Wednesday, July 28, 2010

In the current economic climate, many companies are unable to support full-time IT staff. Fortunately, there are options available! At Intent Driven Designs, we are expanding our services to include a variety of new IT Outsourcing Services. Standard options will included basic hardware and software installation, computer upgrades, and monitored systems maintenance.

We will also be offering new ways to dispose of older systems. With so many businesses focusing their efforts towards environmental safety, we will be offering reuse-and-recycle programs that enable companies to donate gently-used computers to local churches, charities, and appropriate avenues. Part of this service will include total privacy protection through the elimination or transfer of personal or corporate data.

If you’re looking to outsource your IT services, visit us at http://www.intentdriven.com/. We’d be happy to give you a quote for our service.

Monday, March 22, 2010

So I was migrating some ASP.Net MVC Apps from a Windows Server 2008, IIS 7 server to a Server 2003 IIS6 server temporarily (while I did some maintenance on the 08 server).

However, I found that the MVC apps did not work past the default page. Fortunately, I'm not alone.

Thanks to Steve Sanderson for the post "Deploying ASP.NET MVC to IIS 6."

Personally I used the wildcard mapping method of solving the issue.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I was working on a couple of things earlier today and realized that some of my Windows 7 features weren't working any more. Specifically, I couldn't get the taskbar thumbnail peek feature to work.

After about 30 minutes of fruitless googling, I switched my theme, thinking maybe it just needed to be reminded of its inherent Aero-ness. This seemed to work.

A little more googling turned up a possible reason for the loss of my Aero desktop - Remote Desktop. Apparently it can muck up the Aero settings real good.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Well, after Tuesday Updates this week, my Vista computer was left with many many problems. Between the windows printer dialog being totally MIA, and Office crashing randomly and repeatedly, I made the decision to reformat.

However, being the enterprising young geek that I am, I'm not satisfied with simply reinstalling Vista Ultimate. I'm going for broke. Windows 7, here I come.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Zhang et al (2009) insist that "incorporating a human computer interaction (HCI) perspective into the systems development life cycle (SDLC) is critical to information systems (IS) success and in turn to the success of businesses." The problem, they remind us, is that typical software development progresses with the needs of the organization in mind, rather than the needs of the individual using the software. In their article "Integrating Human-Computer Interaction Development into SDLC: A Methodology", Zhang et al provide a new methodology for developing holistic systems which include human factors requirements.


Strategies

Zhang et al provides 5 strategies for utilizing Human-Centered SDLC



  • Focus on human AND organizational needs early in the process

  • Develop the HCI in conjunction with other activities, not as an
    afterthought

  • Evaluations throughout the process

  • Use an iterative process

  • Consider the user experience, not just usefulness


On the topic of usefulness, an early critic of Twitter once supposedly said "Twitter is interesting, but not useful" (paraphrased). A quick witted fan replied "Neither is Ice Cream". User experience can enhance a product to the point that even a seemingly useless application can live long enough to find its niche.


HCI Principles

In addition to the strategies above, the authors also give 6 principles to follow in HCI design



  • Improve Performance while reducing effort

  • Prevent Errors

  • Strive for a fit between tasks, information needed, and information
    presented

  • Enable an enjoyable user experience, not merely a useful one

  • Promote Trust

  • Keep the design simple


Conclusion

Given the strategies and principles listed, I would think that most modern Agile techniques would suit themselves well to developing HCI elements of software in conjunction with other elements. Even the basic OO requirement gathering process is a matter of observing real-world activities and converting them into software objects. Considering the elements from a usability and interaction perspective could improve that process.


References

Zhang, P., Te'eni, D., Carey, J. & Tremaine, M. "Integrating Human-Computer
Interaction Development into SDLC: A Methodology". Retrieved September 11, 2009, from http://melody.syr.edu/hci/amcis04/AMCIS_04_Zhang_etal_HCI_in_SDLC.pdf

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thanks to @Subdigital for this awesome suggestion: http://downforeveryoneorjustme.com/

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

IT poses an interesting challenge during reorganizations. Between security policies, differing hardware, and existing software, integration of two business units requires time and effort across both companies.

In a TechRepublic article (2001), Loraine Lawson offers the following suggestions for IT restructuring:

  • How many people are in IT
  • How many users are they supporting
  • What are common user requests
  • What skills are in use in your location

I would further amend these questions by applying them not only to the new, united company, but to the individual companies as well. They would end up looking something like this:

  • How many people are being combined into one IT department?
  • How many users are being supported, and how many will be supported in six months, and again in a year
  • What are the common requests today? What will they be in six months? One year?
  • What skills are currently in use? Will they still be necessary in six months? One year?

By answering these questions, the new IT manager or CIO can evaluate current staffing needs, and prepare for the needs of the united company in the future.

References

Lawson, L. (2001). Members offer advice on restructuring IT department. Retrieved on July 21, 2009 from http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-10878_11-5033618.html