Frictionless Tech & Design: Being your UI Framework Team

Trends in web technology tend to be fickle. Every day there are new technologies, libraries and frameworks to build the next generation of UI.

Javascript UI Frameworks

Javascript UI frameworks

I have collected a group of talented UI architects and UI developers to curate the best of the open-source stack for enterprise software development. Imagine a tested, scalable and efficient product that will allow business tier developers to focus on their code and simplify the UI architecture. There are dozens of open source projects and proprietary stacks from which to choose. However, there are few projects or companies focused on packaging and enabling enterprise class software development.

Our objective is to provide you with the best UI architecture, components and tools to build your enterprise application. We are focused on curating a stack of the best open-source components to build an enterprise class application to run on your web browser, desktop, or tablet. By packaging a tested, scalable and efficient product, we will become your UI framework resource, allowing business tier developers to focus on their code and simplify the UI architecture. We will keep you posted on when these packaged tools will be available.

By |March 9th, 2014|Consulting|0 Comments

Frictionless Clients: High Stakes Assessment Tests

High-stakes assessment testing is a big deal, for both students and the industry. Nationwide, teachers and students know the stress of the increasingly important state educational assessments. Here in Massachusetts, its the MCAS. These tests are long and complicated, and because they have been traditionally delivered via paper, inflexible in design and delivery. A new industry is evolving to conduct “e-assessments.” For a recent project, I had the opportunity to analyze a number of these products. Two of the main players in the electronic assessment space are Smarter Balanced (SBAC) and Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).

SBAC

Smarter Balanced Screenshot

 The objective is to convert every student assessment to an electronic one, delivered via computer. According to Wikipedia, here are the advantages. “E-assessment is becoming widely used. It has many advantages over traditional (paper-based) assessment. The advantages include:

  1. Lower long-term costs

  2. Instant feedback to students

  3. Greater flexibility with respect to location and timing

  4. Improved reliability (machine marking is much more reliable than human marking)

  5. Improved impartiality (machine marking does not ‘know’ the students so does not favour nor make allowances for minor errors)

  6. Greater storage efficiency – tens of thousands of answer scripts can be stored on a server compared to the physical space required for paper scripts

  7. Enhanced question styles which incorporate interactivity and multimedia.”

During my research, I have discovered that some of companies creating these tests have little experience developing software applications, their backgrounds are in test design or courseware. The assessment application designers follow few standards or other conventions that would be familiar to children taking the tests. The assessments are […]

Frictionless Meetups: Litographs

As a Mentor at Boston startup accelerator Techstars, I have the opportunity to meet and work with the some great startup companies. While many are exploring cutting edge technologies, others offer interesting creative products. One company I found intriguing and fun is Litographs. Litographsconverts the text of books to shirts, totebags and posters. Do you have a favorite book such as “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” “War and Peace,” or “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”? Litographs hires designers to read the book, come up with a design that represents the book, and take the entire text of the book and print it out in the theme of the design. What a great way to promote pride in literacy and great literature!

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Check out all of the titles at Litographs.com.

Frictionless Update: A Fresh Start

Wow! It has almost been one year since I left full-time employment. After 20 years I decided to go out on my own and created frictionless design – a User Experience Design and Architecture firm. I am focusing on becoming a design partner with small to midsized development shops who need enterprise class design assistance on a project basis.

I had a major project referred to me by my UX design colleague Karen Graham. The company is located here in Massachusetts and was looking for someone to help design and guide them with their new enterprise class storage administration and monitoring user interface. That project was my kickoff.

After weeks of quiet, people from my past began contacting me. Colleagues from Gomez, Kronos, ITG, as well as an entrepreneurship class I was taking, all had interesting projects to discuss. While several of them were startups, a couple were already implementing software products. I will spotlight various clients in future newsletters so that you can get a sense of what other companies do and how they incorporate the design process.

As I was making my way into the consulting world, I began reaching out to my network of UI experts to partner with on projects. Despite 20 years in the industry, I have found it difficult to find UI developers who are great at what they do and passionate about the work. With luck on my side, I found that Doug Ross was also launching his own consulting firm, OnVelocity. Doug happens to be one of the most talented UI developers I know. We have approached several clients together and are currently working at an educational content […]

By |March 5th, 2014|Consulting|1 Comment