Interesting elsewhere – 8 September 2011

Things which caught my eye elsewhere on the web

  • My speech to the IAAC | Ben Hammersley’s Dangerous Precedent In the time of revolution, and believe me this is a revolution – easily on a par with the renaissance, or the Enlightenment – the translator has a very important role to play. The communicator, the person who makes the facts palatable to all sides, is the only conduit through which real change can be made.
  • Nick Bradbury: Privacy is Important Today’s software developers need to look at privacy the same way they’ve learned to look at security: it’s not an add-on or a feature that customers have to turn on, it’s something built-in that shouldn’t be turned off.
  • Seth’s Blog: The obligation of the adjustable displayThe Catch 22 of engineering feedback: “The only person smart enough to understand this warning doesn’t need it.” That’s over, I’m afraid. You have unlimited paper and a pen with plenty of ink. Be clear, enunciate and tell us what to do, please.
  • FixMyTransport emphasises flaws of government IT | Guardian Government Computing | Guardian Professional What makes FixMyTransport different to some of government’s sizeable IT failures is that it focuses on the user and what they want from a site, rather than what it can give them.
  • UX and the Art of Digital Appropriation | Brian Hoadley User experience is pervasive. It is ubiquitous. Companies and agencies need to step back and realise that the concept of user experience will mean change in the way their businesses operate. It’s too big to be owned by any one team, shoved down any one silo. It is too fundamentally important to leave to any one concept, methodology or team. To understand user experience is to create a fundamentally open and collaborative environment with a healthy exchange between and amongst users, businesses, agencies.
  • Data Won’t Solve Your Problems Fewer and fewer problems these days are technical. We have the data, and we even have the power to slice-and-dice it a million different ways. Never before have we been able to accumulate, manage, and analyze data to a greater depth than we can today. Here’s the problem: we don’t know what questions to ask of our data, nor what to do when he get an answer.
  • Financing efficiency | Blog Government needs to realise that more risk transfer doesn’t lead to better risk management. There are a variety of types of risk involved in each project. Government’s aim should be to transfer only those risks that it is within contractors’ powers to mitigate through innovation and efficient delivery.
  • Why I’m not on Google Plus – Charlie’s Diary Google are wrong about the root cause of online trolling and other forms of sociopathic behaviour. It’s nothing to do with anonymity. Rather, it’s to do with the evanescence of online identity. People who have long term online identities (regardless of whether they’re pseudonymous or not) tend to protect their reputations. Trolls, in contrast, use throw-away identities because it’s not a real identity to them: it’s a sock puppet they wave in the face of their victim to torment them. Forcing people to use their real name online won’t magically induce civility: the trolls don’t care. Identity, to them, is something that exists in the room with the big blue ceiling, away from the keyboard. Stuff in the glowing screen is imaginary and of no consequence.
  • The Difference Between UI and UX | Design Shack At the end of the day, that is all we get to leave the user with: a memory. As we all know, human memory is astounding but it’s imperfect. Every detail contributes to the ingredients of a good user experience, but when it all comes down to it, the user will remember products in somewhat skewed way. UX contains a much bigger picture than UI does but it still relies on the smallest details to drive it. This understanding is the most powerful asset anyone can have in product development.
  • Why It’s Good that the Internet Is Changing Our Brains – Technology – GOOD We all want to believe that as humans, we control our tools, not the other way around. Clark would argue the exact opposite is true, and for the better. After all, how can we say our brains are all we need to be our “real selves” when we have so much stored and invested in our outside technologies? Maybe we’re not losing our “selfhood” at all, but creating mega-selves. Perhaps we should be thinking of our presence on the internet, our phones, and our hard drives as equally important parts of us—really clever parts who can tell jokes in 140 characters or less.