Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Humane Interface

I stumbled onto a video demonstrating what a "Humane" user interface would be like. It is pretty inspiring. The interface, of course, is a Zooming User Interface. See it.

Zooming User Interfaces

In doing research for my Zoomable Tree interface, I ran into a video of a talk that Aza Raskin, founder of Humanized, gave at google on his vision of where the user interface is going (I can't believe I watched the whole thing: all 1.5 hours). I actually saw this after I finished developing the Zoomable Tree experiment. It inspired me to look at/come up with some alternative user interfaces that I could use for LearnIt that would be very simple. So I'll be posting about my findings as I continue researching and experimenting.

You can mess around with a experimental flash Zooming User Interface (ZUI) on the Raskin Center Website. Its pretty interesting to mess around with but I think there are things that can be done to make it quicker to navigate.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Zoomable Tree (a quicker way to navigate a tree) updated

I have aquired some input on the Zoomable Tree idea I posted about a little while ago primarily by going onto techie forums and presenting the sample. Based on the input I have made a few changes and some overall speed enhancements as well.

Changes include:

  • Mousing over zoomed-out items enlarges them

  • Parents, grandParents, greatGrandParents, and greatGreatGrandParents of selected Item are slightly enlarged and more visible

  • Some text size changes

  • Speed enhancements due to more effecient code/less animation

  • Numerous bug fixes

  • You can use the new (still IE incompatible) version here (the same place the old version used to be).

    Feel free to express your opinion, suggestion, etc. in the comments or by emailing me.

    If anybody knows of a good place I can host future versions for free, I would like to hear it because Google Pages is a little bit limiting.

    Comment if you would like to see an easy-to-implement ZoomableTree javascript class. I am willing to work on one only if there is enough demand.

    Wednesday, May 09, 2007

    Giving away 7 Freebase invitations

    Freebase users were just granted some more invitations to give away to "data fanatics". So if your a data fanatic (or any body with a decent reason for trying out Freebase), comment on the blog with your email and I may just give you one.

    Monday, May 07, 2007

    Zoomable Tree (a quicker way to navigate a tree)

    I've got a reason for not posting for the last few days. I've been busy. Last friday I was trying to figure out a better way to navigate a tree. I had an idea. I did some mockups. Now I've got a working javascript example (thanks to Prototype, Scriptaculous, and my new favorite text editor: TextMate). I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

    I am also very open to ideas of how to improve the concept, code, or anything else.

    Need more input. Before I spend another boatload of time perfecting this and making it compatible with IE, I would like to know if it is a good idea. So I've created a useable example for y'all to try out.

    Click here to see it in action
    Note that this does not work in Internet Explorer yet.