Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Information Architecture InstituteTranslations

Hi all,

It's been a long time I haven't updated this blog and the reason for that is because I blog frequently on: zabisco blog

However recently I volunteered to translate some articles of Information Architecture Institute in Greek. For those of you who know how to speak Greek you can find the articles here. Keep visiting the site as I will translate some more in the Future!

The IA Institute is a nice organisation to join if you haven't already and you are interested in Information Architecture issues.

Another useful network society that you could join is London IA network.It has more than 550 members now and it organises nice workshops and events mainly in London.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Google Chrome pros and cons

Few days ago Google released a new beta open source browser “Google Chrome”. Some people think is another step forward for Google’s dominance on the web, while others advocate that is a visual effort of Google’s gathering of all those years’ latest technological achievements. As a first impression:

I like:

•That is an open source that you can download.

•“Most visited section” where you can have a history of latest pages visited either displayed in small web pages’ images or full history list.

•The comic approach book that describes how Google came up with this browser design.

•The “incognito window feature” where you can view pages without appearing in your browser history or search history, and they will not leave cookies, on your computer.

•The fact that it would make it easier and faster for web developers to test interfaces as they will use a new fast JavaScript engine, called V8.

I do not like:

•The new Url Tabs which are above the address bar, not below (like Mozilla browser). Despite the fact that each tab has its own controls (forward, back, address bar, etc.) I believe it gives a sense of different open browsers open at the same time. However, it is a new user experience that I have to get use to.

•The absence of menu bar at the top. It has only icon buttons that you have to click in order to view the browser settings.

It is soon to say anything more; as we have to wait to see what else Google will reveal for this new browser.

Thursday, 31 July 2008

Survey for people who make web sites

I just completed a "Survey", conducted by "a list apart" for people who make web sites. It is for Information Architects, Web developers, Web designers, Project managers, Writers, Editors, Marketers, and everyone else who makes websites.

I strongly recommend you take the survey if you are working in the web development area. It is good to have some statistics of how many people get involved in this area, their qualifications and what is the future progression of our professions.

Before taking the Survey I had a look on the results of last year's Survey and two things made me an impression. The first one is the quite small percentage of women on the web development profession and the quite small percentage of Information Architects. Last year 33,000 took the Survey so maybe this is a reason for the small percentages. I am interested to view this year result.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Google "Lively" is a reality

As you will notice in the right column of my blog I have a new image. This is a virtual room I created for Persona's office (the company I work for). I wanted to test a virtual room myself before commending on the new Google’s application called "Lively". A lot of bloggers write that is Google's new attempt to copy "Second Life" 3-D world. Some others advocate is not so sophisticate as "Second Life" and its only purpose is to bring people together in 3-D virtual chat rooms.

My first impression is not that good as the application is still on beta stage so I had some navigation issues while trying to design my room. I was annoyed by the fact that I had to sign in whenever I had to navigate out of my room and go back in. Nevertheless, I really like the fact that you can upload videos from "you tube" on screens that you add in the room (picture 2) and I like the idea that you can customise your own avatar which again is not something new (picture 2). Furthermore, I like the idea that you can navigate on others public rooms (picture 3).

However in terms of how you customise the room is still in a 2-D environment so I guess I would be interested to see how Google will develop this new application and sure it would be nicer to see if the avatars would be able in the future to customise their rooms inside a 3-D environment rather that having a 2-D vertical menu bar on the left.

So what do you think about it? Visit Persona’s room to tell me your opinion. You only need a gmail account.

picture 1

picture 2

picture 3

Monday, 30 June 2008

More Information Architecture News

Hi all,

For those interested reading my blog which lately I have not updated due to numerous IA projects I am involved in ,
you can now read Per-so-na new blog of experience section for further Information Architecture issues.

Friday, 2 May 2008

Internet World Exhibition 2008 - Earls Court London

The company I work for – Persona took part in the Internet World Exhibition. As a result, I had the opportunity to participate for the first time in an exhibition as an exhibitor. In the image 2 underneath you can view Persona’s exhibition stand which uses the metaphor of the London tube map. Four screens were attached to the main four stations – divisions of the company which are Digital Creative Media & Experience. As an Information Architect, I was one of the representatives of Experience division. This exhibition was a nice opportunity for networking with other marketing and digital agencies as well as for people to come and learn what we do and how we can help with their work. Furthermore, a lot of seminars were going on throughout the day. I had the chance to attend one, “Persuasive Design - a new take on usability: just because people can, doesn’t mean they will” presented by Elisa Del Galdo.

Image 1. Earls court, London – Outside the exhibition

Image 2: Persona exhibition stand

Microsoft, IBM, and Webcredibles were among the companies having stands in Internet World Exhibition. In case you are interested to know which companies participated in the exhibition, you can visit the internet world website. It was really encouraging that most of the people I had the chance to speak with, were either web developers or company owners that do not have user experience section and were willing to know more about this area, in order to improve their products. I had also the opportunity to see other agencies that specialise in usability, information architecture, improving user experience, which proves the continuously growing necessity for usability tests.

Image 3: Microsoft exhibition stand

Image 4: An extraordinary exhibition stand from data partnership company

Friday, 25 April 2008

3-D Virtual World vs. Usability

Today, I read an interesting and great food for thought article, referring to the future of usability and Information Architects in the 3-D Virtual World. According to the article’s writer, Sean D. Williams, 3-D virtual worlds, present usability professionals with a new set of challenges. As efficiently Williams asks,

what will happen when we, the information experts, don't control the information anymore? What happens when a community constructs the information about a product or task? And what happens when we can't organize information according to users' cognitive maps anymore because they can "fly" and literally see the entire information space at once?... Or Do our information architectures break down when the information becomes truly spatial rather than an abstract hierarchy that we can predict through a card sort?”

Williams points out two major differences between 2-D and 3-D environments in terms of information issues. The first is that we should think “users” as “participants” in 3-D environments and that the 3-D virtual world demands a different navigation paradigm as the information is spatial and not conceptual.

Another question is whether 3-D virtual worlds support user friendly navigation paths. Jakob Nielsen, 10 years ago, stated that 3-D environments are almost always bad in terms of navigation versus to 2-D environments and he still supports this statement in the "Four bad designs" article.

As world changes and we move from 2-D to 3-D environments we should try to find answers in questions as how we will break the spatial information down. Among others, I am eager to see how the world of information will be transformed in a few years!!

Image 1: Example of virtual environments

Image 2 : Example of 3-D virtual environment