August 27, 2002

See back side of this web page for more info...
Just ran across a site that is blatantly using the same text on their web site that they use on their product packaging or "tear sheets" (those pads of product info pages you might see in a retail store). Symbol is a company that makes handheld devices based on Palm and Pocket PC platforms -- the product page for their 2800 Series device tells the user:

"To find out how your business can benefit from Symbol's innovative products, contact any of the convenient locations listed on the back panel or visit us at"

Note that the user is already on the web site listed, but a few pages further into the site. Unless they want the user to look at the back of their monitor, I have no idea where the "back panel" of a web page is. Of course the "convenient locations" aren't provided on the web page either -- and the mobile products page that is linked shows nothing about "business benefits." Maybe they should think about how to change their web site into a truly "convenient location" -- then maybe potential customers will know why Symbol devices are worth the much higher price tag when compared to standard Palm or Compaq devices.
The Age of Information Architecture
Jeff Lash starts a new regular column on IA at Digital Web called IAnything Goes with a retrospective on how many Information Architects got their start.

"Information architecture helps make sure that business needs and user needs are met, leaving everyone happy, and isn't that really what it's all about? ... It's no wonder, then, that there is increased interest in information architecture. Individuals who can supplement their technical skills with solid understanding of business strategy, information organization experience, user-centric techniques and critical thinking make much better candidates for prospective employers, and much more effective employees. Businesses who realize the importance of information architecture can realize cost savings, improved organizational efficiency, improved communication, and increases in revenue."

August 26, 2002

Builder goes beyond barrier-free to create accessible homes
The Minneapolis Star Tribune has a nice article about a builder who builds accessible houses for people. His attention to detail is pretty obvious from reading the article. Check it out.

"It took a lot of looking to find some of these things," Regel said. Finding a side-open oven supplier took seven months, and it took years to find a window that can be opened with one lever. One research method was basic: "I rolled around in a wheelchair to get an idea of what's needed," Regel said. ... Some of these efforts might become commonplace as more builders follow a movement called universal design, "which is concerned with making many areas of life . . . better fit the needs of a wider range of the population," Sprague said. Three main features of universal design are stepless entries, wide doorways and open floor plans, with "all important living features on the main level." Sprague said the additional cost for such features is small.

[thanks Caryn!]