• Hi

    These is my log of professional, political and sometimes personal thoughts and observations. I am Bettina Walter, a Senior Information Architect (IA), Interaction Designer and Usability Professional.
    I am co-owner of PunkLogic.

    Member of IA Institute logo

    Interaction Design

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PunkLogic at Red on Thomas

digg-my-tweet The Creative Alliance‘s Catalyst Club is meeting regularly on every last Tuesday of the month. These evenings are hosted by selected (willing) people. For the 25th of August the Catalyst Committee have asked us, PunkLogic, to host the evening. This is how ‘Digg my tweet’ – a light hearted talk and exercise in social media – came about.

“Digg my tweet”  is at ‘Red on Thomas’, Thomas Street, Noosaville
25th of August 2009 – at 5:30pm
$5 (SCCA members) / $10 regular contribution for nibbles
Open to anybody considering themselves working in of affiliated with creative industries (whatever that means) – See the invitation here. Join the conversation.

Jackson and Matt will give a brief overview about what social media is about and what it does. Also some simple instructions on where to start, what’s likely to work and what isn’t. Jackson will run a little experiment on the night. Find instructions on his post over there.

Join us, it’ll be fun.

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‘Name that thing’ – collective naming fun

Our clients sometimes struggle with creating a name for their online business. Here is our collective name finding technique. A process that is fun and gets results.

  1. Find a lot of words you like in context to your project.
    I often use an online thesaurus for this: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/joy
  2. Collect all your suggestions – you could use google docs for this. Here is an example.
    Set up a doc. Invite your team members / stake holders to add words.
    Set the type fairly large – I use the subheading (H2) style for this. It also gives you good line space.
  3. When you’ve got enough: Print (3 copies)
  4. Cut individual words into snippets
  5. Meet as a group
  6. Jumble words around on a table (Alcohol optional)
  7. Note down your favourite combinations.
  8. Set up a little survey and let friends rank your ideas.

This naming technique encourages lateral thinking and makes you look at word combinations in a fresh way.

Poll Test again! impressive results hehe!

Answer Text Votes %
get lathered 2 67%
get laid 1 33%
Other… 0 0%
get intellectually stimulated 0 0%
get wet and have a laugh 0 0%
3

GTD: Increased Productivity with Firefox Extensions

Found a great list of firefox plug-ins for ‘Getting Things Done’ on LifeDEv – a site about ‘Personal development that focuses on creativity, productivity and GTD.’

I’ll start with better gmail and remember the milk for gmail and will work my way down the list – once my new laptop has arrived!

Dummy Text Generator – Little Beauty

Ahhh – simplicity and purpose: Bindtext Generator

Does what it says on the tin!

I work with real (sample) copy where appropriate. I find it’s often beneficial for user testing and also better for clients to grasp meaning, potential or functionality within my blueprints. However there are plenty of situations where ‘Lorem Ipsum’ is indispensable and this little application is exactly what I need.

Backcasting – an interesting technique

This is a presentation on the use of Backcasting as a strategic discovery process tool for information architects. Presented by Matthew Milan and Sam Ladner at the 2007 IA Summit in Las Vegas.
Thanks for sharing.

Remote team working

cartwheel
Great sxsw presentation by W. Cruce Saunders and Linda Norman from Ariesnet on efficient remote working and virtual teaming.
Listen to the podcast here.
(via the IAInstitute mailing list)

This is particularly relevant for a location like Noosa offering a fantastic outdoor lifestyle and a good family friendly community – with great potential for establishing a knowledge-based and creative community working for big clients remotely.

Here are some notes from the podcast:

Strength of virtual teaming:

  • no commute = better life quality and reducing carbon footprint
  • brain power with low over heads and has flexibility in recruitment
  • most successful for knowledge workers and creatives with focus, discipline and high professionalism
  • high degree of efficiency and effectiveness.
  • access to talent – recruiting is easier without geographical limitations
  • much cheaper to run, lower overheads
  • higher productivity
  • happier team
  • no office politics
  • for stronger family life, flexibility for home life
  • result oriented

Weaknesses:

  • requires good management
  • you need to focus on management systems and tools
  • no adhoc communications around the water cooler
  • lost visual cues and body language
  • client perception: are you a real company – maintaining a professional virtual identity
  • isolation – geographic dispersion – cabin fever
  • focus and not ‘over working’

Tools and best practices:

  • 37 signal tools (basecamp, highrise, etc), various Google file sharing tools and collaboration tools, go-to meeting, webex, Camtasia, conceptshare, MindManager, recruiting/sales/accounting: quickbooks, blinksale
  • pace / regular beats and patterns: regular team and management meetings help to anchor the actions
  • hire office system: execs suites – rent for actual meetings – a homebase to meet – virtual home base
  • format for clean commitments and tasks – good solid project management
  • communication: synchronous and asynchronous
  • for professional phone call management: virtual pbx with ivr / call-butler, VERY important for client perception
  • google for ‘free conference call’

Tips for a strong team culture:

  • implement virtual hallways or ‘water coolers’ for company culture – informal chat opportunities
  • company culture is based based around results: as long as team members exceed client expectations on time you need to give the team freedom and flexibility
  • clear set of standards for new team members
  • communications is an important part of the work
  • don’t overwork
  • keep communication to the point and follow up with phone calls