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December 3rd, 2013
With the troubled Healthcare.gov roll-out receiving so much press coverage, the importance of software testing is on the minds of many right now. Unit, integration, visual QA and usability testing are all essential tasks when developing software, but often at NavigationArts, we find ourselves competing for work against smaller development shops with “streamlined” processes (read: dramatically reduced testing). The prospective clients reading those proposals often fall into one of two categories: 1) organizations new to digital deployment projects for whom the bare-bones proposals from “garage shops” and freelancers seem very attractive, or 2) organizations who answered the siren’s song in the past and “paid the price” (in frustration, development time and cost, possibly many times over).
November 20th, 2013
Each morning, but particularly on Mondays, I’m treated to a host of mobile-related news goodness courtesy of the many websites and news outlets that track the mobile industry. While browsing this week’s roundup from Mobile Marketer, I found some interesting coverage of a Mercedes Benz executive who really gets the benefits of responsive design. Though I might question his use of the term “personalization” (what he’s talking about is screen “optimization,” with “personalization” meaning something very different to the UX world), it is refreshing to see a car company executive embracing multi-screen technology and understanding the benefits of adaptive, responsive experiences.
November 19th, 2013
Having a responsive site makes for a better user experience by allowing users to find what they need easily and quickly on any device. A responsive site is even preferable to a mobile version since search engines give preference to responsive sites in ranking, they minimize the chance for duplicate content within your web presence, and still allow you to keep all of the important information on your primary website.
November 14th, 2013
I’ve been working in the digital industry – installed software, the web in all its forms, etc. – for longer than I’d care to admit, and in all of that time I’ve seen several iterations of organizations calling themselves “agencies.” In ages past, these focused groups of specialists often served up much-needed infusions of reactivity, ideas and skills to deep-pocketed companies lacking ideas of their own, or the internal will to make them happen unaided.
November 12th, 2013
We’ve all benefited greatly from the gifts of agile development. This movement has turned conventional IT thinking upside down and accelerated the deployment of MVPs (minimum viable products) into the consumer marketplace in record time frames. Likewise we’ve enjoyed even more speed to market from the proliferation of LUX (lean user experience) that has all but replaced the ponderous crawl of sequential deliverables with lightweight, modular experience sprints.
November 7th, 2013
As another year draws to a close, I always begin to think about the trends I hope to see in the coming year. Aside from fantasies like waterproof shatterproof iPhones, I also have hopes for our work and our clients. One of the (possibly wishful thinking) changes I expect to see in 2014 is that of more organizations taking advantage of a centralized digital architecture.
Why should I care about something that sounds so lame? Well the fact of the matter is that as a consulting organization we are immersed in digital all day long. We know what happens when companies think too small. But on the flip side, we also see what happens when it all goes right. So today, I want to look at how and why companies can be successful when thinking big with an enterprise digital architecture.
November 5th, 2013
With media focused on the failed launch of Healthcare.gov, the finger-pointing seems to be directed at the software quality engineers for not doing a good enough job of testing the website prior to Go-Live. In theory, that would seem to be a logical deduction. From a Quality Assurance perspective, I would argue that one needs to look at the much larger picture of why this project failed.
October 31st, 2013
Things got spooky (and a little weird) on Halloween in the NavArts office. Check out some of the best costumes we saw lurking around….if you dare.
Not sure what furry creature our designer Jane is trying to be, but nonetheless, we want to pet her.
October 29th, 2013
My colleague Natalie Lord wrote a blog, Digital Hoarding, about organizations who need to eliminate content waste from their sites in order to make them more successful. It inspired me to think about how we tackle large amounts of content; a coping mechanism for overwhelming amounts of information if you will. Expanding upon Natalie’s Hoarders analogy, we at NavigationArts act as the therapists– uncovering the underlying causes of digital hoarding, but more importantly paving a pathway to reform and ultimately achieve success.
October 24th, 2013
You’ve probably seen staggering stats about the growing number of students taking some or all of their classes online. The focus is often on MORE – more students and more accessibility. What I find interesting, however, is to focus on BETTER education using the same tools and technology. With the vast array of digital tools available to us and an ever deepening understanding of how humans learn, why is our education system still primarily a “stand and deliver” method?
October 22nd, 2013
I try to stay as plugged into smartphone and tablet news as I can, and that includes press releases about new hardware accessories and software/apps specifically for these devices. I’ve also worked in what are essentially “Windows shops” since I began my career in IT. These two factors merge in my longtime desire to see Microsoft-created, native apps for Microsoft Office. I recently saw this article in InformationWeek, which renewed my hopes for native Office apps.
October 17th, 2013
This year, in addition to sponsoring Philly’s Drupal camp, NavigationArts was a lead contributor. NavArts was responsible for front end and back end development of the new responsive site, and took part in many of the tasks to organize the event. The camp was held for the first time at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Friday, October 11th and was a major success, attracting about 400 attendees and 23 sponsors, our largest year yet!
October 15th, 2013
Imagine the show Hoarders on A&E, where stubborn and compulsive home owners cling to useless and seemingly meaningless articles; parting with the 1988 McDonalds happy meal toy of Milli Vanilli’s porcelain faces is all so overwhelming. The same holds true for web owners, who refuse to pick and choose what’s important to them because they are overwhelmed with their ownership of obscene amounts of information.
October 10th, 2013
At NavArts we’re big fans of the templates and tools created by Keynotopia, and had a lot to say about their recent infographic regarding the daily challenges faced by Designers, Entrepreneurs and Product Managers:
October 8th, 2013
While I’m notoriously a risk-averse, late adopter (quite an anomaly around these parts), I find a certain thrill in browser and software updates. The launch of Google Chrome’s most recent updates are particularly exciting. Here’s why —