Why Card Sorting is Wrong standard

Card sorting is a technique that was originally used in libraries to organize large quantities of information. Card sorting uses physical cards with words (or pictures or physical objects).  The cards are put on a big table and users are asked to group these cards into categories that make sense to them.   This technique allows to understand how users group information but is a wrong approach to organize information in a user interface because: When users interact with computers, the optimal information organization is not necessarily logical. Information can be organized along: 1) frequency /importance of use;  2) sequence of task 3) logical group;  4) standards (ex: month of the years), 5) numerical or alphabetical order. When doing card ...

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Revolution in system maintenance standard

You are told that you are better off replacing your IT system. Read this before going any further.  Here are some truths nobody will tell you. Vendors make more money if you replace your system. Systems you purchase include many unnecessary features you pay for. You will certainly have some specific needs that are not met by the system. To get the features to meet these needs, you will need to pay extra money. One day, the vendors will come back and tell you that you need to upgrade because they no longer support the version you purchased. Analysts such as Gardner, that review IT system vendors, are sponsored by the very vendors they review. Tired of complex projects and ...

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Key Steps to Fight Procrastination standard

Summary: Procrastination consists of postponing key tasks to the last minute while doing pleasing task instead. By using the pleasing tasks to your advantage you can effectively fight procrastination.   We have a report to write, problems to solve, handy work to do. Instead of doing those key tasks, we do all sort of other things. We attend unnecessary meetings, browse the internet, talk with colleagues, accept other engagements and end up with last minute panic. This situation is widespread. It greatly impacts our performance and the quality of our deliverable. The enemies that make us procrastinate are those small pleasures that seduce us into postponing important tasks. The trick to fighting procrastination is to transform this enemy into our ...

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The Irony of Project Management standard

After a business review that included a field study and cognitive task analysis, it was found that the new software require three times more user action. The project manager reacted by saying the project scope is to make the transition, respect deadlines and budget. Meaning he does not want to change the plan. After reviewing  the findings again, they realized that the situation was even worst than they expected it. In the end, the client followed our recommendations because the facts were rock solid and we found a solution that would integrate existing technology already in use at the financial institution. Many IT (Information technology) projects are planned and scoped before need analysis or field study are done. Over the ...

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Cognitive Group’s 10 most useful software standard

Cognitive Group’s user experience (UX) team publishes each year the list of the ten most useful applications. Useful things save time, save energy, increases safety and provide better quality results. Google Search. Google is the ultimate gateway to the Internet. Google search engine provides all the world’s information at the tip of your finger. Coursea and iTunes University. Anyone, anywhere, can now attend classes with the best instructors in the world for free. The possibilities are endless.

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The Cognitive Approach standard

Introduction IT projects tend to be executed in distinct phases. 1. determining the business needs, 2. setting system specifications for those needs, 3. programming and then 4. testing. The first two phases usually represent 50%[1] of a project’s cost. The traditional way of determining the business needs is to ask users or subject matter experts to express the needs verbally. Analysts then transcribe them and define the system requirements that will meet the needs. System requirement’s documents are finally reviewed and approved.

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Change Management : A Catch-22 standard

The catch-22 The levels at which impacts of change are major are not understood while the levels at which impacts are minor are easily understood. Why? Most managers believe people resist change because humans have a natural desire to keep the status quo. They believe that resistance to change is a defense mechanism caused by frustration and anxiety. With this diagnostic, executives belief that good change leadership comes with a strong message from the top, effective communication plan, mandatory training and sometimes, removing undesirable parties that are labeled as strong change resistant.

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10 Things to pay attention in evaluating user interface standard

it would be wrong to rate user interface solely, and compliance to set of heuristic since the impact of each one of them depend of the context of use. For example, it is wrong to say that the CNN web complies at 75% while the New York Times web site complies at 88%. Prior to applying heuristics, it is essential to have a good grasp of the user profile and task. User Profile comprises a description of the user frequency of use (once in a lifetime or everyday), familiarity with technology, gender age, and training, etc. The task description comprises: what are the user Goal, Sub goal and Methods and Frequency (looking for flight arrival 95% of the time, booking a flight 5% of the time) Get three to five independent evaluators that share the list of heuristics, user profile and task. Each one of them evaluate the user interface during one or two hours separately Share the findings together and rate each problems in term of high medium and low impact. High impact problems prevent user from performing their tasks while low impact might be an aesthetic aspect or a nice-to-have feature.

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