March 6, 2007

Accessin Shibby Easy - Week 8

Accessibility should be the key component to any website in my opinion! I prefer simple layouts, simple text and less graphics when I want to get information. Keep certain sites for sweet graphics, or if you're going to have lots of graphics use them in an orderly fashion that allows for the content to be easily had. For our websites, they should be extremely accessible because they are most likely viewed by a huge base of viewers. Yeah I guess thats all I have to say...

Digitizin the Billboards - Week 7

WHY WOULDN'T YOU USE DIGITAL BILLBOARDS!? I guess I haven't seen to many but the concept makes sense! Especially in terms of saving materials, like paper for instance... If there were more digital billboards, you could readily update your ads whenever you wanted. Granted some people might use these for displaying pornographic ads, which should be restricted to certain places where minors may not see these adds (simple solution to problems by me). I think big paper billboards are a thing of the past, and why the hell are we supposed to be diverting our attention from driving, does that make sense!? Keep em simple in high pedestrian traffic areas, I don't see why the rules for them should be so strict. Just make sure they are in the right places, and economical.

Good Web Fonts - Week 6

Well as you can see I'm trying to catch up with my blog entries for class... But anyways diverting from that! What do I think are good web fonts? Well obviously the first thing you should consider is the readability, if you can't read it, chances are no one else can. There are certain tried and true fonts that work well so stick to those. Think about browsers and other people using your website, there are only so many fonts that you can use in all actuality. Frickin Verdana, for all your sans-serif needs, and frickin Times bla bla for all your serif needs. These are the fonts that most comps have, like macs and pc's. Anything else you see thats crazy is probably graphics in the page. Well thats all I have to say about that, make it look cool, keep it simple, and you website will shine.

Bloggin bout Kiosks - Week 5

Yeah, I can't really remember any kiosks that I've used recently. The only one I've really seen and can remember in the last few months was the kiosk that Tony, Paul, and others were working on for the Solon Center. I thought it was a really cool idea to have something like that in the school. It just made me imagine having them all around campus to direct you to wherever you may be going. I think it would be applied better in a bigger campus maybe, but it definetly has its uses here for new students. I thought the design was very clean and easy to use, and the technology used in it is very intriguing. I want touch screen everything because interaction is about touching in my opinion and the mouse click is not as tactile. I think people really want to use their hands its a part of being human, and the more interfaces that allow you to interact with your hands in an easy fashion to get information, the better. Bring on the new technology!!! Bring it ON!!!

February 6, 2007

My Adventures in the Second Life - Week 3

So I signed up for the Second Life, the online second world where you can pretty much do anything granted you know the incredibly confusing programming language and actually want to spend money to buy things that you cannot actually touch. I signed up for the basic free account under the alias of Frank Janus. It didn't take long to actually get into the swing of things. The learning curve for the basic controls is about 15 to 20 minutes, but if you're slow and not much of gamer and know where to look for things it could take much longer. I have been using the Second Life software probably every night for average of about 20-30 minutes, and I even got one of my roomates to join up too so we could cause some virtual trouble. Walking around talking to people is fun for a while, I actually did this to begin with and made a few friends, broke into a house with some guy wearing a dildo object that he found somewhere. All this stuff was fine and dandy but what really made me curious was all the pornographic stuff in the Second Life, so of course I had to check it out, well me and my roomate checked it out. The things that people do in this virtual world are pretty sick and sad, but I had to see it with my own computer screen, so I did. There we people actually using the Second Life to have sex, whoa... thats scary, and kinda sad. I guess the only problems I see with the software are the programming language which takes a lot of smarts to use apparently, and good math skills which I do not posess. Lastly, getting things costs real money, and I just haven't gathered up the courage to buy something that only exists in cyber space. Well, I guess thats all I have to say yet, I'll try to keep updating my adventures, but until then. Ciao!

January 30, 2007

Second Life Link

Second Life

January 29, 2007

Website Terms - Week 2 Assignment

Emily Hultman
Zach Frank

Internet: A global network connecting millions of computers.

World Wide Web: A system of Internet servers that support specially formatted documents. The documents are formatted in a markup language called HTML (HyperText Markup Language) that supports links to other documents, as well as graphics, audio, and video files.

Web server: A computer that delivers (serves up) Web pages. Every Web server has an IP address and possibly a domain name.

Host: A computer that is connected to a TCP/IP network, including the Internet. Each host has a unique IP address.

Web site: A site (location) on the World Wide Web. Each Web site contains a home page, which is the first document users see when they enter the site. The site might also contain additional documents and files. Each site is owned and managed by an individual, company or organization.

Web page: A document on the World Wide Web. Every Web page is identified by a unique URL

Web browser: A software application used to locate and display Web pages.

Podcast: Podcasting is similar in nature to RSS, which allows subscribers to subscribe to a set of feeds to view syndicated Web site content. With podcasting however, you have a set of subscriptions that are checked regularly for updates and instead of reading the feeds on your computer screen, you listen to the new content on on your iPod (or like device)

Cache: Pronounced cash, a special high-speed storage mechanism. It can be either a reserved section of main memory or an independent high-speed storage device. Two types of caching are commonly used in personal computers: memory caching and disk caching.

HTML: Short for HyperText Markup Language, the authoring language used to create documents on the World Wide Web.

XHTML: Short for Extensible Hypertext Markup Language, a hybrid between HTML and XML specifically designed for Net device displays. XHTML is a markup language written in XML; therefore, it is an XML application.

XML: Short for Extensible Markup Language, a specification developed by the W3C. XML is a pared-down version of SGML, designed especially for Web documents. It allows designers to create their own customized tags, enabling the definition, transmission, validation, and interpretation of data between applications and between organizations.

JavaScript: A scripting language developed by Netscape to enable Web authors to design interactive sites. Although it shares many of the features and structures of the full Java language, it was developed independently. Javascript can interact with HTML source code, enabling Web authors to spice up their sites with dynamic content. JavaScript is endorsed by a number of software companies and is an open language that anyone can use without purchasing a license.

IP Address: An identifier for a computer or device on a TCP/IP network. Networks using the TCP/IP protocol route messages based on the IP address of the destination. The format of an IP address is a 32-bit numeric address written as four numbers separated by periods.

URL's: Abbreviation of Uniform Resource Locator, the global address of documents and other resources on the World Wide Web.

Domain name: A name that identifies one or more IP addresses.

HTTP: Short for HyperText Transfer Protocol, the underlying protocol used by the World Wide Web. HTTP defines how messages are formatted and transmitted, and what actions Web servers and browsers should take in response to various commands.

FTP: Short for File Transfer Protocol, the protocol for exchanging files over the Internet. FTP works in the same way as HTTP for transferring Web pages from a server to a user's browser and SMTP for transferring electronic mail across the Internet in that, like these technologies, FTP uses the Internet's TCP/IP protocols to enable data transfer.

ISP: Short for Internet Service Provider, a company that provides access to the Internet.

IPP: Short for Internet Printing Protocol, an Internet protocol that allows universal solutions to users trying to print documents from the Internet.

Modem: Short for modulator-demodulator. A modem is a device or program that enables a computer to transmit data over, for example, telephone or cable lines. Computer information is stored digitally, whereas information transmitted over telephone lines is transmitted in the form of analog waves. A modem converts between these two forms.

Cable modem: A modem designed to operate over cable TV lines.

Ethernet: A local-area network (LAN) architecture developed by Xerox Corporation in cooperation with DEC and Intel in 1976. Ethernet uses a bus or star topology and supports data transfer rates of 10 Mbps.

Wireless: The word wireless is dictionary defined as "having no wires". In networking terminology, wireless is the term used to describe any computer network where there is no physical wired connection between sender and receiver, but rather the network is connected by radio waves and/or microwaves to maintain communications.

CSS: Short for Cascading Style Sheets, a new feature being added to HTML that gives both Web site developers and users more control over how pages are displayed. With CSS, designers and users can create style sheets that define how different elements, such as headers and links, appear. These style sheets can then be applied to any Web page.

Blog: Short for Web log, a blog is a Web page that serves as a publicly accessible personal journal for an individual. Typically updated daily, blogs often reflect the personality of the author.

MP3: The name of the file extension and also the name of the type of file for MPEG, audio layer 3. Layer 3 is one of three coding schemes (layer 1, layer 2 and layer 3) for the compression of audio signals.

JPEG: Short for Joint Photographic Experts Group, and pronounced jay-peg. JPEG is a lossy compression technique for color images. Although it can reduce files sizes to about 5% of their normal size, some detail is lost in the compression.

GIF: Pronounced jiff or giff (hard g) stands for graphics interchange format, a bit-mapped graphics file format used by the World Wide Web, CompuServe and many BBSs. GIF supports color and various resolutions. It also includes data compression, but because it is limited to 256 colors, it is more effective for scanned images such as illustrations rather than color photos.

GUI: Abbreviated GUI (pronounced GOO-ee). A program interface that takes advantage of the computer's graphics capabilities to make the program easier to use.

PHP: Self-referentially short for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor, an open source, server-side, HTML embedded scripting language used to create dynamic Web pages. In an HTML document, PHP script (similar syntax to that of Perl or C ) is enclosed within special PHP tags. Because PHP is embedded within tags, the author can jump between HTML and PHP (similar to ASP and Cold Fusion) instead of having to rely on heavy amounts of code to output HTML.

January 25, 2007

Bout User Interfaces in Gaming - Week 3

Okay, so I really like to play basketball video games, and I found a UI that really sucks, well it doesn't really suck, but its a pain in the butt sometimes. Okay so the game would be College Hoops 2K7 for XBOX 360 that I'm complaining about. In the game the menu is accessed using the right trigger of the controller. When you access the menu its basically just a simple drop down menu, but there is one big problem I have with it and thats that you can never just go back to the previous menu, you have to constantly go back to the main menu and then go back through the menus to get to the screen before the sub menu you happened to be in. I think its really a stupid thing to do, because when you're switching game options on the fly while you're playing you don't want to get deep into a substitution menu and then have to go back to the main menu all the time and have to select all the menus again to get back to the subs menu. Its really annoying, but I felt it would be easily tamed by just letting the user push a back button to go to previous menus, easy, yes....

Website Study - Week 2 Assignment

Los Angeles Times

www.latimes.com

Content/Subject:
Online Newspaper

Source of the communication (purpose):
To relay news & give online information.

User (needs, interests):
All types of news - world, nation, local. They also want to be entertained, and want to easily access everything that they could get with a printed newspaper at anytime of the day. They also want the news to be updated, and want the page to read the same as a printed newspaper- big headlines for easy skimming, taglines for the writers, dates and times.

Context (similar web sites, situation - time for exploration, circumstance):
Layout is similar to other top news websites, which makes for easier exploration since you don't have to re-learn the navigation from site to site. The situation you would view the site in would be as a time waster, or if you are interested in reading about a specific news story, or if you missed the morning news and they forgot to deliver your newspaper and you really need to know what is going on in the world today.

Organization of content (parts of the web site/navigation scheme):
Navigaion to different major sections on the left hand side, a search bar at the top below the main banner, and links to different major partners at the bottem. The news stories are arranged from more important nationwide stories (at the top, bigger font) down to smaller important stories. Then the site get divided up into the various newspaper sections (entertainment, sports, et cetera), with the non-important sections lower and to the right on the page. Each section is divided with a gray block that shows the title of the section.

Graphic user interface:

• Grid design (communication, functionality):
Top banner & side banner (that don't change), then three columns, like newspaper columns. The pictures that accompany the stories fit into the columns, and don't go across columns. It is very simple and functional.

• Usability (communication, navigation, and accessibility elements):
The headlines act as links to the various full stories. The left column gives links to all the various sections and services. Anytime one of the sections is referenced is is a link. All the links are clearly marked in either blue or red, which makes it easy to tell what will lead you to another story and what won't.

• Style (appearance and location of graphic, multimedia, and navigation elements):
The only graphics are the photographs that accompany stories. There are simple colors for the banners, headlines, and links (blue). The ads are tasteful and simple. There are various opportunitys to watch videos (links) and the video on the homepage fits neatly into the grid. They have games and puzzles online, as well as search engines for various sections.


The Onion


www.theonion.com

Content/Subject:
Online News Parody

Source of the communication (purpose):
To spoof news stories and be entertaining with a humorous tone.

User (needs, interests):
Anybody who wishes to be entertained at the expense of popular nationwide news stories.

Context (similar web sites, situation - time for exploration, circumstance):
Layout is similar to other top news websites, which makes for easier exploration since you don't have to re-learn the navigation from site to site. The situation you would view the site in would be as a time waster, or if you are interested in reading about a specific news story spoof that you have heard about, if you just want to see stupid hilarious pictures. Or if you just want to read news made up about anything.

Organization of content (parts of the web site/navigation scheme):
There is a banner showing the stie name as well as navigation to the major sections. Each section is outlined with main headlines in green and have the story headlines in blue underneath. There is also a navigation bar at the bottem of the page. There are three columns, each with different items. The page is dived horizontally by three green lines. The first section is the main headlines (biggest stories) the second section is the site features, and the last section is more entertainment.

Graphic user interface:

• Grid design (communication, functionality):
Each main section is dived into the same three grid system, but when you click on a story headline, the page you are directed to is two columns. Otherwise, the pages are consistent, and the grid is clean and easy to follow. The stories and pictures don't leave the grid structure.

• Usability (communication, navigation, and accessibility elements):
The headlines act as links to the various full stories. The top navigation bar gives links to all the various sections and services. Anytime one of the sections is referenced is is a link. All the links are clearly marked in either blue or green, which makes it easy to tell what will lead you to another story and what won't. All the headlines are accompanied by little blurbs.

• Style (appearance and location of graphic, multimedia, and navigation elements):
The only graphics are the photographs that accompany stories. There are simple colors for the banners, headlines, and links (blue).


Fecal Face Dot Com


www.fecalface.com

Content/Subject:
Online artist's website.

Source of the communication (purpose):
Informs people of upcoming artshows in the San Francisco area, has interviews with various artists, tutorials on different art processes, displays artist's work from around the world, has a directory of artist's blogs.

User (needs, interests):
Users are interested in the art world, and the artist process, finding information about shows and openings in the S.F. area. It is a place for artists to come together, to show off their work and receive critiques. It also is a place for artist's to ifnd links to other artist's websites, and also has a forum where artist's can come together to speak.

Context (similar web sites, situation - time for exploration, circumstance):
Layout is similar to news websites, which makes for easier exploration since you don't have to learn a complicated system of artistic navigation. Artists would view this site when they want to find other artists, find tutorials, post their work/shows, and when they want to talk to other artists/look at other artists work. Other viewers would go to the site to look at art, to be entertained, and to find out about the San Francisco art scene.

Organization of content (parts of the web site/navigation scheme):
There is a banner showing the stie name as well as navigation to the major sections. Each section is outlined with large headlines and have smaller headlines underneath. There is also a navigation bar at the bottem of the page. The text is in black, with links in orangish-red so that they can differenciate from each other. There are a lot of pictures to help further develop the topics, which is necessary since you are dealing mainly with artists.

Graphic user interface:

• Grid design (communication, functionality):
The grid is laid out in three columns. The left hand column shows new features, interviews, tutorials. The middle column shows what is going on right now in the SF art scene. The third column shows the different blogs, links, comments and has a search bar. There is a nice use of drop down menus so that the site doesn't become too cluttered and also stays within the grid system.

• Usability (communication, navigation, and accessibility elements):
The headlines act as links to the various full stories. Anytime one of the sections is referenced is is a link, and each story has a link to the full story. All the links are clearly marked in either blue or red, which makes it easy to tell what will lead you to another story and what won't.

• Style (appearance and location of graphic, multimedia, and navigation elements):
There are many photographs that accompany stories. The layout is somewhat retro, with a changing banner and background lines. There are simple colors for the banners, headlines, and links (blue, orange, gray). The ads are pertain to the site users.

January 18, 2007

Websites from Class

css zengarden

All Kinds of Questions - Week 1

What is Interactive Design?
Information that people can interact with, click on etc. to get more information etc. yet should be easy to use and figure out. Okay, it's all about efficiency and getting the information the fastest, and maybe in there the thing should be aesthetically pleasing... uhg.

What do you want to learn in the course?
Uhhhh... I guess better interactive skills, a little more understanding of the web and its features, new things that I usually don't do, like this blog thinger. Better knowledge of appropriate web design, maybe a little program knowledge.

What applications / programming languages do you know or want to learn?
I want to know them all, but that just isn't realistic because my brain doesn't have the capacity for learning that many languages, but a little basic xhtml, some css, and a little php wouldn't hurt, basically I want to know what all those stupid things in the address bar mean (ie /cgi-bin/mt.cgi?__mode....blah blah.) its all so confusing.

January 16, 2007

My Complaints

The first thing I would like to complain about on this whole blog thing is the lack of a back button from the site view, wtf, can't you just put a back to user home button or something. Make a goddam back button blog system!!!