progress on the war hall yesterday: we posted our website templates and styles which are the basis of all other work on the new site design. This gives us the opportunity to continue to review page and component designs as they come together and make sure we’re leveraging the existing styles for evolving work. We did a mid-day synch up at the wall to discuss this and how to build on this initial set going forward. For instance, we determined we have enough work done to add in form standards and styles next. One ‘aha’ we had was that reviewing and aligning with styles and standards is going to be very important going forward, especially when we’re looking at developed work in staging.

We decided to set aside an allocated day each week for the entire design team to review and assess together how it’s all coming together, and provide feedback on development as well as tweek any design work in progress.

Communicating with user stories: comics help

8 May

User comic drawn on the iPad

In many of the presentations and design projects I’ve worked on recently, I’ve been using comics of various types to keep the focus on the user. Comics are fun, introduce a little more character and put a human context on user experience design deliverables: UI, flows, wireframes. Since I got an iPad, creating simple comics has become much more fun by drawing by hand, or rather, by finger. Here’s a quick review of my favorite iPad drawing apps. Take a peek and let me know what you think. Do you think this is a useful way to communicate stories?

Looking for Snagit for Mac?

5 Jul

Many of the visitors to this blog are coming to read a post about a year ago on alternatives to Snagit for Mac. There are now two great (and free) alternatives available: Skitch and JingProject. Continue reading

Personalizing gmail and interface

24 Jul

Quick tip: Speaking of creating applications that people can modify to suit themselves, here’s a way to modify your gmail or interface to be friendlier and lots better looking. Thanks to Web Worker Daily.