There's two nice Interaction Design articles at The Weeb. Jared added that he'd write more if there was a demand for it, so of course I emailed him. He replied, So what do you want to know?
I think I'd like to hear someone of his caliber speak about pathways. What pathways do users consistently seem to use?
If you go to any relatively new university campus, you'll notice that students and staff have made muddy areas that reflect their actual movements, and so show the shortcomings in the architecture. Rem Koolhaas speaks brilliantly on this sort of thing and I believe he sees all his projects entirely in terms of the motion of people and ideas, but I find it hard to distill concrete images from his words. I'm looking forward to viewing his expansion into websites in order to better grasp his ideas.
I've also notice that university administrations react differently to the muddy paths. Some provide paving stones, others erect fences. There are equivalents to this in company managements and in web designs.
So perhaps it would be good to have an article on how people seem to prefer to navigate this new medium. I realize entirely that this is in flux as the number and type of users expand, and as users gain experience. Perhaps this sort of thing should be an essay revisited every six months or so.
I do know there's stock answers like check the referer logs, but I'm thinking that now that we have professional companies churning out websites, surely some patterns are becoming apparent to the designers building the sites. Perhaps it's time to begin a vocabulary describing user motion.
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© 2000 Owen Briggs