Scoreboard roundup — 1/24/19

first_imgJanuary 25, 2019 /Sports News – National Scoreboard roundup — 1/24/19 Written by FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailiStock(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Thursday’s sports events:NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATIONGolden State 126, Washington 118Oklahoma City 122, New Orleans 116Portland 120, Phoenix 106Minnesota 120, L.A. Lakers 105TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL(4) Gonzaga 98, Santa Clara 39(6) Michigan St. 82, (19) Iowa 67(23) Louisville 84, (21) NC State 77Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.center_img Beau Lundlast_img read more

US, UK Test New Aircraft Landing Concepts for Aircraft Carriers

first_img View post tag: News by topic Bae Systems has been actively involved in the design of the Shipborne Rolling Vertical Landing (SRVL) manoeuvre being developed for the UK MOD when the F35B Lightning II Short Take-off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) aircraft and the new Queen Elizabeth Class (QEC) Aircraft Carriers come into operational service.The SRVL manoeuvre provides enhanced ‘bring back’ meaning the aircraft is capable of bringing back more payload i.e. weapons and fuel over vertical landings owing to the wing lift created by forward airspeed at touchdown. Joint research efforts on both sides of the Atlantic have developed enhanced aircraft flight controls and displays which are applicable to both the F35C Carrier Variant arrested recovery and the F35B STOVL variant SRVL recovery to the aircraft carrier, albeit separated by some 70 knots approach airspeed.The recent flight simulation trials at Warton tested these enhanced control law modes for F35C arrested recoveries to a Nimitz class carrier and gained positive feedback from the US Navy and F35 test pilots involved in the trial. James Denham (Aeromechanics division at the US Naval Air Systems Command) said: “During this trial we’ve identified improvements to deliver more accurate touchdowns, less bolters and reduced pilot training. Ultimately, what we’ve been able to test in this simulated environment allows us to inform future Concepts of Operation. The co-ordination and co-operation between us all has been extraordinary.”The facility at Warton is currently engaged in supporting UK carrier integration and risk reduction studies, realistically simulating the landing and take-off characteristics of a F35B STOVL variant to and from the Queen Elizabeth class carrier allowing engineers and pilots to help define and refine the design, layout and operations for both platforms. The work being undertaken in the simulator is generating large savings as refinements can be fed into the design phase of both programmes. The simulator can also be switched to represent the F35C Carrier Variant and US Nimitz carrier deck, as was demonstrated in this trial. Further trials are due to take place soon to test the same control law mode for F35B SRVL recoveries to the UK’s QEC aircraft carriers with the US Navy observing. [mappress]Press Release, March 27, 2014; Image: BAE Systems View post tag: Defence View post tag: Navy View post tag: Carriers View post tag: Aircraft US, UK Test New Aircraft Landing Concepts for Aircraft Carriers View post tag: test Share this article Equipment & technology View post tag: Defensecenter_img View post tag: Concepts Back to overview,Home naval-today US, UK Test New Aircraft Landing Concepts for Aircraft Carriers BAE SYSTEMS’ F35 SIMULATORLanding fixed wing aircraft on aircraft carriers could be revolutionised thanks to a recent piloted flight simulation trial. The trial saw UK and US partners on the F35 programme use BAE Systems’ F35 Simulation facility at Warton to test new concepts for landing. View post tag: Naval View post tag: New March 27, 2014 View post tag: Landing View post tag: US View post tag: UKlast_img read more

Oxford’s subject gender divide

first_imgOnly 23% of first year Engineers are women. Matt Butterworth, a second year Engineer at LMH, commented, “If I could have it exactly how I wanted, I would definitely prefer a more even balance.”One female Engineer in her third year told Cherwell that the first few lab sessions were particularly challenging for girls, where they are expected to use drills, hammers and other tools with which boys are naturally more comfortable.She added, however, that “as the course progresses, girls often do better in the presentation and report aspects of the course where organisation and clarity of work are key. “Boys tend to go with the last minute stand up and improvise approach!” Similar success rates for male and female applicants to these subjects show that the imbalance is down to a lower number of female applicants. This is increasingly less true of Chemistry, where 47% of the 2009 intake were female, a rise of 10% on 2005. Indeed, Physiological Sciences is just 33% male in the 2010 cohort.In the non-scientific subjects, Economics & Management was the stand-out statistic. In 2009, 80% of the intake were male. Tom Raeburn, an E&M student at Worcester, said that the subject “is seen by some as a boot camp for entry into the City, which in itself is a male dominated environment.”Rohan Sakhrani, a first year E&M student, commented that in the City “the high male population in such a dog eat dog world is to be expected…although in Pembroke I’d say some of the female E&Mists are quite vociferous as it is.”However, Reena Virdee of Oxford Women In Business said, “It’s important to stress that you don’t need to do a specific subject to be successful in business….Employers are looking for when rounded applicants from a variety of backgrounds and disciples. So, despite some subjects being male skewed, this doesn’t really correspond to the male to female ratio in business.”Politics is another profession that has been viewed as the preserve of men, with PPE often described as a “training ground” for Westminster.The gender balance in PPE does not bode well for increasing the numbers of women in politics. 68% of the 2009 intake for PPE were male, and in 2010 this went up to 70%.The percentage of female students studying Modern Languages has fallen to 55% in 2010.First year linguist, Howard McDonald, spoke of “the general feeling that the subject is dominated by a female presence. “Murmurs can be heard as people shuffle out of the lecture hall, to the tune of, ‘There’s a lot of women in there.’ ”Men only make up about one third of English students. Henry Golding, a second year English student, said of his female peers, “They’ll all go and have children once they’ve finished their degree, so I guess it’s best that they do something frivolous like English for a few years, rather than something that will affect people’s lives, like law or officiating football matches.”Moreover, women are a small majority in Law, making up 53% of the 2009 and 2010 intakes. Theology was the most balanced subject in 2009, with 21 male and 21 female students selected from 57 applicants of each gender. In 2010, Philosophy & Modern Languages accepted 9 students of each gender. The gender make up of undergraduate subjects at Oxford continues to show how girls and boys favour certain subjects. Women continue to dominate men in terms of numbers in English, Modern Languages and Experimental Psychology, while men outnumber women in most science subjects. Despite continued government efforts to encourage women to study science and maths, females make up a mere 14% of physicists in the 2010 intake. In 2009 there was just one female computer scientist admitted, out of 16 students.Miranda Kent, the sole female physicist in first year at Lincoln College, said, “I’ve never counted more than 20 girls in the lecture hall. Me and some of the other girls sometimes play spot the attractive physicist. It doesn’t happen very often.” However, she explained that there were positives to being a minority in a subject: “You never have to queue for the loo.”The gender ratio of Maths tells a similar story. Men make up 70% of the 2009 and 2010 intakes, an increase of 4% on 2005. The success rate of male applicants was a staggering 6-8% higher than female ones.A female tutor explained to Cherwell, “We look at candidates on their respective merit…It just happens that we generally have more male candidates of the highest calibre than female ones.”She also said, “I believe that males overall are more attracted to or suited by the subject,” though adding that this was “a view my male colleagues do not subscribe to.”Dr. Sirichai Chongchitnan, a Fellow in Applied Mathematics at Lincoln College, put the gender bias down to a lack of famous female role models, and “the old perception of maths and physics in school as ‘nerdy’ subjects for boys.”Girls are very much the majority in English lectures, with 85 boys studying the subject compared to 139 girls in the 2010 intake.last_img read more

Kate’s Cakes in Wetherspoons dessert

first_imgWetherspoons is to use Kate’s Cakes brownies in its Chocolate Brownie Sundae. Kate’s Cakes has supplied the pub chain with its individually wrapped Chocolate Brownies for the last four years, which will now feature on the dessert menu. The pudding will consist of two brownies, topped with Belgian chocolate sauce and served with icecream and cream.“We chose them for their homemade taste that comes from using only the best ingredients,” said Mark English, food buyer at Wetherspoons, who went on to say the dessert is proving popular with diners so far. Other brownie in the Kate’s Cakes range are Pecan Brownie, Gluten-Free Chocolate Orange Brownie and Brownie Point.The company bake in small batches using free range eggs and avoiding GMO foods, additives and artificial flavourings and preservatives. The Kate’s Cakes range includes loaf slices, flapjacks, muffins, cookies, traybakes and whole cakes in addition to the brownies.last_img read more

Gore cake(s)

first_imgTwo retch-inducing cakes for the price of one this week: the first, an anatomically correct marzipan sheep’s head from Austrian sculptor Helga Petrau-Heinzel; the second, what looks like the leftovers of Hannibal Lector’s lunch, from the jarringly sweet-named Buttercream Bakery in Brighton. (Shudder.)Source: cakeheadlovesevil.wordpress.comlast_img

The 10 Best Things From Bear Creek’s Return In New Orleans

first_img2. Foundation Of FunkIt’s almost impossible to talk about funk music without hearing George Porter Jr.‘s name mentioned, and for good reason. He and his rhythm partner from the Original Meters, Zigaboo Modeliste are the Foundation Of Funk, and, with special guests John Medeski and Eddie Roberts of The New Mastersounds, the foundations showed how much the godfathers of the groove have left in them. Check out an epic “Cissy Strut” below.3. LettuceWith the past firmly covered, Lettuce came into the festival with a head of steam from a summer of wowing crowds across the nation. The band is a true symbiosis of superstar talent and a complete lack of musical ego that is both rare and amazing to see in action. Taking funk into the future, Lettuce is on the cutting edge of space age super funk, and the appreciative crowd was more than happy to follow them into the outer reaches of the jam. Blast off with the band below: After two years of silence, the mighty heart of Bear Creek beat once again, loud and proud on the Bayou in New Orleans, Louisiana. Bands like Lettuce and Dumpstaphunk that had that championed the beloved festival flocked to Crescent City to once again take the stages at the Bear Creek Bayou Festival, alongside other alumni like George Porter Jr., Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Soulive and The Heavy Pets. With an eye to the future, new acts ranging from The Floozies to The Flaming Lips made their debut, alongside the much anticipated arrival of the mothership that is George Clinton’s Parlianent-Funkadelic.With three stages situated around the waterfront landmark venue Mardi Gras World, Bear Creek picked right back up where it left off. Our own Rex Thomson was allowed to roam the festival and capture what he could photo and video wise and has returned from his funk odyssey with tales of the ten best things he experienced over the weekend. Check out the stories, photos and videos below.1. George Clinton’s Parliament FunkadelicP-Funk’s arrival in the park was long overdue, and the anticipation was well warranted, as the two hour mixture of classic tunes and more modern, hip-hop influenced songs had the crowd dazed, confused and smiling ear to ear. As always the stage was packed, with the old guard from the way back good old days supplemented by a fresh crop of eager musicians, all working to create the finest funk possible. Overseeing this effort was the man himself, George Clinton, bespoke and ready to flow to the grooves being laid down.Check out their stellar version of the classic “We Want The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker)” below: 4. DumpstaphunkAs mentioned earlier, Dumpstaphunk has been a pillar of the Bear Creek spirit, and their two sets over the weekend were easily some of the funkiest sounds laid down over the weekend. Occasionally dueling on the bass with bandmate Nick Daniels, multi-instrumentalist Tony Hall put on a clinic in how to keep things funky. Covering the drummer stool once again, Nikki Glaspie of The Nth Power kept the beat alive for band leader Ivan Neville, whose organ and key board game is as strong as it ever has been. Give a listen to a get down version of the band’s tune “Water” below: 5. Flaming LipsAn old tenant of show biz is “Never follow a kids act,” since any mis-step will invite unflattering comparisons. That said, it’s been decades since the Saturday night anchors The Flaming Lips worried about anyone upstaging them. Since their founding under legendarily sketchy circumstances, Wayne Coyne and crew have pushed the boundaries of fusing art and psychedelia, creating a sonic dream-scape that can be…unsettling. But to the initiated and open minded, each show is a sacred right of love and hope.While some mistakenly focus on the theatrics and the similarity of set lists (They’ve closed with the same song, “Do You Realize,” for more than a decade), what they’re missing is the planned progression of emotional states the band is trying to lead the crowd through. Wayne Coyne is a master at guiding fans along the path of hope and harmony, using musical dissonance as a tool to unsettle and inspire at the same time.From the cover of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” his crossing of the crowd in a plastic bubble to the endless blasts of confetti from the canons and one-shot launchers he was well armed with, every action taken by Coyne was part of a carefully planned whole. While their music may not be for everyone, their core concept certainly is.The symbolism of his being held aloft in his bubble as he made his way, thanks to the out-stretched hands supporting him, showed what we could all do if we choose to lift instead of tearing down. Ot was a beautiful reminder that we are all in this together. We hold up others now, so that when we need to be lifted, there will be hands ready to raise us towards the stars. As messages go, there are few finer.6. Chali 2na & The House Of VibeAnother long time friend of the Bear Creek, Jurassic 5’s baritone master of flow Chali 2na was on hand with his band The House Of Vibe to kick mad flows and show how much magic could be made melding a live soul band and one of the best rappers of his generation. Using his set to showcase the young in body, not in spirit members of his band 2na showed the science and rapid fire skills that made him a legend were still strong within him. Give a listen to the wicked wordplay he laid out below:7. Zach DeputyThe one man band that is Zach Deputy broke with type and played his first set with his band The Hashtags before doing a more traditional looping set of his island flavored love music. He’s been playing the Bear Creek Festival since his beginnings and he was clearly happy to be back on familiar turf, even if the location was different. It seems a little weird to see Zach not making every little bit of the sound coming from the speakers, but it spoke volumes to his musical dexterity. Have a listen to his full band sound below:8. Karl Denson’s Tiny UniverseThe funky force of Karl Denson was in full effect at Bear Creek, with his whole band stepping up at various point. Guitarist DJ Williams was on fire, even contributing a song from his upcoming record to the show. Denson switched freely between flute, percussion and his trademark sax, all in an effort to serve the song. Fellow sax man Skerik came out to have a spirited guest stretch that morphed into a fierce back and forth between him and his host. Check out the fireworks below: 9. Nigel Hall BandSoul singer, ivory tickler and frequent Lettuce collaborator Nigel Hall provided a fun set of his own tunes and some choice covers to get the ball rolling on Saturday with a well received set. With a couple of last minute subs, guitarist Adam Smirnoff and saxophonist Khris Royal stepped up admirably and elevated the party to even higher heights. Give a listen to his set closing soul surprise:10. The PeopleWhile surely the music is the most important thing to most, attendees of a music festival Bear Creek has become a family affair over the years. After their first visit, most fans fall in love with the festival and count the days between, preparing for the next chance to gather with the families they have built by sharing their mutual loves and, of course, the dance floor. All around the grounds of Mardi Gras World there were people embracing much missed friends, sporting shirts from previous iterations of the fest and making new friends along the way to the next stage.Speaking of the next stage, a pleasant surprise before the Saturday night headliner The Flaming Lips was the staccato sound of one of New Orleans’ finest traditions, a drum line marching through the grounds. Music fans eager to enjoy the very visceral experience of seeing music made inches away were delighted to find that the source of the sweet sounds was The Roots Of Music, a band that exists as the public face for a local non-profit that uses music and musicians to help steer at risk youth away from the pitfalls of life in an admittedly tough town like New Orleans.While a portion of VIP ticket sales were allocated to this fine cause, their hat was filled by appreciative on lookers as the band showed chops far exceeding what one would expect given their ages. Check out what is surely the first steps of the next generation of funkateers below:This is just a small sampling of the highlights that popped off all over the grounds over the course of the two days of the funktackular return of the Bear Creek Music Festival on the bayous of New Orleans. The spirit of the festival was as strong and as true as ever with familiar faces greeting first timers in the crowds and on the stages with love and fellowship. Seeing the embers of the festival reignited into a raging blaze of musical fury was a truly welcome sight, and the future looks funky indeed.last_img read more

ND seniors revel in last week on campus

first_imgDuring the days leading up to graduation, Senior Week offered members of the class of 2016 one more chance to celebrate and come together through several different events.Senior Week committee head Sarah Price said her experience working Senior Week as a junior last year equipped her with the skills and knowledge necessary to plan this year’s agenda.“I know that a lot of different people were talking to the senior class officers and I was, I think, one of the few people who had gone through it last year, so it gave me a lot of good insight into what I wanted to improve, change upon or even keep the same,” she said.While Senior Class Council (SCC) was included throughout the planning process, SCC vice president Shannon Montague said she gives full credit to Price and her committee for organizing a fun week of events.“Sarah has done an absolutely incredible job with Senior Week — we couldn’t have asked for a better person,” Montague said. “We pretty much trusted her with everything, and she always kept us in the loop.”Online ticket sales were a new change to the week this year, Senior Week committee member senior Ted Cogan said, and allowed more students the opportunity to secure tickets to popular events. In past years, seniors had to purchase tickets in person, but this year all ticket sales were coordinated through Student Shop ND, an online platform for student group sales and donations.Another new addition to Senior Week was Domerfest 2.0, a recreation of the class of 2016’s freshman year Domerfest, Price said.“Basically, we are doing exactly what you think it is. It is Domerfest all over again in Stepan Center, just like we had it when I was a freshman,” Price said in an interview before Senior Week started. “That’s one thing that I’m really actually proud of, and I think it’s going to be a ton of fun. It’s really ridiculous now, what we have going on for it, but there’s going to be just basically unlimited ice cream, donuts and coffee, Chick-fil-A, pizza, six-foot beach balls and glow sticks, so it’s just going to be crazy — it’s going to be a fun night.”Price said Domerfest 2.0 garnered a surprisingly strong response from the senior class, with about 1,300 people attendees.  Additionally, the service project was a popular event, Cogan said, and came as a pleasant surprise to the committee.“We sold out of the service event really quickly,” he said. “It’s kind of cool that people made it their mission to say they want to do service on this week that’s really supposed to be about us. … We’ve been urging people to find other ways to do that because, even though the Senior Week committee can’t provide it, anyone can reach out to all those different organizations.”Price said each senior class has its own vision of Senior Week, which this year’s committee has taken into account while preparing for the week.“We put a lot of time and a lot of hard work into all of [the events], so I’m just looking forward to seeing all the seniors show up to all of them and just enjoy,” she said in an interview before the events. “It’s supposed to be a fun week — each event we’ve taken a lot of time and care with, so we’re really making sure that the day of, everyone is getting what they want.”The senior class’s engagement in Senior Week is indicative of the spirit of the class of 2016, Cogan said.“I think we’ve been very pleased at how well our class has engaged in it,” he said. “On certain events we were worried about numbers. … But I think we’re kind of one of those classes that just says, ‘Everyone’s going to Finni’s on Monday night to see standup,’ or ‘Everyone’s going to Corby’s for this one thing,’ and I think that very much shows in our Senior Week attendance.”Price said one of the highlights of Senior Week will be the annual Commencement Ball on Wednesday night.“I think I’m probably most excited for the Commencement Ball, to experience that with my own friends as a senior,” Price said. “Last year, I was there as a junior and I had a blast working it, so I’m excited to actually attend it in my own right.”Cogan said in an interview before the week that he thinks the class Grotto trip, the final event of Senior Week, will be a fitting end to the week.“[I’m excited for] the Grotto, actually,” he said. “It’s the last event of the whole thing, and I think … after all this hectic craziness of Senior Week and the fun exhausting stuff, that’ll be really nice for everyone to come together and just kind of be with each other for one last sentimental, reverent time.”Aside from the events she and the committee planned, Price said Senior Week serves as an opportunity for members of the class of 2016 to connect one last time without any distractions.“I think it’s a culmination of our four years, and at this point I think a lot of us are just really excited to have that last week on campus without any class, without any tests or papers due and just really be able to enjoy everyone around you and catch up with people that you may not have seen even for a couple of years,” she said. “I think there’s definitely going to be a lot of tears shed, but happy tears.”Montague said she appreciates members of the senior class having a chance to celebrate with each other one last time before graduating.“Yes, I’m going to miss everyone, but the fact that we get to celebrate this entire week with the campus all to ourselves is such an incredible opportunity,” Montague said. “I wouldn’t want to spend my last days on campus with anyone else.”Tags: Commencement 2016, Domerfest 2.0, Graduation, Senior Weeklast_img read more

Canaan: Where Everybody Knows Your Name

first_imgI know now why they call Canaan Valley the Land of Milk and Honey.The first and only time I have ever visited that area was nearly a year ago in mid-December (check out the video recap from that trip here).Canaan Valley is a powder hound’s dream in the winter season. The nearby towns of Davis and Thomas are bustling with live music, great food, and free late night games of pool. It’s like someone picked up a happenin’ little ski town from Vermont (or out West even) and dropped it smack dab in the middle of West Virginia’s Allegheny Highlands.That’s during the winter, though. I had never been to the valley during the summer.I came into town late Sunday night, expecting the scant local population of Thomas to be closed up for the evening. It was after 9 o’clock, and I knew I was likely out of luck on finding any food (aside from whatever I could scrounge up at the local gas station).But as I came down the main drag, I saw lights on, people roaming the streets, music blasting. The place was, quite literally, bumpin’. I grabbed my Deuter day pack and followed the music, landing at the Purple Fiddle where Dangermuffin was performing (highly recommend checking these guys out). Just a few minutes after I sat down, I immediately started to see familiar faces.The town scenes of Davis and Thomas are a lot like what you might find out of a Cheers episode. Everyone knows everyone, and it’s pretty cool. Before long, I’d manage to track down my host for the week, the ever-wonderful local legend, Chip Chase. He’s the main guy over at White Grass Touring Center, and was the first person to introduce me to Canaan when I came into town last winter.Unlike the Grinch, Chip has a heart that is two sizes too big for his slight frame. He’s an encyclopedia of knowledge on mushrooms, local lore, and everything in between. He’s a hard worker who can make digging a ditch seem like the most fun you’ve ever had. More importantly, Chip is a social butterfly and he knows everyone. Consequently, just 5 days after getting the Tour de Canaan (summer edition) from Chipper, I couldn’t go to the local Tip Top coffee shop without seeing someone I knew.Most every morning, I would join Chip on his daily walk through the backside of his property and into the neighboring Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Mostly our talks were on the woods themselves, the chaga growing on birch trees, the blight of the hemlocks. But we also talked on the history of protected lands in the area and the current locals’ standing with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife. When we weren’t talking, we were just walking, taking in the early morning dew that saturated the sprawl of ferns and the brief shafts of sunlight struggling to break free from the rain clouds overhead.IMG_6287Walks with Chip.IMG_6314IMG_6322IMG_6831We always returned from our walks with pocketfuls of mushrooms, both edible and non. Breakfast was usually a cup of coffee and a veggie-egg scramble (complete with our freshly picked Chanterelles and homemade buttermilk biscuits – thanks Morgan!).IMG_6452The time sorta idled by. No one was ever in any particular hurry but there was always something going on. Group rides, community ultimate frisbee games, live music, bouldering sessions. For a couple of towns in the middle-of-nowhere-West-Virginia, the vibe here is g-r-o-o-v-y (and I don’t use that word often). The nearest hospital is close to an hour away. The nearest Wal-Mart, McDonalds, or any other corporate beast? About a 45-minute drive. Canaan Valley is the Land of Milk and Honey because it’s one of those diamonds-in-the-rough where artists and athletes reside, where culture and nature are the inspirational forces behind progress, behind business models and microbreweries and the Way of Life. The “locals” here come from every corner of the world to soak up the mountain vistas, the technical singletrack, the world class skiing, and some of the hardest whitewater on the East. It’s a melting pot of generations and cultures, passions and projects, and the best part about it? You can get lost and never see a single human soul, even on the busiest of weekends and regardless the season.The view from Weiss Knob Road.The view from Weiss Knob Road.Local rider Sue Haywood tearing it up!Local rider Sue Haywood tearing it up!IMG_6413Saw this guy cruising around downtown Davis.Saw this guy cruising around downtown Davis.IMG_6467Sunset at Lindy Point.Sunset at Lindy Point.“What do you like about living here?” I asked Chipper the night we drove back to White Grass from the Purple Fiddle.“The traffic,” he says without hesitation. “There is none. I can drive 10 miles to my house and never see another car.”Of course, at that very moment, a car coming in the other direction rounded the bend, shutting down Chip’s claim. But just days later, I found myself driving back to the Go from Davis without ever dimming the brights and thought to myself, this valley must surely be a little slice of heaven.Major thanks to the Chase family for taking me in and to Jessica Scowcroft and the Tucker County Convention and Visitors Bureau for showing me the best of Davis. Lots of love to you wild and wonderful people!last_img read more

Credit Union Tech Time: Stopping new account fraud before it starts

first_imgAs credit unions pursue member acquisition objectives, they are enlisting more sophisticated marketing and onboarding techniques, and dealing with added competition from both financial institutions and emerging, non-traditional players. Credit unions also have to deal with rising new account fraud.A March 2016 Aite Group report, “Application Fraud Rising as Breaches Fan the Flames,” stated that, as a result of data breaches occurring in 2015, 477 million identity records were compromised. Many of these included consumers’ personally identifiable information—exactly the information fraudsters use to open new accounts to enable them to later perpetrate fraud.Aite Group’s report predicts that U.S. demand deposit account application fraud losses will total $466 million in 2016 and grow to $694 million by 2020. New accounts are opened by thieves to establish a baseline relationship with a financial institution and later commit deposit and/or credit-related fraud against it. The majority of the 88 financial institutions surveyed for the report indicated that application fraud is growing in the online, mobile and call center channels, with online fraud averaging eight times that of the branch fraud rate.This is alarming since, as a younger generation looks to form their financial relationships, more credit unions will deploy (if they have not already) online and mobile account opening and payment services. As this shift toward digital account acquisitions occurs, credit unions are challenged to manage the added risk. Delivering the optimal customer experience while mitigating fraud risk and determining if an applicant really is who he says he is has become increasingly challenging in digital channels. continue reading » 10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Without usability testing, users will hate your credit union website design

first_imgIntroduce the StudyShow the Website & Introduce Each TaskTake Notes & Ask for Feedback Conduct a Usability Study SaveSave Does your website frustrate users? Usability testing reveals frustrations and shows how you can make your credit union website design easier to use. Making a website easy-to-use reduces phone calls to your help desk, increases conversion rates, and makes users happier. (Get the Usability Testing Worksheet that goes along with this guide.)Contents of this Article:What is Usability Testing?Why Should You Do Usability Testing?Things I’ve Learned from Usability TestingHow to Prepare a Usability StudyHow to Conduct a Usability StudyUse Session Replay SoftwareDo ItWhat is Usability Testing?Usability testing is when you ask real users to complete tasks on your website in order to measure ease of use. By observing users complete tasks, you can learn of any difficulties or problems and fix them.Why Should You Do Usability Testing?Most credit union website designs are terrible. That might sound rude, harsh, or extreme, but it’s the truth when users have difficulty accomplishing important tasks like … Finding a phone numberFinding the nearest branch locationOpening an accountApplying for a loanFinding basic information about products and servicesLearning why they should join the credit unionWhen users can’t find information or accomplish tasks, they get frustrated. When they get frustrated, they leave your website (and maybe even your credit union) and go somewhere else. Or, they call in to express their frustrations to your call center reps. Obviously, neither outcome is good.Websites have usability problems because designers don’t know how people actually use websites and make incorrect assumptions about user experiences. Assumptions are the enemy of truth. Rather than operating on assumptions, you can operate on facts by doing usability testing. Usability tests are the only way to see how real users use your website and the only way to discover usability problems before they frustrate members. In this guide, we’re going to talk about how to eliminate assumptions so you can make your website a more pleasant, simple experience. Things I’ve Learned from Usability TestingMy team and I at BloomCU have learned many valuable insights from conducting usability studies on our clients’ credit union website designs. Here is just a sampling of things I’ve learned:How to better name and organize navigational items. (Example: We found that when users are looking to join a credit union, they will look in a menu titled “Accounts” before they’ll look in menus titled “Services” or “About”.)Where users will look for contact and location information. (Examples: We found that if you have a menu named “About,” users will look there for contact and location information. Users also look in footers for location information.)How users prefer to navigate mobile websites. (Example: We found that many mobile users prefer to use search rather than a navigation menu.)How to make the functionality of website elements more clear to users. (Example: Adding a label that says “Menu” next to a hamburger icon helps users know where to find the navigation.)How to Prepare a Usability StudyTo do professional usability testing on your credit union website design, follow the four steps below.1. Choose the system you want to testYou can’t do usability testing on nothing, obviously 🙂 You need some system to test. You could test your current website, a new website you’re about to launch, or a website prototype. Example: When BloomCU is developing a new credit union website design, we like to do usability testing early in the design phase. We use Axure to create barebones prototypes that have only basic layouts and functionality. Then we test, iterate, test, iterate, test, iterate, for three weeks. This rapid prototyping approach pays huge dividends in terms of ease of use.2. Brainstorm Test IdeasNow, you need to brainstorm test ideas. What do you want to test? Why? Look at your website analytics to determine which aspects of your website are most important to users. What are the top ten things visitors do on your website? Focus your usability tests on these top ten items, which likely fall under one of two categories: finding information or performing operations.How easily can users find frequently sought-after information?Example: Find a branch location.ORHow easily can users accomplish critical operations?Example: Apply for an auto loan.3. Write Instructions for 5 TasksTasks are what you want users to do during this usability study. From the test ideas and analytics data you brainstormed above, select five things you want to test and write task instructions for each. For instance, if you want to test the easiness of logging into online banking, your task might be, “Sign in to online banking.”Rules for Task InstructionsAs you write instructions for each task, remember these three rules:Limit each task description to 12 words or fewer.Do not use words from your website (or prototype) to describe the tasks. Example: If you want to test the simplicity of your website’s online banking login but your prototype contains the word “login”, ask the user instead to, “Sign in to online banking.”Describe specific tasks that align with common user goals.Example: Users never apply for “general” loans, they only apply for specific loans— like auto loans. Therefore, don’t ask a user to, “Apply for a loan.” Instead, ask the user to, “Apply for an auto loan.”4. Recruit Five UsersWhen recruiting users to participate in your study, ideally you’d get participants that are representative of your member population: some young people, some older people, some male, some female, etc. However, don’t let perfect get in the way of good: usability testing with anyone is better than testing with no one. Except, avoid testing with employees of credit unions because their perspectives are tainted by industry experience. Instead, get consumers to participate.Research from Jakob Nielsen and Tom Landauer shows that you need to recruit only five users to participate in your usability study:The number of usability problems found in a usability test with n users isN (1-(1- L ) n )where N is the total number of usability problems in the design and L is the proportion of usability problems discovered while testing a single user. The typical value of L is 31%, averaged across a large number of projects we studied. Plotting the curve for L=31% gives the following result: Choose the system you want to test (e.g., website or prototype)Brainstorm Test IdeasWrite Instructions for 5 TasksRecruit Five Users According to Nielsen and Landauer’s research, testing with just five participants reveals 80% of usability problems. Beyond five participants, marginal returns decrease sharply; in other words, you will learn less and less from each user beyond participant number five. Hence, at BloomCU, we tell our clients to not recruit more than five participants to avoid wasting everyone’s time.How to Conduct a Usability StudyTo conduct professional usability testing on your credit union website design, complete the four steps below with each of your five participants.1. Introduce the StudyWhen conducting usability studies, the most important thing to remember is consistency. As you ask participants to perform tasks, you must use the same words, tasks, and order for every user.Here’s how to introduce the study:Tell the user you are testing your website (or a prototype or your new website) so you can make it easier to use.Ask if he or she is willing to participate in a 7-15 minute website test.Tell the participant you will give him or her five tasks to complete. Make sure to tell the participant, “We are NOT testing you. We are testing the website.”Ask the participant to think aloud throughout the test. (Note: We tell our clients to say, “I didn’t design the prototype, so give me your honest feedback.”)Ask the participant, “Before we begin, what questions do you have?” (Note: This gives participants a chance to ask questions if the instructions above weren’t understood.)2. Show the Website & Introduce Each TaskNow is the time to show the website (or prototype) to the participant. You’ll need a laptop, desktop, tablet, or smartphone for this step. Open the website on your device and give the participant full control. Read the first task to the participant exactly as it is written (refer to the tasks you wrote during  “Write Instructions for 5 Tasks” above). After the user has completed or attempted the complete the first task, give the participant the second task. Continue this process until all five tasks have been given. Tip: Keep in mind where the user is when you give each task. For instance, if the task requires the user to start from the homepage, instruct the user to return to the homepage before giving the task.3. Take Notes & Ask for FeedbackThroughout the study, take notes about what you learn. After the user completes all five tasks, ask the user, “On a scale of 1-3, where 1 equals difficult-to-use and 3 equals easy-to-use, how would you rate this website?” After recording the user’s rating, ask, “Why that rating?” This simple rating system will help you see how people feel about your website overall and how just one little difficulty can tarnish someone’s feelings about your website and brand.Use Session Replay SoftwareTo get the most out of usability testing, we use a session replay tool called Smartlook. Smartlook records participants’ sessions so we can watch them again later. Session replays help us glean valuable details that are sometimes missed during live testing sessions.Session replays are extremely valuable for Usability testing and Smartlook lets you record 1,000 sessions for free, which is amazing. Kudos to Smartlook for being awesome. To get started, all you have to do is create a Smartlook account and install a snippet of code on your website. (We recommend installing Google Tag Manager (GTM) on your website, then adding Smartlook as a tag in GTM.)Important: Each time you administer a set of tasks to a single user, close the tab or window the website is in. Closing the tab or window will end a session recording in Smartlook and reopening the website will start a new recording. This is important so you can separate recordings between users.Do ItYou now know how to do professional usability testing. So, do it! You’ll learn valuable insights about your credit union website design that you cannot learn in any other way.If you feel like usability testing is too hard and takes too much time, let me reassure you that it’s actually pretty simple. It’s simple enough that you could start right now and complete some usability tests on your website in just a few hours. All you have to do is . . .Prepare a Usability Study 23SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Derik Krauss Derik is a cofounder of BloomCU, an award-winning website design agency for credit unions. His agency’s design work has received recognition from CUNA (Diamond Award),, and others. He … Web: Detailslast_img read more