Nielson on Intranet Usability

Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox for November 11 landed in my inbox today – discussing Intranet Usability, and the costly implications of the lack thereof.

Nielson’s Summary:
The average mid-sized company could gain $5 million per year in employee productivity by improving its intranet design to the top quartile level of a cross-company intranet usability study. The return on investment? One thousand percent or more.

On my To Do list is the plan to review the S&S intranet against the findings of the Nielsen Norman Group study

The Lord Mayor’s Show 2002

Still recovering from a weekend looking after Barney and Rosa, with the latter applying full throttle to the Terrible Threes.

After Blue Peter-esque craft on Saturday morning, we ventured out to Moorgate to see the Lord Mayor’s Show parade, which I’ve not seen before. There was hardly anyone about, which might be the norm, but must be pretty soul destroying for the people in the parade, and seems rather at odds with the figures bandied about in and the impression given by the british media.

The best were a brass band from Holland, in full national dress (billowing stripey skirts and lace caps), riding on matching black sit-up-and-beg bikes playing their tunes. Crazy people, and a real pity I can’t find anything about them online.

Tom emailed me these on Monday:

one for you to download at work (or at phil’s – it’s big and in Quicktime) (it’s 3MB+)

this one’s the best though… (1.7Mb)

But I’ll have to wait until I’m at bro or Phils’ to see them – unable to decompress at work. pah.

EasyCar SqueegyCar

I returned the cottage conveyance clio to easyCar Barbican this morning (necessitating 6.45am rise and shine. URGH) and Luis R had the temerity to say it was dirty!!!!!!!! I told him that the only reason it appeared dirty was because I’d washed and hoovered it, and that highlighted the bits I’d missed. I refused to sign the form, and suggested that if he gave me a cloth I’d happily polish up the clio for easyCar, but we ended up agreeing to differ and I didn’t sign anything….. and wishing I’d looked more closely at the option he’d circled.

So who knows…. only £10 if easyCar say it wasn’t clean, but it’s The Principle; the car was dirty inside and out when I picked it up, and I did clean it over the weekend.

I did go over the mileage allowance a bit, not much though. So if we’d not taken the north circular, or gone on the tile treasure hunt around Hereford we’d probably have been ok. Next time I’ll hire for 6 days.

Total cost, including diesel:

Basic Rental Cost (5 days) – 30.85
Transaction Fee – 2.00
Extras – 0.00
Insurance – 0.00
Loss/Damage Waiver – 18.75
Diesel – 32.50 (returned with tank half full – or empty, depending on your perspective)

Total Cost so far – 84.10

Plus Unknown Extras:
Additional mileage @ 0.20 mile
Cleaning – 10

TOTAL: c – 100.

Not quite the bargain you think you’re getting! and not a patch on Edinburgh Europcar .

Cosmo Quiz (kinda)

Rachel VW sent me this today – and I’m a sucker for these psychological profiling quizzes….I’ve deleted all the repetitive crap about forwarding “to everyone you know”; “this is a real test given by the Human Relations Dept. at many of the major corporations today” etcetcetc

1. When do you feel your best?
a) in the morning
b) during the afternoon & and early evening
c) late at night

2. You usually walk
a) fairly fast, with long steps
b) fairly fast, with little steps
c) less fast head up, looking the world in the face
d) less fast, head down
e) very slowly

3. When talking to people you
a) stand with your arms folded
b) have your hands clasped
c) have one or both your hands on your hips
d) touch or push the person to whom you are talking
e) play with your ear, touch your chin, or smooth your hair

4. When relaxing, you sit with
a) your knees bent with your legs neatly side by side
b) your legs crossed
c) your legs stretched out or straight
d) one leg curled under you

5. When something really amuses you, you react with
a) a big, appreciative laugh
b) a laugh, but not a loud one
c) a quiet chuckle
d) a sheepish smile

6. When you go to a party or social gathering
a) make a loud entrance so everyone notices you
b) make a ! quiet entrance, looking around for someone you know
c) make the quietest entrance, trying to stay unnoticed

7. You’re working very hard, concentrating hard, and you’re interrupted; do you …
a) welcome the break
b) feel extremely irritated
c) vary between these two extremes

8. Which of the following colours do you like most?
a) Red or orange
b) black
c) yellow or light blue
d) green
e) dark blue or purple
f) white
g) brown or grey

9. When you are in bed at night, in those last few moments before going to sleep, you lie
a) stretched out on your back
b) stretched out face down on your stomach
c) on your side, slightly curled
d) with your head on one arm
e) with your head under the covers

10. You often dream that you are
a) falling
b) fighting or struggling
c) searching for something or somebody
d) flying or floating
e) you usually have dreamless sleep
f) your dreams are always pleasant

POINTS:
1. (a) 2 (b) 4 (c) 6
2. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 7 (d) 2 (e) 1
3. (a) 4 (b) 2 (c) 5 (d) 7 (e) 6
4. (a) 4 (b) 6 (c) 2 (d) 1
5. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 3 (d) 5 (e) 2
6. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 2
7. (a) 6 (b) 2 (c) 4
8. (a) 6 (b) 7 (c ) 5 (d) 4 (e) 3 (f) 2 (g) 1
9. (a) 7 (b) 6 (c) 4 (d) 2 (e) 1
10. (a) 4 (b) 2 (c) 3 (d) 5 (e) 6 (f) 1

Now add up the total number of points.

OVER 60 POINTS: Others see you as someone they should “handle with care”. You’re seen as vain, self-centered, and who is extremely dominant. Others may admire you, wishing they could be more like you, but don’t always trust you, hesitating to become too deeply involved with you.

51 TO 60 POINTS: Others see you as an exciting, highly volatile, rather impulsive personality; a natural leader, who’s quick to make decisions, though not always the right ones. They see you as bold and adventuresome, someone who will try anything once; someone who takes chances and enjoys an adventure. They enjoy being in your company because of the
excitement you radiate.

41 TO 50 POINTS: Others see you as fresh, lively, charming, amusing, practical, and always interesting; someone who’s constantly in the centre of attention, but sufficiently well-balanced, not one to let it go to their head. They also see you as kind, considerate, and understanding; someone who’ll always cheer them up and help them out.

31 TO 40 POINTS: Others see you as sensible, cautious, careful & practical. They see you as clever, gifted, or talented, but modest. Not a person who makes friends too quickly or easily, but someone who’s extremely loyal to friends you do make and who expect the same loyalty in return. Those who really get to know you realize it takes a lot to shake your trust in your friends, but equally that it takes you a long time to get over it if that trust is ever broken.

21 TO 30 POINTS: Your friends see you as painstaking and fussy. They see you as very cautious, extremely careful, a slow and steady plodder. It would really surprise them if you ever did something impulsively or on the spur of the moment, expecting you to examine everything carefully from every angle and then, usually decide against it. They think this reaction is caused partly by your careful nature.

UNDER 21 POINTS: People think you are shy, nervous, and indecisive, someone who needs looking after, who always wants someone else to make the decisions & who doesn’t want to get involved with anyone or anything. They see you as a worrier who always sees problems that don’t exist. Some people think you’re boring. Only those who know you well know that you aren’t.

So, what did I score?

My answers: c, a, a, c, a, b, b, a, c, a
Total: 40
Profile: 31 TO 40 POINTS: Others see you as sensible, cautious, careful & practical. They see you as clever, gifted, or talented, but modest. Not a person who makes friends too quickly or easily, but someone who’s extremely loyal to friends you do make and who expect the same loyalty in return. Those who really get to know you realize it takes a lot to shake your trust in your friends, but equally that it takes you a long time to get over it if that trust is ever broken.

So now you know!

Monday 04 November 2002

Before heading over to Forty Acres for the weekend, Phil and I went up to TJBR’s for dinner. After I’d judged the Tooth Brushing Competition (my prize – FTP 6’s set of Vamprie Teeth – were not deemed an acceptable alternative to the items identified in the Argos catalogue with a turned down corner), Barney wanted to know which of his cars was the fastest, and what was the fastest car in the world…… I displayed my complete lack of Guiness Book of Records (and popular scientific) credentials by claiming it was the Bluebird (in which Donald Campbell set the world water speed record in December 1964 – 276.3 mph on Lake Dumbleyung in Australia)

So my mission this lunchtime was to do some research on the web…

AND Just Look What I’ve Found!!

ThrustSSC set New World Record

Speed: 714 MPH
Where: Nevada’s Black Rock Desert – aka where I spent a dusty 6 days earlier this year at Burning Man
When: 25 September 1997
Who: Andy Green and the ThrustSSC team

My only concern, is that ThrustSSC doesn’t really look like a car…. but it does now reside in the Museum of British Road Transport, in Coventry.

Pity it’s just a bit too far to go this weekend…..