Tag Archives: UX
Reflections on CRASSH
In July I presented a paper at CRASSH in Cambridge. It was a small conference, but being in Europe it was good to see many of the various kinds of projects which are going on in Digital Humanities and Linguists, or also Cloud Computing and Linguistics. One particular project, TypeCraft, stands out as being rather well done and promising was presented by Dorothee Beermann Hellan. I think the ideas presented in this project are well thought out and seem to be well implemented. It would be nice to see this product integrated with some other linguistics and language documentation cloud offerings. i.e. Project Lego from the Linguist’s List or the Max Planck Institute’s LEXUS project. While TypeCraft does allow for round tripping of data with XML, what I am talking about is a consolidated User Experience for both professional linguists and for Minority language users.
A note on foundational technologies:
- It appears that Lexus is is built on BaseX with Cocoon and XML.
- The front page of TypeCraft has a very Wikipedia like feel, but this might not be the true foundational technology.
- Linguist’s List often does their work in ColdFusion and the LEGO project definitely has this feel about it.
EOM… and short emails
EOM seems to be the rage. That is an email with just something in the subject and nothing in the body, or a statement like [no reply necessary] or [end of message] at the end of the subject line.
Linking Minority Language Dictionaries to Open Data
What is the role of a dictionary?
Is the role of a dictionary to regulate or to standardize spelling? Is it to validate a speech variety as being real or a bon fide language? Or is it for documenting and establishing the relationships and connections between things (plants, animals, fish, spirits/gods, medicines, etc.) as they are emicly viewed, for connecting people via collaboration, or connecting related concepts and their classes together into documented sets? Or even connecting these things and relationships as they are viewed in one culture to the same things and relationships as they are viewed in another culture or more broadly cross-culturally? Continue reading
The Look of Language Development Websites
I have been thinking through some of the presentation issues for presenting SIL International’s work on the web. As part of this I have also been looking at other organizations which are part of the language documentation and minority language revitalization movement. I recently ran across several nicely done web sites.
National Geographic Genographic ProjectContinue reading
The importance of writing for the web
Lets say it this way, If you want reader to comprehend the things you are trying to communicate to them, and then to act on something then when you write for the web:
- Make it short: People scan the web. This is part of making things readable.
- Make it readable: that is use pictures to explain concepts.
- Make it interactive: [Press the like button…]
- I do not write short blog posts.
- I am trying to use more images and photographs to explain concepts.
- And there should be a like button or a comments section.
One choice, two lists
I have been listing a bunch of stuff on Craig’s list this week. I have been fascinated by the screen below.
Why is the list really long and include two apparent sub-categories for each category? Why not ask the question: Is the lister a dealer or an owner? Then ask the lister what category they are going to list the item in?
Providing Corporate Logos to Partners
As I work with a particular NGO, one of the interesting questions which has come up in discussions is whither or not the NGO should put their logo on their web page with instructions for proper use. There were two main questions asked:
- Is this something which needs to be on the web publicly (as apposed to privately on an intranet)?
- Is this even a common practice?
I am listing a few use cases here to show some of the variety and breadth of the kinds of people who are sharing their logos and providing display and license guidelines to potential users of their logos.
I think there are two primary reasons for organizations to provide access to branding information in a public venue:
- Help partners accurately visually display the offering organization’s brand.
- Help staff have a visible, consistent and authoritative reference point when communicating with partners. Because this conversation with partners is about the partners displaying their affiliation with the NGO it is something which can be facilitated publicly.
I go through some of the use cases in the video below. The blog post in that video about teaching in Malaysia can be read here.
However, the IBM logo is text based and does not meet the threshold for copyright originalityThis information is what is provided on Wikipedia about the IBM icon used here.. However it is still a logo and covered under registered trade mark rules.
Another organization with a rather popular logo among internal and external users is U.S. military. This would include logos like that of the U.S. Air Force. They also have specific guidelines posted for different uses of their logo. As well as a page explaining the symbology of the logo.
Apple is another popular company with several programs and logos specifically designed for use by business partners. One of the things which is required in these kinds of relationships is for the organization granting the logo’s use to be firm in their organizational identity. This means: defining the relationship – who is the NGO and who is not the NGO. For some organizations it means defining what items are trademarks, products and logos.
The next three brands have a particularly visual representation and presentation of their branding guidelines.
WordPress logos are made freely available under their about section.
http://wordpress.org/about/logos While WordPress is an opensource product, it is also a community. About a year and a half ago one there was quite a stir made by Automatic about proper logo usage. The community had some who were less than thrilled with the emphasis Automatic brought on branding an open source project, but in the end even the controversy made the brand stronger. The consistent iconization of the product also made the brand more recognizable. Today the WordPress project has a lot of logo options which conform to established branding guidelines. This gives the community flexibility and continuity at the same time.
Adobe is a company whose name is almost synonymous with the term digital art. It is well known for products like Photoshop and for files like PDFs. When we think of PDFs we often think of the Acrobat Logo on the image of a file.Part of this visibility is due to Adobe Icons and Logos which it has made available.
Perhaps my favorite logo explanation is the simple (yet detailed) approach that Twitter has taken on its page
Twitter.com/logo. Here are some screen shots.
GIAL Web structure
I was looking at the wikipedia article for Language Documentation. The only reference cited was a thesis by Debbie Chang. I happen to know Debbie. So I thought I would take a look at her thesis and see what she said. So I clicked the link and was delivered to a 404 error page on GIAL’s website. GIAL had recently renovated their website. I was able to locate thesis and fix the URL on wikipedia by digging through the GIAL website. The new URL is: http://www.gial.edu/images/theses/Chang_Debbie-thesis.pdf
But then I looked at the URL and asked: Why are PDFS in the images folder? What is the long term infrastructure for this school? It seems that when PDFs (thesis) are put into the images folder rather than into a digital repository that something is not quite right with the longterm planning for the school. Ironically, this is not too far from the main thrust of Debbie’s thesis.
It would seem that the long term solution for this kind of problem would be for a small school like GAIL to A. have its library develop an infrastructure for permanently housing these kinds of materials. Or B. contract with another organization or archive which could take care of these sorts of issues for them, provide handles or stable URLs, and then for GIAL to link to the permanent location of these items from GIAL’s website. It is interesting to note that on the same campus as GIAL is SIL International’s Language and Culture Archive, yet GIAL has not taken advantage of this opportunity.
Presenting Professionals 2
Current situation at SIL.org
The question has come around to: How does a company present its employees? This question is interesting in an SIL web context because there are no less than 5 places, and potentially more, where SIL staff are presented on the web.
- Staff is presented in the SIL corporate Bibliography
- Senior staff in key leadership positions are presented on a CV page called the Roster
- Staff are eligable for personal webspace on
- At a special SIL website like SIL-UND staff pages or at some other program where academics are teaching and staff
- A personal Website (not on
- In a professional network like LinkedIn
- JAARS Websites
- As part of SIL’s Lingua-Links pages
- As part of SIL’s NRSI working group.