Life With Alacrity

A blog on social software, collaboration, trust, security, privacy, and internet tools by Christopher Allen.

Tag: User Interface

Progressive Trust

I believe that as we evolve social software to better serve our needs and the needs of the groups that we are involved in, we need to figure out how to apply an understanding of how human groups behave and work. One useful concept I use I call "Progressive Trust". The basic idea is to model how trust works in the real world, between real people, rather then solely relying on mathematical or cryptographic trust.

Simple Yet Sophisticated Group Page Editing

I have been leading the design of a new Open Source collaboration tool called EditThisPagePHP, which started six months ago and now is in beta. My goal with EditThisPagePHP attempt to come close to Dave Winer's visionary statement back in May of 1999: When I'm writing for the web, and I'm browsing my own site, every bit of text that I create has a button that says Edit This Page when I view it.

Looking at Wiki

I've not just been spending time looking at social networking services, I've also been digging deeper into wiki. I've still got more to go, but some of these will be of interest to you if you are considering implementing a wiki for your community, or if you are a wiki developer. Zwiki is based on Zope, and thus has a very interesting feature set. One of the more popular features is the topic mappings that it creates.

Robots Dancing in the Uncanny Valley, Knowledge Navigator and UI Design

At a recent unofficial gathering of Future Salon'ers, there was a discussion about a demonstration of four robots doing a japanese fan dance to music (I think it was seen at CES in Las Vegas last week). The remark was that it was vaguely disturbing because your intellect knows that they are just robots, but someplace deep in your brain you know that they are alive because of the way that they move.

Reinventing Email

As a user-interface designer in the 80's for companies like Apple Computer, and as old 'groupware' professional in the early 90's, I've been quite disappointed with how design of collaborative apps appears to have practically ceased since the introduction of the web. It is not that there haven't been lots of new features added in the last 10 years, it is that they are often too complex, or are pure eye-candy and not particular useful.