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  • 10 Jan 2007
    Forum One Communications announced today that Bill Johnston, an authority on online community development and management, has joined the firm as Director of Community and Research. Johnston has been active in the online community space since 1999. He comes to Forum One from Autodesk, where he served as the Online Strategy Manager, with responsibilities including a portfolio of online communities and blogs. Previously he oversaw user experience tasks at TechRepublic, an IT professionals...
  • 8 Jan 2007
    This past week I met with Jeff Forster of the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management and learned about some interesting research they've done on nonprofits and IT planning and infrastructure. The Bayer Center, at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, conducted this summer their fourth biennial survey. This summer 2006 survey was their largest ever, covering 285 nonprofits across a range of sectors - human services, education, community development, and others - in the region around...
  • 3 Jan 2007
    Steve Krug has come out with a second edition of Don't Make Me Think! A Common Sense Guide to Web Usability. It's short. It's funny. I read all the footnotes. The first edition was published nearly five years ago. Since then the state of the web has changed considerably. However, most of Krug's lessons and recommendations remain pertinent. What has been added? There are three new chapters: Usability as common courtesy - about the importance of treating users well Accessibility, CSS, and...
  • 2 Jan 2007
    Nothing like opening the year with browser stats. Net Applications, a company in the business of selling website stats monitoring widgets has its most current browser usage stats online. I'm always a little weary about the reliability of browser usage stats. I am even more weary about how people interpret them. If Safari has 4.24% marketshare does that mean we can forget about it, and only make sure webpages works in IE6/7? I think it's more important to see where things are going. It seem...
  • 15 Dec 2006
    In a recent training session on Visio, I explained the benefits of using Backgrounds when building wireframes. Much like the slide master in PowerPoint, making an edit on your Background will be reflected in all foreground pages whose properties have been set up to leverage that Background. A time saver (make changes in one place instead of on each page) and ensures consistency in object placement across pages. Here's where the Background falls short. If you're planning on building out your...
  • 15 Dec 2006
    Human Factors International has a nice round up of what they learned in the past year in the field of usability. Here are some highlights from their email newsletter I found relevant and interesting: Information Architecture: The Importance of Grouping vs. Labeling The organizational structure (grouping and schema) has oft been touted as the key to good Web site design. To the contrary, the Resnick and Sanchez study indicates that generating high quality labels is more critical. First...
  • 14 Dec 2006
    We've all fallen victim to leaping before looking -- speaking before thinking, taking a road trip without consulting a map, not calling ahead for reservations, or not devoting enough time to planning for a web development project. As information architects, it's our job to make sure that all the details of the project process are considered before a line of code is written. In a recent article at A List Apart entitled Avoid Edge Cases by Designing Up Front, Ben Henick serves us a great outline...
  • 30 Nov 2006
    Paparazzi is a Mac-only (sorry PC users) screen capture app that lets you take capture of the browser-length or full page-length of a webpage. No more Shift+Cmd+4 and pasting in Photoshop. The best part is, it's free.
  • 30 Nov 2006
    I feel I owe a debt to LEGO blocks for forming part of my personality (at least the obsessive, primary-colored, perfected-fitting, perpendicular part). I have always wondered how they made LEGO block (or where they came from for that matter) and how they got them to fit so perfectly together. I've always been awe of the precision of how LEGO blocks are manufactured, and watching my infant daughter play with LEGO Duplo blocks (the bigger chunky ones), I also wondered how they perfectly adjust...
  • 28 Nov 2006
    "Cowboys all know you can't brand nothin' till you tie three of its legs together, slam it to the ground, and sedate it." - Bart Crosby, brand designer This is the opening to a new book that the UX+D team recently added to the library. Branding for Nonprofits by DK Holland is directed toward non-designers, outlining: the definition of a brand how to build a brand team the anatomy of a design brief the designer's role the branding process implementing...