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July 23rd, 2014
The need for system integrations on the web is continually expanding among organizations. Whether it is customer relationship management, email campaign management, or social media, organizations are integrating various data sources with their internet and intranet applications to form enterprise systems.
These integrations are typically coupled using an Application Programming Interface or API. An API, which is often programmed using web services for these types of integrations, allows indirect access to the desired system by exposing specific data required by the calling application. Some third party systems come pre-installed with web services while others might have database queries to support web service operations and require the web services themselves to be custom made by the user.
July 17th, 2014
Throwback Thursday much? Today we feature Matt White, one of our Senior Information Architects who happens to have a long-standing rockstar career outside of the office. We were able to dig up some old photographs- one from his first band’s album cover in 1992, the other from a popular gig that involved robin-egg-blue suits from crooner Bobby Darin’s band- for your enjoyment.
July 16th, 2014
Are your servers cattle or pets? Two years ago Randy Bias used the metaphor in a presentation entitled “Architecture for Open and Scalable Clouds.” In the not too distant past, people set up server farms with names of characters from various pop culture favorites, like The Simpons, Star Wars, and Game of Thrones. If one of these servers- say, Joffrey- gets sick, the IT team rushes to his aid and tries to save him. They put cold towels on his head to lower the temperature of his CPU which has been pegged at 100 percent. The server is considered to be a “pet;” therefore, you do your best to try to fix and save it.
July 10th, 2014
The age-old question- who are Navartians? (Read: NavArt-ians). We come together from a diverse set of cultural backgrounds to form an exceptional crew of talented, nerdy game-changers. Navartians’ resumes reveal why we constantly shatter convention: we are anything but normal (in a good way). Meet Katiri, our comic-book-loving, world-conquering, ping-pong-dominating visionary.
July 8th, 2014
Selfish. Entitled. Lazy. That’s how many employers understand the career-entering generation, otherwise known as “millennials.” They’re the young adults ready to disrupt the workplace with their idealism and thwart productivity with their “generation me” attitude. The New York Times recently reflected on the entering workforce, citing many of the concerns that older generations hold against their younger counterparts:
July 1st, 2014
As user experience designers, we bridge the gap between technical platforms and human interaction. Oftentimes, we are at the mercy of the systems we design for. This is why tight collaboration with developers is so important, as it helps us understand both the data that the API is expecting as well as the data that it returns. We can often help shape those back-end interactions for a better user experience.
June 26th, 2014
Why should web designers bother with code? Many designers are content with staying within their conceptual comfort zone without much regard for the design once it’s handed off to a developer. They might think, “There is someone else who knows how to code, so why do I need to do it?” But just as a print designer needs to be familiar with paper types, pantone coverage and large format printing, a web designer should know the basic building blocks of a website—like HTML and CSS—in order to understand how their creations will come to life.
June 24th, 2014
The internet is full of unlimited information, data, and entertainment, which is why we love it so much. But what happens when all of this open data becomes a little too open?
We have all heard it before, the more places, systems and people we are connected with, the more chances there are to be hacked or to have your information taken. As an organization, here are some practices we’ve put in place to make sure that we are not prey to potential vulnerabilities.
June 17th, 2014
As technology change accelerates and user adoption rates soar, there’s enormous pressure to rethink content and the teams who create it.
June 12th, 2014
Luckily for us (Architects of the User Experience), the concept of UX has become increasingly well understood and valued over the last decade or so. Personally, I always have PLENTY to say when a User Experience does not meet expectations. But I don’t often have the chance to put pen to paper and create a concept completely from scratch.
June 10th, 2014
Competitive Analysis, comparing a company or product to other similar companies within an industry, is a standard practice during a Discovery phase. It’s important to understand what the business and user landscapes look like, any existing user expectations, and to benefit from the success and failure of existing solutions.
June 5th, 2014
Front-end development frameworks make it easy for developers to make sure their code will render properly in responsive frameworks, and on any mobile device or tablet. But frameworks are also great tools to use to:
June 3rd, 2014
One session in particular at this year’s MoDev conference in McLean, Virginia stood out to me: the mini workshop “Turn Ideas to Artifacts with Paper Prototyping,” led by Behnaz Babazadeh.
Paper prototyping, or sketching rather, is nothing ground breaking or new, but I for one feel like I’ve lost the art of pencil and paper in my current visual design and UX work, so this session really appealed to me.
May 29th, 2014
The technology world is always full of news stories about IT Security. The recent Heartbleed bug, issues with Internet Explorer, the breaches at Target, Neiman Marcus and the University of Maryland are constant reminders that breaches in security could happen to any company, big or small. But with all of the world moving to cloud connectivity, software-as-a-service and social media networking, it seems like an impossible task to stay on top of it.
May 28th, 2014
In my previous blog, Three Myths of Usability Testing, I mentioned that one common myth is that usability takes a lot of time, resources and effort. That couldn’t be farther from the truth, as I tend to use low fidelity techniques in my job all the time. Here I’ve outlined a few ways that only require, pen, paper, and maybe some scissors. And those of you who are all digital, all the time, I’ve also offered some suggestions on programs to use that mimic the analog versions.