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  • 7 Feb 2007
    The Financial Times reports that "Four countries, led by Italy, are expected to announce support totalling more than $1bn on Friday for a pioneering finance mechanism to stimulate the development of new drugs and vaccines for the developing world." This announcement represents an important accomplishment for global health led by Forum One client, the Center for Global Development. "Advance Market Commitments"(AMC) will help patch a hole in the economics of global health....
  • 2 Feb 2007
    I just learned about the "Stockholm Challenge" awards to innovative information and communications technology (ICT) projects that display: Empowerment, Equal Opportunity, Equality, Sustainability, Economic survivability, Impact, Entrepreneurship, and Inspiration and transferability. The 2006 awardees are some amazing efforts - creative application of technology to development needs, and incorporating a lot of collaboration in their services. The 2006 awardees: In the Culture...
  • 1 Feb 2007
    I was reflecting again recently on an obscure example I use in presentations that demonstrates a useful point. A few years back, people started thinking about online collaboration projects and experimenting with what could be created by a group of random, unaffiliated people charged with completing a small task. "Mob art" was one term that developed around this. One such project was the Typophile Smaller Image Generation Experiment, which attempted to create a collaborative font....
  • 1 Feb 2007
    Usability is primarily aimed at making things easier for the end-user. This isn't always the case, however. There are tasks, events or functions that you may actually wish to make more cumbersome or difficult.   Deleting email from a Gmail account is very difficult; the commands are buried in menus involving many steps. While we may feel that deleting irrelevant email is something we actively want to do, we might conclude it is less usable than it should be. So why have built-in...
  • 31 Jan 2007
    In a previous post, I talked about the notion of "looking before you leap" as it relates to designing a website. Part of this "looking," or exploration stage, can be enhanced by prototyping. Prototyping can take shape in a number of ways, depending on a number of things related to the project in which you're currently involved. A quick survey of some of my colleagues here at Forum One revealed that the preferred method of prototyping really depends on the scope of the...
  • 25 Jan 2007
    "The best designed products won't even need manuals." Don Norman In 2001 Steven Heller interviewed usability expert Don Norman for Print Magazine. SH: Do you believe, as I do, that the designers of instruction manuals make confounding guides? In other words are there built in handicaps for usability, and if so, why? DN: Those who write instruction manuals know what it is like to be in hell. They are given unusable objects and told to write clear, intelligible instructions. And, of...
  • 21 Jan 2007
    Some recent research by Edelman is interesting - titled "A Corporate Guide to the Global Blogosphere: The new model of peer-to-peer communication." It looks at blogging and its implications for corporations. A lot of their insights are relevant for executives in noncommercial groups - nonprofits, government, multi-laterals - as well as for corporate titans. A few interesting notes: Asian adoption: They found blog readership levels varying widely across the ten countries they studied...
  • 17 Jan 2007
    This is great article on how to avoid and plan for the pitfalls in the working through a design review process. Lessons learned. it seems, from painful experience by the author. I have experienced my fair share of "phantom stakeholders" and miscommunication of expectations. Oscar also pointed out his favorite tip: I tell my clients that "I don't like that" won't cut it and that they need to be extremely specific and detailed in the feedback they give me. Make them work for...
  • 16 Jan 2007
    Ok -- it's old news by now, but Time Magazine's giving the "Person of the Year" award to "You" should be of a lot of interest to policy and research and advocacy organizations, as it's about the rise of community and collaboration on the web. (And related - see the growth of blog mentions of "person of the year" in the Technorati graph following the announcement.) This is an opportunity to build a new kind of international understanding, not politician to...
  • 14 Jan 2007
    We hear from a lot of policy-focused groups - think tanks, foundations, research organizations - that they are interested in how blogs might help their work. But... they will also say that they are scared of blogging for a variety of reasons, including that they are worried about getting inundated by negative comments or concerned about the time commitment required. I'll be the first to tell such groups that blogging isn't for every organization. Blogs should *only* be a part of the...