In the tradition of the New Year, best-of lists and some things to look forward to…
Ten Best Intranets 2008
From the Alertbox, Mr. Nielsen reports the Ten Best Intranets of 2008. Half the winners are from the U.S., among them Bank of America, Barnes and Noble, Campbell Soup and Coldwell Banker. The financial industry is strongly represented with three winners, while the technology sector produced only one winner, SAP AG. Features of these best sites include prominent, feature-rich company news sections, improved day-to-day productivity support and knowledge management, and overall improved integration.
Sign-In Design: Mistakes to Avoid
Using Cisco Systems‘ online “Marketplace” as an example of what not to do, Jared Spool gives the run down on eight mistakes to avoid when designing sign-on pages. The lesson in brief: Avoid sign-in if you can, don’t require sign-in too soon, state the benefit, make the sign-in prominent, help your users with “I forgot‚Ä¶” buttons, provide sign-in opportunities at key locations, ask as few registration questions as necessary, and, lastly, don’t forget to tell the user how their information will–or will not–be put to use.
Virtual Hosting: The List Bonanza
Over the holiday season, Virtual Hosting published seven new lists. One is charitable: The Top 80 Charities and Open Source/Access Advocates. Two are geeky: 50+ Resources for Computer Science Students and 100 Tools, Tips, Resources for Building Your Own Computer. And several might just help us get back into gear in the New Year: 50 Ways for Web Workers to Bring in More Business, a Video Blogging Toolbox, 30 Google Apps You’ve Never Heard Of, and the Web Stats Motherload.
Usability and User Experience Specialist Named Best Career
Back in mid-December, U.S. News and World Report included “Usability/User Experience Specialist” in its list of 31 “Best Careers 2008.” The article reports the career to have a median income of $98,000 and that professionals will be in high demand, given that the “number of new, complex products is proliferating.” Careers were selected for the list on the basis of both qualitative and quantitative criteria: job satisfaction, training difficulty, prestige, job market outlook and pay.
Though any publicity may be good publicity, there are those on the Interaction Design Association discussion board who take issue with the U.S. News article. Points of the argument: that the high median pay would fluctuate greatly depending on experience, training and geographic location, that the use of the term “specialist” and the generality of the job description are inaccurate, and that the Day-in-the-Life section excludes the design aspect of user experience work.
Blackberry Keyboard: Breaking the Crackberry Habit?
CNET news reports that Research in Motion has filed a patent with the USPTO for an angled Blackberry keyboard. The new keyboard may help alleviate hand and wrist pain, if it can convince users to learn a new method of text-entry.
Consumer Electronics Show 2008
The Consumer Electronics Show kicked off this Monday in Las Vegas. Forbes offered a preview last week, namedropping speechmakers Bill Gates, Brian Roberts of Comcast, Paul Otellini of Intel, and Rick Wagoner of GM. Since MacWorld is next week, Forbes also reports, Steve Jobs will not be in attendance.
The New York Times offered insight yesterday into the size of the show, observing that since “technology has wormed its way into so many products‚Ä¶it’s hard to say exactly what an electronics trade show should be about.” “It is as much of a place to get lost as to get discovered.”
Notable items at the show include a phone running Google’s Android mobile software platform, the Sony Rolly robot, and a 150″ Panasonic plasma television. CNET‘s coverage picks out the XstreamHD media server, Yahoo Go 3.0, and a Bug Labs build-your-own-dream-gadget platform among highlights so far. CNET Best in Show winners will be announced on Wednesday.
Last But Not Least: Interactions Magazine
Interactions Magazine relaunched itself this month with a new website to complement its print edition. Contributors for the January and February issue include Don Norman, Steve Portigal on Personas, Elizabeth Churchill on “Idioms, Metaphors and Design”, and Hugh Dubberly on Innovation. Expect full articles to be posted soon.
Montparnas’ weekly news installment posts every Tuesday at lunchtime.