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London conference on cyberspace

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The Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the British Government has always had the best online presence of all the different government departments, but I still find it interesting that it is they rather than the department of media and culture who are looking to lead a discussion on the future of the web and associated technologies. The FCO are hosting a conference in London on November 1-2, 2011 and are extending it online through social media platforms. I can’t help but feel the dialogue is aimed as much within the UK as internationally.

Of course, the ironic thing is that the UK isn’t at all progressive in terms of all things internet related compared to the likes of South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, Iceland or Finland to name but a few countries. The Digital Economy Bill and actions done by the likes of Ed Vaizey have shown resistance rather than working out how it can benefit from the change. The music industry tried to fight the change and has torn itself apart so it will be interesting to see how that stance will work out.

Find out more here.

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KPCB State of the Internet

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Mary Meeker moved from Morgan Stanley to KPCB but still does her annual presentation as a kind of internet business tradition now. More below:
KPCB Internet Trends (2011)

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What makes design seem intuitive by Jared Spool

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Jared Spool does user interaction design and usability or as he calls it software human factors and gave a talk on what makes a design intuitive.

Key outtakes

  • Don’t be too clever or too stupid in a design
  • Follow common norms (an asterisk by a field on a web form usually means mandatory completion) otherwise it becomes unintuitive
  • Don’t ask superfluous information from a user
  • Don’t let the design or controls detract from the content
  • Does the language and the options you offer make sense to the audience?
  • Trim out features to improve the experience
  • Understand what the audience’s current knowledge is and play to that in the design
  • Help people learn as they go