Monday, November 30, 2009

GCconnex Development - November 2009

Note: This post contains links only accessible within the Government of Canada network.
In my last GCconnex update about the recent user survey, I encouraged everyone to contribute their opinions about the look, feel, and usability of the Government of Canada's internal professional networking platform via the GCconnex Professional Network Pilot Working Group forum.  I'm pleased to say that changes have already been rolled out, with more in progress.

Paul Jackson said:
"I just noticed that there are colour contrast issues with the layout and design. We should be achieving at least 4.5:1 colour contrast ratio (between foreground text and background colours) to avoid excluding people with poor vision."
...and in less than a week, a new theme with sharp text and high contrast was rolled out.  User response on The Wire was immediate and overwhelmingly positive.  On the very high end of praise was Kurt Conroy who gushed (tongue firmly in cheek), "OMG I LOVE GC-CONNEX I THINK I'M GOING TO DELETE MY FACEBOOK ACCOUNT B/C THIS ROX."

I concur.

Thom Kearney reports that the number of widgets in the default profile page has been reduced, ostensibly to minimize the complexity of the user interface as new widgets are being added.  According to Charles de Grasse, GCPEDIA's "technical lead infrustructure go-to guy", the new widgets may not be bilingual. This is temporary.  (For the technically curious, the developer log of installed modules and other GCconnex changes is here.)

Some new users continue to express a bit of system shock upon signing in, while others find the system more intuitive than Facebook.  Should you find yourself in the first group, it's safe to say that there is more than enough community support to help anyone in need.  I'm available by email or by phone to help you any way I can.  Just drop me a line.   My contact information is on my profile pages at GCconnex and on GCPEDIA.  Additionally, help files exist at both sites.

If you've ever doubted that feedback can lead to tangible and timely response, the progress at GCconnex is heartening.  Login or sign up today, and for some guidance on how you can help make the platform better, check out Thom Kearney's recent blog entry about how to report bugs and make feature requests.