The new few months are going to be busy in Wellington when it comes to conferences and presentations.

This time I’m involved in a few myself…

Power to the People!


The biggie (for me)  is GOVIS 2007 where I’ll be teaming up with Bob Medcalf (fellow Provokateer) and Elyssa Timmer (of Webstock fame) to present ‘Power to the People!’

Our one-day intensive workshop teaches you how to incorporate user goals and agency needs into the web design process. You\’ll develop a detailed understanding of users through user research, usage scenarios and conceptual models. You\’ll help create a user-centric government website that meets both agency and user needs. You\’ll learn how to conduct simple in-house usability tests. You\’ll learn about the impact on your design decisions in context of government web standards, the search experience and web 2.0\’ concepts. Be prepared to be engaged while gaining practical, actionable knowledge! This workshop is for website managers, business analysts, interaction designers, information architects and anyone interested in the user experience.

The workshop takes place on Tuesday 8 May 2007 and costs range from $395 (for GOVIS members) through to $595 for non-members ($495 for early birds).

I hope to see you there – and if you are going please get in touch and let me know what topics and techniques you’d like to see covered at the event.

It’s Fresh!


The other event about to make waves in Wellington is ‘Fresh from the Oven’ – where Provoke are running two FREE half-day seminars in Wellington – designed to provide you with an introduction to the new MOSS platform.

Put simply, “MOSS” is the abbreviated name for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. MOSS is a new server-based product that combines a series of existing Microsoft products into one complete solution; in particular Content Management Server 2002 and SharePoint Portal Server 2003.

MOSS is a street-wise tagger

I was involved in the first NZ intranet build using MOSS for the Ministry of Transport – and one of the first ever sites built on the platform.

The first phase was a “trial by fire” which was built on the beta version of the software.

The next phase (on now) is going a whole lot smoother and what the Ministry will end up with is a funky fully-faceted tag-driven information architecture.

This is where all documents, pictures and other objects are tagged with attributes such as topic, origin, ministerial portfolio – and whatever you like actually.

Then the users can view the content in a way which makes sense to them – by topic, by content type, by audience, by transport mode (in the case of the Ministry of Transport!) and many other angles.

This does take a bit longer to set-up when you first create a piece of content, but the pay-offs thereafter are huge for findability of content.

I’m really impressed with the built-in metadata capabilities of MOSS – you can do pretty much anything using its tagging and attributes engine. It also has built in sorting and filtering.

I still have a lot to learn (the product is huge and varied), but it does seem to offer some very powerful tools for Information Architects and Knowledge/Information Managers.

Below: Some sneak-peeks from my Information Architecture specification.

One row from the Metadata Set
Attributes by Content Type
Attributes by Content Type

View by [hey, whatever!