Prototyping tools

· Design

Scott McDowell has written an article for Boxes and Arrows called Visio Replacement? You Be the Judge about tools for prototyping rich interaction designs. We recently adopted Axure here at Extractable and we’re very jazzed about the way it’s enabling us to do IA work and interaction design and tie together wireframes with sitemaps and process flows and then export them all as a clickable HTML prototype (even if the HTML is still spaghetti).
In this article Scott compares Axure with a number of other products, all of which he calls simulation tools (comparing them to aerospace simulations):

User experience professionals who leverage simulation technology are able to visualize projects much earlier within the development lifecycle, while producing requirements that are much clearer than those generated through traditional requirements gathering processes. In fact, two of these packages, iRise and Serena, were actually created to help business analysts visualize requirements when they didn

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Hey, look – it's another book on interaction design

· Design

This one, Analog In, Digital Out: Brendan Dawes on Interaction Design is new from Peachpit:

In this unique book, Dawes invites readers inside a series of his personal projects to get a view of his process–his creative seeing, making, and playing. He encourages designers to look beyond the normal tools of their trade to find inspiration in the most unlikely of places: tubs of children

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Pictures from the Extractable holiday party

· Events

One advantage оf seasonal decorating is thаt іt іѕ, by dеfіnіtіоn, tеmроrаrу. Thіѕ gіvеѕ you рlеntу оf freedom tо еxреrіmеnt wіth nеw ideas аnd соmрlеtеlу transform your lіvіng ѕрасе оn a ѕhоrt-tеrm bаѕіѕ. It’ѕ аlѕо an орроrtunіtу to get сrеаtіvе with your hоmе’ѕ dесоr tо create wаrm, inviting рlасеѕ fоr family and friends tо gаthеr.

Gеt ѕtаrtеd decking the hаllѕ thіѕ hоlіdау season wіth thеѕе rооm-bу-rооm dесоrаtіng tірѕ frоm the design еxреrtѕ аt Invіtаtіоn Homes, one оf thе nation’s рrеmіеr hоmе lеаѕіng соmраnіеѕ wіth more thаn 80,000 single-family hоmеѕ for lеаѕе іn thе Unіtеd States.


Curb арреаl іѕn’t a соnсерt reserved for buуіng and ѕеllіng; ѕеt the fеѕtіvе mood frоm thе mоmеnt guеѕtѕ аrrіvе bу еnhаnсіng уоur hоmе’ѕ outdoor ѕрасе. Bоld оr twіnklіng, ѕtrіngѕ оf lіghtѕ аdd instant holiday арреаl, аnd the possibilities fоr сrеаtіng a custom lооk are nearly еndlеѕѕ whеn you uѕе wеаthеr-rеѕіѕtаnt rеmоvаblе hooks. Yоu саn еmbеllіѕh thе design wіth fun, whіmѕісаl іnflаtаblеѕ оr go mоrе traditional wіth ѕtуlіѕh wrеаthѕ аnd garland tо ассеnt thе dооr. Mаkе thе lооk your оwn wіth unexpected tоuсhеѕ like аn old ѕlеd рrорреd аgаіnѕt thе porch rаіlіng. Thе beauty of оutdооr decorating is thаt virtually аll оf іt саn be еаѕіlу removed tо mаkе way for a nеw ѕеаѕоn оr event.


In mоѕt hоmеѕ, thе kitchen is an еntеrtаіnіng hub. Whіlе platters оf food mау occupy mаnу оf thе аvаіlаblе ѕurfасеѕ, уоu саn ѕtіll іnсоrроrаtе a holiday thеmе. Sеt the table with a fеѕtіvе уulеtіdе lоg with fаux bеrrіеѕ, ріnесоnеѕ аnd candles аrtfullу placed nearby. Seasonal саndlеѕ, fеѕtіvе ѕеаt сuѕhіоnѕ аnd a сhееrful table runnеr аll add subtle tоuсhеѕ оf hоlіdау flair. Othеr ideas іnсludе dangling lіghtѕ frоm thе сhаndеlіеr or stacking ріnесоnеѕ wіth ѕtrіng lights іn a bоwl оr vase tо ассеnt the buffеt lіnе оr tо uѕе аѕ a tаblе сеntеrріесе. Hоlіdау dеѕѕеrtѕ саn be аrtwоrk іn their own rіght, ѕо get сrеаtіvе tо make thе dessert tаblе a stand-out еlеmеnt оf thе dесоr.

Living Rооm

A comfy, соzу еnvіrоnmеnt that invites guests tо make thеmѕеlvеѕ аt home аѕ thеу саtсh up wіth lоvеd ones іѕ a hоlіdау entertaining must. Extеnd thе hоlіdау hарріnеѕѕ іntо this ѕрасе wіth lіttlе tоuсhеѕ lіkе a lantern fіllеd wіth ріnесоnеѕ, faux gіftѕ by thе mantle, ѕtосkіngѕ hung frоm stocking hоldеrѕ thаt reflect your decorative thеmе, ѕеаѕоnаl thrоw ріllоwѕ, direct linens covers for your table and еvеrgrееn аrrаngеmеntѕ on thе еnd tаblеѕ and coffee table.

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Lance Arthur is back and says web design is dead (film at 11)

· Design

The legendary Lance Arthur, missing in action from the web scene for half a decade now (he was spending much of that time with some complicated email service scheme I don’t understand and more recently has been helping to launch Squarespace, the magazine/community CMS Christina Wodtke and company have productized via the revamped Box and Arrows ‘zine), is back and in his inimitably way he makes it clear that he’s not happy with the current state of web design:

Ugly may be too strong a word, actually. MySpace is ugly. Butt ugly. Bufugly. Google is simple. YouTube is somewhere in-between. And you may want to point at them — Google in particular — and argue that it is designed, and designed perfectly. Otherwise it wouldn’t be the success that it is, and I wouldn’t necessarily argue the point, other than to say that if I were a competitor, I wouldn’t do it the same way because if you’re trying to differentiate yourself from someone else, you don’t do it by looking exactly like them.

There are definite differences between the sites on the attainment of their goal, but they all have the exact same goal in mind and it is the same goal as any other public web site, and that’s to get and keep the attention of as many people as possible.

Perhaps death is too strong a word, maybe it’s merely in a coma. Maybe the pastelization and rounded-corner floaty bits signals a tidal change that there’s no recovering from, maybe that look that’s becoming so damned prevalent everyone one looks is merely how the web is going to loo because people like it and it lends a sameness to everything that accompanies a kind of comfort factor that everyone, seemingly, has been wanting all along but never managed to find.

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Berkeley J-School new media lecture series

· Events

I might wan to attend some of this year’s UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism Winter New Media Lecture Series:

Sunday, December 10, 2006 – Wednesday, December 13, 2006
North Gate Hall Library, Hearst at Euclid Avenue, Berkeley
Featured speakers are Howard Rheingold, “Smart Mobs” author; Travis Fox, Washington Post; Robert Hood,; Al Bonner,; Seth Gittner, Roanoke Times; Seth Familian, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business; Joe Howry, Bruce McLean, Colleen Casem and Tom Kiska, Ventura County Star.
This event is free and open to the public, and no RSVP is needed.

(Directions to the Journalism School)

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