Three actions

Posted in: Communication

I always come away from conferences feeling inspired.  I learn a lot and return to work enthusiastic about putting it all into action. IWMW has had the same effect. I might be making myself a hostage to fortune, but this is my public statement of what I will be doing as a result.  If I am at next year's event feel free to ask what we achieved.

Build a course finder that would make Paul Boag proud.  He said we need to "just do it!" rather than convince people to let us.  Side projects is one way to start.  Another is using the project frameworks that Dave Flanders covered.  They have helped us make progress so that we can demonstrate benefits quickly.

Build websites a bit like the BBC (but not exactly).  I'll be looking at doing more user testing and how we do wireframing. I am open to the idea that we could eliminate wireframes if we can integrate development and design more closely. For me, creating a complete domain model before other activities is a risk for HE web teams. The presentation told us that changes to the model can have big impact:

Bear in mind if you’re using data from existing business systems there may need to be heavy investment to make changes to that data model...

I guess their team can accommodate this, but thinly spread HE web teams can't.  For us the approach will continue to be building in slices.

Build something in the cloud. I spent quite a lot of time talking to Mike Richwalsky who is doing some really interesting things using Amazon Web Services.  We have an ageing test server so it would be interesting to see if we could use EC2 to run up the test server when required. I'd like to understand if we can save on maintenance and power costs.  Obviously we wouldn't need to find the money for a new server.

The feedback form for parallel sessions asks people to list 3 actions they will take when they return to their institution.  I'd like to see people sharing this information so that we can all support each other to achieve them. After talking to people at IWMW it's clear that we often face the same challenges and that there is a strong community willing to help.

Posted in: Communication


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