links for 2006-10-28

My Mobile Game Directions Pecha Kucha

Yes­ter­day I pre­sent­ed my talk on mobile gam­ing at the 6th Pecha Kucha Night in Rotterdam’s Off_Corso. I was pro­grammed as the first speak­er, which was excit­ing (and also allowed me to ben­e­fit from the pri­ma­cy effect, as my girl­friend point­ed out). Col­league Iskan­der was kind enough to record the whole thing on his N70 (fit­ting­ly) and I present it here for your enjoy­ment or aggra­va­tion, whichev­er you pre­fer (please take note that the talk is in Dutch). The slides I used are over at SlideShare.

I’m still not sure the sub­ject mat­ter was appro­pri­ate for the event, con­sid­er­ing the major­i­ty of speak­ers were either graph­ic design­ers, autonomous artists or archi­tects. The crowd might’ve been a bit under­whelmed by my com­mer­cial and pop cul­tur­al ref­er­ences. Oh well, I had fun, I guess that’s the most impor­tant thing.

Many thanks to Nadine and Bart of Hunk Design for let­ting me loose on stage. ‘Nuff respect to all the pre­sen­ters for tak­ing the trou­ble of prepar­ing a pre­sen­ta­tion. There were plen­ty of cool and inspir­ing ideas on show. Final­ly, thanks to the cre­ators of all the images I used, you can find the cred­its in the SlideShare show.

Update: I’ve delet­ed my YouTube account so here’s an embed of the video on Vimeo:



Mobile Game Direc­tions @ Pecha Kucha Night Rot­ter­dam from Kaeru on Vimeo.

Accessibility (a Euro IA theme)

It’s been a while, but here’s my final post on the Euro IA Sum­mit. Usabil­i­ty has been a design val­ue long cham­pi­oned by HCI pro­fes­sion­als from which IA has part­ly devel­oped. Nat­u­ral­ly, they’ve often been respon­si­ble for ensur­ing usabil­i­ty in projects. There have been devel­op­ments that force IAs to take a broad­er view and see usabil­i­ty as one of many val­ues that go into a suc­cess­ful user expe­ri­ence on the web. Morville realised this quite a while ago and remind­ed us in his keynote of his user expe­ri­ence hon­ey­comb.

Acces­si­bil­i­ty is one of those oth­er val­ues, and quite a few talks dis­cussed it in some way.

For instance Fredy Oré’s talk on the project he did for Dig­i­tal UK (the inde­pen­dent, non-prof­it organ­i­sa­tion lead­ing the UK’s move to dig­i­tal tele­vi­sion) con­tained quite a few exam­ples of how he as an IA was faced with acces­si­bil­i­ty prob­lems. From fig­ur­ing out how to cre­ate a site struc­ture that would sup­port both Eng­lish as well as Welsh to work­ing around the lim­i­ta­tions of a lega­cy CMS, there were many acces­si­bil­i­ty-relat­ed deci­sions to make.

Bogo Vatovec sum­ma­rized the results from a test he did with sev­er­al con­tent adap­ta­tion solu­tions (mobile web brows­ing appli­ca­tions). The state of affairs in this area appeared to be quite sor­did. Opera’s mobile web brows­er came out as the best option cur­rent­ly avail­able. How­ev­er, smart soft­ware will nev­er be the sil­ver bul­let to solve all mobile web-brows­ing woes. We’ll need to build sites to be acces­si­ble for a broad range of devices. I feel we need to go even one step fur­ther and cre­ate alter­na­tive archi­tec­tures specif­i­cal­ly tai­lored for the mobile con­text.

Final­ly Steven Pem­ber­ton flexed his W3C mus­cles and over­whelmed the poor non-techy IAs with a del­uge of infor­ma­tion on new web stan­dards such as XHTML 2 and XForms. The key take­aways for me were that the W3C is still push­ing for a true Seman­tic Web (yes, upper­case). Exam­ple: Pem­ber­ton said XHTML 2 is “micro­for­mats done right”. Also, XForms promise to be a real alter­na­tive for oth­er RIA tech­nol­o­gy, with the main ben­e­fit that it won’t need third par­ty tech­nol­o­gy to be installed on the client.

So again, I expect IAs to be involved in more and more acces­si­bil­i­ty-relat­ed dis­cus­sions. Acces­si­bil­i­ty is one of many design val­ues that go in a user expe­ri­ence. These val­ues should be pri­ori­tised for each project. Some might even put acces­si­bil­i­ty above usabil­i­ty. IAs could do worse than edu­cate them­selves on some acces­si­bil­i­ty basics.

This is the fifth and final post on themes spot­ted dur­ing the Euro IA Sum­mit 2006. The first post was on strat­e­gy, the sec­ond on social search, the third on process & deliv­er­ables and the fourth on involv­ing the client. My first post-sum­mit post can be found here.

My photos in Schmap’s Rome, Venice and Florence guides

Lieke in the inner cloister

Plan­ning on mak­ing a trip to Rome, Venice or Flo­rence? Check out the free dig­i­tal trav­el guides from Schmap. The new edi­tions con­tain some pho­tos I took while vaca­tion­ing there this spring. Schmap use Cre­ative Com­mons-licensed pho­tos from Flickr in their guides. They always polite­ly ask for per­mis­sion first even though strict­ly speak­ing they don’t have to. The guides are PC only but they’ve promised me Mac ver­sions will fol­low short­ly.

And yes, Edgar was there first.

Update: the nice peo­ple over at Schmap real­ly love me. They’ve includ­ed this insane­ly great pho­to of the Cab Inn City hotel in their next Copen­hagen guide.

See me Pecha Kucha on mobile gaming

Mobile Vader

Next Wednes­day, see me do a pre­sen­ta­tion on mobile game design at the 6th Pecha Kucha Night in Off_Corso, Rot­ter­dam. Pecha Kucha are super short pre­sen­ta­tions con­sist­ing of 20 slides. Speak­ers have exact­ly 20 sec­onds per slide to do their thing. Quite a chal­lenge! I’ve fin­ished my slides and a first draft of the talk, now to prac­tice the hell out of my lines… Here’s an Upcoming.org entry I made for the event, here’s the Dutch and inter­na­tion­al site and final­ly, here’s some cool Pecha Kucha tips by Yong­fook.

links for 2006-10-13

Moo’s cool

Moo cards package Sil­ly title, I know. Sor­ry Chris.

I received my free set of 10 Flickr call­ing cards. They’re great, I’ll order more soon and give the nice peo­ple at Moo some of my mon­ey.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a ‘send to Moo cue queue’ but­ton some­where in Flickr? So any­time I see a pho­to I want a print of, I can just fire it off and for­get about it until I’m ready to order a batch.

Here’s some (mediocre) shots of the out of box expe­ri­ence.

Involving the client (a Euro IA theme)

As an IA com­mu­ni­ty we’ve spent an awful amount of time edu­cat­ing our clients about the worth of our work. In a lot of instances we were aim­ing at mak­ing the client be more like us. At the sum­mit, it was inter­est­ing to see a num­ber of speak­ers stress the impor­tance speak­ing the lan­guage of your client and involv­ing them in your dai­ly work. Some exam­ples: Olly Wright’s talk on strat­e­gy includ­ed such lessons as under­stand­ing your client has a boss and find­ing out what he or she wants, speak­ing $$$ €€€, the fun­da­men­tal lan­guage of busi­ness and mak­ing your assump­tions explic­it. Jared Folk­man point­ed out we should stop talk­ing about users and start using the word client (cer­tain­ly when work­ing on retail web­sites). Doing so, we’ve already start­ed using some of our client’s lan­guage. I men­tioned agile design and devel­op­ment ear­li­er and do think that one of its points that stick out for me is the focus on face-to-face meet­ings with the whole team (includ­ing a client). Final­ly, War­ren Hutchin­son’s pre­sen­ta­tion work­shop on how to run work­shops was insane­ly use­ful for learn­ing new tech­niques to loosen up and get real results in client meet­ings.

This is the fourth post on themes spot­ted dur­ing the Euro IA Sum­mit 2006. The first post was on strat­e­gy, the sec­ond on social search and the third on process & deliv­er­ables. The final post will be on acces­si­bil­i­ty. My first post-sum­mit post can be found here.