This is the season of resolution creation, and we here at ComputerWorld Canada are no different in following this time-honoured tradition. That means, of course, that we make ’em just slightly faster than we break ’em.
But one way to give yourself a fighting chance at keeping resolutions is to write them down. With that in mind, we present a small list of suggestions, organized by job category and inked herein for easy reference.
Web site designers: Resolve to remember the little guy. Usability tests on newly-designed Web sites should include a test-run at a resolution of 640 by 480 pixels. New media companies are packed with forests of 21-inch monitors, each running a minimum resolution of 1,024 by 768, giving designers a great deal of on-screen real estate. Most business users, however, are stuck with 15-inch screens and therefore waste a lot of time sideways-scrolling as they surf.
Vendors: Resolve to embrace your limits. Tech merchants would do a service by being honest with users about where their products do not fit. If a database is perfectly suited to a medium-sized workgroup environment then certainly say so, but if that same database can’t scale beyond 250 users then say that too. Users will be better served, and your honesty will net you repeat business from buyers who respect your integrity.
PR and marketing professionals: Resolve to cut the volume of your output. Public relations and marketing activities are necessary and valuable components of this industry, but they become less so when these professionals put aside a targeted and thoughtful campaign in favour of blizzard-coverage which may impresses clients with scope, but maddens most recipients by its irrelevance.
Business managers: Resolve to keep your eyes to yourselves. Tools now exist which allow easy and inexpensive monitoring of a wide range of employee activities – e-mail exchanges, Web sites viewed, log-in and -out times, etc. This appeals to managers eager to assess corporate productivity, but resist that pull. Any gains derived from bagging a couple miscreants will be more than overwhelmed by the erosion of trust and loyalty such measures create in the rest of your staff.
Tech project professionals: Resolve to both listen and talk more. Reflected again and again in the pages of this publication is the importance of first clearly understanding what the business wants from a new project and then clearly detailing the associated technical and monetary realities. Do everyone a favour: listen, then speak up.
ComputerWorld Canada readers: Resolve, please, to write more. We really want to know what you think of this publication, so decide to send us one e-mail every month. The publication can only improve through your feedback.