User Interface Research Group - Masatomo Kobayashi - Weekly Report

Weekly Report

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Some of Japanese scientists and engineers often write their valuable articles in a historical style (using obsolete Chinese and Japanese characters). Such articles are difficult to read for most people, especially for Japanese learners. So I wrote a script for greasemonkey. This script automatically rewrites classic Japanese for modern readers.

Classic to Modern (Japanese)
Rewrites classic Japanese for modern readers so that users (especially Japanese learners) can read the article.


Standard upright vending machines force users to bend down to pick up a product. One solution is a machine like a table (i.e., a space invader game), but this will reduce the reliability of the machine and waste space and electricity. Another solution is a more primitive one that works manually with a foot pedal. This will be more exciting because it's difficult to successfully catch the product.

A standard vending machine One like a table One with a pedal


Here is a nagomi-system design: "the dora-PC".

A dora-PC


There are two types of people in this world: bool type and real type. The former people divide everything into two groups: true or false, yes or no, good or bad, 1 or 0, and so on. The latter people think carefully about everything and finally say "I think the answer is mostly yes, but of course we can say it is partly no, so...", "The answer is 0.650! ...±0.100?", and so on. I'm one of the latter, again, though I often divide people into two types. Note that a real person uses "0.999..." instead of "1".


There are two types of people in this world: those who seek correct answers, and those who seek understandable answers. For the former, it's not so important whether they can understand the answers. For the latter, it's not so important whether their logics are correct. I'm one of the latter. I can understand everything.


It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.Chinese proverb.


Clocky is a cute, elegant gadget and will solve at least one of the ultimate problems of human life.


Le Poisson d'Avril
In France, April 1 is called "the fish of April" (aka "April Fool's Day").


Going my way...

First, take three steps forward. (Next, turn on your heels.) Then, take two steps backward.


Today's Slogan:

I'm great because today I did things I can do tomorrow.


I'd to press the door open button, so that a stranger can take the elevator where I'd already been. But I pushed the wrong — door close button by accident. As a result, I must have been an evil man though I'm really a friendly, gentle, and honest guy! The root of all evil was the confusing design of both icons. OK, I know <|> and >|< represent the direction of door movement: ←|→ and →|←, respectively; however, they look like the following pictures: A Closing Door and An Open Door, don't they?

A lot of people have discussed this problem. One presented novel icons while another suggested using the words "Open" and "Close" on the buttons. Combining the two buttons into a single toggle button might be a good idea because we press the door open button only when the door is closing, and vice versa. Meanwhile, there was even a person who told that the door open button was completely unnecessary.

However, do they at all need to have the appearance of buttons? I present another solution — Door Slider:

Door Slider

Door Slider won't confuse you anymore because the direction of slider movement naturally indicates that of door movement. In addition, It's clearly distinguishable from standard floor buttons. Door Slider will relieve everyday victims of such old-style door open/close buttons on elevator control panels.


In order to make informed decisions in our work, it's not enough to rely on automated systems - we need to get the right information into our heads. So now this report become a hyper-report.


Happy New Year! I hope your new year is filled with a lot of wonderful things.

KOBAYASHI Masatomo <kobayash at>
Last Updated: Wed, 22-Jun-2005 JST