RE: Can authoring using graphics = no localisation?

Subject: RE: Can authoring using graphics = no localisation?
From: Marguerite Krupp <mkrupp -at- cisco -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2001 11:01:37 -0500

I really like what Geoff had to say on this, and I'd like to add that you
should also look at the work Jared Spool has done in Usability. He has a
standard program where he shows the icons from a variety of commonly-used
programs and asks people to guess what functions they represent.

Another area that has influenced/limited this iconographic communication has
been the issue of companies' copyrighting the "look and feel" of their
programs and interfaces. Thus, proprietariness has inhibited the very types
of communication you're investigating. See the battles between Microsoft and
Apple for examples. Might be an interesting sidelight.

Finally, look at the winners of the STC Tech Art, Tech Pubs, and EDOC
competitions. You'll often find very good examples of graphics used as
meaningful communications objects. Your local STC chapter may be holding a
showcase of winners (as we're doing in Boston in the spring). If there's
none near you, perhaps you can get to the STC conference in Chicago in May
to see the winners. Most of what you'll find will be what you've referred to
as "drawn art," but some, particularly the online stuff, will resort to

I did some stuff on non-verbal/iconographic communication myself when I was
in grad school many years ago. It's a fascinating area. The papers are long
buried, and there's been a lot of new material discovered since then, but
you should have a good time with this. Check out the ACM SIGCHI publications
for more good stuff, and look at the work of Scott Kim. One of his books is
_Figure:Ground_, probably long out of print but available in libraries. And
be sure to check out Edward Tufte's body of work.


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