June 18, 2005
June 15, 2005
In most arenas, I'll take Cal over Stanford any day. However, I have noticed that Stanford sometimes scores a decent commencement speaker. Minus one style point each for (a) the Horatio Alger rehash and (b) the "oh poor billionaire" pity ploy, but plus ten points for implicitly telling a crowd of exiting stanfordites they may have just wasted fours years of their life and thousands of dollars.
June 11, 2005
those unsightly seams
Using multiple monitors on your desktop is great, and studies have shown it works especially well when different tasks/tools break up cleanly amongst the different screens (e.g., excel and e-mail, coding and documentation). It doesn't quite work as well when trying to expand a single window over all the monitors, because the seams between monitors chop up the space and introduce discontinuities.
This brief ZDNet article mentions some of the wonderful large display work at microsoft research, but the article of course neglects to mention the issue of seams. With multiple monitors, lines/curves become discontinuous, and what should be single elements get chopped up into pieces. This wreaks a bit of havoc with gestalt perception and in my opinion decreases the aesthetic experience of the interface.
What are the solutions? Large displays without seams is one (and microsoft and others are already working on this). For today's consumers, a reasonable stop-gap may be to make interfaces seam-aware, allowing layout and presentation of interfaces to take seams into account (e.g., excel spreadsheet cells could automatically realign to improve readability across monitors). Jock Mackinlay and I devised one approach to building seam-awareness into interfaces, though things being what they are, I don't expect to see it on desktops anytime soon :)
June 09, 2005
June 08, 2005
enron corpus viewer
Our second design iteration (v2::grey, with temporal filtering and search) was just presented last week at a great e-mail visualization workshop hosted at the University of Maryland by Ben Shneiderman, Adam Perer, and Douglas Oard. Check it out...