Dropshelf: an interesting way to create dump collections

PIM literature mentions 3 different collections (or simply folders or tag groups) we create in our information spaces [1][2]:

  • Project collections: formed to support work on a task/project, have usually an elaborated organization and consist of diverse file formats.
  • Reference collections: include information items of usually one format, have a fairly flat organizational structure and are organised by metadata or key (time, name, topic) such as a collection of music files, photos.
  • Dump collections: these are formed of arbitrary information items and usually consist of information that cannot be classified in the above collections - so things we don't know where to put or put here temporarily (desktop, download folder, etc.)

This OS X app called Dropshelf supports the latter. It creates 'containers or some kind of folders' on the edge of the screen where files, text clips and web links can be dropped.

These screen-edge-folders differ from normal folders as they can hold links and notes besides files (imagine having a dump folder on a dock which would behave as Dropshelf). It is a similar idea to my Task Information Collections - TIC - just that my app is supporting projects. Saying that, each Dropshelf container can be used for one project (although overlaps, spatial organisation, timechanges including removal of items and archiving would still be missing.)

[1] W. Jones. Keeping Found Things Found: The Study and Practice of Personal Information Management. Morgan Kaufman. 2008

[2] A. Kamaruddin and A. Dix. To `dump'or not to `dump': Changing, supporting or distracting behavior. i-USEr '10: International Conference on User Science and Engineering. 2010

You can buy "nothing" at Sainsbury's

I just got a strangest idea ever while waiting in the store: "can I buy nothing at the self-checkut?" Apparently it is possible. and nothing has always a weight of 0.01 kg. I wonder why the staff looked at me in a particular way :).

It is always funny to see what the designers have not envisioned or even tried to use. I wonder how many flaws my products have ... hmmmm ...

Inaccessible scrollbar on Googles Open Source blog

Scroll bars are one of those widgets that many think are plain simple to design but they went though many changes and design decisions over the years. However, users can easily get frustrated if scroll bars are not designed right. I'm not the first or the last one and Alan has many examples:

I just found an example of the latter myself on the Google Open Source blog. Apparently this is a Blogger 's feature and I wonder if people (after years of) writing on Blogger even came across this problem. And if responsible at Blogger thought that the scroll bar would be obscured by positioning things on the right side of the web page. Based on other blogs on Blogger this can be turned off.

Bing mixing Java with JavaScript?

Search of web search engines is highly personalised so you probably wont get the same result. When searching for JavaScript the first entry on the list result is Java :).

App store - the lack of feedback during the installation of software

I just used the App store on OS X for the first time (I know, I know ... the early adopter 3 years after the release). I prefer the standalone software that can be downloaded from developers' web sites. But I needed Xcode and there's no other way.

However I was left puzzled after clicking the


as this is the screen after the buttons were clicked:

The only thing that the interface reveals is that the software is installing. No way of saying the progress of it. I left it for a few minutes hoping that it will change and show the progress. Nope. Then I started to explore the UI and finally hit the "Purchases"?!? 

And here it was the missing progress ...

I haven't purchased the software nor was I expecting to find the progress there. It would be more "natural" to find it on the page of the software itself (and in addition maybe on the purchases page - although the latter should be named differently ... maybe Downloads and purchases).

This was similarly confusing than the MS ELMS web page ...