riverrun research | beta

from swerve of shore to bend of bay

links for 2010-01-30

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links for 2010-01-29

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links for 2010-01-28

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links for 2010-01-27

  • Features

    * Record users from anywhere – remotely or locally.
    * Share video results with your clients or team members.
    * Completely web-based. No software for you or your test participants to install.
    * Unlimited projects and test scenarios (within your storage limit).

    How it works

    1. Create a scenario with your instructions and the website you want to test. Then share the OpenHallway recording link with your participants.
    2. Participants click on the recording link and follow your instructions. Their screen and voice are recorded, and the recording is uploaded to your account.
    3. Watch the recorded session anytime, anywhere.

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links for 2010-01-26

  • This Houston web site home page is a beautiful example of simple headings on most of the main content sections of the page. There are three visible headings in the screen shot, on the left “City Highlights” and on the right, “City Headlines” and “Register for CitizensNet“. There are thee more of these headings on the right side of the home page that are not in the screen shot. But, surprise, they are not marked up as headings. Nothing is marked up as a heading. There are no HTML headings on this page.

    To make matters worse, if that is possible, those six headings on the home page are images, which isn’t really that awful because you can have alt-text which is the same as the text in the heading. Not here. These “heading images” are background images – you cannot use alt-text on them. If, as is the case here, important content is being displayed as a background image, then other techniques must be used to convey the information, like hidden text positioned off screen.

  • Visitors who are new to your site do the same thing. They come, with many questions and few answers. In a few moments they answer the questions to their satisfaction and move on or become your customer.

    Today’s exercise is about knowing what these questions are, identifying how you would answer them, and then learning how visitors answer them. Knowing where your visitor’s answers to these web questions differ from yours will empower you to improve.

  • Citizens are served, generally, by at least three levels of government (federal, state and city), and so far the conversation about transparency and citizen engagement has revolved primarily around what happens “at the top.” It’s especially exciting, then, to see one of the results of last year’s Transparency Camps in DC and San Francisco spawn “City Camp” hosted in Chicago this past weekend.

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links for 2010-01-25

  • (tags: gimp tutorials)
  • Participatory Budgeting (PB) can be broadly defined as the participation of citizens in the decision-making process of budget allocation and monitoring public spending. Participation may take various forms, from effective decision-making power in the allocation of resources to more modest initiatives that confer voice during the development of the budget.
  • We need a government that listens to us, and online discussion boards make that doable, at least for people that can get online. (We'll need other solutions for everyone else.)

    Problem with conventional discussion boards is that it's hard to find the good stuff, and it's also very easy for a bad guy to disrupt the discussion, maybe to fake a consensus. We're hoping that can be solved with discussion boards which allow people to vote up the good stuff. That works if you have a lot of people getting involved.

    With the new Federal Open Government Initiative, people have been experimenting with such a discussion board, IdeaScale, which might facilitate tens of millions of people working together. Now, government agencies will start to implement it broadly.

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links for 2010-01-24

  • A designer knows that he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away – Antoine de St-Expurey

    The public is more familiar with bad design than good design. It is, in effect, conditioned to prefer bad design, because that is what it lives with. The new becomes threatening, the old reassuring. ­ Paul Rand (Design, Form, and Chaos)

  • Green Phosphor founder Ben Lindquist shows how 3D data visualization helps you see what's really going on in your network.

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links for 2010-01-23

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links for 2010-01-22

  • Years ago, creating HTML pages seems a lot of fun, ever since that era have been long gone, and our websites have pretty much gotten into dynamic pages which seems too tedious and totally crazy if you code them one by one, that coders don’t have much left with their lives to code another one.

    it’s a pain in the neck having to code from scratch when all you needed was a CMS or Content Management System, that does everything for you. So What exactly does a CMS do for you? Simply put it this way, You add, edit and delete content and CMS does the HTML pages for you without the typing a single code, yes not even the <html> tag.

    There are also CMS that are unbelievably free, despite the fact that they do so many stuff for you, just like the one that I’m using, WordPress, and I’m pretty much used to it, except creating a skin for it.

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links for 2010-01-21

  • Local authority and government websites are the most difficult to use, followed by financial services and retail and ecommerce websites, according to new findings released today. News and media company sites are identified as the easiest to use sites, followed by travel websites and utility websites, according to the vertical usability poll, carried out by user experience consultancy, Webcredible.

    The research revealed an overwhelming feeling that the public sector needs to do more to make its websites easy to use, with more than one third (34 per cent) of respondents identifying the local authority / government sector as having the most difficult to use websites, largely due to difficulties in finding information. In contrast, the informational sites of news and media companies were identified as the easiest to use with only 7 per cent of respondents identifying these sites as the most difficult to use

  • imply put, the emphasis on best practices and skill sharing fails at the point where organizers function in an organization that simply hasn’t made a commitment to change. Evidence of that is all around us in the form of Executive Directors and managers who think they can devote more attention to online tools without simultaneously decreasing attention somewhere else. Or what about the gap between status power and expertise that develops in teams where the newest and least empowered member has to spend energy persuading the boss instead of getting work done? Three of the sectors where this comes into play the most are labor, low-income grassroots economic justice groups, and local political campaigns.
    (tags: socialmedia)
  • It’s always good to be able to articulate design choices to your clients; why you put something where, why you chose the color scheme you did, etc. This knowledge is one of the biggest differences between a designer and a non-designer. But there is a lot to remember when it comes to the realm of graphic design – so much so that it’s pretty much impossible to remember everything from all the theories of graphic design, to web design best practices to Photoshop keyboard shortcuts.
  • To build a complex Web application or even just spice up a website with some highly interactive interface element, we have hundreds of pre-built solutions to choose from. Every library comes with widgets and solutions, and every developer tries to make a name for him or herself by releasing a funky JavaScript solution to a certain interface problem. We can pick from dozens of menus, image carousels, tabs, form validators and “lightboxes.”
  • Everyone talks about achieving it, but most people have plenty of excuses as to why they can’t, won’t, or don’t want to change their current status. The most common excuse people make for not trying to have a healthy lifestyle is “a lack of time.” Have you ever said to yourself, “Oh, I’m tired, I don’t have time to exercise?” or “I don’t feel like cooking dinner tonight; let’s just get some fast food.”

    Yes Dorothy, excuses are real and they are contagious.

  • Amazon says it has already released the Kindle Development Kit to a select number of partners, including the video game giant Electronic Arts, and will make it more widely available when a limited beta period starts next month. It anticipates formally adding what it calls “active content” to the Kindle store sometime later this year.

    Ian Freed, Amazon’s vice president for the Kindle, said there would be three different categories of active content: free applications, one-time paid applications, and applications that require a monthly subscription. Kindles that have already been sold will be able to run these programs once Amazon has remotely upgraded their software.

    (tags: amazon kindle)
  • Another report that I almost got done before Christmas and the New Year hit was the first chapter in SharePoint Roadmap Governance Themes: Governing SharePoint to Enhance Business Collaboration. It is now done … and is available immediately.

    The report (to become a chapter later in the year) looks at the governance theme of Site Creation Rights when using SharePoint for collaboration. From the Executive Summary:

    "What you decide about who is permitted to create a new site in SharePoint, under what conditions, with what approval process, and through what method, has a huge bearing on the effectiveness of your use of SharePoint for collaboration. Get it right, and people will have a clear picture of what is required when creating a new site, thus setting the framework for effective use. Get it wrong, and your SharePoint implementation will result in site sprawl, unused team sites, and poor findability."

  • The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) is a step closer to opening its government identity services to use by private sector partners.

    Last September the department consulted with the private sector on the best way to develop and operate services such as the igovt Identity Verification Service (IVS) and the Government Logon Service (GLS) and says it is pleased with the results.

    The move to investigate such partnerships follows a Cabinet decision in August to continue the roll-out of igovt using existing funding while exploring options for commercial involvement.

  • Just like Beatles song "Let it be" and Akira Kurosawa's Movie "Dreams"
    there are a lot of works which were inspired by the dream.
    Haven't you dreamed "What if we can note the idea appearing in the dream."

    "Let It Sleep" is the tool which supports your creativity by recording you talking in sleep.
    Turn "Let It Sleep" on and sleep, and it detects and records your talking in sleep automatically.

    (tags: iphone app sleep)
  • app.itize.us is a painstakingly curated presentation of the best produced and designed iPhone applications that are available for download via the App Store.

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January 2010

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