Interesting elsewhere – 3 February 2012

Things which caught my eye elsewhere on the web

  • Top Ten Tips from Mobile Web Experts – Forbes Don’t just scale down your desktop site and try to squeeze as much as you can into the little screen. Use the mobile development process to prune your offerings to the most essential.
  • The next step | Helpful Technology Gov.uk is a stake in the ground – a signpost to something better and some examples of what that looks like, as much in terms of process and culture as in terms of pixels. If it can manage the transition to the next stage, it’ll be onto a winner and we’ll all be the better for it.
  • With GOV.UK, British government redefines the online government platform – O’Reilly Radar Unfortunately, far too often .gov websites cost millions and don’t deliver as needed. GOV.UK is open source, mobile-friendly, platform agnostic, uses HTML5, scalable, hosted in the cloud and open for feedback. Those criteria collectively embody the default for how government should approach their online efforts in the 21st century.
  • The Five Stages of Hosting (Pinboard Blog) 5. The Stately Manor
    Your own datacenter.
    Good: No need to take hosting advice from blog posts.
    Bad: God help you.
  • My 2 cents on sharing UX findings | Red Gate’s User Experience TeamWe decided, quite simply, to track usability issues on a whiteboard. On the completion of the first usability test we conducted, we made a list of the main issues that a user encountered and put this up on the whiteboard. As we conducted additional usability tests, we continued to add to our list and made note of recurring issues.At the end of a series of usability tests, we were left with a whiteboard filled with usability issues and the number of participants who encountered them. The UX representatives in the project team then rated the issues based on severity and came up with design recommendations for each issue.Each design recommendation was discussed with the entire project team in a very simple stand-up meeting around the whiteboard. Software developers had an opportunity to help us assess the feasibility of implementing our design recommendations and including development changes to the overall development plan.
  • Sometimes solving life’s problems is better by design Seen in this way, design is a kind of counter-narrative to the gravitational pull of producers and service providers – the way they suit themselves without even knowing that that’s what they’re doing. Also, by being consciously and counter-culturally cross-disciplinary, design seeks a larger view than is dreamt of in the narrow philosophies of professional disciplines. Where the practitioners of economics, accountancy marketing, communications, HR and IT pursue their objectives with such single mindedness that it can unbalance and tyrannise our lives, ”design thinking” seeks a more holistic perspective built from an attempt to empathise with all involved.
  • World building 404: The unknown unknowns – Charlie’s Diary We can expect the world of 2022 to look similar to the world of 2012, insofar as many of the same cars will still be on the roads, fashion continues to iterate around a bunch of attractor themes scattered over the past century, many of today’s large corporations will still exist (although some will have collapsed), and so on. There will be some surprises (maybe there’ll be a hotel in space, or a Chinese Moon base) but overall it will be recognizable. But by the time we push the boat out to 2032, the unknown-unknowns will be building up. Signs of climate stress and overpopulation will be more visible, we may have driverless cars, there may be major disruptive effects arising from the development of direct brain interfaces or something else that today is a research and development curiosity. And by 2052, the unknown unknowns will have driven the world to be a very different place from anything I can predict today.
  • NESTA – Can government think long-term? Geoff Mulgan It seems to take new governments a few years to realise how much they need serious strategy. In the first year or two, they tend to rely on intuition, manifesto commitments, or the belief that political strategy is all that matters.
  • Ben Terrett on designing GOV.UK | Government Digital Service The design challenge here seems to be – don’t avoid the obvious. Government websites are needs driven and what people want to do is get in, get what they want and then get out. Quickly.

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