Carnegie Mellon Grad Student Rediscovers 3D Mouse

A usability rediscovery recently brought back into the market by a grad student in Human Computer Interaction from Carnegie Mellon.

Quality Management, Information Prediction, and Pre-Optimized Resource Networks

One of the problems of this information-chocked world is that answer-seeking becomes too quick to be well-refined. Artificial Intelligence pioneer Herbert Simon explains this problem very well with his term “Satisfice”.

Satisfice: a hybrid word formed from satisfy and suffice, referring to the tendency of time-starved, information-overloaded users to select the first good-enough solution that crosses their path. Users often use satsificing as a triage strategy, based on the time and effort a more comprehensive search might entail.

How does one avoid making mediocre choices due to last-minute information needs? The solution is to predict what future information will be needed, and then create networks of experts based on those future needs.

Where to start?

  • A good place is Answers (when people you don’t know answer your questions well, add them to your network).
  • Facebook notes (tag friends in a note and ask for experts, blog reccommendations, and books).

In this way, your network researches for you en masse, and you can simply wait for the information to return. In the future, your network may rely on you for your specific expertise in order to avoid their own Satisfice on the subject.

Definition of Satisfice taken from Bob Goodman’s Usability Glossary. – A Wiki Business/People/Idea Directory

A lot of user frustration is caused by unreliable information experiences. Contact and location information is often ill-placed or absent on business websites. Because of this, the user spends an unnecessary amount of time wayfinding instead of contacting the business. This leads to user frustration and business losses, not to mention time lost on the side of the user.

Enter It’s like Wikipedia/Phone Book/Search Engine/Social Networking – all in one. It provides a consistent and cheery user experience, while data mining the needed contact and location information that a user needs…quickly and quietly.

Plus, users can augment every page of the site to expand information about a business or topic, because AboutUs is a Wiki. Users can have profiles, interests and groups. They can find others based on their interests/edits. They can upload photos and stories about themselves in Wiki format. is based in Portland, too! In fact, I recently visited their location and was terribly impressed by their corporate environment. Being there gave me renewed ambitions for what Japanense futurist Mr. Masuda wrote about in his book about the future: The Information Society as Post Industrial Society.

AboutUs looks like it could be another step towards a bright future of coworking and cocreation of knowledge and ideas.