#14

How’s your summer ? I have a pretty good one as I did some virtual traveling a week ago by picking up a dozen of traveling related books in the BookFair 2002. In that particular weekend, I traveled to Spain, Okinawa, Seoul, Greece and many other great places. Just wanna share a little secret with you all, I am dreaming that one day I will become a travel book collector � hmmm we will see.

If you do some serious travel planning, you would collect information, plan your itinerary and compare prices. You will probably ask a few friends, visit some travel agencies, browse a couple of travel web sites and buy a few travel magazines / books. And what you will probably notice is that there are tons of information in all kinds of media but never easy to sort out the details and get what you want, in a timely and accurate fashion.

These problems come down to one possible solution – Information Architecture. In other words, the knowledge of how to collect, sort-out, and present the information to the requesters, in a far better and intuitive way. Obviously, to master this skill, one needs to invest some precious time to study this school of knowledge …

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I bet you’re already bored by some of the updates, what about a quiz ?

You have an empty wine bottle. A 10-cents coin is placed inside the bottle and the cork is inserted in the neck of the bottle. Your job is to get the coin out without removing the cork or damaging the bottle.

How do you do it ?

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This month’s recommendation is “The Inmates Are Running the Asylum : Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How To Restore The Sanity” by Alan Cooper (the father of Visual Basic).

In this book, Alan tells you why an IT professional shall make users happier, improve the process by which the users get work done and make their work hours more effective. Just in the first chapter, he quoted some very interested examples such as why a computerized car has (wrongly) designed to behave like a computer but not a car ? Why a computerized alarm clock has (wrongly) designed to behave like a computer but not a clock ? Same goes to camera, airplane �To us, we have to ask ourselves why our data entry forms were (wrongly) designed to look like a computer form, but not a user friendly paper form.

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No winter lasts forever; no spring skips it’s turn.

~ Hal Borland ~

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Author: Michael Yung

Michael possessed over 30 years of experience in Information Technology with focuses on complex application development, database technologies and IT strategy. He also spent the last 20 years in Internet technology, eCommerce development / operations, web usability, computer security and Public Key Infrastructure technologies.

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