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  • Gerrit Eicker 14:29 on 10. April 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Design, , , , , , , ,   

    What About Your Website? 

    RWW: Websites have to get better. Users hate our sites; http://j.mp/IkTwkt #Webdesign #Usability http://Nethnology.com

     
  • Gerrit Eicker 09:56 on 7. March 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Coffee, Coffee Experience, Coffee Machine, Design, , Toys, , ,   

    The Coffee Experience 

    Turbek: #Coffee, or when bad #Usability is good #UserExperience; http://j.mp/zhIivX #UX via @spreuss

     
  • Gerrit Eicker 20:12 on 29. February 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Design, , , , ,   

    Facebook Pages Timeline Live 

    GigaOM: #Facebook updates Pages to user Timelines; http://j.mp/zT3Cbn #FacebookPages http://eicker.at/FacebookPagesTimeline

     
  • Gerrit Eicker 15:28 on 17. February 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , Design, , , , Facebook iFrame Apps, , , , , fMC, , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Facebook Pages Timeline 

    AdAge: Facebook to release Facebook Timeline for Facebook Pages this month; http://eicker.at/FacebookPagesTimeline

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 15:29 on 17. February 2012 Permalink | Reply

      AdAge: “Facebook will bring its Timeline profile pages to brands this month in the U.S., according to executives briefed on the company’s plans. – At its F8 conference in September, Facebook introduced a dramatic transformation of profile pages for its more than 800 million users with the Timeline format… At the time of the announcement, the company said it would wait to roll out the new feature for brands. Facebook VP-Marketing and Business Partnerships David Fischer said Timeline for brands would be ‘consistent’ with the Timeline look-and-feel, but not a carbon copy. – The new pages for brands will start in beta with a handful of partners and then be released to more marketers in stages… Timeline has significant implications for Facebook fan-page management. One top consideration is that a brand’s Facebook presence no longer must date to when it joined the site but can be represented with content populating its Timeline from throughout its history.

      RWW: “Facebook will soon bring Timeline to brand pages. Currently Timeline is only available for Facebook user profiles. It transforms the Facebook experience from a fly-by bulletin board and events site to a scrapbook-esque, lifestreaming version of a social networked reality both past and present. … On February 29, Facebook will host fMC, its first-ever event specifically for marketers – and Timeline brand pages will no doubt be a part of it. … We reached out to Facebook. Here’s what they said: ‘As we said at f8, we believe that consistency in both functionality and appearance increase use of Facebook,’ a Facebook spokesperson told ReadWriteWeb. ‘We hope to make Pages more consistent with the Timeline in the future, but we have nothing further to share at this time.‘”

      IF: “Marketers have been dreaming up ways to use Timeline for businesses since the new profile debuted at f8, but Timeline hasn’t been an option for brands because the social network requires companies use pages instead of profiles. … Timeline could be a significant improvement for pages, which users typically visit once to Like but they rarely return or spend much time on them. … A big question remains: what will happen to tab applications? Many pages – from top global brands to small local businesses – have invested in iFrame apps to welcome users to their pages or provide additional experiences. The company has frequently changed the size of tabs, forcing developers to redesign their apps, and it could do so again. … The last time Facebook redesigned profile pages in December 2010, business pages got a matching update in February.

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:33 on 9. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Design, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Simplification, , , , , , , , , Twitter Discover, Twitter Home, Twitter Me, Twitter Relaunch, , , , ,   

    Twitter Relaunch 

    Twitter #LetsFly: Twitter’s relaunch is all about serendipity, let’s #Discover and #Profile; http://eicker.at/TwitterRelaunch

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:33 on 9. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Twitter: “Today we introduce a new version of Twitter. We’ve simplified the design to make it easier than ever to follow what you care about, connect with others and discover something new. You’ll see this new design both on Twitter.com and mobile phones, so that you’ll have a familiar experience any time, anywhere. We’ve also updated TweetDeck to be consistent with this new version. … We’ll be rolling out the redesigned Twitter over the next few weeks. You can see it immediately on the just-updated versions of mobile.twitter.com, Twitter for iPhone, and Twitter for Android. You can get early access on your computer by downloading and logging into Twitter for iPhone or Twitter for Android. We’re working on updates for other apps, such as Twitter for iPad, and will share news as they become available. – What we’re announcing today is just the beginning. We now have a framework in place that we will quickly build and iterate upon to help users connect with whatever is meaningful to them.

      Twitter: “Yours to discover – A faster, simpler way to stay close to everything you care about.Simplicity meets serendipity – Discover lets you tap into a stream of useful and entertaining information, customized just for you. – When you use Discover, you’ll see results reflecting your interests – based on your current location, what you follow and what’s happening in the world. As you use Twitter more, Discover gets even better at serving up more content just for you. – Whatever you’re curious about, Discover will help you find out more. … The new profile section puts you and your interests front and center. – Others can Tweet directly to you and view your lists, favorites, followers, photos and more. The Me tab is also where you can stay current on your direct message conversations. – The Me tab is your opportunity to introduce yourself to the world.

      Twitter: “As part of this release, we are introducing enhanced profile pages that help marketers create an even more compelling destination on Twitter for their brands. – Communicating with users isn’t just about what you say. It’s also about how you say it. Now, your profile page does more to help you make an impression with a large header image for displaying your logo, tagline, and any other visuals. – You can also control the message visitors see when they first come to your profile page by promoting a Tweet to the top of your page’s timeline. … We are thrilled to launch the new enhanced profile page exclusively with 21 advertising partners and select charities and individuals. … We will slowly roll out enhanced profile pages to a wider audience of brands in the coming months.

      Twitter: “We’re also excited to introduce new tools that bring Tweets to your website, and new ways to share with our Tweet buttons. … WordPress bloggers can embed Tweets directly into their posts by simply copying the Tweet URL or using a familiar shortcode. Once published, WordPress instantly turns that URL or shortcode into an embedded Tweet. WordPress.com and WordPress VIP blogs have this functionality immediately, and Jetpack users will get it with their next update. For more news about WordPress and Twitter, check out founder, Matt Mullenweg’s blog post. … Finally, last week we announced a visual refresh to the Tweet and Follow Buttons, and today we’re introducing new ways to share with these buttons. … The new #hashtag button tells your visitors there’s an interesting conversation happening on Twitter, and lets them join in with just one click. The @mention button encourages visitors to Tweet to your account, driving public conversation directly from your website. Get started and configure your own button experiences on our new Twitter Buttons website.

      WordPress: “Would you like some more Twitter in your WordPress? We got ya. As an update to our ever-popular Tweet embedding functionality we’re supporting Twitter’s new embed API to enable richer, better looking, and more functional Tweets inside your blog posts. To embed a Tweet just put a permalink to it on its own line or use our new shortcode that allows for extra formatting. … Finally, if you link your Twitter account on your Gravatar profile we’ve made it so it’s easy to follow you right from that page.

      GigaOM: “Twitter on Thursday debuted a dramatically different new user interface for all versions of the micro-blogging service: The company will be rolling out totally new versions of the desktop website, mobile website, native mobile apps, and Tweetdeck to its more than 100 million users over the next few weeks. … Though during the launch event at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters, CEO Dick Costolo and founder Jack Dorsey repeatedly said that the redesign was aimed at making the Twitter experience ‘simpler,’ the new version of the site is in many ways richer and more complex than ever. – That’s not meant to sound like a negative thing: The new UI makes it much easier to find and access context and content around each Tweet, as well as find new Twitter accounts to follow that are relevant to you. … Brands can have a elevated place in the new Twitter design, which makes sense given the company’s necessary push for revenue: At six years old, Twitter now has 700 employees and has taken on more than $1 billion in venture capital. The redesign gives brands, celebrities and businesses ‘enhanced’ profile pages. … In all, it’s a very smart move for Twitter.

      RWW: “Jared says that the new Twitter is ‘vastly different,’ and notes that it brings the activity stream right into the app itself, and now separates @ message communication into ‘interactions’ and ‘mentions.’ Now ‘mentions’ does not include new followers, people who favorite your tweets. It is only about people who directly @ mention you. Everything else gets dumped into the ‘interactions’ feature. For those who don’t want to sift through the two to pick out actual conversation-worthy @ mentions and passerby-type mentions, this could be helpful. On the flip side, it might just make for unnecessary back-and-forth between the two spaces, which ultimately could slow down the user experience instead of speeding it up. Twitter has also de-emphasized the direct messages feature by pushing it into the ‘Me’ tab. … Twitter wants to position hashtags as more than just symbols for trending topics. It has changed the language to try and make it feel more like a discovery tool. The menu bar now says #Discover. Of course it does – what social space doesn’t want to be the source for discovering new, awe-inspiring, shocking or just plain cool information?

      TNW: “In their introduction, Dorsey and Costolo announced that since its integration with Apple’s iOS 5, Twitter sign-ups have been up 25%. … [T]he biggest changes of all have been a redesign and brand new apps that focus on simplicity, discovery and usability. With distribution and monetization [somewhat] under its belt, Twitter is now focused on creating a more meaningful experience for its users. … Twitter’s web and mobile experiences are now one in the same. The new tab menu is the same across all devices so you’ll get the same experience on mobile and desktop. And that experience is much more streamlined and visually focused. … Twitter’s new #Discover Feature is a gamechanger. Or as Twitter says, ‘It’s where simplicity meets serendipity.’ The new Discover section is the company’s first big step into content and news curation. When you use Discover, you’ll see search results reflecting your interests-based on your current location, what you follow and what’s happening in the world. As you use Twitter more, Discover gets even better at serving up more content just for you. … There’s something delicious about Twitter. It’s bite-sized, sharp and smart. It’s a playground for the intellect. Today, Twitter’s redesign has expanded this playground into a well-designed festival. What was simple is now more complex, yet still streamlined and consistent. What was playful now feels exploratory. And something about the new Twitter feels more human.

      GigaOM: “Profile pages weren’t ignored in the large-scale redesign Twitter unveiled Thursday. In fact, the company is now trumpeting itself as a better option than Facebook or Google+ when it comes to showing the world who you are through an online profile. … Why should people direct their focus to maintaining their Twitter profiles when a number of other services – Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn to name just a few – are vying to be the top place for people to establish their identities online? According to Dorsey, it’s all about simplicity. ‘For me, it’s really just access. You just have to share a username or hashtag’ for other people to know exactly how to find you on the site, with minimal searching and sorting necessary, he said during the Q&A portion of the press event.”

      TNW: “800 million users isn’t cool. Know what is? 7 billion – When talking about its new direction today, Jack Dorsey spoke about powerful messages being sent in 140 characters or less. He mentioned Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ as an example. What Dorsey is really saying, is that to get everyone in the world using a service, let alone get their attention, you have to keep things short and sweet, and I think he’s right. – This new direction shows a clear path for Twitter to become the defacto service for real-time communication. … Twitter is simple, and wants to remain simple. … Call me nuts, but if Twitter stays simple, it has a shot of becoming the preferred way to communicate. Forget SMS, forget Email, forget Facebook. – Just keep it simple, stupid.

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:01 on 6. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , Design, , , , , , , , , , , , , StumbleBar, Stumbles, , StumbleUpon Channels, StumbleUpon Explore Box, Taste Graph, , , , ,   

    StumbleUpon Relaunch 

    StumbleUpon relaunches its brand and website, prepares for going international; http://eicker.at/StumbleUponRelaunch

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:01 on 6. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      StumbleUpon: “We’ve made some changes so it’s now easier than ever to Stumble and explore new and interesting things from every corner of the Web. Stumble more with a simpler and easier to use StumbleUpon.com and StumbleBar. Explore more with Channels from your favorite sites, people and brands. Find more using our Explore Box: type a word or phrase and see amazing Stumbles. – Follow Channels and uncover content from sites, people and brands that you already like while you’re Stumbling. – Find More with the Explore Box: Type a word or phrase and see amazing Stumbles related to whatever you’re interested in. – We’ve moved some stuff around so it’s easier to find your way around the things you’ve Liked and to discover even more.

      GigaOM: “StumbleUpon has undergone a major makeover. … It’s the largest and most comprehensive branding and redesign initiative StumbleUpon has made in the company’s history… The redesign is aimed at bringing StumbleUpon’s more granular features – such as the newly-implemented ability to Stumble according to specific interests – to the surface… Essentially, it’s designed to make StumbleUpon more ‘sticky’ than ever. … In all it’s a good move for StumbleUpon, and it’s one that seems long overdue. Once you compare the new look of the site to the old version, you realize how much was hidden under the surface.”

      RWW: “StumbleUpon is the inverse of a Google Web search. Instead of typing in a keyword and searching for relevant links within that search, StumbleUpon asks the user to define the parameters by selecting a topic, and then voting the content up or down. Using the Explore Box, users can type in an interest that’s more specific than one of the many comprehensive topic options. It gives a list of related interests, which broadens the breadth of topics to stumble. Over time the user develops an interest profile specific to them. … StumbleUpon is a prime example of the read/write web. Why? Because the user literally writes their own ‘taste graph’ by signaling to the service what interests they want to follow. In the e-commerce space, eBay acquired recommendation engine Hunch to do just that – serve up more relevant content to users.”

      Forbes: “One big reason for the changes and simplifying of the website is to make it easier for StumbleUpon to expand internationally, which is one of the company’s major priorities in 2012. StumbleUpon has more than 20 million registered users and is adding more than 1 million per month, but the majority of its users are currently in the U.S. The company wants to address that. … StumbleUpon was acquired by eBay in 2007 and bought back two years later by founders and venture investors.

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:29 on 1. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , Design, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Google Plus + Google Reader 

    Google Reader gets redesigned and plusified: Google Plus now on Search, Blogger, Google Apps; http://eicker.at/GoogleReaderPlus

    (More …)

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 09:29 on 1. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “Today we’re rolling out the new Reader design, and the Google+ features that we mentioned just over a week ago. Before the day’s over, all Reader users will be able to enjoy the following improvements: A new look and feel that’s cleaner, faster, and nicer to look at. The ability to +1 a feed item (replacing ‘Like’), with an option to then share it with your circles on Google+ (replacing ‘Share’ and ‘Share with Note’). … Updates to Google Reader on the web are rolling out gradually and should reach all users by end of day. A new Android application will follow soon. If you have questions about today’s announcements, please check out our Help Center.”

      RWW: “After announcing on October 20 that Google Reader would be annexed by Google Plus, Reader has gotten the ol’ +1 today. Google is rolling out the new, clean Plus theme that has already come to Gmail, Docs and elsewhere, and it is replacing the Reader ‘Like’ function with the +1 button. Sharing from Google Reader now produces a +snippet. I guess we no longer need that nice workaround. … For anyone who doesn’t use Google Plus, there are some amazing RSS clients that use your Google Reader as the back-end but let you share however you’d like. And you know you can still add all your preferred sharing services to the ‘Send To’ tab, right? The same settings we showed you before to add Google Plus as a Reader service will let you add anything else, too.”

      RWW: “Google has made very clear over the past month that Plus will be integrated into all of Google’s products over time, so this wasn’t a surprising move. However, rather predictably, there has been a user backlash anyway. … I believe that comment was a little disingenuous from Gray, because he knows that Google dominates what’s left of the RSS Reader market. There are always alternatives, but the reality is that relatively few people will use them. What’s more, most of the alternatives rely on Google Reader for content. … The RSS Reader market has declined because reading content is a very fragmented experience these days. … Even despite all of the changes in the way people consume content on the Web, Google Reader had been the holdout as a specialist RSS Reader product. It has (had?) a passionate community of RSS Reader fanatics.

      TNW: “The new look falls in line with the rest of the changes that we’ve seen from Google over the past few months, specifically after the launch of Google+. You’ll see a new preview pane that shows you all of your stories, with subscriptions along the left in a list like before. – Sharing in Google Reader is now considerably different than before. Instead of having a network in and of itself, anything that you share is now going to happen via a +1 to Google+, as detailed in a blog post last week. Google says that it has done this in order to ‘streamline Reader overall’, but the changes aren’t as welcome by everyone. … Ultimately it doesn’t take away from the usefulness of Google Reader as a product, and it’s not the first time that Google has pushed its way into your social life, either (remember the launch of Buzz?). At the end of the day it will be up to users to figure out if they want to share content via a +1, but chances are that Reader fans aren’t going to be adversely affected overall.”

      TC: “As expected, Google has ignored the cries of the niche community of Google Reader sharing enthusiasts [as well as what seems to be the entire online population of Iran], and has pushed forward in its plans to remove Google Reader’s native sharing features to promote deeper integration with Google+. While the ability to share with Google+ is an obvious important step forward for Google’s social agenda, it will be disappointing change for at least some of the Google Reader community – a community that even went so far as to create a petition to save the old features. The petition is now pushing 10,000 responses.”

      Blogger: “In fewer than 4 months since its launch, more than 40 million people have joined Google+, making it a living, breathing space for social connections and sharing to thrive. – Today we’re excited to announce the first way you will be able to leverage Google+ – by making it possible to replace your Blogger profile with your Google+ profile. – In addition to giving your readers a more robust and familiar sense of who you are, your social connections will see your posts in their Google search results with an annotation that you’ve shared the post.”

    • Gerrit Eicker 17:33 on 2. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Winer: “People should know that there is more than one way to do an RSS reading app. Google Reader is one approach. A thousand flowers should bloom to fill the gap it’s creating in the market. There is a way to do plumbing that’s open, that people can subscribe to, independent of Google. That does what Google Reader just stopped doing. I would try to make it work as much as I could without inventing new formats. … I love when people like Richard put awful ideas out there like the one he did. You’re trapped inside Google’s silo, even for something that was open from the start like RSS. Well I think there are a lot of people who are smart enough to know that that’s not true. Those are the very people I want to work with.

  • Gerrit Eicker 10:18 on 28. October 2011 Permalink
    Tags: +Creative Kit, , +Ripples, , , , , , , , Design, , , , , , , , , , , , Google Apps Administrators, Google Apps for Business, Google Apps for Education, , , Google Plus Creative Kit, Google Plus Data, , , Google Plus Migration, Google Plus Notifications, , Google Plus Ripples, , Google+ Creative Kit, Google+ Data, , , Google+ Migration, Google+ Notifications, , Google+ Ripples, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Playback, , , , , , Sharing History, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Google Plus + Google Apps 

    Google Plus is now available with Google Apps, adds sharing history with Google+ Ripples; http://eicker.at/GoogleAppsPlus

    (More …)

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 10:18 on 28. October 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “Google Apps fans, today we’re ready to add you to our circles. Google+ makes sharing on the web more like sharing in the real world, and now Google+ is available to people who use Google Apps at college, at work or at home. – Starting now you can manually turn on Google+ for your organization. Once Google+ is turned on, your users will just need to sign up at google.com/+ to get started. For customers who use Google Apps for Business or the free version of Google Apps and who have chosen to automatically enable new services, Google+ will automatically become available to all of your users over the next several days. … Hangouts with extras, which combines multi-person video chat with screen sharing and collaboration in Google Docs, lets you work together on projects even when your team can’t be in the same room. … Many students and teachers have sent us their ideas about how they can use Google+ to teach, learn, work, and play. These are a few Google Apps for Education universities from around the world that are bringing Google+ to their campuses today… For those of you who’ve already started using Google+ with a personal Google Account and would prefer to use your Google Apps account, we’re building a migration tool to help you move over. … It took more technical work than we expected to bring Google+ to Google Apps, and we thank you for your patience.”

      RWW: “The day has finally come. Google Plus is now available for Google Apps customers. Apps administrators can now manually turn on Google Plus for their organizations. The welcome change will roll out in the ‘next several days.’ … Google Apps users have been crying out for Plus access since the beginning. These are the customers who actually pay Google to use its Web services for their organizations, and yet the Apps versions of Google’s tools routinely lag behind the free versions. … But ever since the public launch, Plus has had this killer feature with no clear user base: Google Docs in Hangouts. It’s an ideal way to collaborate on a project. But how often do casual friends collaborate on projects? Google Plus has had an obvious institutional use case for over a month. Now, at last, Google Apps users in college or the office can use these tools to get things done.

      VB: “While enabling Google+ for Google Apps customers is certainly a big move for the company, eventually Google plans to bring Google+ functionality to all of its various services (Gmail, search, shopping, etc.).”

      TNW: “Using Google+ for Google Apps? Your admin has access to all of your data – If you’re a user of Google+ with a corporate or education Google Apps account, your administrator can access and modify your Google+ account and its postings. This information is pointed out in a Google help center topic related to the new feature: ‘Because you’re signing up for Google+ with your corporate email address, your Google Apps administrator retains the right to access your Google+ data and modify or delete it at any time.’ … The fact that an administrator has access to your accounts under Google Apps is nothing new, but this is the first time that Google has had a social network among its Apps offerings, so the privacy implications are a bit more severe.”

      Google: “Whether it’s breaking news or beautiful photos, you just don’t want to miss anything. With this in mind, we’re launching ‘What’s Hot’ on Google+, a new place to visit for interesting and unexpected contentGoogle+ Ripples: watch how posts get shared – There’s something deeply satisfying about sharing on Google+, then watching the activity unfold. Comments pour in, notifications light up, friends share with friends [who share with their friends], and in no time at all there’s an entire community around your post. … Google+ Creative Kit: have more fun with your photos – Now you can add that vintage feel to your vacation photos. Or sharpen those snapshots from the family barbeque. Or add some text for added personality. With the Creative Kit, all you need is an idea…”

      TC: “Google+ Resurrects Playback Feature From Wave, Renames It ‘Ripples’ – Last August, Google asked us all to say good-bye to Google Wave. Some said Wave was ahead of its time, some said that the platform had enough features to sink the Titanic. … And one of these features launched today on Google+ seems a throwback to one now-defunct feature of Google Wave, called ‘Playback’. … Yes, today, Google launched its new Google+ Ripples, which will let users ‘re-live’ the conversations, comments, and sharing that’s taken place over the history of their use of Google+. … In other words, Ripples is a ‘visualization tool for public shares and comments‘, which users can access by simply selecting the ‘View Ripples’ option in the drop down window to the right of the public post.”

      TNW: “Google not only wants to show you what’s hot, but wants to show you how it got hot by showing you how a post was shared. The name also brings back memories of a previous Google product, ‘Wave’. … This is a pretty drastic upgrade for Google+, as until now, the only way to find posts that interested you was through its search function, or when your friends re-shared a post.”

      VB: “Perhaps more interesting for the visually oriented is Google+ Ripples, a new way to watch how posts travel across the company’s set of social features and through various user’s circles. You can view the ‘ripples’ for any public post; this feature will show you all of that post’s activity. You can zoom in on specific events, check out top contributors and more.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 07:33 on 19. October 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , Design, , , , , , , Google Books API, , , , Google Infinite Digital Bookcase, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Typography, , , , , , , Virtual Space, , , , , , , , , WebGL Bookcase   

    Google Infinite Digital Bookcase 

    Google: We designed a digital bookcase that’s an infinite 3D helix; http://eicker.at/Google3DBookcase

    (More …)

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 07:33 on 19. October 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “As digital designers, we often think about how to translate traditional media into a virtual space. Recently, we thought about the bookcase. What would it look like if it was designed to hold digital books? – A digital interface needs to be familiar enough to be intuitive, while simultaneously taking advantage of the lack of constraints in a virtual space. In this case, we imagined something that looks like the shelves in your living room, but is also capable of showcasing the huge number of titles available online – many more than fit on a traditional shelf. With this in mind, we designed a digital bookcase that’s an infinite 3D helix. You can spin it side-to-side and up and down with your mouse. It holds 3D models of more than 10,000 titles from Google Books. – The books are organized into 28 subjects. To choose a subject, click the subject button near the top of your screen when viewing the bookcase. The camera then flies to that subject. Clicking on a book pulls it off the shelf and brings it to the front and center of the screen. Click on the high-resolution cover and the book will open to a page with title and author information as well as a short synopsis, provided by the Google Books API. All of the visuals are rendered with WebGL, a technology in Google Chrome and other modern browsers that enables fast, hardware-accelerated 3D graphics right in the browser, without the need for a plug-in.

      TC: “I wrote a while back about the eventual necessity for the internet to become beautiful. The trouble is that the things in the world we consider beautiful in an informational context – magazine and book layouts, typography, etc. – are necessarily limited in the information they have to present. It’s this limitation, the known quantity aspect, that lets designers work effectively. – How should you design something, then, that presents effectively limitless information (say, all the world’s books) through a fairly limited medium (say, a web browser)? Google has one idea. Put them on a gigantic helix. … But is this really something people will want to navigate? Probably not. People like analogs in their digital catalogs, and this one seems a little bit too off the wall. … Anyway, it’s a fun little experiment you can try out here. Note to Mac Laptop users: be careful how you swipe or you may accidentally navigate off the page or invoke some arcane gesture.

      VB: “With tablets and eReaders offering a number of new ways to experience books, the browser has been relatively ignored. However, not a lot of people consider getting into a bubble bath with their nice glass of wine and a laptop book to wind down the day, but you never know. To that end, the virtual bookcase may not be a competitor to the Kindle, but rather to the book discovery service overall. It could also simply be a way to funnel people toward purchasing Google Books, but it’s still pretty cool.

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