Gary M. Davis
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My thoughts on Interaction Design and whatever else...

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Dealers of Lightning : Xerox Parc and the Dawn of the Computer Age
Xerox scientists were asked to think 10 years ahead when they invented the modern day user interface that spawned Macintosh and Windows. Problem was, no one was ready for it
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Fumbling the Future; How Xerox Invented, Then Ignored, the First Personal Computer
A classic story of how innovation can fare within large corporate structures.
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The Inmates Are Running the Asylum : Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How To Restore The Sanity
This book is about fixing the kind of problems I deal with every day.
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Industrial Design / Human Interface
This site is about usability from a design perspective. I don't usually get into code or HTML.
The pricipals of design I use can apply to any user interaction. These include web sites, native applications or product design.
I currently work as a User Interaction Designer for Xerox, making their digital office products easier to use.
More sites launched!02.09.2006
My 11-year old son registered Garrison is just blogging his short digital films. I started the experimental I'm playing with in automating content through web services. I may add a blog to that someday.
Another site launched!11.05.2003
With the success of HomeSchoolBuzz, I have started another new site concentrating on book price comparison. has far more books linked and you can search for many more.
What I'm up to now12.09.2002
You might notice I haven't added anything to this site in a while. I've been very busy with life and work. Now I am putting any free-time effort into my new site Please check it out if you can. This site is actually being updated almost daily and probably will be for some time.
I haven't exactly abandoned this site but it will someday evolve into mostly a protfolio of my work; not a weblog.
Get a lawyer First 07.23.2001
I thought the newly re-designed Hotmail would be worth a look since I once maintained an address there. (I stopped using it when it got over-spammed.) The UI is nicer looking but not at all innovative and in fact badly designed from a user-centered perspective. The only thing that really impressed me was the lawyers behind this project.
After re-activating my account, I was greeted with a 8076 word, 1086 line legal agreement which I was required to accept in order to use the service. How can any human read and comprehend all that double-speak? This is a serious usability issue if you think about it.
This has always worried me. I always fear that there is some hidden clause in the contract that allows Microsoft to be given keys to my house or unlimited use of my library card. This is really gettng out of hand. Why do we put up with this, especially for the software we actually pay for?
A pithy designer 07.19.2001
...and I mean that in the nicest way. (I had to look that up first before I posted it, just to be sure.)
Mel posted an excerpt from me on her insightful design weblog
A Righteous Manifesto 07.19.2001
Apple has released a draft of the OSX Aqua Human Interface Guidelines. Even after all these years I can't get over how true and "righteous" the original principles (reprinted in the Aqua guide) still are. I dare say that if you know nothing else about UI design but these things, you will be an excellent UI designer.
Although you may be designing for windows, web or proprietary local UI, the principles contained in part one still apply (and are plagiarized in the windows guidelines).
  • Metaphors
  • Modelessness
  • User Control
  • Direct Manipulation
  • See-and-Point
  • Consistency
  • Feedback and Dialog
  • WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) Forgiveness
  • Perceived Stability
  • Aesthetic Integrity
  • Additional Considerations
    • Knowledge of Your Audience
    • Worldwide Compatibility
    • Universal Accessibility
Previous Interaction Design thoughts

Gary M. Davis
Welcome Portfolio Books & Resources About Me