Typogridphy

Typogridphy — A Typographical and Grid Layout CSS Framework [via hacker newspaper via raganwald].

Don Norman has the seventh sense: he sees buffers everywhere

Waiting: A Necessary Part of Life — Don Norman on buffers. I think this has possibly the best first sentence of anything I’ve ever read, ever:

Just as dirt collects in crevices, buffers collect in the interfaces between systems.

I’m impressed by the breadth of this. I like the idea that “interface” is a general and fundamental enough concept that the problems we see, and the mental models/tools for thinking about/solving them are essentially similar whether we’re talking about device usability, protocol design, or soft squidgy stuff involving only meat entities.

Problems arise at interface, any interface, be it person and machine, person and person, or organizational unit and organizational unit. Any place where two different entities interact is an interface, and this is where confusions arise, where conflicting assumptions are born and nourished, where synchronization difficulties proliferate as queues form and mismatched entities struggle to engage.

To the analyst, such as me, interfaces are where the fun lies. Interfaces between people, people and machines, machines and machines, people and organizations. Anytime one system or set of activities abuts another, there must be an interface. Interfaces are where problems arise, where miscommunications and conflicting assumptions collide. Mismatched anything: schedules, commuinication protocols, cultures, conventions, impedances, coding schemes, nomenclature, procedures. it is a designer’s heaven and the practitioners hell. And it is where I prefer to be.

Also worth a read: A Fetish for Numbers: Hospital Care.