Friday, September 01, 2006

Plain Language and Usability / Business Process before Technology

IA_007 Podcast (mp3) Opens Audio File in Browser

Today we pull from various podcasts to discuss the effectiveness of plain language to improve usability; including conversations with one of the founders of Information Architecture, Peter Morville and Vice President of products and usability at Google, Marissa Mayer. As well, we listen to a podcast from CIO magazine talk about SOA and how process and architecture need to be put into place prior to developing a Service Oriented Architecture stragetgy.

Whitney Quesenbery of Whitney Interactive Design discusses the Plain Language Movement, and how task completion for each project should be the focus. Can the user easily understand the text and therefore the process to complete each task? Whitney is also the ex-president of the Usability Professionals Association.

Peter Morville talks about the Folksonomy / Ontology debate as well as his desire to see applications such as Blogs, Wiki's and the like be combined into an application that doesn't put such a burden on the end user to both find and use information.

Small is the New Big by Seth Godin

The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less by Dr. Barry Schwartz

The Social Life of Information by John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid

Everyware - The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing By Adam Greenfield

Marissa Mayer, Vice President of Products and Usability at Google discusses the idea that putting your users ahead of the desire to make large sums of money will ultimately lead your organization to an understanding of what your customers want. Pursuing projects and the development of applications is then guided specifically by what your clients want - not what the organization thinks they want or need.

SOA's True Challenge - It Aint Technology discusses the role of SOA and how the two main concepts of Process and Architectural Planning have been neglected in the past. Plain language and communicating with your end users about what they want - defining the purpose of the tools you create - will help to improve both process and architectural design.

CIO Magazine - Tracks in the Snow - "IT projects are usually judged successes or failures when they go live. But look back and you will see the real judgment comes later - and that requires a new set of value criteria."