Thursday, December 21, 2006

Creating User Friendly Websites for Non-Profit Organizations

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This morning we spoke with Olga Howard from Beaconfire Consulting. Olga is an Information Architect and Usability consultant based in Arlington Virginia. The focus of her work is in helping non-profit organizations, such as Big Brothers / Big Sisters, design and build web services and online marketing programs.

The challenges of working with non-profit communities are discussed and how creating a solid Information Architecture and User Experience for this sector is just as important, and in some cases more critical, when compared with the Private and Government sectors.

You can find Olga at creative experience design, as well as the company Beaconfire for whom she currently works.

The focus of our conversation focused on the presentation she gave at World Usability Day around her work in building the Big Sisters / Big Brothers website.

I also discussed the fantastic re-design of the Children's Bridge Foundation website and how this non-profit organization who helps orphans in China has embraced many of the key usability points made by Olga.

We talked about the upcoming IA Summit being held in Las Vegas in March 2007.

Olga will be at the Usability Professionals Association conference in Austin, Texas in June 2007.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

This one Bar Camp Ottawa!

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We take you on a virtual audio tour of Bar Camp Ottawa held this past weekend at BitHeads. The conversations include discussions with other presenters and participants.

Topics range from social tagging and writing for the web to Adobe's new tool Flex, to conversations with other participants on a range of topics and ideas. A great day in Ottawa!

Due to the nature and length of this podcast I thought I would include the time intervals for various discussions. Those downloading the Podcast into iTunes or other feed readers can scan forward to the areas of greatest interest:

  1. Intro to Podcast 00:00 - 02:28
  2. Peter Childs opening address to kick off Bar Camp - 02:28 - 06:02
  3. An overview of the next discussion on Social Tagging / Folksonomy - 0:6:02 - 7:00
  4. Social Tagging / Folksonomy Discussion - 7:00 - 11:14
  5. An overview of my conversation with James and Jennifer at Bar Camp - 11:14 - 11:31 (My sincere apologies to Jennifer for using "Brown" instead of her correct last name, "Bruce" - a long day of editing :-) ).
  6. Conversation with James Cogan and Jennifer Bruce - 11:31 - 20:49
  7. Video Podcast for Ottawa - Video TWIT for Canada - 20:49 - 21:46
  8. Kristina Mausser on writing for the web - 21:46 - 36:33
  9. Content today is still King...or Queen - 36:33 - 37:43
  10. Mitch Brisebois on his experience at Nortel in the creation of telephone services for third world countries - 37:43 - 49:34
  11. Overview of Adobe's presentation on Flex 49:34 - 50:04
  12. Stacy Tyler Young presents on Adobe's latest solution: Flex 49:34 - 1:06:46
  13. Conclusion - 1:06:46 - 1:07:04

Thank you to everyone who took the time to speak with me. Those that I couldn't include in this podcast who were kind enough to share their thoughts include:

In this podcast I mention a few other initiatives and publications:

Another two great events being coordinated by Peter Childs here in Ottawa are the Demo Camp and Case Camp. Sign up today for the next event!

The Chicken Test - a brilliant video blog by Bryce Johnson from Navantis who couldn't make it up to Ottawa because of the horrific weather we had the day before.

Ottawa Meet-up groups - Two that may be of interest to others include the Blogger and Podcast meet-up events.

Another interesting application that is still in beta is James Cogan's efforts to create

And one final note, I assisted in the testing of a great new Blogging / Publication tool called Public Square - check it out!

Thank you one and all for an amazing Bar Camp - I look forward to the next event!