I like how it shows visual indication of army size, their geographical route and position, as well as temperature at points on their journey, and all in one graphic. Just brilliant.
In case you ever wondered what members of the User Experience team here at Lab read, you just need to take a look at our desks..
Lab49′s London-based UX team had a little outing last Wednesday to hear Edward Tufte talk at the Royal Geographical Society, about his thoughts on visual thinking and analytical design.
My favourite point (as summarised by Intelligence Squared) is: “Data should be used to guide the design, rather than design being based on fashion or what the technology offers. Content-oriented design is necessary, as the point of information display is to assist analytical thinking.”
Some found his talk a little ‘rambling’ and complained that he was just reciting from his notes, however it’s worth noting that he is an academic, not a public speaker, so perhaps we should forgive him for such things! Any guru’s followers can often get weighed down with the minutiae of what they say, rather than focusing on the underlying principles they are attempting to communicate. It’s these key principles (such as the one mentioned above) that made the talk a success for me, as I think much of it reinforces my views on what good UX design should be. He had some very good examples and interesting graphics to illustrate his points (Minard’s the poster of Napoleon’s march on Moscow will end up on our wall!).
We failed, however, to get our copy of Tufte’s “The Visual display of Quantitative Information” signed by the author
Every now and then you come across an error, prompt or alert message that makes you smile.
Here is a nice ‘translate page’ prompt from Google Chrome:
I don’t think that as UX Architects we should be governed too much by a recipe book, so to speak. It doesn’t really help true innovation. However, conventions are valid on the web, and often it’s not ideal to re-invent the wheel, just because you can. It can be handy to refer to a pattern library from time to time, so here are a few good ones…
- Yahoo Pattern Library
- Patterns from Designing Social Interfaces
- UI Patterns – User Interface Design Pattern Library
- Patterns in Interaction Design from Welie.com
- And, the UI Pattern Factory
UPDATE: And I almost forgot (well, did forget) one of the best; Pattern Tap (Thanks Gav!)
While I’m on the subject of political websites, here is another good one:
A survey asks which policies you favour, without mention of which party’s policies they are.
Unfortunately on completion of the survey I was presented with a blank page, rather than results, but assuming it works for others, it’s a great concept! I wonder if it will sway anyone to change their vote?