The current financial crisis is a serious situation because it affects the foundation of the banking system: trust.
In most cartoons, the image of a bank is that of a safe behind bars, protected by security guards. This concept represents the essence of a bank, a place you trust to keep your money. Trust is so important that in a bank, all decisions are based on the impact that the decisions will have on the bank’s reputation.
Many years ago, banks realized that they could lend money in return for an interest rate.
Continue reading The Credit Crisis
I am currently reading the latest biography of Albert Einstein by Walter Isaacson. I then decided to download the original 1905 paper of Einstein on the special theory of relativity. I was very impressed to see how beautifully Einstein exposed his theory but at the same time, very shocked to realize how poor the teaching I received about this was.
Continue reading On Education: Take 2
Last year, the government of Quebec asked Cognitive Group to do a heuristic evaluation (expert evaluating usability with a list of usability heuristics) and usability testing of their web portal. First, heuristic evaluation is not reliable because:
- Continue reading The Mechanics of Politics in IT: Part 1
I was recently hired by an important financial institution from Canada to help them assess their strategy for a transition to a new a version of their content management software. Content management software is a portion of an imaging system that allows users to scan documents, index an image, retrieve and view image documents. Continue reading The Irony of Project Management: the practitioner’s view
A few years ago, I was in a group that got lost during a hiking trip. One member of the group said “I know the way out. We just have to turn right and walk in that direction for 10 minutes; we will see a little farmhouse and the road to civilization”. He was sure of himself. We followed his lead but after 15 minutes of walking, no sign of the little farmhouse. The group began questioning the direction. After a while, it became obvious that we were led in the wrong direction. This leader failed and the magnitude of his failure was greater because of the high degree of confidence he expressed.
This graph shows the evolution of George W. Bush’s approval rating over time. His approval rating rose to 68% in March 2003, at Continue reading Leading change: the practitioner’s view
In the: 10 things to do for the success of your web site – the practitioner view, I wrote in 8. Don’t reinvent the wheel: A simple menu and the browser’s back and forward button are Ok for most of the cases. Here is a sublime example of Web site simplicity. Jawbone, designed by FuseProject, one of the most innovative design firm based in SanFrancisco. Users can grab all elements in less than two seconds.
Say a lot with less!
1. Know what is important. 1. Bring users to your site, 2. Ensure usefulness and usability, 3. Maximize trust. You will make much more money trying to bring users to your site and ensuring good usability than trying to have beautiful flash and look. Most users care only about finding rapidly what they are looking for and achieving their goals. They don’t care Continue reading 10 things to do for the success of your web site – the practitioner view
Just back from SanFrancisco, I was trying to find an address in Montreal.
I had to slow down in order to read the street name. While slowing down, a car almost hit my back bumper! Hope it doesn’t sound familiar but I am sure it happens frequently. Continue reading On the Size of Font
In September 2006, a bridge collapsed in Laval (a Montreal suburb), resulting in 5 deaths. An inquiry, the Johnson commission, is trying to understand this event and prior incidents.
As always, multiple factors are involved in this accident: bad design, shoddy construction, poor repairs and substandard construction materials. These factors are always boiled down to human errors: a design, planning, executions or maintenance errors.
Continue reading Human Error Part 1: De la Concorde Overpass