Presenting Professionals 2

Current situation at

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.

  1. Staff is presented in the SIL corporate Bibliography
  2. Senior staff in key leadership positions are presented on a CV page called the Roster
  3. Staff are eligable for personal webspace on'sName
  4. At a special SIL website like SIL-UND staff pages or at some other program where academics are teaching and staff
  5. A personal Website (not on
  6. In a professional network like LinkedIn
  7. JAARS Websites
  8. As part of SIL’s Lingua-Links pages
  9. As part of SIL’s NRSI working group.
  10. Continue reading

Presenting Research on the Web

I have been Looking at different ways to make SIL’s digital research content more interactive, findable, and usable. Today I found It is interesting how they approach the facets of Location, Projects, Publications, and People up in the right hand corner. I think they did a good job. The site feels like it is balanced.

Microsoft Research

Microsoft Research Home Page

Too many terms of service

You might have heard about the recent change in the Google terms of service. I have, several times. I use several Google services. Logistically, this makes a lot of sense. They sent out an email quoted below saying that they were consolidating over 60 terms of service agreements. I have had two thoughts about this

  1. Why is there no blowback or negative PR for Google like there was for FaceBook?
  2. This is the sort of scenario I have been warning one of the companies I am working for about creating. We have 3-4 separate online communities currently with separate terms of service with two other major communities about to launch. This is part of the User Experience which should not be over looked.

BTW: I am grateful for the centralization at Google.

Google Terms of service

Google Terms of service

Dear Google Apps administrator for _________,

We’re getting rid of over 60 different privacy policies across Google and replacing them with one that’s a lot shorter and easier to read. Our new policy covers multiple products and features, reflecting our desire to create one beautifully simple and intuitive experience for your users across Google products.

As always, Google will maintain your data in strict compliance with the confidentiality and security obligations provided to your domain.

If you permit your users to access optional additional Google services for your domain, your users may separately receive notifications communicating the new Privacy Policy. You can visit your Google Apps control panel at any time if you’d like to review the additional services accessible to your users.

We’re excited about the improvements we are making across our products and appreciate your support. You can view the new privacy policy at These changes will take effect on March 1, 2012.

Please do not reply to this email. Mail sent to this address cannot be answered. Also, never enter your Google Account password after following a link in an email or chat to an untrusted site. Instead, go directly to the site, such as or Google will never email you to ask for your password or other sensitive information.

Handicapped: What does it mean?

This past Christmas Becky and I visited her cousin, who has, as of about a year ago been diagnosed with ALS. We were able to talk a bit about what it means for him (experientially) to be handicapped. We talked about laws, systems, and attitudes in our society with regard to services for handicapped people. – Much the User Experience kinds of stuff, just not with the web.

It was the first time I had heard someone discuss critically the pros and cons of the implications of the ADA. We talked a bit about how handicapped people are affected by the laws and their implementations.

One example our cousin gave was walking from the handicapped parking to a restaurant. At one establishment the handicap spot was on the same side of the driving road but the spot was further to walk than the closest parking spots. Not all handicapped cases are the same. For some it would be better to cross the street to walk the shorter distance than to walk the “safer” but longer distance.

Resturant Parking

Resturant Parking

We also talked about some experiences he had with Disney and with Southwest Airlines.

Without taking credit for our cousin’s stories or wanting to bash on either of these companies, let me relay the flowing experiences and some reflections on them. It was interesting that his interpretation was that socially in Disney being handicapped, when it came to waiting in lines, meant that you got preferential treatment. This was because there was a separate and often shorter line for Handicapped persons. He remarked that this is not exactly fair to non-handicapped persons. And that the purpose of the laws for persons with handicaps is to make things equal, not preferred.

However, his experience with Southwest was of a different nature. Being a faithful customer of Southwest since the early 2000’s I have often enjoyed my “plane crackers”. He remarked that it was really difficult for someone with muscular challenges to navigate between the rows of seats. (Someone else with several kids, was using a kid to reserve the front seat for other people who were boarding later.) It was also difficult to get seats which were together for his family. I found this a little hard to believe until I was flying Southwest this past January. Having heard my cousin’s story, I took note with new eyes on people boarded the aircraft and how the elderly, families and handicapped people were assisted.

On my way to Oregon, there was a man next to me who had lived in the U.S. for a number of years but was originally from Columbia. He was in his 80s and wore hearing aids. He never heard the cabin bell saying that it was alright to get up and go to the bathroom. This would normally be alright but the light for buckling the seats never went off. When the stewardess asked for his drink he could not hear her ask if he wanted cream and sugar with his coffee. Luckily, I was there to “yell” in his ear and he got cream and sugar.

On the way back from Oregon an elderly lady with an oxygen/nebulizer kind of machine with her was disembarking from the plane. She was slow moving and felt really bad for keeping others waiting who were going to disembark. After most of the passengers had disembarked I asked the steward on duty how he would have handled this kind of passenger in the case of emergency. He said that they hope to never have an emergency, but in the case of one, it would be challenging. They would probably have to do some kind of two person carry to get the passenger out of the plane.

I am not sure that I have a strong closing paragraph for readers. But it is eye opening for me to think of systems (lines at amusement parks or customer service and boarding systems) in terms of User Experience and Usability with disabilities in mind.

Finding your inner Zachman

The last couple of weeks I have been working on applying the Zachman's framework for enterprise architecture to two projects. I have been struggling through the first row and then skipped around a bit. I think I have found the part of the project (any project) I am most passionate about.... Working with Human Interface Architecture and explaining it as a designer to the builder of the Presentation Architecture. In my mind this level needs to be closely related to the Business Process Model and to the List of Business Goals/Strategies.

Where do I see myself most helpful in the large project...

TM in the URL for WordPress

I like my URLs to be semantic, it helps with SEO and it helps users to know what a page is about based on the URL. Today I was looking over one of my old posts and found that the TM is added to the URL. In the admin UI the title looks like this:


Title in the Admin UI

Notice that I have used the & in html in the tiled. This is stripped out by the automatic URL generating engine of WordPress. However the ™ as a unicode character is not removed. Some languages with non-roman scripts need Unicode in the titles, so not all unicode characters should be disallowed in the titles. In fact, all Unicode characters should be allowed in the title field. Sometimes unicode in the URL is allowed, however it is not always best practice (unicode above the ASCII range). I in this case it should not be allowed by WordPress. I have my permalink settings set to custom. I do /%year%/%postname%/.

permalink settings

permalink settings

However, when a unicode character is put into the postname, it is not necessarily striped out. My contention is that some characters should be, or that more characters should be. The problem for users is that the unicode character gets processed to the browser’s URL bar and looks like the following:™-bepress/ .
However, when the user selects the url to copy it they do not get a URL which is paste able the same as when they saw it in the URL bar, they get something like the following: .

One solution might be for authors to use the following HTML markup in the title:

  • ™
  • ™

But this is not user intuitive or presenting a “thoughtless process for end users/authors”.

Apple App Store

I know I am bit late to the party, but I just updated to OS X 10.6.6. I have been resisting the App Store for ages. (I am doing a slide scanning project with Nikon CoolScan scanners, whose drivers require OS X 10.6 and lower.) But I needed to re-install Developer Tools and my OS disk was scratched. – A real pain. So I had to download 10.6.6 to get the new development tools to work. And a part of the package I get the App Store. So I might as well check it out. It is a real pain to use.

  1. There is no way to save an app I am interested in purchasing but am not going to purchase right now. – This is a feature in the iTunes store.
  2. No feature for saving interesting apps.

  3. The search algorithm for apps does not help me get the apps I want. – I thought I would try a search for a metadata editing tool. Some apps which I know are in the Apple App Store, and this is their primary function are not showing up. Disappointing.

Diving into the UX World

For the past few weeks I have been working with a team on redoing a large corporate website (almost two large corporate websites).

Word Cloud for UX

Word Cloud for UX

During the course of the project I have had several people, who are unfamiliar (and familiar) with web technology talk with me about UX and UI, but in terms of Design. They might say: "We need a re-design. Our branding is not displayed well." or the might say " Oh, but it was designed to do that, it is doing exactly what it was designed to do!" So, most of the people (I am encountering) talking in terms of design, are talk about the business design or the function of a website at a very high level. Not the UX and UI level of design. I have tried to explain it in the following terms

The words Usability and Design each suffer from a very unfortunate ambiguity. Usability in a very raw sense means is a tool usable. Just because every tool can be a hammer, does not mean that every tool should be shaped like a hammer. Design in computing also suffers a similar fate. If some computer tool does something, it does so because it was designed to do so. This does not mean that the computer tool is esthetically pleasing or that it creates a good impression on its user. An impression of such a nature that the user might want to come back to the site and use it again. The following diagram contrast the words, functional, reliable, usable, convenient, pleasurable, and meaningful.

User Experience model

User Experience model

Because images show so much more than words I looked around for some images to describe the difference I have been trying to communicate. This has resulted in the following collection of images. In the process of linking to these pictures I hope to introduce my readers to some of the ongoing discussion of professional UX design and development.

Layering the Design

Layering the Design

This image is from a PDF called: The Elements of User Experience by Jesse James Garret.

Layering the Design

Explaining the Layers

This Image comes from a write up about UX: UX Design Defined In it is perhaps the best definition of UX I have come across is:

User Experience Design is the art and science of integrating all the various elements that comprise an interactive system so that:

  1. The user's needs, limitations, goals, desires, expectations, are served
  2. The publishing organization's objectives are served as a result of serving the user's (#1)
  3. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts
Peter Morville's Facets of the User Experience

Peter Morville's Facets of the User Experience

This image was take from Peter Morville's article on User Experience Design.

Flickr user Model

Flickr User Model

This Diagram of the Flickr user experience model has been attributed to Bryce Glass by Kenny Chen on 5 April 2008, at

user experience design explained

User Experience Design

This image comes from What Is User Experience Design by Kimmy Paluch.

Multiple Roles in Web Strategy

Multiple Roles in Web Strategy

Finding the right fit of UX

Finding the right fit of UX

This image is taken from User Experience Strategy.

Additionally there some good articles:

Some Notes on Using FLEx

During the workshop there was ample opportunity to observe how 80 people interact with the same piece of software.

About 80 people

About 80 people attending the workshop.

Of the 80 participants no more than 10 were from the university. While I was presenting my session I asked some technology owned questions and I found out that: Continue reading