Friday, January 25, 2008

Edward Tufte on Interface Design and the iPhone

In an earlier post - September 2006 - I discussed how to avoid Death by PowerPoint (DBPP). And more recently embedded a slideshow with Tips to Avoid DBPP. Edward R. Tufte - professor emeritus of political science, computer science and statistics, and graphic design at Yale, has become the de facto leader of the anti-PowerPoint movement. Consider for example his September 2003 Wired Magazine article PowerPoint is Evil. Tufte is also a great resource for best practices in the display and presentation of visual information.

On this blog - Ask E.T. - Tufte discusses the pros and cons of the iPhone interface design and has even recorded a great video demonstrating what he thinks is right and wrong with the iPhone interface. Here's a quote from the posting and click on the image below to view the video.
The iPhone platform elegantly solves the design problem of small screens by greatly intensifying the information resolution of each displayed page. Small screens, as on traditional cell phones, show very little information per screen, which in turn leads to deep hierarchies of stacked-up thin information--too often leaving users with 'Where am I?' puzzles. Better to have users looking over material adjacent in space rather than stacked in time.

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