The Milestones That Matter Most

[W]hen Japanese and American fourth and fifth grade children were asked why they shouldn’t hit, gossip or fight with other kids, 92 percent of the American kids answered “because they’d get caught or get in trouble.” Ninety percent of the Japanese kids asked the same question responded, “because it would be hurtful to someone else.” –via Christine Gross-Loh: The Milestones That Matter Most.


Teenage Usability (Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox)

Teens often work on laptops with track pads, making interactions that require precision — such as drop-down menus, drag-n-drop, and small buttons — difficult. Design elements such as rollover effects and small click zones are also problematic, if they’re usable at all. Small text sizes and dense text make reading difficult. Combine these elements with poor ergonomics and you have a prescription for fatigue and errors. –Jakob Nielsen Teenage Usability…

Kairos: Open Since 1996

As a plucky new faculty member I wrote a critique of an early design for the online journal Kairos. My article was snarky in form (I invoked Mystery Science Theater 3000) but serious in intent (“The overdesigned Kairos site perpetuates the myth that online rhetoric is necessarily complex and arcane,” with the earnest bold text in the original). They hypertext theory of the early 90s celebrated the defamiliarization of linear prose and the de-centralization of the…