Tag Archives: design

January 26, 2008, 7:35 pm

Tufte on the iPhone

Information design guru Edward Tufte has posted his analysis of the iPhone’s user interface, which includes this video which you simply must see. If that video doesn’t make you want to run out and venerate buy an iPhone, there’s something wrong with you.

He’s generally very positive about the UI, although he points out some “cartoony” elements here and there (really thick buttons, wasted space in the Weather app, etc.) that I don’t think I would have ever been bothered by until I heard what he had to say.

Some interesting comments in the article about the Weather app, too. I get the feeling there are tons of developers out there (some of whom are likely among the commenters) raring to go once the iPhone opens up to third party apps.

October 4, 2007, 8:04 am

How to make email complicated, Angel style

Here’s a little mini-tour through one of the many reasons why Angel, and other course management systems, drive me crazy and basically beg for me not to use them. This has to do with a simple and common course management task: Sending an email to all students in a class.

First of all, if you were using a basic email client to do this task, sending an email would be a matter of creating a distribution list for the students in the class — a one-time startup task — and then the following:

  1. Type the name of the list in the To: blank. (Most email clients have an auto-complete feature that doesn’t even require you complete the full name of the recipient.)
  2. Type in the subject and text of the email.
  3. Hit “Send”.

Three steps, each of which is easy and intuitive.

If you want to do this in Angel, on the other hand, it becomes a seven-step task, which is really nine tasks — each of which,…

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