I've been really impressed by Aza Raskin's Ubiquity add on for Firefox, which I've been playing with a lot lately. It completely makes up for the less than exciting experience I had with Enso, which never came close to a Quicksilver experience on Windows. Ubiquity is pretty much the Quicksilver experience brought to your web browser. A smart tool that is summoned by a keyboard shortcut, and provides shortcuts to frequently used tools, and contextually relevant paths to using selected content in the page. Raskin talks more about the app on his site.
CNet reports on Swype, a new keyboard technology for touch screens created by the inventory of the T9 keyboard technology for numeric keypads. Swype lets the user drag their finger across the screen, touching each of the letters in the words they want to enter, and predictive software selects the word they wanted. This could be a great tool to the improve the typing experience on the iPhone, which I find pretty awful compared to a hardware keyboard. Will also be very useful to the next wave of touch screen notebooks and ultra mobiles that we'll be seeing.
Bluish Coder demonstrates the Video tag in SVG to implement a Silverlight style demo in Firefox 3.1 alpha. The demo shows transparent layers of videos that can be dragged, moved, and resized.
Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox reports on their study of sitemaps, observing that among the sites they tested, sitemaps continue to be a useful tool to some people. While their study shows that they are rarely used, they can be simple, inexpensive tools to generate for the users who find value in the sense-making cues that a visual overview provides. Their recommendation is to continue to use them if you already produce them, but keep them static and don't add interactive effects to them.
3 recent articles show how to get interactive effects on menus, proving that you don't need Flash for this kind of simple interactivity.
- ShopDev reverse-engineers the interactive menus used on Dragon Interactive and shows how to pull it off using JQuery.
- Bedrich Rios' demo and tutorial in NETTUTS shows how to create a Moo-tools inspired sidebar navigation menu.
James Kelway's article on wireframes in the User Pathways blog summarizes what the different types are, what their purpose is, who the audience for their use are, and how they are typically implemented. There are several nice illustrations in this article for those that need to explain what they are.
Not sure if the user on Vimeo who posted this is THE Woz, but he or she posted this concept user interface for an iPhone menu application that looks very interesting. The video opens with a UI that displays falling media that appear like little square stamps dropping like leaves to a desktop with contacts, photos, videos, etc. on the face of the leaves. The user can apparently pick up one of the pieces, and if it's a video for example, start playing that video in the UI. Also shows a pretty carousel menu and an awesome looking RGB color mixer for customizing the wallpaper I presume. Very nice ideas here, if only for conceptual purposes.
This is a very topically focused blog I can appreciate. Kate Rutter of Adaptive Path started, StickyNote Ninja, a site dedicated to using sticky notes for more than just to do reminders.
From her about page, she says "...I’ve been using them in my work, my personal life and as a tool to help companies work faster, more collaboratively, and to make smart decisions that stick. In 2007, I began speaking to groups about these simple, cheap, ubiquitous and powerful tools. This site is a resource for stickynote ninjas everywhere as we journey in our quest for perfection via stickynotes."