Churning through tech blogs…

While spending my Saturday morning working the PCC desk, I also managed to churn through the vast majority of the tech blogs that I’d been neglecting for the past couple of months. I found 2 articles on the Vitamin site that I wanted to comment on, so I’m including them both (despite them being about vastly different topics) in one post for my own convenience.
The first one I came across was an article that explains OpenID pretty clearly. It gives a nice introduction to it, but also gives some responses to criticisms of it – such as the ‘single-point-of-failure’ issue. If you log into all of your web services with your OpenID, you can lose all of your data when/if your OpenID gets hacked. Peter (the author) pointed out that most of us already have that sort of vulnerability – in our email. If you forget your password, where do most services send it? All someone has to do is hack your email account and they’ve got the ability to get most, if not all, of your other accounts’ information. OpenID is something I’ve certainly blogged about before (though those posts may be lost forever… I’m not doing a good job of grabbing them!) but I wanted to point to this article simply because it does the best job of taking potential vulnerabilities of the OpenID system and addressing them.
The comments also bring up other issues with the system (requirement to still enter information such as email into each service you use, regardless of your use of the OpenID login and lack of mainstream sites accepting OpenID yet were two biggies) and the author does respond to those as well. I’d love to use the OpenID system at the library – but right now I don’t have control of about the only thing that users sign into – the catalog. Once we get more personalization/user profiles/whatnot into our main site, the OpenID system will definitely be one I implement to help our more tech-savvy users log in easily and quickly.
The other article in the recent issues of Vitamin that I wanted to comment on was a description of a Design Description Document (DDD) that uses PowerPoint (or Keynote or some other presentation software) as it’s base format. The idea is to put a wireframe or storyboard for each interaction/task that the user might undertake on your site into a single slide in the DDD deck. Notes and use cases would be sprinkled throughout the document as well – giving everyone (boss, designers/coders and anyone else who is associated with the site) pretty much everything they need to evaluate the design of the site. Robert, the author, explains the process pretty clearly, so I won’t, but I did want to point out that he also provides templates of his system in both PowerPoint and Keynote formats – and encourages anyone using a different presentation system to submit templates in that format.
It’s always interesting to see how other people work and create their deliverables for clients and/or bosses, even if I don’t end up adopting techniques wholesale, there are always good ideas that can be drawn from them to use in my own processes. This technique seems to have a few good ideas I might steal!

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