News : October 2005
Tony Byrne interview
As the Web matures and businesses around the world begin to fully grasp its potential, content management systems have become critical to publishing and processing online content. Lou Rosenfeld (co-father of the field of information architecture) and Tony Byrne (of CMS Watch) discuss selecting the right CMS, why projects frequently go awry, and the new covenants needed between the enterprise and content management professionals. Read more...
Jeff Veen over at Adaptive Path tells me that they have launched their first product, Measure Map which provides free easy stats for your blog.
I haven't kicked the tires yet, but when I do I will post about it here. Ok, kicked the tires and it's a pretty handy tool. It took nearly one minute to setup and start seeing stats. Very easy to read and understand. Everything is in plain english and clearly spelled out. This is something my uncle could use and he would be able to follow what it all means pretty well. I think I'll need to kick the tires for a week to get more of a full experience here, but it's pretty well rounded... and this is just an alpha product. Another great example of web traffic made simple.
Web 2.0: metrics, hype, and getting things done
Just wanted to take a moment to mention a few new posts that I missed over this last week. First, Meryl Evans has a great post on Web 2.0: Is it just hype?. She takes an interesting point of view on the whole thing. Second, Tristan Louis has the 4th installment on metrics up entitled Weighting the Metrics. Lastly, I posted little rant over on A Blue Flavored Blog called Shut Up and Dance which hits on the recent debates and simply getting things done.
Trust and Communication
How Magazine has a surprisingly good article by Pat Matson Knapp entitled What Clients REALLY Want. These principals such as setting expectations with the client up front and offering clear communication are what we in the web industry should be thinking about every time we take on a new client or project. We are in the service industry and we should start thinking along the lines of service industry level trust and communication. Sure, we all make mistakes, if we didn't we wouldn't be trying hard enough, but it is most important to learn from our mistakes and figure out how to avoid them in the future. Moving the web forward isn't just about technology and cool tools, its about regaining our client's trust and clearly communicating with them. I always ask myself, "if this was MY web site, how would I want it handled" and try to maintain my relationship with the client along those grounds.
Write for Digital Web Magazine
Digital Web Magazine seeks a fearless few to contribute articles in 2006. If your writing is incisive and compelling, we want to hear from you. If you've got an idea for an as yet unpublished article, drop me a line. Discretion is assured.
Mark Trammell interview
Welcome back to former Editor in Chief D. Keith Robinson who joins us this week with an interview with Professional CSSer Mark Trammell. Come on along as Keith and Mark discuss Professional CSS, virtual work teams and the challenges and rewards of educating the next generation of Web designers. Read more...
Metrics and Web 2.0
Tristan Louis has three fabulous articles out on Metrics over on his site, TNL.net. First he starts out with an introduction to metrics, then he moves on to describing hard metrics and finally, you guessed it, soft metrics. I recommend you read all three articles if you are concerned about Web 2.0 being the next bubble.
The Greater Realm of Design
Jess McMullin has been thinking a lot about design lately. When I say design I mean the greater design... not just graphic design (visual design?). He has an interesting post entitled, brace yourselves, Most Designers aren't Design Thinkers - Yet. For the record, I agree with his points here. Check out the PDF for a visual representation of what he's describing here. This post has caused quite a stir in the Information Architecture community as well as the Interaction Design community... and for good reason. Are our titles and role boundries as professionals in the design space soon to become obsolete? Perhaps, yes.
The Next RSS Powerhouse?
So if you haven't heard already NewsGator acquired NetNewsWire. What does this mean for the RSS reading world? Well, it seems this was only a matter of time for those of us who were really paying attention. Think about it, NewsGator now owns a online RSS reader (NewsGator Online), a Windows based RSS reader (FeedDemon), and now a Mac based RSS reader (NetNewsWire). They have also been working with Microsoft, which is probably related to Longhorn shipping with native RSS reading abilities as well as NewsGator's ability to integrate with Outlook. All in all, what does this mean? Well, we're seeing the emergence of a RSS powerhouse. I just hope they stay unbiased as far as platforms go. What are your thoughts about this acquisition?
Interaction Design Association (IxDA)
David Heller tells me that the Interaction Design Group (IxDG) has incorporated as a non-profit, member-supported organization and has officially changed its name to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA). To quote the press release, "The Interaction Design Association is a non-profit professional organization whose focus is promoting both the field of interaction design and the interests of an international community of practitioners, managers, educators, and students of interaction design." While I do have my doubt about the need of "yet another association" I have a feeling that IxDA has the potential to achive some great things in the years to come and I wish them the best of luck.
Jonathan Snook continues to demystify the world of Web programming in this second installment of his Behind the Curtain column. Join Jonathan as he tackles the trickiness of Variable Scope. Read more...
Authority in Information Spaces
Peter Morville has published what is already being described as one of the most important articles in information architecture in years. The article is entitled simply Authority and touches on the subjects of Wikipedia, folksonomy, tag clouds, and social facts. It brings into account several factors of accuracy, objectivity, currency, and of course the judgment of authority. To me, this also correlates to issues such as journalistic credibility, proper crediting of sources, and accountability both online and offline.
Digital Web Magazine on CommandN
This news is a little late here, but I thought I would let our readers know that Digital Web Magazine was mentioned on Episode 17 of CommandN. Now I may be a bit behind in reading my RSS feeds but I have been a viewer of CommandN for some time now, and I gotta say, this is something worth watching. It's got all the kind of content I wish my local 6:00 news had. They give some pretty helpful tips, tricks, and cool technology reviews every week. The show is setup so pretty much anyone can watch it and get what they are talking about. And if you are die-hard like me you can check out all 17 episodes in the archive. [thanks to J. S. Townsley for the tip]
Jeremy Keith interview
Post Launch Retrospect
For those who are curious about how things are going since the announcement and launch of Blue Flavor you might want to check out our blog, Blue Flavored (or Blue Flavor ED, ED meaning Experience Design). Keith and Matt have already made several recent posts about the challenges and triumphs we have faced just over the last week such as working in small teams, the difficulties of content, and more. Needless to say business is good, we already signed some major clients and have a lot of projects rolling in. Thanks to everyone who gave us their support and encouragement during the launch.
The October gotoreport
Kelly over at gotomedia has launched another new issue of the gotoreport. In this issue Dave Rogers has a great article on IA in the real world called The User Advocate: One Size Fits None? There is also a great interview with industrial designer Scott Summit and Kelly herself has a great article entitled Brand Tune-Up: How to Help a Squeaky Brand Run Smoothly plus more great articles. Go check it out.
The Travel Experience
Well-known community expert and good friend, Lee LeFever, tells me that The World is not Flat or so goes the title of his new site where he and his wife, Sachi, intends to log their journey around the world and prove the point. And it's not just a travel blog, he's setup the site so that the community at large can participate sharing not only their comments and feedback but also their own stories and experiences in various parts of the world. He also makes some good use of Google Maps and other handy features such as weighted lists and tags within Drupal. For the record, I think this a great example of how to make a site driven by a tool like Drupal stand out in it's own unique way. Congrats Lee and Sachi!
Dollars & Sense of Web Analytics
An understanding of web analytics is a key tool in the well rounded web craftsman's kit. Being able to unravel the mystery of site statisctics can reveal opportunities for improvement and iteration that can make your sites more effective for your clients and their customers. Alan K'necht, our $ and Sense of IT columnist, returns this week to Digital Web Magazine with a down and dirty tutorial on the art and science of web analytics. Read more...
Is Web 2.0 Over?
Jay Fineberg has an interesting post over on iCite entitled The era of web 2.Over which goes into detail about Tim O'Reilly's recent essay about Web 2.0 and it's future. From Jay's point of view, the Web 2.0 discussion is now a "purely retrospective concept." This is true if you are paying attention to early adopters and trend setters. However, if you look at the vast majority of people using the Web it is not. For example in a recent study Forrester reported that only 6% of consumers currently use RSS. Contrast this with how many consumer sites might be using AJAX, blogs, or implementing folksonomies, well, you get quite a different perspective. For the majority of web users out there, Web 2.0 hasn't even hit yet.
As you can imagine it's been a pretty busy week for me so posts have been slow. I noticed that my post about The State of the Experience might have been overlooked in the flurry of the launch. I'd be interested to hear what you have to say about this perspective on Experience Design and I'd also love to hear your suggestions on moving forward in this regard.