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March 6th, 2014
Every project leader has one or two project tools they believe benefit all projects. For me, one of the most valuable tools is going through a pre-planning questionnaire that can be used to ask questions to yourself and your client to help anticipate post launch needs and prevent any undesirable pain points.
March 4th, 2014
Technological shifts causing massive disruption in enterprise software have dominated the press. Much like the VHS cassette, the PC is fading into history. Cloud storage has put unlimited computing power in the hands of everyone at very low costs with software-as-a-service now a reliable alternative to on-premises software. And the proliferation of mobile devices is leading the business users to supplement enterprise software with their own cloud-based services.
February 27th, 2014
Last year I reflected on the Internet of Things (IoT). I concluded then that User Experience Design was going to be severely disrupted by this turning point. It’s been a year since I wrote about the IoT. Now it appears that the IoT is an idea whose time is being propelled by Google, so much so that it is just now “hatching” from the confines of its early stages.
February 25th, 2014
Usability testing is arguably the most important part of the user experience design process. For those unfamiliar with the term “usability testing,” it refers to a number of methods that can be used to evaluate an interface by observing a user’s interactions. These observations are critical because we learn directly from the user what we can do to improve the design of the interface to better meet the user’s needs.
February 20th, 2014
Gone are the days where you could launch a site and forget about it. With ever changing user needs and rapidly evolving technology, it’s important to pay attention to your website.
February 19th, 2014
I recently worked on a project to transform a paper based system into a user-friendly case management database. It was my first experience in a project that truly practiced agile, as the development team was using an agile development methodology called Scrum. The project team was collocated; there were fixed sprints and fixed iteration lengths, a sprint backlog, daily stand ups, 5 whys, iteration planning and tons of other agile activities and practices.
February 13th, 2014
The very first car I bought back in 1997 was a Toyota Camry Le, which was purchased right off the lot. There were not build and price car websites back then as I can recall, but over the past year the ability for a potential car buyer to select their vehicle, choose their model, and customize their options has proliferated to all car websites (both auto and motorcycle). The forest green Toyota Camry Le lasted me about 13 years before I got rid of it and that level of reliability has always impressed me. Over the past 2 years as I’ve been looking for another car to replace not just that Camry but also my current 2003 Nissan 350z, I’ve trolled all the brand sites to shop and build out my possible future transport.
February 11th, 2014
Many companies are looking towards lean manufacturing and software delivery methods to help improve product quality and productivity, reduce cost, and eliminate waste. In order to implement these principals, it is important to understand how lean software development relates to Quality Assurance practices. Most clients view Quality Assurance simply as being the test phase of the project. However, test is only one aspect of an effective Quality Assurance strategy. Placing the focus on test as the only measure of product quality can be a costly and risky mistake.
February 6th, 2014
According to PC Magazine, a prototype is made to test a new design and to enhance precision by system analysts and users. Prototyping serves to provide specifications for a real, working system rather than a theoretical one.
February 4th, 2014
In a recent article, Wired Magazine focused on wearable tech and had Branch Creative come up with a concept design for the magazine. The design was a complimentary smart watch that matched tech-filled glasses – fashion, but not for fashion’s sake. The concept, which is rather well explained by the Bluetooth headset phenomenon from the mid-2000s, is about adoptability of the item due to its act of appeal to its wearer and the focus (negative or positive) gained by external audiences. I think for our purposes at NavigationArts, the user experience is the most important part of the adoptability of a device, which includes both the interface and the act of putting it on and going out in public.
January 31st, 2014
The annual Chili Cook Off at NavigationArts was a spicy success that included vegan, organic, and meat packed options for every palette. There was even a side of mac n’ cheese for the rebellious cheese obsessed members of the office who are in denial that Chili was taking over the kitchen. Either way, everyone was left in the usual NavArts food coma after chowing down on some delicious grub.
January 28th, 2014
January 23rd, 2014
Web application development has come a long way since the days of Cold Fusion and Active Server Pages. More and more modern web applications are being built using a front end framework such as AngularJS or Bootstrap. These front end frameworks offer a great way to quickly build a robust user interface for a web application. And the preferred method for these frameworks to communicate with a back end server is through a RESTful web service. Microsoft’s new ASP.NET Web API makes building a RESTful web service very simple.
January 22nd, 2014
Many battles were fought and won on the field during the regular NFL season . . . and we had our own brewing here at NavArts!
The NavArts Fantasy Football League continued to live on with a passionate group of owners – Leo, Meredith, Ali, Cindy, John Judge, Bianca, Corey, Patricia, Mark Good, Christian, and yours truly.
Ali Nesson redeemed his “no win” performance in last year’s Super Bowl Pool by coming into this league with a vengeance and taking the title. His team “Test Your Luck” was headlined by Andrew Luck. Ali had an early scare when in a moment of owner doubt he considered trading Andrew to me. Graciously I declined and off Ali went to take the title. However, Ali’s win was really a culmination of concentrating his draft on selecting a deep, quality bench of running backs and a trade in the season for wide receiver Brandon Marshall. This trade rounded out his team of studs that included Jamaal Charles, Knowshon Moreno, Zac Stacy, and Demaryius Thomas. Brilliant move!
Ali is now the proud owner of the NavArts Fantasy Football heavyweight belt. Congratulate to Ali – now lets all set our sights on next season to challenge him for the title and the belt!
January 21st, 2014
Adobe Experience Manager (“AEM,” previously called “CQ5”) offers some powerful features to help content authors create user experiences that are dynamically tailored to a particular audience segment. In the example below, we’ve defined a segment that will be active if the referral keywords that brought the user to the page included “vin” and “fromage,” the user’s country is France, and either the requested page has had more than 1,000 hits or the requested page’s title is “Gifts.”