nForm – Business Analyst

Full Time Permanent Position in Edmonton, AB

As a business analyst, your primary responsibility will be research and discovery that drives business, customer, and technical insight. You will work closely with clients, their customers, and others using interviews, workshops, and other methods to develop understanding of both the big picture and the details. You will use this insight to develop clear vision, requirements, and functional design for client systems. Your work will create the foundation for successful projects, and you will be responsible for activities and deliverables such as documenting requirements, creating process flows, use cases, and reports. You will work closely with others on the team to develop concrete plans and prototypes based on the discovery work conducted by yourself and others.

Most importantly, you will work with clients, their users, and nForm colleagues to understand, define, and solve problems to create business and user value through designing fantastic user experiences.

Excellent interpersonal skills are required for client-facing engagements. As a boutique firm, you’ll be called on to serve in a variety of roles – flexibility and the ability to tackle new challenges are important. In particular, adopting a value-centered design approach will be important for your ongoing contribution to the company and our clients.

Qualifications

Skillset

  • Strong analytical and architectural portfolio including things like requirements, scenarios, use cases, process flows, reports, and presentations
  • Great inter-personal skills for teamwork and client-facing activity
  • Experience facilitating workshops and other group work
  • Fluent with Visio, Omingraffle or other diagramming tool
  • Ability to model process flow and other structural components of system
  • Ability to show ideas visually
  • Ability to write clearly so that you can communicate your ideas
  • Some familiarity with back and front end web technology, such as J2EE, .NET, Relational Databases, Object Oriented Code, Web Services, HTML, CSS, (you won’t be coding, but your designs need to be feasible, and you need to be able to speak to technical requirements and communicate with development teams)
  • Web 2.0 awareness (from acronyms like RSS and RIA to your own thoughts on social software)

Mindset

  • Ability to listen and take direction
  • Ability to learn new skills, both with guidance and on your own
  • Ability to work independently
  • Keen interest in the craft of user experience; making systems work better for people takes priority over technical elegance

History

Minimum 2+ years of experience dedicated to a business analysis role or similar job function. We will consider candidates with significantly more experience as well. Your portfolio, process, and mindset trump both formal education and previous jobs, though we appreciate good schools and good work.

Compensation

  • Salary reflective of experience, plus benefits to start. Salary review at 6 months, 1 year, and then annually
  • Signing bonus for the right employee
  • Relocation assistance for the right employee
  • Participation in employee bonus program
  • 3 weeks vacation, plus an additional week of paid personal time off (for running errands, medical appointments, waiting at home for the cable guy to show up, or watching your kid’s afternoon school production)
  • Participation in employee professional development program

Some compensation isn’t about money or benefits. We’re all here because we like working with an experienced, smart team that not only serves great clients, but also influences the practice of user experience across industry. In the last year and a half, nForm has spoken at the Chilean IA Retreat, the Government Marketing Workshop, DigitalNow 2007, UX Week, UPA 2007, the IA Summit 2007 & 2008, the German IA Conference, the Italian IA Summit, Northern Voice, with upcoming appearances at UPA 2008, and others. We host our own Canadian User Experience workshop, CanUX, every year in Banff.

It’s not just events. We regularly blog and write articles, we co-founded the IA Institute, and we’re thrilled to announce that company principal Gene Smith has recently published a book, titled Tagging: People-Powered Metadata for the Social Web.

How to Apply

Email your resume (Word or PDF) and link to your online portfolio to Yvonne Shek, at careers@nform.ca. If we’re going to go ahead with an interview, we’ll let you know within a week. Unfortunately we can’t respond to everyone who applies, so if you haven’t heard from us in a week, we’re probably looking for a different skillset.

nForm – IA/Interaction Designer

Full Time Permanent Position in Edmonton, AB

As an nForm consultant, your primary responsibility will be translating business and customer insight into concrete plans and prototypes, such as conceptual models, interaction flows, wireframes, and functional specs. You will work with clients, their users, and nForm colleagues to understand, define, and solve problems to create business and user value through designing fantastic user experiences.

Excellent interpersonal skills are required for client-facing engagements. We’re a small firm so you’ll be called on to serve in a variety of roles–flexibility and the ability to tackle new challenges are important.

Qualifications

Skill Set

  • Strong design portfolio including things like scenarios, interaction flows, sketches, sitemaps, wireframes, prototypes, and possibly great final interfaces
  • Fluent with Visio, Omingraffle or other diagramming tool
  • Ability to model interaction flow, navigation structure, and other structural components of system
  • Ability to show ideas visually
  • Ability to write clearly so that you can communicate your ideas
  • HTML and CSS (you won’t be coding, but your designs need to be feasible)
  • Web 2.0 awareness (from acronyms like RSS and RIA to your own thoughts on social software)

Mindset

  • Ability to listen and take direction
  • Ability to learn new skills, both with guidance and on your own
  • Ability to work independently
  • Keen interest in the craft of user experience. We’d like to know who your influences are, where you look in the community for guidance and inspiration, what books and blogs you read, and who you think is doing the coolest work online

History

  • 2 – 5 years of work experience doing interaction design or information architecture preferred. This experience may have been in a dedicated role, or as part of work doing innovative web design
  • Your portfolio, process, and mindset trump both formal education and previous jobs, though we appreciate good schools and good work

Compensation

  • Salary based on experience, plus benefits to start, review at 6 months, 1 year, and then annually
  • Signing bonus for the right employee
  • Relocation assistance for the right employee (if you are moving across the country, North America, or internationally)
  • Participation in employee bonus program
  • 3 weeks vacation to start
  • Participation in employee professional development program

Some compensation isn’t about money or benefits. We’re all here because we like working with an experienced, smart team that not only serves great clients, but also influences the practice of user experience across industry. In the last year and a half, nForm has spoken at the Chilean IA Retreat, the Government Marketing Workshop, DigitalNow 2007, UX Week, UPA 2007, the IA Summit 2007 & 2008, the German IA Conference, the Italian IA Summit, Northern Voice, with upcoming appearances at UPA 2008, and others. We host our own Canadian User Experience workshop, CanUX, every year in Banff.

It’s not just events. We regularly blog and write articles, we co-founded the IA Institute, and we’re thrilled to announce that company principal Gene Smith has recently published a book, titled Tagging: People-Powered Metadata for the Social Web.

How to Apply

Email your resume (Word or PDF) and link to your online portfolio to Yvonne Shek, at careers@nform.ca. If we’re going to go ahead with an interview, we’ll let you know within a week. Unfortunately we can’t respond to everyone who applies, so if you haven’t heard from us in a week, we’re probably looking for a different skillset.

Enterprise 2.0 – Midori + Sharepoint

My good friends Gene, Jess and team at nForm have finally demonstrated their awesome new project management applicaiton Midori.

midori

Midori is built on top of Sharepoint. And uses a completely custom layout engine.

Part of Midori is an engine that gives us complete control over SharePoint’s interface and interactions. We’re still refining the interface, but we’re able to make Midori look and work like just about any other web app (including standards-compliant mark-up and a bunch of ajax-y interactions).

The thing that blows me away is:

While we haven’t made it completely cross-browser compatible, I use it regularly from my Mac without trouble.

I don’t use my Mac for accessing many of the internal Microsoft SharePoint sites, mostly because the experience on Firefox 3 is unspectacular. But having built a truly cross-platform layout engine for SharePoint is a powerful tool. I wonder if they would consider licensing it to third-party SharePoint developers.That’s a different question.

Why SharePoint?

Gene suspects ‘we’ll even answer that nagging question "why SharePoint?"’. I have a few suspicisions including:

With companies like Atlassian shipping the SharePoint Connector for Confluence and NewsGator releasing Social Sites and SharePoint and SocialText’s SocialPoint (comments from Don Dodge), there is an ecosystem of products forming to help fill the gaps in SharePoint. It’s a product that is easy for IT departments to acquire, install and deploy. There are challenges (opportunities man, opportunities) for companies in deployment with the user experience and configuration options. But I could see companies like nForm, ThoughtFarmer and others building functional, usable, pleasurable user experiences on-top as a solution for the grow market space.

Don summaries some of Ross Mayfield’s , CEO of SocialText, interesting points about building on the Microsoft platform.

  • The "humanizing" of Microsoft has changed his mind about working with Microsoft. He cites Ray Ozzie, Robert Scoble, Channel9 and blogs from Microsoft employees as examples.
  • SharePoint 2007 is a market leader, validates the category, and grows the market for everyone.
  • The short term value (role) for a wiki that supports SharePoint is immediately apparent.
  • SocialText has a profit motive, balanced by freedom, that will sell more seats of SocialText and SharePoint. Everyone wins.
  • SocialText customers told him this was a good idea. You can’t lose when you listen to your customers.

I’ve spent the past year trying to balance my desire to build profit driven companies with the freedom of the open idea. But for companies like nForm, partnering with Microsoft is a great way to leverage a successful sales and marketing engine that can help you sell more software.

Plus nForm is hiring:

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