Saturday, March 22, 2008

Books and eyes

Bob Stein was Thursday evening's keynote speaker at the library's "Future of the Book" colloquium. Stein's co-director of the Institute for the Future of the Book, and was in the digital publishing world from the beginning, and I still use pieces of an ancient CD-ROM from his Voyager publishing company called Defending human attributes in the age of the machine containing video and full text of three of Don Norman's books, including The design of everyday things.

Turning the tables on him, Yvonne Rogers and Frances Aldrich published the results of a usability study of the CD-ROM titled "In Search of Clickable Dons - Learning about HCI Through Interacting with Norman's CD-ROM". More recently, there is a couple paragraphs about how the "Nasty Norman" has turned into the "Nice Norman".

In his keynote talk, Stein also talked about working with Alan Kay. That reminded me that there is a March 2007 TED talk by Kay available now.

Speaking of user interfaces, a Slashdot item reminded me of eye tracking. Using eye tracking to replace a pointing device like a mouse is an idea that occurs to everyone, but it isn't as easy as it sounds. Some of the best eye tracking data comes from the world of newspaper publishing. Check out these these two short videos tracking webpage viewing, and a heatmap (and explanation).