October 28, 2003

Meme or Phenomenon?

I just visited Navneet's blog and the first post there is about a this site:Webdesign Practices. Now, I keep running into this site everywhere. This must be the fifth time in the past few days.

Interestingly, Heidi Adkisson - author of the above site - recently published an article on De-facto Web Standards at Boxes & Arrows which comes precisely a month and a half after I linked to her work on Christina Wodtke's blog. Christina, as you may know is founder, Boxes & Arrows.

Not sure if there's a connection here. Just a little curious.

This is something that I discovered today. I made that post as Christina couldn’t find a link to this poster that I knew was Adkisson’s. I found that a trifle surprising since she had written about it before. Now, three days ago, while poring over the pictures from the last IA summit in preparation to a submission for poster to the next year's conference, I stumbled across this image in which Adkisson can be seen silently watching Christina concentrating intently on the poster "Identifying De-facto Standards in Web Navigation".

Is this coincidence or are there mysterious invisible forces at work?!! Well, I think there's a simpler explanation. Unlike HCI, User Experience and Information Architecture are much newer areas. Far from being established disciplines, these are emerging practices with only a few years of accumulated knowledge. So, it's no surprise that someone interested in all these topics comes across the same news and the same people.

Not really so mysterious after all but still very interesting.

Oh, and in his post Navneet also linked to a collection of interaction design patterns on Welie.com, a site run by Martijn van Welie . I knew about this site before but what's more interesting is that only a few days ago Dr. Gerrit van der Veer - who presented at the IESUP workshops - told me that Martijn, a Phd student, is involved in one of his projects at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam.

Talk of the Small World Phenomenon or perhaps more interestingly, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. And since I've been spending too much time with a bunch of academics lately, I'd say that's a damn good lead for research into our complex behaviour that we casually term as web surfing.

Related Links
Navneet’s Blog and his post
Heidi Adkisson's WebdesignPractices
Her B&A article on Web Standards
Her poster from IA Summit 2003 [1mb PDF]
The #1 book on User Experience
The #1 book on Information Architecture
Some popoular personalities in HCI, Usability, User Experience, Interaction Design and Information Architecture
Welie.com - Interaction Design Patterns
Dr. Gerrit van der Veer's Homepage
More on Small world and Kevin Bacon

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