Jared Spool on 'embraceable change'

· Design

Last year, Jared Spool wrote an essay about a disruptive intranet redesign in which he used the analogy of finding your well lived-in home entirely changed on waking up one morning (Designing Embraceable Change). In it, he discusses how to make it easier for people to embrace changes in their information spaces:

To design for embraceable change, the design team has to be well aware of the existing Current and Target Knowledge points, as well as the new points. Field studies are the ideal technique for learning the existing points, whereas usability testing will give a detailed understanding as to whether the new design has an acceptable knowledge gap. These two techniques are essential for any team who needs to tackle this difficult problem.

Design Comments are off for this post.

Designing urls and other text strings

· Design

Thomas Vander Wal explores the design implications of text strings (Domain of Digital Design Includes Strings). I used to think I was the only one who cared about the text in a file name or a url, but actually of course a lot of people do. Unfortunately, most CMS’s still produce butt-ugly urls, and I have to admit that I don’t have a well defined process in our user experience practice for defining the url structure for a site. Sometimes we specify the url paths in our content matrices, but not always. Now that people are more aware of the SEO implications of their urls (and the interesting but strange fact that Google views a hyphen but not an underscore as a word delimiter), there’s more attention to this level of the user experience. And that’s a Good Thing.

Design Comments are off for this post.