15 February 2006

Bookmark ergonomics

if interface-design
ever gets a theory

its core must be
and minimizing
the effort required
by each interface command

managing Web bookmarks
to minimize longterm effort
requires considerable
advance setup-effort

but will repay handsomely
every time you click

i see three major groupings
for bookmarks:

that largely take care of themselves

non-rss regulars
that i group by update-schedule
as toolbar icons

and irregulars
which i'm addressing now

pick a category like
movies music books games

and think of all your favorite
irregular sites
for that category

eg for movies
i use imdb
when i want reference-background
on a particular movie or movie-person

rotten tomatoes
when i want an overview
of critics' opinions

to look for online scripts

one of the spoilers site
when i want a full plot summary

for its measure of offensiveness

robb's oops gallery
for vidcaps of its nude scenes


and each
irregular time
i need one of these

i have to track down the url
maybe just from memory, retyping it
maybe in my bookmarks file
maybe via google
maybe via another site

but ergonomically
all of these methods are
vastly more expensive
than rss or toolbar icons

so suppose
to optimize
we (each) create a custom page
with a normal toolbar icon

that's our irregulars jump-page

that loads instantly
(by minimizing html-junk
and keeping a copy on our local hard drive)

that sorts these reference-sites
by category:
movies music books games
reference firefox html

with each category getting
one line's worth of links:

movies: imdb tomatoes scripts spoilers cap robb's [etc]
music: webjay yahoo lyrics [etc]
books: OlB pGut used complete dy [etc]
games: reviews jay goodexp [etc]
ref: dict thes rhymes wildcard [etc]
firefox: extensions updates [etc]
html: entities [etc]

so that your top n-hundred
irregular sites
require the same icon-click
followed by a simple second
scan and click?

isn't this ergonomically optimal?

and further
suppose we use Ning
to share and compare
these jump pages

tweaking them from time to time
and re-generating a simple-as-possible page
for download?

poll: would this work for you?

I've done something similar
I've done something better
I use a similar page created by others
My bookmark manager does fine
I'd use this if it were automated (eg at Ning)
I plan to do it, Ning or not
It's too much work
I don't understand it yet