Friday, July 20, 2007

MSCUI - The Microsoft Health Common User Interface

Last week some of the fruits of the project I have been working on for the last 2 years at Microsoft UK, saw the public light of day as and went live.

Microsoft have been working for some time now with the UK National Health Service to produce UI guidance for healthcare software and to produce a UI control toolkit for web and Windows development that embodies that design guidance.

Primarily centred around patient safety and standardisation of common interface elements, the guidance and tools are intended for health care ISVs to help them quickly and consistently produce web and Windows applications that conform to UK NHS standards that aid patient safety.

The stuff we devs have been working on - the web and Windows controls - are intended to enforce rules about formatting of information-display and standardising and validating the input of data to promote patient safety and reduce ambiguity. The web controls make use of AJAX and the Microsoft AjaxControlToolkit and both platforms share common specific data types and code for parsing input and standardisation of displayed information.

The intention in going public is to give the work and its output wider exposure and to create a community for feedback and input into an ongoing process of developing and extending the design guidance documentation (primarily through the site) and practical support for it in the toolkit and again a community for feedback (through the site).

Anyway, the sites themselves describe and explain it better than I can here, but it is nice to see a public release to some of the stuff we've been doing over the past few months; and hopefully some of the stuff we are doing now, and as we move on, will make it out into the community via the same or a similar route.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

See what I mean?

OH NO! Not the BBC as well!

I saw a piece on the BBC 10 o'clock news last about supplying new helicopters to the troop-effort in Afghanistan and couldn't believe my eyes as the graphics for the numbers and types of aircraft contained the loathsome "grocer's apostrophe": Merlin's, Chinook's etc. Good grief! Were all the literate staff at the BBC too busy panicking about cancelling phone-in competitions to proof-read the captions on their flagship news programme?

Has anybody checked whether there are still ravens at the Tower of London?