Monthly Archive for February, 2007

The opposite of usable

This video of speech recognition in Vista is so excruciating, it actually ends up being kind of funny…


This charming flash game made me think whether a ‘depth’ metaphor could work when exposing ‘drill down on information’/'collapse or summarize information’ in a visual way.

Words, Dictionaries and Thesauri

There are several link-entity browsers out there for words. Here are some I’ve spotted:

It is interesting to compare their approaches…

  • In terms of delivery, the Flash approach of the thesaurus browser and Visuwords wins hands-down.
  • In terms of keeping one’s point of reference (history, animation), Roget2000 fails miserably. The hyperbolic layout kind of works, but it isn’t particularly legible.
  • Visuwords is ugly to the point of distraction, and the layouts hide the words sometimes. Good feedback when dragging though.
  • MapMyWord appears to work through image maps, and is responsive until you want to re-centre it.
  • Thinkmap is Java, uses animated radial layout to good effect, and has a plethora of options. Not that I’d actually want to pay for it though!

An honourable mention also has to go to the ObjectGraph Dictionary – great speed and usability through AJAX.