Mobile First

I devoured my advance copy of Mobile First in less than three hours. Not a second of that time was wasted. Luke has packed oodles of data, scads of examples, and years of experience into this admirably brief book. It's a brilliant explanation of why we should design for mobile first, and how.

Mobile First

Every information architect and experience designer should read this book. It will change the way you work today and how you think about tomorrow. In short, Luke Wroblewski has gone big by going small. You should too!

Strange Connections

Can't wait for the book? Read Luke's optimization article.

Or try Responsive Web Design, the perfect complement to Mobile First.

Or be at EuroIA in Prague tomorrow for Luke's opening keynote.

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Pervasive Information Architecture

When we met last week at the IA Summit in Denver, Andrea Resmini gave me a wonderful surprise, a hard copy of Pervasive Information Architecture.

Pervasive Information Architecture

To celebrate this important book's publication, I'm posting the foreword. And, if that doesn't convince you to buy the book, then read it again!

Strange Connections

Slides from my Ubiquitous Information Architecture workshop.

Thanks to Martin Belam, here's a fantastic collection of IA Summit slides.

Brilliant closing plenary by Cennydd Bowles.

I'm running the Boston Marathon (BIB#4228) in two weeks. Wish me luck!

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Multiscale User Experience Design

To riff off of Dave Gray's smart thingking, one of my favorite parts of the book is the discussion of multiscale user experience design.

Kuniavsky goes beyond Mark Weiser's model of tabs, pads, and boards to embrace a wider range of scales: covert, mobile, personal, environmental, architectural, and urban. The idea is to get us thinking about which devices and interfaces work best at which scales and how they can work together.

Up Stairs

#ubicompsketchbook on Twitter and Flickr

Of course, it's not easy to imagine multiscale interactions in the abstract. That's why I love the Business Origami approach. By combining tangible artifacts and sketching, it makes brainstorming more accessible and fun.

What I'd like to see #lazyweb is a Ubicomp Origami Kit with icons for multiscale and multisensory devices. Timo's Everyware Icons for sensor fields and objects with invisible qualities might be a good place to start. How else can we make it easier (and more fun) to sketch the future?

Strange Connections

UX Storytellers is a free ebook worth checking out.

Video (plus interview) from my Ubiquitous IA talk at IDEA 2010.

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Spime Search

Inspired by this mesmerizing Bruce Sterling vimeo, I've added more links and examples to spime search, but I'm plagued by the plethora of even better examples I haven't yet found. If you discover one, please let me know!

Bruce Sterling from Innovationsforum on Vimeo.

Strange Connections

My Search Patterns talk is now a Slidecast (with audio).

Catriona Cornett's inspireUX is worth a visit.

EuroIA is headed to Amsterdam.

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Findable Footwear

Apparently, 2007 is poised to be the year of findable footwear.

Compass Global Sneakers

Choices include Compass Global Sneakers by Isaac Daniel and the Xplorer by GTXC. Parent to child: "Did you remember to plug in your shoes?"

Strange Connections

Tony Byrne has graciously posted a polar bear third edition excerpt about enterprise information architecture on CMSWatch.

Judging by Andy King's review, Information Foraging Theory by Peter Pirolli promises to be challenging yet rewarding.

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IDEA 2006

The IAI conference on Information: Design, Experience, Access to be held at the Seattle Public Library in October is shaping up very nicely.

Seattle Public Library

IDEA promises a spimey intertwingling of design, architecture, librarianship, retrieval, and wayfinding across physical and digital spaces. Sign up now!

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Our Internet of Objects

I'd like to thank Caroline for highlighting this passage from Ambient Findability:

As we build our Internet of objects, the permutations of sociosemantic metadata will create new avenues of findability. Where has this object been? Which objects were in close proximity to this object? Who touched my object? Where are they now? The era of ambient findability will overflow with metadata, as every object and location sprouts tags: social and semantic, embedded and unembedded, controlled and uncontrollable. Imagine the sensory overload of a walk in the park. Every path shimmers with the flow of humanity. Every person drips with the scent of information: experience, opinion, karma, contacts. Every tree has a story: taxonomies and ontologies form bright lattices of logic. Desire lines flicker with unthinkable complexity in this consensual hallucination of space and non-space, a delicious yet overwhelming sociosemantic experience.

Reading this from a distance reminds me how much fun it can be to write.

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Spime Everyware

In a major blow to everyware, and despite Adam Greenfield's protestations rendered in parts one and two, vocabulary curators at Word Spy today elevated spime to the status of word. Bruce Sterling was unavailable for comment, but employees of Spime Watch are reportedly planning to celebrate by opening a very semantic bottle of spime.

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Everyware is Here

It's time to celebrate. March is over, Spring has sprung, and Everyware has arrived. For everyone who shapes the user experience, or cares about the future, this little blue book by Adam Greenfield is required reading.


Everyware shifts the conversation about ubiquitous computing from technology to humanity, asking difficult questions about the nature of the future we might wish to invent. Some of my favorite bits include:

  • Exploration of how everyware acts at the scale of the body, the room, the building, and the street (theses 12-15).
  • Discussion of bridges between atoms and bits, illustrated by the real-world hyperlinks of Semapedia (thesis 64).
  • Argument for "plausible deniability, including, above all, imprecision of location" (thesis 75).

Anyone attending Bruce Sterling's Spime Watch knows the time to think critically about the internet of objects and the socially dangerous technology of ubicomp is now. So, for us all, it's a blessing that Everyware is here.

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The Internet of Things

I'm headed to ETech. On Monday, Bruce Sterling takes center stage. And on Tuesday, Julian Bleeker is moderating the Internet of Things. Should be fun!

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Ubiquitous Findable Objects (UFOs)

O'Reilly just published Ubiquitous Findable Objects, an article that delves into the promise and peril of tagging products, possessions, people, and pets.

Which brings me to the subject (or object) of this post, our six month old Sheltie puppy, Knowsy. We're trying to decide whether or not to have her tagged with a subdermal RFID implant.

On one hand, it may help us find Knowsy, if she got lost, and was somehow separated from her collar. On the other hand, the procedure involves a big needle, and the implant could cause problems if she ever needs an MRI scan.

To chip or not to chip. That is the question. What do you think? Thanks!

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I just pre-ordered my copy of Everyware by Adam Greenfield. This is one book I can't wait to read. When I was writing Ambient Findability, All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace was truly a source of inspiration.

I haven't found many others who are writing intelligently about the intersection of user experience and ubiquitous computing. I read Mike Kuniavsky's Orange Cone and everything Bruce Sterling writes about blobjects and spime.

So, while we're waiting for Everyware, what else should we be reading?

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You Are Here

Welcome to findability.org: the next generation. In case you haven't noticed, it's a borg. I mean, it's a blog. Yes, after years of quiet resistance, I've succumbed to the call of the blogosphere. I've been assimilated.

In blogging, my most transparent and prosaic goal is to promote my new book, Ambient Findability. I've poured blood, sweat, and tears into this strange text, so I won't be shy about inviting folks to read it.

That said, I'm hoping this blog will go beyond the book. As my classification scheme hints, I'll be writing about authority, business, culture, design, search, ubicomp, etc. And let's not forget the oft-maligned category of miscellaneous. I very much reserve the right to write about seemingly random topics.

So, if you want the original findability, it's there but not here. And if you like this new place, please come again, or better yet, leave a piece of yourself behind.

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