This entry is part 26 of 43 in the series Words

In Icons, Pedagogic Vectors, Forms Design and Posture we briefly discussed icon design. (Icons, in this context, meaning the sketch-pictures on buttons that you can click.) The bottom line was that it’s hard to learn and remember what icons stand for. In Performance, Data Pixels, Location, and Preattentive Attributes we discussed how icons should be […]


What’s in a word?

This entry is part 15 of 43 in the series Words

What’s in a word? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet. Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2) OK, I cheated. I changed “name” to “word.” It sounded better for the purposes of this essay, which is about the need to choose words carefully. Yes, I changed a word […]


Information Design 2

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series Tracking Systems

God is in the details –Mies van der Rohe The primary function of an ED tracking system – at least if you look at it from the right direction – is to display relevant, timely data to the user. A tracking system may do other things, but this function of data display is arguably its […]



This entry is part 8 of 43 in the series Words

We all know what cryptography is: cryp·tog·ra·phy, n. 1.    the science or study of the techniques of secret writing, esp. code and cipher systems, methods, and the like. Cf. cryptanalysis (def. 2). 2.    the procedures, processes, methods, etc., of making and using secret writing, as codes or ciphers. 3.    anything written in a secret code, […]


Icons, Pedagogic Vectors, Forms Design and Posture

This entry is part 9 of 12 in the series Medical Computing

Icons and Pedagogic Vectors We all have trouble remembering a program’s graphical icons. The International Standards Organisation (ISO) has a standard for icons – an icon must be interpreted correctly by 2/3 of  test subjects. In usability and error-prevention terms, a 1/3 error rate is poor, but reality is even worse – an experimental study […]