Insightful, high quality information design
May 18, 2012 3:57 AM   Subscribe

Examples of high-quality user experience / interface / information design?

Information architects, UX designers, librarians (and related professions) of MeFi - what sites, interfaces, or other tools do you admire? Who is doing the best, most forward thinking user experience / interface / information design right now?

I'm especially interested in tools that are insightfully "unconstrained by the past" (to borrow Clifford Lynch's phrase).
posted by ryanshepard to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
Is this for any particular domain or purpose? Any examples you already have in mind?

For personal use, I'm a big fan of Scrivener writing software. It does not necessarily look 'forward thinking' but it's generally a delight to use.
posted by carter at 6:03 AM on May 18, 2012

I find no end to interesting stuff via Brain Pickings, and SnarkMarket.

However, I'm looking at this stuff from the outside. I'm just a desk jockey by day. I'm never sure if what I see is truly useful, innovative, or just gimmicky.
posted by DigDoug at 7:21 AM on May 18, 2012

Bret Victor's Magic Ink, Interactivity Considered Harmful has been buzzing around here lately.

UX Awards might be a good starting point for non-research, actual deployed systems.

Tag clouds, gestures, touch interfaces? SIRI?
posted by at at 7:28 AM on May 18, 2012

I was just thinking about how much I like the interface for the New Yorker iPad app, or Conde Nast apps in general (although the Bon Appetit one can have too many links and options). You flip through the pages as you do the regular magazine, left to right, but the stories themselves scroll down, top to bottom. This allows you to save your place in every story while still flipping through the magazine to other places.
posted by theuninvitedguest at 7:53 AM on May 18, 2012

Tag clouds, gestures, touch interfaces? SIRI?

All and any - I'm a librarian and interested in ideas and tools that have library applications, but I'm casting the net widely here.
posted by ryanshepard at 3:27 PM on May 18, 2012

- It will get no awards for visual design, but crams more usable information onscreen at any one time with the flick/click of your mouse than should be legal. (warning, it's chemistry heavy...)

- windows 8 has a radically revamped interface other than its implementation of pre-windows 8 software.

- the Apple iOS User Experience Guidelines are always a treat to read. They cover far more of the philosophy behind iOS than you'd get if you just picked up an iPhone.

- beer camp 2012's website and Our Solar System are quite impressive.

- Google Sky Map makes me wander around in the yard like a moron hunting down some random greek god on a regular basis.

More experimental, non-web-based, IRL things:

- I've been coveting the ZeroN and the spherical controller for the past few days.

- Disney Research's Touché is pretty great for turning everything into a capacitive touch sensor.
posted by cmchap at 5:09 PM on May 18, 2012 [4 favorites]

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