Author: Systemscope

What’s Your Angle? The Many Benefits of Faceted Classification

Time and again, faceted classification has proven itself to be a flexible and accommodating way to find information. Countless e-commerce sites on the Internet, as well as mobile apps, have made faceted browsing the preferred means of navigating a domain of information, especially those with which one is not totally familiar. Government departments and agencies can benefit from this by leveraging user (civil servants, but also everyday citizens) familiarity in this type of information seeking behaviour (Amazon, eBay, etc.) in their daily lives. read more

CN Cycle for CHEO

Systemscope supports various organizations within the National Capital Region, in part by giving staff one day a year to volunteer. One particular charity that I supported this year was the CN Cycle for CHEO to raise awareness and funds cancer research.

The CN Cycle for CHEO is a fun, non-competitive event that offers a wide range of cycling (15K, 35K, 70K) and walking (2K, 5K) routes for people of all ages and abilities. On May 1st, I participated in the 70k cycle, where I had the great opportunity to cycle along Ottawa’s most scenic corridors, including the Sir John A. Macdonald and Aviation Parkways and the Rideau Canal with its renowned NCC tulip beds.

Although the weather could have been better (cloudy, raining, and a strong head wind), the event was well organized and the number of participants was unbelievable!

To learn how to get involved next year, visit the CN Cycle for CHEO website.

Information Management Visions and Strategies: Aiming for Coherence

Given that the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) is looking to develop a new strategic vision for information management (IM) in the Government of Canada, it is important to consider that the same end goal remains: making sense of the available information resources in order that they be better used by employees and the public.  This translates into the will to implement a policy that allows information to flow freely among all departments in order to provide better services to Canadians. Moreover, such a policy would also promote the idea of sharing information produced by public servants, in accordance with Open Government. Through collaborative efforts, new information can be generated which leads to better outcomes for the users of this information, including employees and the public.

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Developing Meaningful IM Policies

The other day I was having a coffee with a friend and she began to discuss some of the challenges and frustrations she was having around the management of information within her organization, or more precisely the lack of management over information.  Towards the end of our conversation, she concluded that what was missing – and what she desperately needed to fix the problem – was an Information Management Policy.  She realized that a well thought out policy would help her gain control over the feral hordes of information roaming the office landscape. I agree a well-developed IM policy will provide her with part of the solution to her problem and I yet believe that IM policy development is one of the most misused and poorly executed tools in the information governance arsenal. read more

Leveraging IRBV Identification Beyond Immediate Compliance

With the March 2015 deadline for compliance with Treasury Board Secretariat’s (TBS) Directive on Recordkeeping looming, GC departments are finalizing their efforts to do their due diligence. This, though, should be just the start of departments’ ongoing efforts to promote effective, efficient recordkeeping, and information resources of business value (IRBV) are a big part of this.

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GC Web Usability Resolution 5: Test for failures, not successes.

(part 5 of 5)

When we present usability test results, whether for a new web application, an internal system, or a website, we are often met with grim faces due to low success rates. As usability experts we know that low success rates are actually a sign that we’re doing our job well. Receiving high success rates across the board is usually a sign that those tasks are working well, and the design is successful; however, it should also tell you that you should be testing different tasks.

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GC Web Usability Resolution 4: If you’re the only one who is going to read it, don’t publish it.

(part 4 of 5)

In the early GC web days we were still very much about providing an electronic version of print publications (e.g. brochures, fact sheets, etc.). But what usability experts have learned in more recent years is that we don’t read the same way online as we do with paper. Instead, users generally like to scan quickly, looking for bold headings and keywords that stand out. Think about it this way: when was the last time you read a web page from top to bottom, left to right, in entirety?

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