My project wish list
We all have projects we hope to work on, but haven’t had a chance yet.
Here’s part of my list. I’d be interested in hearing about yours.
Managing a multilingual localization project
Given my interest in languages and skills in French and German (with smatterings of a few others), I think internationalization and localization (i18n and L10n to IT language geeks) is a natural field for me. Localization means adapting a website or piece of software to a local market; internationalization means ensuring from the start that the design is localization-friendly. There’s much more to it than just commissioning a translation. Think of it as a business-analyst role for a linguistically and culturally aware writer and editor.
Creating information-rich graphics
It’s arguable that we’re living in a golden age of information design. In the 1980s and 90s, Edward Tufte and others developed new approaches to data visualization. With the arrival of rich web content in the 2000s, these proved revolutionary. Infographics – often of high quality – came into wide use, and dynamic web techniques added possibilities.
As I see it, the future of web content will see a convergence of text and infographics, and visually literate content developers will thrive. I’ll be posting some of my information-design efforts on my blog in early 2010.
Designing innovative information architectures
When content is extensive, complex, or transient, static information hierarchies tend to break down. To ensure findability, new techniques have arisen: intelligent search, tag-based filtering, information maps, and others. We haven’t established a set of best practices yet, but they will emerge over the next few years. So it’s an area I’d like to work in.
Implementing collaborative software
Perhaps the current social web is a bubble phenomenon that will peak, but like earlier technology bubbles (railway mania, the dot-com boom) it points to a fundamental shift in social and economic relationships. The key transformations will happen in workplaces and other organizations, perhaps in a transition from hierarchical command structures to collaborative, horizontal networks.
In other words, the trend to implementingsocial software in the workplace is important and may be revolutionary. There will interesting work here. I’m currently building my skills with SharePoint and Joomla!’s Community Builder suite. As well, the social extensions to Drupal seem worth looking into.