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Impact - A Blog by INM

Archive for 'December 2008'

    INM now has a Twitter account.

    For those of you unfamiliar with Twitter, it’s a micro-blogging platform that allows users to broadcast 140 character posts (aka ‘tweets’).

    You can expect to read tweets about the conferences and events we’re attending, webinars we’re holding, white papers we’re writing, trends in the industries we’re following, as well as the technologies that have piqued our interest. (Yes, we’re busy people here at INM!)

    It’s not all about us though. If you’re on Twitter, please add us. We’d love to hear from you. Ask us questions. Send us links to articles. Share your knowledge. Give us feedback. We’re here and listening to you.

    Google's Plan for World Domination

    RIA runtime engines are all the rage and Google has now thrown its hat into the ring with the release of Native Client, an open-source technology for running x86 native code in web applications. This is already done today by Adobe Flash Player, MS SilverLight, Java and other less popular technologies on the market. In many cases, these alternate solutions offer more features and better performance than Native Client promises.

    All in all, Google wanted to take a stab at solving the problem of how to manage local resources on a computer without the limitations of ECMAscript in a web page or the web browser's sandbox.

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    Is Usability Becoming a Commodity?

    In the past several weeks, there’s been a lot of buzz about measuring usability and user experience. A recent posting on the Site Point blog, provided suggestions about "5 Ways to Get Usability Testing on the Cheap". I appreciate that the author prefaces his post by saying that the proposed solutions "...might not be quite as good, but they won’t hurt your pocketbook nearly as much." It’s important to set up the expectation that just as you won’t be able to make a jaguar out of a Siamese kitten, these low cost alternatives will provide you with decent feedback, but they aren’t as robust as what traditional user testing experience provides.

    Products such as Silverback, UserTesting.com, Feedback Army, and Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, among others, offer a range of services that span from text-based surveys and written questionnaires all the way to video reports of users talking their way through their interaction with your website and recording user interactions via facial reactions, screen clicks and other such navigational behaviors.

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    Lessons Learned from Europeana

    As a Product Manager for INM’s eLibrary solutions, the launch of the massive European eLibrary project, Europeana, last week certainly piqued my interest. After hearing about this project months ago, I was curious to see it go online and to gauge the reaction.

    The developers of the site launched with over two million documents, images, video and audio clips chronicling the continent's culture and history, from 27 participating countries. Initial estimates for site traffic were expected to reach up to 5 million hits per hour, but by 24 hours after the launch, the actual figures were over three times this volume, bringing the site crashing down.

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