Back in the late 80s, I remember reading a book by Stewart Brand titled "The Media Lab: Inventing the Future at MIT." (I just checked the title on Amazon and discovered that it's currently available from Amazon MarketPlace for 1 penny!). A lot of the projects described in the book seemed far-fetched at the time, probably because the web hadn't been invented so it was hard to envisage how these projects would be delivered. Reading over the book now, it's astonishing how many of these research projects are now part of the fabic of our daily lives.
There was one project I remember — "Personal Newspaper" — that predicted a future with electronic newspapers personalised to each individual's tastes and interests. Stewart Brand called this, "The Daily Me". With the advent of RSS, we're getting closer to this vision, but RSS isn't the most usable of technologies. However, combined with customisable Web 2.0 home page/portal solutions like Netvibes and Pageflakes, I think the future may have arrived.
Here at Userfocus Towers, we've been using Netvibes to keep up to date with various RSS feeds in usability — a usability supplement to our daily newspaper. We thought that others might be interested in using this as a way of keeping up to date in usability, so we decided to publish it.
View the Usability Daily Me on Netvibes. (Netvibes is free to use and you don't need to register).
Screenshot of the usability RSS news feeds on Netvibes.
About the author
Anna-Gret Higgins holds a BSc in Psychology and an MSc in Counselling Psychology. She is a Chartered Psychologist and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. Anna-Gret manages the usability testing team at Userfocus and has logged hundreds of hours in usability tests of public and private sector web sites.
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