Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Is your password on the hackers top 25 list?

The end of year lists have started! Splashdata have published the 25 worst passwords for 2011.  The list was compiled based on millions of stolen passwords posted online by hackers. Here it  is:

1. password
2. 123456
3. 12345678
4. qwerty
5. abc123
6. monkey
7. 1234567
8. letmein
9. trustno1
10. dragon
11. baseball
12. 111111
13. iloveyou
14. master
15. sunshine
16. ashley
17. bailey
18. passw0rd
19. shadow
20. 123123
21. 654321
22. superman
23. qazwsx
24. michael
25. football

Did you see yours? If your password is on the list you might want to change it.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Upgrade time

Back at work after a week in the south island so it was time to upgrade to iOS5 on my iPad. The little iPad was my "work" machine while I was away. Rather then a laptop I chose to take the smaller iPad with it's bluetooth keyboard - worked a treat. As I was relying on it there was no way I was going to upgrade to the new OS just before going away.
All up it took about 2 hours to do the downloads, perform the upgrade and connect to iCloud - sweet!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Where to post your status!

Confused by social media and not sure where to post your status. KISA sent me this handy flowchart to help you decide.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My old t-shirts remind me of websites

Its time to get out last summers t-shirts. The weather is warmer and more dependable.  I can categorise my old t-shirts as follows

  • quality t-shirts I want to keep
  • quality t-shirts that are already out of fashion
  • stretched saggy ones - poor quality
I'm always grateful when my quality t-shirts last a couple of summers. My biggest disappointment is when I love a t-shirt and it goes all saggy and baggy with just a few washes. Its not just the waste of money, its the waste of time - all that shopping time wasted!

Those t-shirts remind me of websites in that ...

  • when you commision a website that goes out of fashion next year, you are in for an upgrade earlier than you expected ... a waste of time and money.
  • your old, cheap website can quickly start to look like that saggy, baggy t-shirt which is not a good look for your organisation
  • your quality website will look good next year and the year after, it will be easy to update and you will wear it with pride
We strive to build quality websites and software for people. Looking back at last seasons websites I believe we achieved that goal, thanks to our customers for being open minded and make some tough decisions.

Monday, November 14, 2011

How people use websites and cloud software

This week we will be delivering a beta, or test version of the software we have developed to record patients (anonymously) who have agreed to participate in a double-blind medical trial.  We have already spent a considerable amount of time observing people using the website and using the results to improve the software.

One of the most significant lessons in all this "watching" is that people show us through their actions or behaviour, how they will use the website and often this differs to what they tell us they will do or want.

The research co-ordinators at Wellington ICU, who start using the software this week,  will be entering real data and giving feedback on the software. This is the 3rd stage of a simple process we use to find out how people actually use a website or piece of software. The 3 stages are:

Stage 1

During the first stage I gave a set of tasks to perform, on the website, to 3 people. Tasks like

  • log in to the website as a Research co-ordinator and invite other users within your site
  • randomise a patient and allocate a treatment pack to them
  • add 2 patients to the screening log
While my test subjects were performing the tasks I wrote notes on how they interacted with the website. We also videoed the session so we could go back and view the interaction. 

Stage 2

This stage was similar to stage 1 but this time we used people who would be using the software and had a background using medical trial software. Where stage 1 gave us information on how a person might interact with the software, stage 2 gave us information about how an informed user might interact with the software. An example of the difference is the people in stage 1 used the mouse to navigate the website and the forms, whereas the people in stage 2 used the mouse for navigation but used tabs for the forms.

Stage 3

In the 3rd stage the actual users of the software get a chance to "play" with it. The results of this stage are useful in familiarising the users with the software before they begin using it "for real" and they get to give us feedback. We use that feedback to correct any errors that may have slipped through our testing process and make subtle improvements to the website.

We use this information to make the website easier to use, make the software more efficient and to tell us if things are working the way the customer (or end user) is expecting them to work.

Aggregating Content

Our blog is undergoing a redesign ... not just the look but also the structure. In my mind structure/function and look must always go together, as to which comes first ... thats the topic of another post, not yet written.
It's getting:

  • a new name
  • new purpose
  • more people writing to it
Hope you like it and please, tell us how we are doing.