My article on the ethics of business

My article on the ethics of business

I wrote this several months ago and updated it but it should be relevant: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jd-beltran/spending-monday-giving-tu_b_8722958.html Thanks to JD Beltran for getting it...

Personal Websites

This presentation was first given at the American Center for Design’s Living Surfaces Conference in 1997. It was repeated and enhanced at the Digital Storytelling Festival in 1998. Parts of it are referred to in the premiere issue of Net Company, a quarterly journal from Fast Company. Personal websites are one of the few new forms of personal expression to arise out of the last few decades–certainly out of the computer and media industries. No longer a simple curiosity, the growth in personal websites points to some inherent need people have for self-expression. However, there is a wide gulf between those who find this medium an exciting opportunity and those who see it as yet another form of self-absorption. For designers, personal websites are, at once, a new phenomenon (a type of design project never before existing), and at the same time, merely the latest take on that old, established product: the self promotion. There are already a number of issues surrounding this new application, but if anything, personal websites are probably the quintessential fin-de-siècle product as they reflect the natural evolution of Andy Warhol’s ideas of fame, blended with Tom Peter’s realization that the most important brand is “you.” A personal website may be the best tool with which to build your own brand since it’s on 24-7 and accessible to everyone in the world who can touch the Internet . However, this creates its own problems as we’ll soon see. Why Would Someone Want Their Own Website Anyway? There aren’t a lot of related statistics, but according to a poll by NFO Interactive published in WIRED magazine...

Recipe for a Successful Website

From 1995: An edited version of this now appears in the Dutch book, Website Graphics Now   Listen up, this one’s a no-brainer. Building a successful website is as simple as an Easy-Bake Oven.™ Although it’s a lot of hard work, it isn’t very difficult to understand. The directions are clear. Here’s the list of ingredients-and there are only six: Content Information Design Performance Compatibility Visual Design Interaction Design Each of these ingredients is important and not one can be left out. Would you leave out sugar in a cake recipe? Would you bake bread without yeast? Of course not, but that’s what 95% of the websites on the Internet are doing-especially the commercial sites where it is even more important. Most sites serve up pages like half-baked cookies without everything necessary to make them delicious. They usually get the sugar in there but they often forget even more essential elements like flour and water, making their servings hard to swallow and even more difficult to stomach. A successful website might be able to get by with only five of these ingredients-if they are exceptionally strong and well-crafted-but you can’t expect a site to attract diners unless all six courses are served, especially as the competition in the market heats up. Content OK, for the first ingredient, we’ll need heaps of content-and, like caviar, only the best content will do. Anything less is just fish eggs. High-quality, interesting content can go a long way. You don’t even need that much if it is good, but this is critical to understand and practice. Just copying text and images onto a...
Information Interaction Design: A Unified Field Theory of Design

Information Interaction Design: A Unified Field Theory of Design

From 1994: One of the most important skills for almost everyone to have in the next decade and beyond will be those that allow us to create valuable, compelling, and empowering information and experiences for others. To do this, we must learn existing ways of organizing and presenting data and information and develop new ones. Whether our communication tools are traditional print products, electronic products, broadcast programming, interactive experiences, or live performances makes little difference. Nor does it matter if we are employing physical or electronic devices or our own bodies and voices. The process of creating is roughly the same in any medium. The processes involved in solving problems, responding to audiences, and communicating to others are similar enough to consider them identical for the purposes of this paper. These issues apply across all types of media and experiences, because they directly address the phenomena of information overload, information anxiety, media literacy, media immersion, and technological overload–all which need better solutions. The intersection of these issues can be addressed by the process of Information Interaction Design. In other circles, it is called simply Information Design, Information Architecture, or Interaction Design, Instructional Design, or just plain Common Sense. Many people create or engineer interactions, presentations, and experiences for others. Almost all interactions–whether part of a book, a directory, a catalog, a newspaper, or a television program–can be created or addressed by one process. This process can be used to produce every CD-ROM, kiosk, presentation, game, and online service. It can also be used for every dance, music, comedy, or theater performance. While the traditions and technologies may change with...