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We’ve been using Subversion in-house for our version control for a 2-3 years now, but switched over to Beanstalk to not have to deal with maintaining it and worrying about keeping it running. It’s worked out great, and I highly recommend them for your Version Control Hosting needs: http://beanstalkapp.com/
It’s part of Wildbit LLC and they also work out of IndyHall in Philly which is a great co-working space and community for various types of disciplines. It’s always great to be able to support local talent when possible, and these guys really have a bunch of great products.
With that said, I got a couple of guides from them that I though I should share with everyone. First is an introduction to version control and it goes over these topics:
Why is version control important?
The basic concepts
Revisions and Changesets
Diffing (or, viewing the differences)
Branching and merging
Types of Version Control Systems
That guide is here: http://guides.beanstalkapp.com/version-control/intro-to-version-control.html#why-is-version-control-important
The next is which Version Control should you use:
IDE Integration with Subversion
IDE Integration with Git
That guide is here: http://guides.beanstalkapp.com/version-control/clients.html
Thunder Cats is back baby! Found Thundercats as a trending topic off yahoo and it looks like it’s back on Cartoon Network. It’s look pretty good from what I’m seeing in this trailer:
Original article here: http://www.inquisitr.com/130291/thundercats-remake-cartoon-network/
It’s really no secret that I’m pretty obsessed with anything wedding related. (Ask my lovely co-workers who had a pool going as to when I would get an engaged.) Some call me a project manager of life, I just think I’m prepared at all times. I am equally pumped because I’ve finally found a way to tie my obsession with weddings into a blog post for LW. Here we go…
As I browse wedding websites collecting ideas and planning my upcoming nuptials, I have to give major kudos to TheKnot.com. The faceted search available on their website is second-to-none. In development speak, faceted search is simply “the ability for users to build their queries as they go, refining or expanding the current query, with results automatically reflecting the current query. ” In my world it’s “the ability for Tracy to run a search on wedding gowns from style (A-line, Mermaid, Fit-and-Flare) to price to gown length, with the search results showing me different dresses as I select and de-select these categories.” With so many wedding gown options, the faceted search is my new best friend! If your website contains a lot of information that can be separated into categories, I highly recommend installing a faceted search. Drupal, a favorite CMS tool of mine, offers an excellent module for installing such a search.
I did, in fact, say “Yes to the Dress” already…In case you’re wondering what I’ll be wearing on October 6, 2012, maybe you should try using the faceted search on TheKnot.com!
Ran into this today when pushing from the development machine to staging for testing. We have forms-based authentication turned on, and of course it ran into an issue when we pushed to staging. Found the solution here: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserversecurity/thread/c9239a89-fbee-4adc-b72f-7a6a9648331f/
“To whoever this may help, this saved my life…
IIS 7 was difficult for figuring out why i was getting the 401 – Unauthorized: Access is denied due to invalid credentials… until i did this…
1.) Open iis and select the website that is causing the 401
2.) Open the “Authentication” property under the “IIS” header
3.) Click the “Windows Authentication” item and click “Providers”
4.) For me the issue was that Negotiate was above NTLM. I assume that there was some kind of handshake going on behind the scenes, but i was never really authenticated. I moved the NTLM to the top most spot, and BAM that fixed it.”
For us I had to enable Forms Authentication on step 3.
I know, Clever and Microsoft in the same sentence usually do not go together, but this video by the office team is pretty good:
The digital industry is characterized by teamwork and in any achievement driven projects there will be conflict, obstacles and bad news. This is a simple but effective philosophy that we utilize at Local Wisdom for communicating both internally amongst the team and with clients or outside partners to make certain that we are always as productive and collaborative as possible.
1. Be Matter of Fact
In achieving any group objective there is information that needs to be passed from team member to team member. Speaking factually, directly and self-contained will make sure that the information is delivered correctly and efficiently. For example if a client wishes to move a project’s timeline up to a point where it becomes unrealistic, simply state fact and deliver the message.
“Unfortunately, we are not able to deliver within our level of quality in this timeframe…”
2. Maintain a Positive Attitude
Like I said, there is bad news in any collaborative effort. Communicating bad information in a positive manner will maintain the morale of the project and move past the problem. Likewise, appreciate successes and react to them positively, as deserved. In the timeline example, maintain a positive outlook during discussions of a new deadline so that the conversation remains pleasant and therefore constructive.
“…I do understand your needs and we can accommodate some of them…”
3. Always Move Forward Towards a Consensus or Objective
When there is conflict do not break down the collaborative structure. Maintain a collective attitude and always continue to move forward through the problem to the goal. To do this it is important to always be prepared when encountering a conversation. Before talking be sure to have thought out the options and contingencies that are possible. When approaching the client with the news of the deadline difficulties do not simply say that you cannot meet it, give option. Perhaps suggest proceeding with the project in phases or compromising a new timeline. Focus on forward thinking.
“… We can deliver X & Y deliverable within the timeframe or can we leave the timeframe as it previously was?”
With these three points in mind it is additionally important to create a common language and culture among the team and company. This language is important both for internal communications and when talking to clients and/or partners. Creating a common culture will empower the team both on an individual basis and as a whole as it gives its members a feeling of being part of a bigger picture.
By the way, the philosophy can be used in email and digital communications, but it works best in face-to-face or phone conversations. When dealing with difficult situations, you want to keep it personal and human and that is not achieved well through digital communication.
All of this sounds like common sense, but you’ll be surprised how in the heat of conversations things can spiral in the wrong direction. Keep this in mind and keep the morale of the project as high as possible and make sure you stay productive and successful.
As a company renowned for its multi-platform revenue stream, it was only a matter of time before Disney launched its own mobile app. Available for Verizon customers, the Mobile Magic app is certainly appealing to theme park goers, complete with FASTPASS wait times, locations to the nearest characters, wait times for all of the rides, and more. GPS-enabled, you’ll be able to know your exact location within any given Disney theme park and navigate your way to all of the rides and shows.Advertised for $1.99 on Verizon’s website, the price does vary depending upon your phone.
A fan of thrilling rides (which often include the attractions with the longest wait times), I’m a self-confessed FASTPASS purchaser. Yes, I’ll pay extra to be able to skip lines. You can’t put a price on convenience right?! I haven’t been to Disney World since 2006 and currently don’t have any plans to return just yet. But, when I do get that Disney itch, I’m 100% certain that Mobile Magic will gain its own spot of real estate on my phone. I mean knowing Mickey’s whereabouts, avoiding long lines, and having my own personal GPS? That’s an app fit fit for a Prince! (or Princess).
A lot of companies are pondering whether or not they should develop their own apps. Sure, anyone can pay to have an app designed and developed, but the key to a successful app is continued engagement, repeat use, and increased efficiency or entertainment for the user. In this case, Disney got it right on all counts.
If only I can just get my friends at LW to sponsor a company field trip to Orlando… now that’s user-experience testing at its finest!
This great infographic from the report Leveraging Business Value: How ROI Changes User Experience found on Robert J. Neal’s blog focuses on a problem we are facing right now – finding great IA / UX candidates.
The infographic above considers different Stages of companies that offer IA / UX services. Stage 0 (the lowest) is a company that can deliver work on-time and on-budget (and, we presume, is of a high level of quality). Stage 1 companies will begin dealing with metrics, user behavior, and will incorporate strategy and value-creation into their deliverables. At higher stages we get to more advanced categories where business and market strategies impact the success of the product. The same criteria can be used to evaluate IA / UX job candidates.
I think this chart is particularly valuable for a number of reasons. First, it allows one to group candidates and existing workers into categories where the value they create can be quantified. This is useful in determining who gets placed on which projects. Second, it itself acts as a metric itself during an interview. If the interviewee does not begin to mention how they used metrics or attempted to affect user behavior, they are probably at Stage 0.
Now for the bad news …..
It is very difficult to even find Stage 0 candidates in today’s job market.
I’m not sure why this is, but my hunch is after someone gets some chops in whatever software they choose to execute their craft, they stop progressing to higher plateaus. However, once one begins working with clients that expect higher degrees of value creation, the quality of work has to increase accordingly.
So if you are, or know, anyone that is a Stage 0 (and above!) UX / IA, let us know!
Friendster < MySpace < Facebook < Google+
Let’s all admit that people get tired of these environments after a few years, and starting from scratch elsewhere is something people are willing to do. Especially now that these services are allowing you to take your data with you to the next social network, it’s only a matter of time for the next network after Google +