Bob Glushko blogs at docordie.blogspot.com, great blog name and a fascinating presentation. I liked that he shared and described his semi-retirement as verbalizing his desire to be a beach bum to his wife, but his wife said, I still like my job and I want to work, so go get a job! He has been teaching at UC Berkley ever since.
Building information supply chains – example of the E. Coli scare in lettuce in March 2007. Basically had to figure out how to track heads of lettuce, similar to tracking heads of people to avoid long lines at security in the airport. With enough data tracking – input and retrievability – you can make informed decisions.
Common themes of new information services – document exchange, patterns, similar to supply chains and distribution channels. There are hidden documents in business processes.
His “ah-ha” moment? he had always focused on the document, but with ordering on the web, his user experience is what really matters – did the business process work? Did the lobsters arrive dead or alive? Did his shipment get to him in time and was it the right order? You have to know the back-end, the time difference, the travel distance, the choreography and design of the pattern determines success and a happy user experience.
I’m reminded of the fact that there are 39 time zones in the world, and for collaboration across the world, we have to figure out the time zone difference relative to the person you want to collaborate with.
Bob offers an excellent analogy for wiki-based, community-collaborative content – a restaurant’s lines of visibility. At McDonalds, you have backstage production lines for food prep, at Benihana you have food prep as part of the entertainment right at your table (remeber that onion volcano so expertly prepared?) We should try to strategically determine where to draw our lines of visibility – what point of view do we wish to present to our users?
Ah, now he’s talking about a cooking school where the kitchen is the front stage for the cooks, and the back stage for the customers. A restaurant’s dining room is the front stage for the customers, but the back stage for the cooks. I’m reminded of a webpage I read where people proved that writing on a wiki actually helps you learn more about the tasks because you have to figure out your conceptual understanding of the task to write about it. If you allow more writing to happen next to the backstage when it’s the cooks in the kitchen, or the expert writers in the wiki, more beginners can learn by not observing or reading but by actually participating in the writing itself.
While you may have identified more with either the front end or back end design issues, you can choreograph the information experience for the user.
Here are Bob’s slides, also found on slideshare.net.