Categories
ai artificialintelligence data development search

The UX of Big Data

Following on from my Dangers of Big Data talk at DunDDD, I’ve been thinking about what a good user experience for data analytics would look like, imagining the business user presented with useful, actionable information rather than notepad and a copy of the R or Python cookbook. I want something deceptively simple like the Google search box, rather than deceptively complex like Excel.

Excel, and R and Python, put a lot of tools at your disposal, and you could use any of them to construct an answer, but the secret to analytics relies on getting a valid, useful answer. The first is a matter of restricting the answer space to that which can be supported by the data (for example, disallowing multiplication of time-based input streams, or aggregating when there is no statistical basis for it), the second is a matter of allowing the user to explore the space so they can determine (and where appropriate, train the system to recognise) which factors are most important, how they affect the desired outcome, and how changes to the environment affect these factors.

Then the question becomes, how much should the software take over. Do we have a duty to protect users from themselves by preventing invalid analysis where we can detect it, or do we have to accept that the frustration that will cause leads to alienation and users will be less likely to respond well to further corrections. Even nudging had its possible, as anyone who had been frustrated by grammar checkers can attest. But at least nudging helps the user to understand, rather than putting up roadblocks. Nudging encourages learning, roadblocks encourage switching to another way.

How would you encourage users to handle analysis appropriately?

Categories
code development programming

Slides and Mind Maps for DunDDD

DunDDDAs promised, here’s the slides and mindmaps for the sessions I was involved in at DunDDD 2011. The Mind Maps were generated using FreeMind.

The Philosophy of Code

This talk was an experiment on my part, given the knowledge I’ve picked up from reading books and articles from some of the smartest people in the business and beyond, and I wanted to share some of that. As Gary Park noted, it still needs some polish, but I think there’s a good idea in there, so I hope to get another chance to present it in the future. The presentation itself is licensed under creative commons, but please pay attention to the photo attributions if you want to use them in your own work. I’ve also included a link to the original mind map which contains many more great quotes.

Google Docs : The Philosophy of Code

Mind42 : The Philosophy Of Code

Download The Philosophy Of Code Mindmap (.mm format)

Software Requirements

The original presentation was given by Craig Murphy (on Twitter as @CAMurphy) and is available here : Open Discussion on Software Requirements

The mind map generated from the discussion is reproduced below.

There was a good discussion of how requirements can have different levels of detail and how the methodology can shape the process and the documentation, as well as the change process. A bit of waterfall vs. agile, but each has their place.

Mind42 : Software Requirements

Download the Software Requirements Mindmap (.mm format)

How The Web Was Lost

This talk drifted a little, since we agreed fairly quickly that with the demise of Flash and Silverlight, and the rise of the web-powered desktop in Windows 8, the web has in fact won. +1 for open standards. But where does that leave the behemoths like Apple and Microsoft who have benefited the most from the traditional role of the desktop. Can they keep developers and users on their platforms, or will they be lost to cross-platform development?

Mind42 : How The Web Was Lost

Download How The Web Was Lost (.mm format)

Categories
code development programming

DDD9 Apologies

After all my excitement at being accepted in my last post, it is with a heavy heart that I have to apologize that I will not be speaking at DDD9 this year. Many thanks again to all of those who voted for me, and I am very sorry I will not be there to speak.

For those of you who did vote for my talk, please have a look at the video of my talk from BCS Aberdeen and please ask here or on Twitter if you have any questions and I will do my best to answer them in a future blog post.

Many thanks for your support and hope to see you at another conference soon.

Categories
code programming

HTML5 : The language of the cloud

I had a great time at DDD Scotland, so many thanks again to the organisers and everyone who came. As promised, here are the slides for my talk : HTML5 : The language of the cloud? in HTML5 format. The talk was given in Firefox 3.6 with the MiniMap (geoDiscovery) and Tails Export (microformat) extensions. If you have to make any tweaks to get it working in your favourite browser, let me know and I’ll update the file.

For a bit of fun, I’ve put together a short survey on HTML5 to gauge responses to some of the discussions I’ve had since the talk. I will publish the results in an upcoming post.

Finally, for ease of access, here’s a list of the important links from the talk for those of you who missed them:

And here’s Google’s demo using the dev version of Chrome :

Categories
code programming

Developer Day Scotland 2 : Session Proposals

Session Proposals

Looks like my session on IronPython is up on the proposals. Still thinking about submitting a direct Alt.Net one, or I might have a look at explaining some of the stuff I’ve been doing at work recently, an XML serializer that used XSD files to inform the reflection, to create validating XML. Or a REST interface in .Net 2.0 (without complete tests unfortunately, but I’ll get them once we shift to .Net 3.5)

Anyone got any wishes about what they’d like to see?

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