How to choose a consultant
The independent contractors behind Dionysius Studios have been consulting since long before the world wide web. We have a few ideas about how humans and computers should interact. In our view, most of what computer consultants do ends up being ineffectual. While not necessarily harmful, this represents missed opportunity to you.
Technology serves the user.
This requires that it be as intuitive, minimal in complexity, and elegant as popular.
Sites should function like a kiosk, keypad, telephone or other familiar interface.
Visual design should indicate function.
Aesthetics should facilitate eye-easy everyday use.
Forms and databases should as few screens as possible.
Specialized functions should be separated from normal use.
The scripts and technologies used should be invisible to the user.
Clear layout and simple, direct terms help comprehension.
URIs should parse in plain language and remain consistent.
Fewer words conveying the same message make a more effective document.
Getting the user operational with the product quickly removes frustration.
Incidental but necessary information can be placed in appendices.
Careful research gives the user context.
Focus on a hierarchy of named procedures allows quick learning.
Documents should be visually clear and unintrusive.
Bullet points and graphics can be more effective than explanations.
A consultant exists to facilitate business.
Technology should be effective, not visible.
The client knows his or her business best.
A deferred complete answer trumps a vague conclusion.
Consultants are "computer doctors" and should be on call for emergencies.
Breadth of planning eliminates cost-inducing last-minute fixes.
Precise application of existing technology avoids rapid upgrade turnover.