Archive for the 'Usability' Category

Edward Tufte's Presenting Data and Information Course

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Here are some take-away notes from the course on presenting data and information that Edward Tufte gave in Seattle on July 17.

Google Clear Button

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

Here is a simple Greasemonkey script that adds a Clear button to Google search result pages.

Clustering Kiwis

Monday, January 22nd, 2007

Being able to distinguish different meanings of a term may turn out to be the next big step forward for web search engines. There are quite a few people working on this now; here is a quick survey in which I check how well the different efforts handle the term “Kiwi”.

Yahoo! Search Talk

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

Here are some interesting points from a talk given by Daniel E. Rose (Yahoo!).

Choosing Information Resources

Monday, February 20th, 2006

According to this paper the most influential criteria engineers and scientists use for selecting information resources are not quality or even familiarity but 1. the time it takes to track down information and 2. the authoritativeness of the resource. Perhaps this explains why researchers are increasingly using Google Scholar rather than PubMed (PubMed is more authoritative, but Google’s ranked results allow you to find publications faster) and why the NCBI still receives more requests for protein-related data than we do (both sites are equally bad at searching, but NCBI may be seen as more authoritative).

Call for Better Information Retrieval Systems

Friday, January 27th, 2006

From a recent review article in Nature Genetics:

[…] current ad hoc IR systems are not able to retrieve our example sentence when they are given the query ‘yeast cell cycle’. Instead, this could be achieved by realizing that ‘yeast’ is a synonym for S. cerevisiae, that ‘cell cycle’ is a Gene Ontology term, that the word ‘Cdc28’ refers to an S. cerevisiae protein and finally, by looking up the Gene Ontology terms that relate to Cdc28 to connect it to the yeast cell cycle. Although this will not be easy, we see this form of query expansion as the next logical step for ad hoc IR.

Emotional Design

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

Brief review of Emotional Design. Donald Norman uses this book to expand a bit on the well-known The Design of Everyday Things. In particular, the new book discusses some of the non-rational aspects of design that the previous book ignores.

Information Visualization

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

Brief review of Information Visualization by Colin Ware. This is a textbook with a great amount of detail on the physics, biology and psychology behind visual perception.

Fast Judgement

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

Nature reports about a study showing that users may be deciding on whether or not they like a site within a fraction of a second.


Saturday, January 7th, 2006

Vivisimo has set up a new site for searching content from life-science-related journals and databases – though none of ours so far.