I find all of this user experience stuff really inspiring: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2007/11/26/monday-inspiration-user-experience-of-the-future/
See, I’m not sure if it’s a left brain, right brain thing but something interesting happens when you take digital concepts, and make it analogue.
Take information architecture – if I’m mapping out an IA I’ll start with a list of content. I’ll break it down to the most minute level possible (which can take a running list spanning several days) and will then plonk each item on an index card. More precisely, because I don’t like being wasteful, I plonk it on about 1/3 of an index card.
I then shuffle and make little piles of “like content”. I then label the piles and do it again. And again. And again with lots of people until some sort of order and reason comes out.
It’s amazing how often the simplest, sanest IAs are created by card sorting. Sometimes they marry up to the experience you get from an xls and someone cutting and pasting cells, but not always.
So I say bring on these real world ways of representing digital information!