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Systems Alliance Blog

Opinion, advice and commentary on IT and business issues from SAI
Date: Nov 2013

It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly how or why it happens, but trends emerge and take hold and suddenly we have a new way of doing things. This applies, quite obviously, to things like fashion, food, fitness and baby names, but on a larger scale to economics, politics and culture. Trends on the web are no exception.

For some it may seem like yesterday that a Flash-animated introduction led to a page where links were underlined in blue and content written in Arial and Georgia sat uncomfortably in tables with gray borders. As the web has evolved over the last decade, Flash has been virtually replaced by HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript, tables have all but disappeared and there are hundreds of web-friendly fonts to choose from. In this case, we can point to technological advances that have allowed the design and functionality of sites to improve and create more engaging and intuitive user experiences. Other trends, such as changes in design styles, surface as industry giants like Apple, Microsoft or Google adapt new branding. Whatever the cause of the trend that takes hold, there are those that are well worth paying attention to and others likely to be a passing fad. Is it worth investing in any of these trends? Let’s take a look at a few that are....Read More

Regardless of one’s political leanings or opinion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare, there is widespread consensus that the roll-out of the HealthCare.gov website has been a mess. HealthCare.gov is the primary means for Americans to enroll in healthcare programs under the auspices of the ACA. Critics as well as supporters of the ACA, including President Obama, have repeatedly described the HealthCare.gov website as a “disaster,” a “debacle” and “unacceptable.”

My objective here is not to throw additional barbs at HealthCare.gov or to provide political commentary. Rather, my focus is on the lessons we, as web designers and developers, can learn from this experience....Read More

 

businessman on tightropeAre you confident in your ability to restore critical IT services after an outage? Have you identified risks with the potential to disrupt those critical services? Do you have plans, procedures, and the requisite infrastructure in place to mitigate those risks? Based on recent work with mid-size commercial and Higher Ed clients, I have the view that organizations in this class are likely to be exposed to greater risk than they realize....Read More

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