Reference Websites or “Nachschlagewerke”

A couple of month ago I found Luke Wroblewski’s PDF of the “mobile first” talk (image above) on the internets and was sold on the idea. It makes totally sense to me to start with the smallest component of a layout: the mobile screen and not the website. Since everyone wants to go mobile anyways this seems like a logical step and I seriously wonder if companies actually started doing mobile first, especial since agile layouts become almost inevitable.

So I was delighted to find the work of Valentin Fischer and Wolfram Nagel who started a website called “Multiscreen Experience” (unfortunately only in German). A collection of information all around the multiscreen experience (obviously). I like that this could be a reference site to designers, but much more importantly to clients. I haven’t gone through all of the site but the parts I read gave a nice overview and short explanation of “buzz” words (e.x gamification) that are flying around and that might not be entirely clear to everyone.

Uh and by the way, those guys also worked on the “Design Method Finder” which also falls in the category reference websites.


Keynotes is my new Omnigraffle

I think I tried almost every software for wireframing and I finally found the one that just works for me. I went from Illustrator (just a bad idea), to Omnigraffle (is there really no web template?) to Balsamiq (to sketchy) to finally ended up with Keynote. To proof my point, here are some of the advantages:

- Various canvas sizes
- Master Slides
- Click through is easy to build
- Export to PDF, JPEG, PNG
- Easy to use

And, of course, very important there are already toolkits out there: Keynote Kung-fu by Travis Isaacs is only $12 and very useful (also, his related slideshow is quite interesting). Keynotopia lets you buy 9 templates for $39 or you can get the smaller free version. I also found a free wireframe stencils set that I haven’t checked out yet.

Yeah, for boxes and arrows!


The Interaction Awards

I am excited to see that IxDA will host the first Interaction Awards which are open for entries from now till September 2011.

The Award is divided in 6 categories (optimizing, engaging, empowering, expressing, connecting and disruption) and the winner will be announced at the Interaction12 conference (the conference will be held in Europe for the first time, thumbs up for Dublin:).

I particularly like the fair entry fee structure, which is not only divided by professionals and students but also by region (region 01: student $50, professional $200; region 02: student $20, professional $120). The Jury comes from 6 different countries and includes Jonas Löwgren, Younghee Jung, Helen Walters, Janna DeVylder, Robert Fabricant, Matt Jones and Massimo Banzi.

I definitely will enter the competition and I am looking forward to October 2011, when a shortlist of up to 50 projects will be announced. I can’t wait to see interaction design projects from all over the world.