Hawaiʻi's Technology Community

Following Michal Anne Rogondino impressive presentation on GUI at the Unconferenz, there was a lively discussion. Anyone interested to meet up to continue the talk? I'm interested to perhaps share each other's GUI designs and provide feedback to one another. I think that would be really helpful to me.

p.s. Michal Anne, what presentation software do you use? Didn't look like your typical powerpoint!

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2 important factors in that discussion:

* What is the iteration overhead? High for software that is shrink-wrapped, physically shipped to retailers, has printed manuals, etc. Low for web applications.

* What is the designer's relationship? A separate company with a fixed-price contract? Or an employee, time-and-materials contract, etc?
I think this will be a very interesting conversation. From the perspective of our services, we engage on projects as either T&M consultants or milestone fix-priced contracts. Our clients request the GUI design to be completed prior to engineering, a development philosophy that I obviously embrace. I am interested in learning more about others experience using Agile software development that includes GUI design. I can share how our process works, and I'm looking forward to learning how the other process works. I don't agree that one or the other is 'right' as the only solution, so I think will be good to discuss what circumstances would be best for each process.
We are a week away. Lets start listing UIs we like and hate per Gabe's suggestion.


I'm cross posting this from a posting I did on Viil's user experience group:

I love the use of pop-up definitions and readings on Rikai (warning: great functionality, but fugly design.)

Rikai allows you to paste in Japanese or Chinese website URLs and get instant mouse over pop-ups with readings and definitions for all the kanji (ideograms.) For someone studying Japanese or Chinese, this is an invaluable tool. It allows you to read websites such as before you know the 3000 or so characters necessary to read a typical newspaper. You simply move your mouse along the lines as you read.

Note: I know this site has been around for a while, but it is still not as well known as I would expect.


I also really like the recently enhanced Google Apps UI. I wrote about it briefly last month.


The iPhone's multitouch UI. I wrote about it in December.


Websites with poor design: Most major Japanese websites. I know I will get some blow back for saying this, but for some reason these sites are always insanely cluttered, covered with flashing items, and use saccharine dripping color schemes. Where do I go? What do I do? Stop yelling at me! Why do we get such frightening websites from a country with a beautiful minimalist design aesthetic in most other areas and great UIs on everything from mobile phones to cars?
Websites with poor design: Most major Japanese websites.
...insanely cluttered, covered with flashing items, and use saccharine dripping
color schemes...

You are such a gaijin! We like our websites like this. Our web pages are like streets in Tokyo (all the signs in Shibuya, Shinjuku, Akihabara etc.) - lots of information and options!
Mika, thanks for pointing out the unintended but innate tendency for cultural imperialism :-)

"Good Design" is in the eye of the beholder.

The challenge in being a Good Designer is to promote usability in the context of the cultural semantics of the users (of a site or product).
I've been developing some content (diagrams and models) related to Agile design. I know there are already books on the subject, but I am trying to develop a model that allows "a race car to be built while in the race." If anyone wants to discuss, I'm up for that, or we can hold this for another meeting.
True. There are definitely some basics of usability that are universal, but in the area of pure (graphic) design opinions clearly vary widely amongst people, cultures and apparently even within my family :-)
Are you referring to UI design or software architecture? If its the latter, there are many people in the Honolulu Coders group that are interested in agile process discussions including coordinator Sam Joseph. If you are talking about agile processes applied to UI design I am sure we could include a discussion in Wednesday's meeting. We can put it at the end to ensure the other items mentioned earlier in this thread are covered.
I'm taking initial steps to remove the divide between U/I and software architecture. The problem I am facing in my development is that we are developing both the U/I and the software simultaneously, both are evolving, each influencing the other, because the product's capabilities are emergent from the design process. [Lots of refactoring, as you might imagine.]
Sounds interesting. I look forward to talking about it next Wed.

I love Akihabara.
I'm really interested in (and practicing) agile UI development. I think that we have the basis for a big conversation that deserves a meeting in it's own right. SInce this meeting seems to be oriented towards design issues, I suggest that we organize another oriented towards development issues so that we don't wind up hijacking a good design discussion.

It sounds like we are working on the same things. I too am trying to create ways of optimizing agile UI development. I'm already a committed agile developer - so debating the merits of going agile isn't nearly as interesting as sharing experiences, tips, and brainstorming new ideas.

I'm also really disappointed that I couldn't make it to Dan's Flex/SIlverLight talk, so hopefully he'd like to show up and talk some more about how these frameworks support rapid UI development.

I'm usually mentoring a FIRST Robotics team on Wednesday evenings, but I'll try to make it to the meeting.

BTW: The Hawaii regional FIRST Robotics championship finals will be on Saturday March 29 at the UH Stan Sheriff Center. It should be a lot of fun! Come support our high school students by filing the stands. Pass the word...

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