The brilliant mind behind “the Oatmeal” explains how to get a buttcrapload of people to read what you write. This is a great presentation. Enjoy!
The web’s hit the big time in a way few of us imagined possible. So as people who make websites, you’d think we’d be celebrating our repeated successes in designing amazing user experiences, as the organizations we work for become increasingly successful. But many of us have noticed a problem in our work: the user experiences we deliver don’t meet our expectations. Here’s the problem: organizations are the context for our work, and when it comes to the web, organizations are broken.
Consider these common project scenarios: a website redesign, a web application, or an email or social media campaign. We keep hitting brick walls because the organization has problems with strategy, governance, execution, or measurement. We know that the project won’t achieve its objectives, because we’re working on the wrong horizon of focus. To fix this problem, we need to start talking about web governance.
Check out this GREAT article in its entirety over at A List Apart.
SWOT is an acronym of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats and as these titles suggest it is not purely a method used for controlling areas of planning and risk, but it is also used to highlight areas of the project that could be maximised to the benefit of the whole project or individual areas where some competitive advantage may be gained. It is used to evaluate particular activities of the project in order to optimise their potential as well as to evaluate risks in order to determine the most appropriate way of mitigating those risks.
SWOT analysis is normally performed during the initial project start-up phase so that the elements of the analysis can form the basis of the project plan, but it can also be used later in the project if the project is running into difficulties with scheduling, deliverables or budget and needs to be brought back on track.
For example, if a certain key activity in the project requires new software, a SWOT Analysis can be used to assess the risks and the opportunities of purchasing the software and training staff in its use in order to help with the resource planning.
Read the full article here.
We constantly hear blanket statements about how print is in decline and the future of design is digital. Meanwhile, many print-only designers wonder if they should be taking steps to begin the overwhelming journey of learning a new career.
Today we’ll put rumors and speculation aside for a moment and take a look at some real data to see the actual projections for the print design industry and what actions, if any, print designers should be taking as a result.
Read the FULL ARTICLE here.
Remember high school? Let’s say (hypothetically, of course) someone passed you a note in class that was actually a secret invitation to a party at someone’s house. You learned that a bunch of people were invited, some you knew, some you didn’t, some you liked, and some you’d grown tired of talking to. You ended up going to the party anyway. Everyone was wearing their coolest clothes, showing off, and trying to be smarter and funnier than each other. But the real reason you went was simply to get the attention of a person you were interested in. You may have even scared up the nerve to actually ask them out, and on rare occasions, they may have even said yes. When that happened you were over the moon, but admittedly nervous. But most times, they just ignored you and they went to the dance with someone else while you sat at home and listened to Rush by yourself. (I mean, nothing.)
I thought those days were behind me.
If you work in any kind of service industry you’ve undoubtedly come across the Request For Proposal, or “RFP.” The RFP process has become a standard by which organizations solicit competitive bids. At its core, the RFP process is an attempt to level the playing field and minimize bias. Everyone is held to the same requirements—no special treatment, no rule bending. In return, the organization issuing the RFP is able to select a vendor by comparing apples to apples. That’s the theory, anyway.
Many non-profits, higher education institutions, and government agencies are actuallyrequired to issue RFPs.
For non-profits, the drive to secure competitive pricing is an economic necessity. Additionally, it’s important for non-profits to ensure that their donors and supporters are confident that their funds are spent in accordance with the organization’s mission.
As far as government agencies go, well, it’s like chocolate and peanut butter. The bidding process is pretty much automatic. I have always been curious about whether there are state or federal laws that require a bid process for government agencies. I couldn’t find any substantive information to support that for this article, so if you work for a government agency and can shed some light on this for us, please add your two cents in the comments area.
You’re often invited to participate in the RFP process by someone with “contract,” “procurement,” or “sourcing” in their title. Sometimes, you’re asked to access a secret website with a secret password where you find links to a bunch of secret documents. Or, you get an email with an attached ZIP archive loaded with goodies. You don’t know how many others are privy to the secret, but you know you’re not alone.
A positive first impression is essential to relationships. People look for trust and integrity, and they expect subsequent encounters to reflect and reinforce their first impression. The same principles apply to brands and their products. Design plays an important role in building lasting relationships with end users and, thus, in supporting the brand’s promise.
Users expect mobile services to be relevant and user-friendly and to perform well. The limitations of the medium, however, impose significant challenges to designing products that meet all of those expectations. While often underestimated, performance is a crucial contributor to a trustworthy mobile user experience. Therefore, it should be considered a key driver in the design process.
A great article by Steven Bradley that speaks to this common question … is content necessary prior to beginning web design. The answer is “of course”, but you should read this article and learn all the reasons why.
Agile web development is not a specific process, action, or a daylong exercise. Agile is a mindset, an attitude with which a project is undertaken.
It means streamlining the project, taking away time-sucks, performing frequent sanity checks, and making sure that you’re not spending excessive time on things that don’t add value to the project.
It’s about spending quality time on actions that add value to the website and make it better, and taking away time and energy from parts of the process that cause headaches.
Your team will reach the same goals and milestones, but in half the time or less.
In this article, the author will show you how the agile project management method can be applied to developing websites.
This months topic: Get GIT: the ins and outs of its features and how to leverage GIT’s true power.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
1736 Defoor Place NW Atlanta, GA
My Fellow AWDG Members:
It’s that time again; time for another Black Screen Social!
That’s right, we’ll be gathering at 300 Atlanta for a fun night of bowling for this social. We’ve worked out a special rate with 300 Atlanta for our members: $15! It’ll cover muliple games of bowling and a shoe rental!
“Black Screen” means we focus on each other instead of a speaker or presentation. This will be a great chance for all of the AWDG regulars to get to know each other a little more. This is the perfect opportunity to get the feel for Web Design/Development Meetup; this is your chance to come hang out, learn a little, and make some new friends.
This is a social meetup so we can have a little fun, meet new people, get to know each other, and grow the group. Bring your friends and co-workers!
2175 Savoy Drive
Atlanta, GA 30341
What your $15 gets you:
- Shoe rental
- 2 HOURS of Bowling
- Picture opportunity with
one of the hosts
Don’t forget to sign up for “Email Design Jitsu” with Jason Beaird
The next Atlanta Drupal User Group (ADUG) meetup will be tomorrow at 7:00pm and feature Acquia Consultant, Erik Webb, presenting onDeveloper Best Practices: Make Your Drupal Site Deployment Friendly. There is still time to attend, but you must RSVP (networking will start at 6:30pm).
Also, in case you have not heard Drupalcamp Atlanta will be held Saturday, October 1st, 2011 at Georgia Tech this year. We will also be conducting a Drupal Business Summit the day before – for now, hold the dates and stay tuned for more details.
Next, ADUG member, Andy Thornton, will be spearheading a “Drupal Coffee Shop” each month. This will be a very informal gathering with no set agenda or presentations. This will be an opportunity to get that burning question you may need answered or a chance to show off your latest Drupal project. Everyone is welcome – from the curious wanting to find out more about Drupal to the hardcore developer wanting to talk shop. The inaugural get together will be held Thursday, May 19th from 7 – 10pm (drop by anytime). The location will be at:
Finally, many thanks to our sponsor, Matrix Resources, for their continued support of the Atlanta Drupal User Group. Once again, Matrix will be providing FREE pizza and soda before the meetup tomorrow.
When: Thursday, February 24, 2011
Where: The Portfolio Center, 125 Bennett Street, Atlanta, GA
About the Talk:
Join Anthony as he takes you on a guided journey through the wonderful landscape of YUI 3 through a series of a few steps. Start with a broad overview of how to explore the DOM with Simple YUI. Next discover the power of events and how to use them based on user interaction. Finally take a look at different methods of getting YUI onto your web page and how to use any of the hundreds of core and gallery modules in your application.
More Information: http://bit.ly/gAYPGb
When: Tuesday, February 8, 2011 - 6:30 PM
Where: Portfolio Center - 125 Bennett Street Atlanta, GA
Getting back on track with programming for 2011, let’s get our businesses and our clients ranked higher in the search engines. We are back at Portfolio Center but we’ve got space reserved for 2nd TUESDAY’s in 2011.
Search Engine Marketing is part art, part science and part luck. One thing it is not is rocket science! There is a lot that you can do as a small business owner to help place your website in the crosshairs of those people who are searching for you.
David Lloyd of SERP Solutions, a search engine marketing firm in Atlanta, will present “SEO for SMB’s”. The presentation is designed to instruct you in some of the things that can be done in-house to improve your search engine rankings and attract more traffic to your web site. The workshop will also guide you in understanding Internet Marketing and help you learn where and how to spend your Internet marketing dollars.
6:45 Attendee Introductions/Lead Sharing
When: Thursday, February 3, 2011 @ 7:00 PM
Where: Strongbox West - 1736 Defoor Place NW Atlanta, GA
PRESENTATION: SELECT * FROM Internet: Using the Yahoo! Query Language
Presented by Brian DeShong, Yahoo!
Integrating with third-party web services can be difficult. Not to mention integrating with many different web services. First, you have to pore through the documentation. Next, you need to build code to integrate with each API. Then you need to test it. And troubleshoot. And maybe refactor. Shouldn’t it be easier than this? Shouldn’t there be some commonality between disparate services?
By using the Yahoo! Query Language, you can access any given web service via a consistent interface. With its SQL-like syntax, you can access and store data via web services using standard SQL operations such as SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE. You can also easily retrieve data in multiple formats, such as XML and JSON.
You can also make your own web services and data available via YQL using Open Data Tables, which give you the power and flexibility of YQL just by writing some simple XML files.
Want to search Twitter for PHP-related posts? It’s as easy as “SELECT * FROM twitter.search WHERE q = ‘php’”. Want to screen-scrape a site using the DOM? Perform XPath queries in YQL!
Brian’s talk will be highly interactive with many demos and flashy Keynote animations. Oh, and some Yahoo! schwag.
So come get your Yahoo! yodel on.
Unbelievably after nearly 7 years we finally have updated our website. We know, its pretty sad. And frankly… this website has been sitting unfinished since 2009… so even as we launch our latest website it is already out of date. But that should tell you how busy we all have been between projects and speaking engagements. It’s been a hell of a decade, but we promise to be better in the coming year and drop a BRAND NEW website design on you before next summer. In the meantime we are working on a super-secret project of our own that we will release more news about shortly.
Thank you all for your patience!
The Novus team.
What we do
Defining your audience and communicating your message in a clear and relevant manner.
More than just pretty pictures, a website is context, purpose, audience, content, compatability, planning and measurement.
Companion apps to web brands, stand alone retail apps and enterprise mobile business applications are our specialty.