Category: Design


10 years of CanUX

In early November, Systemscope joined 500 fellow UX-ers in Gatineau, Quebec for CanUX’s 10th anniversary year. This was a welcome opportunity to meet designers from far and wide and to think critically about how design impacts our work and lives in ways we don’t always realize. The speakers all inspired us in different ways – here’s our staff’s takeaways on their experience at the conference this year:

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The Case for Business Process Management

We’ve seen a clear trend on many of our service design projects. Everybody is talking about the importance of adopting a client-centric approach. It makes sense, after all, to position the client at the centre of our service design efforts.  But doesn’t it also make sense to include Business Process Management (BPM) in our early planning activities? read more

INFOGOV16: The Conference of Cthulhu

Six Systemscopers stuck in a sedan for a span… sounds like the punchline of a bad joke, right? It was actually a van, but that would ruin the alliteration and literary elements which were the highlights of our touristy ventures in Providence, Rhode Island – a city known for its association with H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe. Besides roaming the spooky graveyards, awesome libraries, and colonial streets that inspired the literary geniuses, the six Systemscopers road tripped down to Providence for the Information Governance Conference 2016 hosted by the Information Coalition, a group formed to address perceived gaps from other Records and Information Management (RIM) associations and support the Information Governance (IG) community. Our goal was to learn about Information Governance and assess what aspects could be brought into the Government of Canada (GC) context. read more

You’re reading this: the case for content strategy

I’m going to share a secret from nearly twenty years of working on the web. Peel the lid back on a major website build, and you’d be forgiven for wondering whether the efforts going into planning, creating and managing the written word are commensurate with the effort going into technical or structural aspects of the project. Put another way: visitors to a site are there for the content. Those who build sites end up putting plenty of time into other aspects of the project first. So why aren’t we putting more effort where the impact is greatest?

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How to: turn data into visualizations that inform decisions

This is the second blog in a series on data visualization. Read the first blog in the series for an introduction on the subject.

What I’ve found particularly interesting while working with clients to produce data visualizations is the lack of clarity around which information needs to be presented. Many clients have embraced data collection and are making use of the charts feature in Excel to create data visualizations. PowerPoint presentations are ballooning as visualizations are inserted to showcase all of the data being collected and the various explorations of data relationships. Having accessible and reliable data is certainly a necessity, and no small accomplishment, but it doesn’t resolve the issue that at the end of the presentation the viewers are left with unanswered questions. How are we doing? Where should we focus next?

This is an interesting dichotomy. We have a data overload and an information drought. You could say that the expression “data-informed decision” is a misnomer. read more

An intro to data visualization

This is the first in an occasional series on data visualization.

Do you remember learning how to communicate effectively in writing? First you learned the alphabet, next words, then their categories (noun, adjective, etc.) and sentence structure followed. Once you graduated to essays, you learned to develop a thesis, separate thoughts into paragraphs, form conclusions… You get the picture. By contrast, what was your training in visual communication?

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