Understanding the real requirements for a system, including databases and web sites, is critical to success. With 25 years of systems experience and having taught undergraduate and graduate courses in systems design at three universities, Jeff's thorough requirements analysis is implicit in the success of the projects described on the database, information visualization, and web design pages.
Designing systems to make them easier for people to use and more effective in communicating their information has been the core of Jeff's academic research and his teaching focus. His practical experience reviewing a system for visualizing earthquake faults resulted in substantial improvements to the system's usability. He also conducted a preliminary usability review of a web site designed to collect scientific data from citizen scientist volunteers and identified a number of significant problems that were impacting data quality and making data entry more difficult and error prone. Jeff has expertise in a numerous formal and informal usability evaluation techniques including heuristic reviews, observation of systems usage, A/B testing, post-evaluation user satisfaction surveys, focus groups, and think-aloud protocols.
Frequently, no single commercially available package or open source software will meet all of a system's requirements. However, components can be combined ("integrated") to produce a higher quality, more cost-effective solution than developing the application from scratch. For example, Jeff integrated a Microsoft Access database, the Map Window GIS component, and some custom programming to create the interactive Amphibian Calling Activity Analysis program. Another example of systems integration from Jeff's business consulting work involved developing additional job costing reports for his client that were not included in the otherwise best-available system for the client's needs.
Real-time remote collaboration allows multiple people in different locations to work together on the same document simultaneously. Jeff's research has involved real-time remote collaboration on a GIS system and has found that such collaboration yields substantial benefits.