Szymon Kaliski

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Orientation in Fractal Software

In my experience, fractal nesting as a spatial navigation metaphor (folders) fails because fracticality thwarts orientation. Hard to hold a mental map of more than one level of depth. Works great as a contextual navigation metaphor though (links).

— Gordon Brander -

I still think zooming metaphors can sometimes thread the needle because they don’t hide away zoom levels, so you can maintain orientation through overview effect.

— Gordon Brander -

Spatial orientation and mental mappability are fuzzy subconscious sort of processes, but taking The Image of the City as a starting point, I would look to create affordances like paths, edges, districts, nodes, landmarks... especially landmarks

— Gordon Brander -

"Workspace themes" have been a helpful attention hack for working on multiple directories/repos at once.

— Lenny Bogdonoff -


  1. 2021-01-15Fractality of Software Tools1

275 words last tended to on 2020-12-13newsletter, rss