I promised Robert La Gesse of Triagility I would post this note when I found a suitable illustration (thanks for the photo, Mia!). The object above is a letter scale from my grandparents’ and now my aunt’s house in Winchester, England. Note that it doesn't need to show the letter's precise weight, but rather just which weight category (i.e. price bracket) it fits in.
Says Robert: "…you loved the color coding of [some type of data] in some application you used. Color coding is just one method to display how much “weight” a user gives to an item. But the colors are just the display mechanism. The mechanism could just as easily be a set of numbers, or pictures.
The thought I had today was that “Weight 2.0” might be a very good seminar: How do we determine/allow/aggregate/balance how important any given item - be it a meeting request or a photograph - is to not just me and the author, but to my immediate community, and potentially the global community?"
Esthr adds: I'm not sure the idea conld sustain an entire day's workshop, but it's an important concept. Already, you can allow the users to adjust the weights of various criteria, but not the [experts' assessments or user votes for] absolute ratings they adjust, so that users can give more or less weight to certain attributes – a feature that already exists in many ranking applications, such as picking houses, investment portfolios, consumer electronics and the like.
I can also imagine using a variety of factors to weight the importance of mail in my inbox: recency, sender, topic. I wouldn’t necessarily want the most important stuff at the top, but I might like old mails to fade, important ones to show as pink…. And as a special bonus, I’d like them to be sorted not by date of receipt, but by date of action-required.