Designed As Designer

If you are interested in design and especially design and architecture of software, and you have a philosophical bent, you will enjoy this essay… I can’t even attempt to summarize it’s content, and even the abstract from the paper itself is quite inscrutable:

“Conceptual integrity arises not (simply) from one mind or from a small number of agreeing resonant minds, but from sometimes hidden co-authors and the thing designed itself.” (From Designed As Designer)

What can I tell you. The author is the Richard Gabriel, a luminary of the computer world. Here’s the article: Designed as Designer.

Sharing Web Site Designs

Recently I wanted to get feedback on one of several ideas for the design of the new BlogBridge web site. I had selected 6 product web sites that had a nice look and wanted to somehow visually compare them. Here are two free tools I used:

  • Papparazzi! is a free Mac utility that does one thing and does it well. It makes a screen shot from a URL of a web site, importantly, including the whole page not just the part that is visible without scrolling.
  • Pintrest is a free web site that facilitates sharing of images of things. Kind of like a delicious for images … or something. It’s kind of hard to describe which is why I had not used it before. But this was a perfect use of it.

With those two free tools, I was able to create this web page allowing the quick and easy comparison of the possible designs of the new BlogBridge web site.

Oh and if you care to, please weigh in on the design you like the best 🙂

Nice bibliography for game designers

I got some of this list from Lee Sheldon’s course syllabus. I have not read all these books but I want to:

  • Designing Virtual Worlds. Richard Bartle.
  • Character Development and Storytelling for Games. Lee Sheldon.
  • Developing Online Games. Mulligan and Petrovsky.
  • Massively Multiplayer Game Development. Thor Alexander et al.
  • Synthetic Worlds. Edward Castronova.
  • Community Building on the Web. Amy Jo Kim
  • My Tiny Life: Crime and Passion in a Virtual World. Julian Dibbell
  • A Theory of Fun. Raph Koster
  • Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.
  • The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses. Jesse Schell

How (not) to design a ballot

My head is full of democracy and elections these days. How come, you ask? Well for the last year or so I’ve been working for the Open Source Digital Voting Foundation, on elections technology. This month’s focus is generating ballots for two elections happening in November. So more than usual, I am dreaming in black and white forms. Anyway…

I came across a couple of instructive blog posts about the new non-lever voting that New York unveiled this month. Predictably, when dealing with humans, some people don’t like them. You can’t please them all, right? But really the objections raised here are quite legitimate.

If this important yet rather esoteric topic interests you, here are three good links: