random observation on attractiveness of exploration, which ties two threads together

25 Jun 2006 - 12:35pm
7 years ago
1 reply
526 reads
Oleh Kovalchuke

Jack Bellis on Windows 3.x interface (thread "Semantics of the Elements of

"But I still want the dual-pane [Windows 3.x] File Manager back. After
giving up on PowerDesk, I was surprised to find my power-user coworkers
using Servant Salamander, a dual-pane tool."

Eugene Chen on example of static "star-tree" navigation (thread "information
navigation can be fun")

"This is really terrific: http://www.di.fm/edmguide/edmguide.html. Trying to
figure out why..." [see below].

The music guide interface, Eugene likes, is essentially File Manager on
steroids (it presents a few more ways to group leaf objects).

Both interfaces support user exploration, hence both are efficient tools for
creation and support of mental models of explored systems, hence they are
attractive to users (they empower user, reduce confusion, save user's time
to build and maintain that mental model).

Oleh Kovalchuke
Interaction Design is Design of Time

On 6/21/06, Eugene Chen <eugene at amanda.com> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
> This is really terrific:
> http://www.di.fm/edmguide/edmguide.html
> Trying to figure out why...
> - I think one thing is that so much space is given to navigating the space
> and comparatively little is given to the leaf topics (just the box in the
> lower right and the music itself).
> - Responsiveness! zero latency = no reason to stop
> - It's always fun to check out an old subject in a new way.
> - You can multitask by listening to one item, while planning your next
> selection.
> - Some kind of interesting multi-channel juxtaposition going on. Like
> listening to information or jukebox as wikipedia
> - There is a particular aesthetic--this design makes drinking from a
> firehouse seem fun. (this woudn't always be true and the exact opposite
> approach could be cool too, but they really pulled it off)
> - Getting lost is ok if you always end up somewhere interesting.
> Usually I'm not so bullish on applying info vis techniques to designs,
> because although they are fascinating, they often come off as convoluted
> and
> unapproachable. But it seems like some of this could be applied to other
> domains. For instance, when shopping for books, or wikipedia articles,
> navigation is usually just a step on the way to item or article page. Why
> couldn't it be more like spreading out a bunch of objects on a table and
> seeing how they relate?
> Eugene
> Eugene Chen | User Experience Design, Strategy, and Usability
> main 415 282 7456 | mobile 415 336 1783 | fax 240 282 7452
> web http://www.eugenechendesign.com
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25 Jun 2006 - 12:50pm
Oleh Kovalchuke

Incidentally breadcrumbs are attractive for the same reason (weaker tool of

Oleh Kovalchuke
Interaction Design is Design of Time

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