Archive for the ‘interaction design’ Category


Monday 9 March 2009

siftablesI blogged last week about tilt sensors and accelerometers. Siftables offer a nice application of this technology. Siftables are small tile shaped blocks, having a small TFT screen and equipped with motion sensors and sensors that detect the orientation and presence of of neighbours.

To understand siftables watch the TED presentation by the inventor David Merill. Be sure to keep watching till half way down, that’s where things start to make sense.

I can easily see my kids playing with siftables, sorting out how they work and at the same time interacting and operating with the computer. Read more about siftables on the project page at MIT.


New file upload in Gmail

Friday 27 February 2009

Probably the cause of the GMail downtime this week: gmail has released a new file upload feature Composing a mail you can now select multiple files at once to upload.  


A great improvement, bringing the experience of the web even more closer to a fat client. Some critique: I think the visual design could benefit from a more tabular structure.  See for a good example one of the interaction design libraries online.

For more information see the google blog.

Under the fold: using the scrollbar to navigate

Friday 3 October 2008

My girlfriend is swedish and she regularly visits, the most visited news site in Sweden. Apart from looking like an 80’s pinball machine, the aftonbladet homepage has an interesting site concept: you can scroll down and scroll down: it seems to go on forever. Latest news is on the top, and the rest below it. 

Retailers know every story extra above or down entry level costs you 25% of the revenue. I thought the same was true for websites: things under the fold get less attention. And the further down you get the less attention. There must be a cultural element here, casue the Swedes love it. No need to click back and forth, everything on one page. Some sites in Holland exhibit the same behavior for example Not by accident this is a co production with the same swedish publisher from

Some more research on debunking the myths of the fold: Unfolding the fold.

End of navigation tabs?

Thursday 28 February 2008

LinkedIn just upgraded the design of their homepage. I have been a fan of their interaction design and usability. With their clear functional design they set the bar for many other sites. The explosion of profiles and connectedness of accounts on LinkedIn proves that point.

The most surprising fact is that LinkedIn has banned tabs from their new layout. Amazon gradually did the same thing, in stages but with their last redesign last year they were removed completely.

Tabs are visually appealing and when done with the right design and very intuitive to use. Apparently this is not enough, LinkedIn and Amazon both abandon tabs as their primary navigation structure. At sites like these interaction design is well though out so apparently other ways are better to engage users to do stuff on your site.

More closer home, we are about to release an improved design for the BNR Nieuwsradio site, also getting rid of the tabs.

For more information on how to website implement navigation see Patterns of interaction design by Martijn van Welie.