Ed Bilodeau

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This weblog had moved: http://www.coolweblog.com/bilodeau/

# Notice (Oct 19/05): So ends my stay here on Blogger. This morning Google implemented an anti-spam 'feature' that forces me to answer a challenge phrase when I want to post to my own blog. No notice of the change, nothing. Worse is that it doesn't even work! I type the phrase, submit, "An error occured", post deleted. Damn you, Google. Chances are I will revive my blog somewhere else, sometime soon. I'll post the new coordinates here as soon as they become available. (BTW, I'm unable to post anything to my RSS stream, so I'd appreciate it if readers could spread the word and ask people to take a look at this notice)

Update (Oct 19/05, ~noon): After a frustrating few hours (and not just trying out alternatives to Blogger), I've decided that this is a good time to take a break from all this. A day? A week? Who knows. But I need to step away from it before I pass a heavy magnet over the whole mess.

Update 2: According to this post, the reason I'm seeing the CAPTCHA (challenge phrase) is that Blogger has classified my blog as spam. Thanks. User for five years and now I'm spam. I searched the Blogger site, but there is no mention of how to get the spam flag turned off. There is also no way of contacting anyone at Blogger. Wow. Spam they say I am, so spam I must be. Maybe it is time to take a break.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Findability : ALA has published an article on findability. I'm glad to see to someone articulate what I would call "usability for information spaces".

Where the objective of a site is to provide users with access to a collection of information, the usability of the site is determined by the ability of users to (a) locate and (b) 'consume' the information they are seeking.

Findability focuses on the first part: the ability of users to locate what they are looking for. Effective labeling, organizaiton, and navigation methods contribute to this. The Polar Bear book talks about this at some length. I'm guessing Morville's new book will go into even more detail and perhaps provide a new perspective that will make it easier for practitioners to actually build information architectures that are usable.

Consumption, meanwhile, focuses on other things: the layout of the page, the organization of text, the clarity of the writing, choice of language, use of non-textual media types to enhance comprehension, etc. Information design more then information organization.

I think findability will become a useful concept, and I look forward to reading Morville's book.