Artificial Horizon

Articles and links about the design process
by Thibaut Sailly

January 2010 Archives

sncf

January 11, 2010

Apologies to you, english reader. This article is about a french website you have to use if you want to book train tickets online, and points out the webdesign-related reasons why so many people get frustrated using it. I won’t write this one in english for now, as I'm having a busy time, but you could try Google translate. Sorry !



Définir le métier de webdesigner à des personnes étrangères à cette industrie est une entreprise hasardeuse pour celui qui s'y lance. Graphisme, typographie, communication, sémiologie, syntaxes informatiques et autres activités s'y invitent, rendant les contours de cette association de compétences bien difficiles à cerner. La maudite question m'a été posée récemment et la discussion qui s'en est suivie n'a pas réussi à dissiper les brumes baignant le webdesign dans la tête des deux-trois curieux. Jusqu'à l'évocation d'un site en particulier : voyages-sncf.com. Voilà un site que la plupart des Français en âge de commander un billet de train ont pu utiliser, et qui visiblement ne laisse personne indifférent. Certes, râler est chez nous un sport national, mais les souvenirs laissés par ce site ne sont pas pour ainsi dire plaisants. Ce fût cependant un terrain connu très approprié à l'explication de mes occupations professionnelles.

Scribe

January 7, 2010

✍ updated at the end, January 21st



As anyone who's interested in Apple products and interface design, I came across a lot of views, wishes and predictions about the new forthcoming Apple product known for now as the tablet.
But I didn't see any mention of handwriting recognition as a feature, even to argue why it wouldn't be an option. It's just as if the "who wants a stylus ?" from the iPhone intro had wiped the idea all along. For a device that has been designed to be operated with a single hand, it makes perfect sense. For a bigger one you'd need both hands: one to hold it, one to interact with the touch screen. The idea of a stylus as an input device (along with the multitouch input) does seem less out of context, as far as ergonomics go.

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