IA Summit: Inspiration from the edge

by April 14, 2008

Stephen Anderson’s Inspiration from the edge: New patterns for interface design presentation at IA Summit 2008 provided suggestions for new sources for inspiration for interface designs.

  • Check out Stephen's slides from his presentation
  • Default Thinking: look at competitor sites in a vertical for inspiration. But your customers visit sites outside of your industry, and bring those expectations to your site.
  • Default Thinking: these are the tools I have to work with (Windows controls, etc.). There are other places for inspiration like consumer electronics, games, TVs, other digital interfaces.
  • Today’s hardware changes make almost anything possible.
  • Software changes: silverlight, android, adobe air. Lots of desktop and Web intersection.
  • Natural behaviors are better than learned behaviors. Scrollbars requires us to move down to move something up. Except when learned behavior enables us to perform better.

Inspiration Examples

  • Use model of Club Penguin to organize enterprise application. Look beyond the surface- look at structure of game.
  • How to accommodate all levels of users & deep customization? Floating windows can bring up controls as users need them
  • Think outside the UI box. Don’t need to be constrained by it
  • How to accommodate multiple workspaces? iPhone button in tiered workspaces
  • Design with less space. Songza: stepped radial menu on song list.
  • Picnik: tabs replaced by contextual menu items. No need to remain visible at all times. Think about moments – do you need all the features all the time?
  • In the new FireFox browser, back button it bigger than forward as it gets more use.
  • Think in conversations. How do we communicate context?
  • Make it visual – communicate context, information
  • Jing: screen capture utility
  • Cookthink: integrated tag cloud browsing
  • Schematic: panning across different parts of site