Health Quality Ontario Website Wins 2013 Summit Creative Award

Photograph of Mike holding award. Inset zoom detailed award.

Health Quality Ontario was the recipient of the Silver Summit International Award in the Government Website category. Summit International Awards recognize “best in class” creative and communications excellence. HQO’s site competed with over 5,000 submissions from 23 countries. I am very proud to have received this award; it is a reflection of the hard work and dedication I put towards designing and developing something useful and engaging for all citizens living in Ontario. I’d like to thank my colleagues at HQO for their patience and assistance with making this project what it is today.

If you haven’t had a chance to check the website out, go here:
http://hqontario.ca/

Welcome to Health Quality Ontario–a website by Mike Kormendy

As HQOA years worth of design, programming and collaboration comes to the forefront. I couldn’t be happier to have produced something as complicated and successful.

We’ve finally launched our website.

A year’s worth of design, programming and collaboration comes to the forefront. I couldn’t be happier to have produced something as complicated and successful. With the help of my colleagues at HQO, we were able to populate over 1000 pages of content into a refreshed bilingual format for the web.

I documented my design process and construction throughout the project and plan to organize that into a post at a later time. In that process I broadened my knowledge and added a lot of experience to my repertoire in the realm of Microsoft based server technologies such as .NET, C# and the CMS framework DotNetNuke. I am proud to launch this website to the public and I hope this can be a useful tool of information for everyone in the future.

Please visit my efforts: http://www.hqontario.ca

Find Out About Ontario’s Long-Term Care Homes

Today, Health Quality Ontario’s Long-Term Care Public Reporting Website was refreshed with home-level data for all 630+ long-term care homes in Ontario. This is a first for the province – in fact, HQO now hosts the most comprehensive long-term care public reporting website in Canada. Any member of the public who is interested in long-term care quality in Ontario can go to the HQO website, look up a home of interest, and review that home’s performance on falls, pressure ulcers, incontinence, and restraints. Updated results for 9 of the 12 provincial-level indicators we report are also available as of today.

I’m very happy to have played an instrumental role in bringing the project this far, what started out as a simple design refresh, became an integrated team effort of success with many colleagues at Health Quality Ontario.

Please Visit: http://www.hqontario.ca/en/reporting/ltc/

Gap's New Rebrand

When I visited the Gap website this morning for the first time, I was appaled at the entire roll out (or lack thereof) of their brand across all sources: gap.com (old favicon still displayed on the address bar), wikipedia (not even updated), twitter account (not updated), facebook profile (not updated).

It makes me wonder if this is forgery and/or the gap.com website got hacked.

When companies rebrand themselves as drastically as Gap just has, it leaves the customers questioning their identification with the old brand and how they should adopt the new brand, often leading to severe and negative reactions and counter-loyalty.

The company that has been branding the Gap account for as long as I can remember is the ever-present Laird & Partners. They have nothing on their website about the new rebrand either on their website.

As for my initial reaction, my exact sentiments are shared with what TAXI has to say about it.

Not to mention what many other people think as well:

https://twitter.com/#!/search/%23gap

PHP GD Sharpening, Photoshop-style

So I have been working on my thumbnail image sharpening script .. and I am happy to show some MAJOR progress. Go here:

Testbed Image Sharpening

I hope that you can see the difference in detail from the first image to the second. The first image is blurry and the second is sharper.

When all image editing programs take a large image and shrink the image down, what happens is some of the data gets cut out and approximated, occurring in a blurry image.

More intuitive programs like Adobe Photoshop will incorporate better approximation algorithms, but in most cases, still don’t do the image justice.
So the next step is to use a sharpening filter to fine tune the amount of detail within the image. These sharpening filters are based on real-world darkroom techniques that are used by photographers to enhance their photographs. I’m not going to go into detail about how photographers go into the process of sharpening their images, and further how a computer can reproduce the exact same process digitally.

In the end you have a product that removes the blurriness and adds a little detail to the resized image.

[UPDATE] I have now taken what I understand from this script and managed to embed it into the NextGEN Gallery Plugin built for WordPress, which I used in my client’s website for his image gallery of his art pieces online.

All of the images upload to the gallery, resize, and then sharpen based on the settings in the admin.

I have passed along the code to the creator of NextGEN Gallery and hopefully he will include it to the next version that comes out!