Book Reviews

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 10-01-2008-05-2008


Over break I had the opportunity to sit right here for 6 days and do not much more than read books as the waves crashed into my feet. Serene. Here are the books I read, and here’s what I thought.

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Butler starts the website redesign

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Higher Education, Uncategorized, Usability, Web | Posted on 06-12-2007-05-2008


We’re done with usability testing, and now it’s time to get some input. You can see some results/summary of our usability testing and feedback here and here. Feel free to check out some potential designs, which are extremely rough draft here.

The Lifeblood of IT

Posted by Jesse | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 21-09-2007-05-2008


DocumentationDocumentationIs documentation.


I know that I just lost 95% of the audience I had, but bear with me I’ll explain myself. Let’s say you have an extremely complex reporting system, or 2 systems that interface and share data. Pretty common, right? Now add in the fact that the data in both cases “starts over” every fall. Obviously I’m talking about Higher ed reporting and our student information systems. Our entry terms change, and the new class starts to roll in. Who knows where you need to change an entry term value in the reporting system? Who will add the translation values in the mapping tables of the interface? If you don’t still have the people at your institution who built the system, 99% of the time you’re going to have someone jump into the documentation at the last minute to figure out all this stuff.

Imagine then, the stress level of above mentioned IT person when they see horrible (if any) documentation. So at the last minute, when VPs and managers are just dying for new and accurate data, you have to try and teach yourself where the variable locations are, what the correct values are, etc. Now you have IT person wound up in an angry stressball that just got behind on everything else he was responsible for. That’s bad.

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