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Using Constraints to Brainstorm Simple Designs for Mobile Apps

While a mobile app may do a lot of things, it’s essential to design the app so it feels simple to the user at any moment during its use. But how do you generate ideas that will make an app simple? Try the following approach. List the top ten features you want in your app. These should be the most important things that characterize your app. If you have more than ten that’s OK, but try to come up with at least ten. On
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Designing for a purpose

Interaction with today’s touch interfaces feels numb and yet it seems that device manufacturers are steadily adopting that design solution. I deeply empathize with Bret Victor’s description of “picture under the glass” effect in his article “A brief rant about the future of interaction design“. I’d like to inquire about the motivs behind why did the “picture” end
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How the MIT Media Lab is Transforming the Healthcare User Experience

Image credit:  MIT New Media Medicine group at the MIT Media Lab The New Media Medicine group at the MIT Media Lab suggests a key to solving healthcare problems lies in establishing new kinds of collaboration between patients and practitioners. Traditionally, the relationship has been one of “inequality” where practitioners and medical experts monopolize access to information. This leaves the power of the people and
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What I’m missing in HTML5 today

HTML5 i.e. HTML is a markup language. As such, without JavaScript, developers would be reduced to hand-rolling HTML or creating it dynamically server side – page view by page view. Being constrained by page views is something I fundamentally refuse to accept since I am not in the printing industry. I’m in the computer interface industry. I demand programable interfaces. What comes to your mind when you th
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What is the Right Fidelity of Prototype? Five Questions to Ask

High-fi, low-fi, or something in between? Choosing the right fidelity for a prototype is crucial to effectively use the limited resources of your project. Low fidelity prototypes, such as hand sketches, are fast and enable more iterations. High fidelity prototypes, however, might better engage an audience for feedback. To choose the right level of fidelity, consider the following five questions: Who is the audience f
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Wireframing with incomplete requirements

The value of wireframing even with incomplete information The task of wireframing in application development, as I’ve come to know it, should begin after user research has been performed, and a complete set of requirements gathered.  But what happens when, for whatever reason, you just don’t have access to user research, or a full set of requirements?  What if all you have are some rather unspecific, vagu
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Bridging the Gap Between Rails Developers and HTML Designers

To make a cheap joke and paraphrase a common quote, web developers and web designers are two groups separated by common languages. In our case, the languages are HTML and CSS, which are the output of both the web design process and the web development process. Developers and designers produce their HTML/CSS in different ways and with different goals. Here are some ideas for bridging the gap so that the developers and
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Facebook Connect

I’ve just come across Yahoo’s new home page, which features a clean streamlined look, the ability to add your favorite pages as links right on the homepage, and most interestingly, a module that gives you access to (a subset of) your Facebook account. This module, which appears when you hover your mouse over the Facebook link on the let hand side of the page, will–after sign in–open up your fa
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A First Impression of Flash Catalyst

Spent some time playing around with Flash Catalyst, which was released by Adobe as a public Beta yesterday. I downloaded it today and got started on some of the tutorials Adobe labs has put up. My impressions: It’s pretty neat stuff. I could see myself prototyping with it, although Keynote and Acrobat are my tools of choice at the moment. From my limited time working with it, Catalyst’s main function is t
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Receive 10% off Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks by Luke Wroblewski

Rosenfeld Media contacted me after I published my review of Luke Wroblewski’s “Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks.” They offered Agile Ajax readers 10% off “Web Form Design” or any other purchase at rosenfeldmedia.com. To redeem, simply enter the code PATHFINDER at checkout.
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