Keep yourself secure

computer safetyImage: thinglink

You need a plan when it comes to online security and you need to check it every so often. Checking settings on sites on a regular basis is important , especially with Facebook which can change settings and then you don’t understand why you are seeing too much information or broadcasting to everyone. Facebook settings can be in the main setting part  top right but also on each post and picture. bleeping computer has a good list of tips to run through to ensure you have a checklist you can follow to ensure you are doing as much as you can to keep yourself safe online. You will be doing most of it. There is a list of free security software on listoffreeware which you can check to see if there is anything you might want. The main thing when downloading software is to ensure you are not getting any extra software which you don’t want. Have a plan and be routine in your security checking.

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How to use WhatsApp

 

WhatsApp is a hugely popular messaging app with corporate overtones which Facebook bought for 19 billion dollars in 2014.  Yes, it makes you wonder but that is how much it is worth. It is free to use and then had small in app annual fees which appear to have been cancelled for general use because that model wasn’t working. Facebook Messenger does exactly the same thing but some people are used to What’s App or they just prefer to use it. Once you have downloaded it can be allowed to look through your contacts to show you who else is on What’s App. You can look at the advantages and disadvantages on online-sciences.  You can look at an article where they discuss how and why they dropped the fees so you can contextualise that better if you are not familiar with What’s App.

Text to speech

 

There is some really bad text to speech  out there and the upshot will be that people will abandon whatever it is using  a bad voice synthesiser. You get it on news clips, how to clips, automated phone messages. It is awful. Digital voices are as unique as human voices so I am not sure why they seem to pick the most annoying and horrible ones for public consumption. There are some reasonable voices out there and they are improving all the time. Text to speech does have its uses especially in terms of accessibility , literacy and mastering a new language. The video clip gives you some ideas as to how to manage text to speech effectively and this clip on another text to speech option shows you too how effective it can be. The tip from both clips is to try the different options to get the best one for your purposes.

Video call on Facebook Messenger

messenger callsA lot of people know how to message or respond to messages on Facebook. Not everyone knows how to make a voice call or video call on Messenger. They just don’t see those two logos , or , if they see them , they don’t realise they are for voice and video calls. They are not stupid. They are unaware these logos exist top right of the screen or can’t interpret the icons. A case where captioning might help it would seem. The video explains how to do the video calls. Voice calls will happen if you tap/click on the phone icon. The use of the term chat is probably confusing some people. Those who have made phone calls would call them calls. Chat is used widely now to refer to conversing with others no matter which mode you use. Some people don’t want to use chat and think it’s not for them. If they realised it was a call they might think differently.

Digital Service Standard

Digital Service StandardThe  Federal Government has a Digital Service Standard for government agencies and sites. Presumably that includes government schools. It is a thirteen point plan, unlucky for some perhaps, which ensures government sites have a consistency of approach with regard to user experience. This Dev Ops approach is to be welcomed because Dev Ops is the thing these days where you marry development with user experience. Basically, it will always come back to site design.

 

Can the user  find what they are looking for?

Can they use the site efficiently?

Is the user able to interact easily with the site?

Is the site making sense to the user?

Is the user doing what the site developers were expecting?

Government services have a dashboard where they report against key performance standards:

  • User satisfaction
  • Cost per transaction
  • Digital take-up
  • Completion rate

On the performance dashboard page there is a link to the limitations of this kind of approach. How users interact with a site is not just about the key performance standards. Cost might not just be financial. There might be an emotional cost in terms of anger and frustration or giving up when using a site.

The Digital Tranformation Agency is currently looking for feedback from workers who have used the digital standard :

“All services which were designed or redesigned after 6 May 2016 fall within the scope of the standard and must be assessed against it. You can check the changes between the Live and Beta Standard.”

The DTA focuses on improving and progressing government digital uptake and expertise:

  • user-centred research and design
  • agile delivery methodologies
  • technology design and build
  • systems architecture
  • sophisticated procurement approaches.

They are user focused and can be found on all the common social media platforms if you want to find out more about yhem.

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