All posts by: Rob Fay

a blog of ideas, links, and musings.

Tufte in DC


This from Dan… “During my talk at the last UX Week in August, I mentioned Edward Tufte, who has done lots of work in the area of information visualization. (You may have seen PeterMe‘s review of Tufte’s new book Beautiful Evidence on his site – here, here, and here.)... Read more’s Aluminum Bullet


I do not envy those folks over at What a hurculean undertaking to provide a unified entryway into finding and applying for federal grants [author’s inquiry – is there a plan to support the full grants lifecycle, from apply to closeout?]. The politics involved. The clear communication... Read more

UX in DC Week


I know, I know. I’m late to the game. I was not able to attend Adaptive Path’s UX week in DC last month. Fortunately, there’s a wiki containing great sessions notes. Tags: [wiki, Adaptive Path, ux, user experience, conference, usability, information architecture, interaction design] Read more

Homeland Security Symbology


On Tuesday, Peter shared a wonderful find with his readers: The National Park Service has made available the symbols they use in their maps. I thought I’d pay it forward a little. In my quest to find universal map symbols (I am making a geeky map to my house... Read more

Findability in DC Webcast


The Library of Congress has posted its webcast of Peter Morville’s July 20th talk on Ambient Findability. You can view the 45 minute webcast here. Tags: [Ambient Findability, Peter Morville, findability, usability, information architecture, Library of Congress, video, webcast] Read more

Silent Film 2.0


A hilarious tale is unfolding in pixels over at the iconfactory. [hat tip to SimpleBits]. Talk about communicating without words. Simply.Brilliant. Tags: [iconfactory, quicktime, movie, silent film, funny, web redesign, web design] Read more

Findability in DC


On Thursday July 20 (11:30 – 12:30), Peter Morville will speak at the Library of Congress about his book, “Ambient Findability,” a history of how people search for information, and how they now find their way through a world of information overload. Although I am slammed at work, I’m... Read more

G.E. Brainstorms Too!


Now this free tool from G.E. might be a helpful tool to use during brainstorming meetings…folks can collaborate during the meeting and then be able to print out the results…[Hat Tip to Lifehacker] Tags: [General Electric, Imagination Cubed, mindmap, brainstorming] Read more

Games in Education


Although a majority of my career has been spent working as a contractor for the federal government, I’m now working for a company in the e-learning industry. Therefore, I’ve begun to follow technology issues as it relates to education. Mark Wagner of the EdTechLife blog linked this interesting video... Read more

Online Visio


The rage now is converting every MS Office application to the web (web 2.0) so you can access tools and files from anywhere, enabling better collaboration among team members. One suite of tools that comes to mind is Zoho, which includes most of the MS Office tools, but with... Read more

Usability ROI: A Collection of Resources


Some great usability ROI resources that I’ll try to keep adding to: Usability News: The Return on Investment (ROI) for Personas Usability First: Usability ROI: Case Studies Rashmi Sinha: ROI of Usability: A Collection of Links Dey Alexander Consulting: Return on investment WebWord: A Business Case for Usability I... Read more

Web 2.0 the Enterprise


I’ve been thinking a lot about the voting mechanism in Digg, Netscape beta and others that allows users to rate content as helpful or worthwhile. Think of Amazon’s “Was this rating helpful?” mechanism but with the power to literally elevate content to higher visibility. I think there are some... Read more

Sweet Resume Tool


Alex is a busy man. His “day” job has kept him busy with Netcape beta and now he’s publicizing his resume tool called “Emurse.” I encourage you to check it out. Here’s Alex’s press release regarding Emurse: “’s mission is to improve your job hunt. We believe that your... Read more

Diggidy Dugg


Seems there’s a buzz about AOL’s venture into user-recommended-and-rated-news. I am not writing this post to berate AOL for moving into a space carved out by Digg. Frankly, I do not think Digg owns the IP to this social news framework. Others like those at Newsvine have produced similar... Read more

Convenience Versus Security


Google announced a Firefox plugin on its blog which provides the following ‘syncing’ functionality: “Google Browser Sync unifies your bookmarks, history, saved passwords, and persistent cookies across all the computers where you install it. It also remembers which tabs and windows you had open when you last closed any... Read more

People, Users, or Whatever Floats Your Boat


Don Norman discusses the nomenclature used to describe the people designers design for. Peter Merholz also comments on Don’s article. Frankly, I think this was a throw-away article by Dr. Norman. Certainly I believe that the words we use to characterize a group can then reflect our motivations and... Read more

Easy Chat


Did you know you could add chat to your website very easily? With Gabbly you can simply type in to your browser address line (best with Firefox) ‘’ where ‘mywebsite’ is your site. You can also embed the chat tool right into your web page like the example shown... Read more

Wiki Recommendations


I am looking to set up a wiki for my group at work. The idea is to share information regarding conferences, research, or anything else we’d like to share. We decided a wiki would be the best tool, but after a preliminary review of free products hosted by the... Read more

HCIL Symposium: Day 2


Workshop: Humans and the Semantic Web Session 1: Ontology Visualization Tools Olivier Bodenreider, National Library of Medicine: Visualization Tools for the Unified Medical Language System (SemNav), the Gene Ontology (GenNav)and RxNorm UMLS – used my NLM (using MESH data), to visualize semantic relationships Catherine Plaisant, HCIL, University of Maryland:... Read more