Peter Hulm: CV - Web work and Net interests
My interest in Web design is in finding low-cost and low-tech ways of using Web techniques particularly for people in developing countries or newcomers to Web page viewers (known technically as Browsers). This led me to develop the WebDisk concept. This provides on a normal computer diskette a series of linked HTML (Web-style) pages as a cheap way of distributing information (200 pages per diskette), saving the time of busy executives in finding information of specific interest to them, and a training device for inexperienced Web users. The WebDisk pages included links to sites for those with Browsers that could be connected to the Internet but this was not essential for users to get the benefit of the technology.
Since that time, I have been pursuing scientific research into design concentrating on electronic issues, and particularly in finding unconventional solutions and approaches to communications problems.
I made a point of giving my Communications and Media MA class training in WebPage development, particularly using techniques of dynamic document design to give them experience in cutting-edge research methods now being incorporated into design, with particular emphasis on creating and designing Web sites that are "user friendly" according to scientific and research findings.
This effort continues. My e-mediate.net Website provides several guides on Web site production. maximedia.org puts the WebDisks on the Web.
I developed the concept as a cheap way of distributing information across decentralized organizations that could then produce as many copies as they needed. Offering pre-digested examples of Websites as well as information on the issues being covered made it possible to save time for people seeking information from the Web. A side-benefit was to ease busy executives into the use of browsers at a fraction of the cost and time of a Web hook-up (prohibitively expensive in developing countries). Webdisks also made it clear how useful it could be for an executive to be Web-savvy.
I still think the concept is useful. CD-ROMs are cheap to produce these days but often have more information than people want (few non-commercial CDs make real use of the multi-media capabilities of 640 MG). Diskettes can get 200 pages of text easily onto their 1.4 MG and can be distributed through a simple DiskCopy command. People understand the concept very quickly.
This WebDisk was designed to allow users to explore the Internet and World Wide Web sources available on the issue of safe food, the United Nations organizations concerned with such problems, and other sources of interest. For the sake of simplicity and to provide more information, I eliminated graphics.
It was prepared for UNEP's Environmental Citizenship Initiative, in conjunction with Consumers' International, for the FAO's Food Security Summit. The WebDisk was part of a package including a set of mini-posters (black and white and A4 for easy reproduction) and video (not produced by us) to make up a cheap and effective information pack for advocacy groups.
This WebDisk offered users more choices (2,000 links) than the guided tour of the Safe Food for All WebDisk. Prepared for the Swiss environment office and Foreign Ministry to be distributed at a United Nations meeting on climate change, it tried to offer essential documents on global warming issues and at the same time give users an idea of the many international organizations headquartered around Geneva. It was distributed with a mousepad, notebook and poster with addresses of Geneva organizations. At a cybercafé set up during the meeting it was used to avoid overloading the Web connections and enable delegates to explore the themes for themselves.
This was produced for an organization that had 4,000 separate pages on its site and many fine graphic illustrations but very little guidance for people who did not know the organization or indication of what was important about it. Pending a complete and expensive overhaul, with IUCN under pressure to produce something very quickly for its 50th anniversary, I decided to use the graphics as a way for people to connect with the various IUCN programmes, while keeping pages down below 30Kb (i.e. fast to skim). I entitled it 50 clicks, providing 50 pages and some 500+ links with an explanatory text that tried to put across the shape of IUCN. This was used to present IUCN's Website to Volkswagen, which funded IUCN's Website for three years, enabling the organization to hire a full-time content master.
Formerly the International Centre for Humanitarian Reporting, this Website (www.mediaaction.org) provided information for all professionally concerned with humanitarian issues until the end of 2003. The link take you to the site below.
Newsjournal on humanitarian affairs: it has several regularly updated and exclusive electronic departments. It was placed as a subsidiary of the Media Action site but now is separate and is kept going for archival purposes.
E-mediate.net has been established to further studies in new media. It offers several guides I have written on Web design.
A brief overview of the organization I created for a group of journalists and information officers sharing the commitment to developing low-cost communications solutions for non-profits.
This is our commercial arm.
swiss-science.org: Website of the company that produces Vision magazine for the Swiss National Science Foundation - in addition to translations of articles, I carried out an analysis and review of the English-language site.
IUCN Web site review – for 50th anniversary in conjunction with internal demonstration site for use in publicity for celebrations (helped gain a USD500,000 grant for full revamp of site).
ITC site review - for main site and Executive Forum
Work on development, testing and documentation for Ashell, WHO's inhouse communications and programming system (Xbased).
Screenshow for International Register of Potentially Toxic Chemicals (using Harvard Graphics)
Several contracts for desk-top publishing.