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Category: branding     Posted by: cornelius     Discuss: 4 comments

Much has been written about the right (or wrong) ways of choosing and changing Twitter handles. The fact of the matter is, if you live on the web and you consider Twitter one of your main lifestreams, changing what amounts to your virtual footprint is significantly more complex than it may appear. In my case, I did not entirely switch my twitter ID, I simply added a second one to differentiate between my corporate and individual personas.

My only previous twitter handle, @ampli2de, reflects the name of my boutique UX consultancy. And while it still serves its purpose very well (ex. it was recently listed in the PeerIndex UX 500 list of most influential UX professionals active in social media), I have always struggled to separate UX/business tweets than those of a more of a personal opinion (following up with individual conversations, random UX thoughts, engaging UX big brains etc).
The truth of the matter is, I've been thinking about creating a somewhat more intimate personal brand for a little bit over a year now, but I didn't want to settle for second rate domain name or a non-matching Twitter ID. And after stalking Twitter for over a year, and hoping that they would do as they say on their fine print and release unused handles, a couple of weeks ago, it finally happened. My attempt to register it actually went through cleanly.

My personal (and most likely still very UX oriented tweets) will now be originally broadcasted using the Twitter handle @corneliux. In many cases @ampli2de will pick up those that are of general interest and vice-versa, but I am hoping @corneliux will be a more intimate avenue to engage with me on the web.

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Category: standards     Posted by: cornelius     Discuss: 20 comments

My last blog article had some harsh words directed at those responsible for creating the new website of the Clerk of Privy Council. Public Service employees and people in the community rallied around the opinion that the public should leave the Government alone, irrespective of whether they produce quality or not (calling it 'experimentation'). I still absolutely disagree with that opinion. Everyone's work should be open to critical feedback, especially publicly funded projects. If you put something out there (be it a website, a social media profile, a poster, a photo, a sculpture, a painting etc.), you are opening yourself up for, among other things, criticism. You can choose to act on it, ignore it, or respond to it. But to say that it's ok to produce inferior material because those responsible are not interested in properly researching and creating their deliverables is a fallacy. Someone from within GoC told me offline that the Government can accept to be open, but cannot accept being wrong. When did GoC websites become exempt from being scrutinized?

Others have lamented I am in no position to question the quality of a website because design is subjective. I agree that design is subjective, and I would add that it is also personal. But regardless, we have had design contests since the beginning of time because quality and innovation are also obvious to the masses, and especially to those trained in creating or evaluating visual material. And because there is a huge number of GoC websites, those who have worked in visual communications, design or user experience for the government can pick and choose with relative ease the ones that stand out in quality as well as the ones who are not exactly up to par. So for today's post, I chose to agree to disagree with those who think we should tolerate mediocrity and create a Best and Worst list for GoC CLF-based public website designs.

Best and Worst lists are the bread and butter of many research bodies, including Forrester and Gartner. Bloggers all over the world publish Best and Worst lists every day. To choose these websites, I have reviewed the homepage of every site on the Departments and Agencies list available at www.gc.ca, and also looked at select microsites of some of those departmental homepages.

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Category: branding     Posted by: cornelius     Discuss: add comment

It's hard to believe that it's been 10 years since Ampli2de was born in 1999, back home in Transylvania, as a project that started out of boredom more than anything else. As I was looking to do something productive during my first summer after university, I came up with a name (the company used to be called Ampli2de Studios S.R.L.) and I ended up spending a few hours one night putting up some posters all over town about our new web design startup. All it contained was the name, the number, and the logo (the first of the three pictures after the break).


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Category: branding     Posted by: cornelius     Discuss: add comment

A while back I've decided that it is finally time to build a branded blog. I've been doing it anonymously on Blogger until last year (mostly on matters of user experience, usability and design) and I had to slow down because I've been too busy on work projects. And truth be told, I miss it. But this second time around, I've decided to build my own, and brand it accordingly within the Ampli2de brand. For those interested in our brand this is a way to get our take on a variety of UX subjects and to keep up with what we're doing these days.

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