March 24, 2007

Digital Billboards

Going down Central Entrance quite a bit over the last year, I have noticed the digital billboard by Pawn America. I just have to say, that they are working on that thing ALL the time. You can tell it is a new technology for sure.
I'm sure that the Duluth City Council is worried about this issue due to safety. They think that they are a distraction to driving. I think that they are only a hazard if they are blinking. Sure, people are staring at them now because they are new, but it will wear off.
Chicago has a few of these billboards right on I-90 and they are very distracting because they blink and try to get your attention when you should be watching the road.
These boards are a good investment if they require little or no maintenance. More people get their message on the board, you can dictate when it is displayed if it is something time sensitve and the companies don't have to pay huge printing bills.
I know my sister won a contest in high school for designing a billboard. However, the hurdle was that they didn't have enough money to get it printed. If they had these boards at that time, it wouldn't have been an issue.

Fonts in Interactivity

I have always been a fan of san serif fonts when working with web. I just think it looks cleaner. Maybe that is just how it fits my style of web though. I have seen some sites that use serif fonts, and they look good as well. One thing is for sure, they can't be decorative fonts. The body type has to be simple. It's kinda like seeing comic sans in red on a black background.


The one Kiosk I have found that I used was the one in the wedge. I was very impressed with it. What I want to know is what was running it? Was it Flash just on a computer?

Interactive Game

After being introduced to a band called The Faint, I heard of a flash game that was made in reflection to one of their songs, Dropkick the Punks. Sidenote, they play a killer show. I saw them at First Ave over break.

So I played a game called Dropkick The Faint. It is really fun. It's a bit violent, but if you take it with a grain of salt, its not so bad. It's very simple. All you do is hit the space bar a number of times. You hit it once to get an accuracy and again after you are running towards the punk to dropkick him. You get a score based on how far the punk flies.

For the most part it was easy to use. At first I didn't understand why I had to push the space bar at the beginning because the accuracy bar is very small in the top of the screen. Other than that, it did the trick. I killed a good half an hour on this game.

February 4, 2007

Social Bookmarking

We picked three web sites to compare and contrast. Gen and I decided on social bookmarking sites:

This is what we found out:

• User-submitted news, articles, videos, & podcasts
Source of communication:
• showcasing what users are interested in without editors
User needs & interests:
• want to see what other people are interested in
• see what’s new and cool out on the internet
• share with others what you are interested in and think is important
• front page articles are rated highest – most important to users
• main navigation for the site is all along the top & is divided into categories and subcategories
• you can always see where you are in the site by which categories and subcategories are highlighted
• overall pretty easy to use
• multiple pages of articles listed that you can click through
Graphic User Interface:
• pretty basic
• all articles are layed out on the left; all have the same layout
• search engine at the top – works pretty well
• Grid: top of page keeps the same navigation; left 2/3 of page are for articles; right 1/3 of page is for less important info & ads
• Style: pretty simple; organized; clean; articles open up in separate windows which is nice; ads are kept together and not scattered around the site, however they have the same style of heading as the articles so that they blend in

• User-submitted information; links to information
Source of communication:
• showcasing what users are interested in without editors
User needs & interests:
• see what others are interested in without editors
• to see what others think is valuable
• share with others what you are interested in and think is important
• very basic
• stories are organized on the left side
• stories on the home page are the most bookmarked articles
• only the main page contains articles – from there you must search for what you are looking for by keywords
• headings are clear, but no article descriptions
• “tags to watch? on the right side which show which tags are most popular
• search engine easy to locate and use


• User-submitted information; links to information; mostly for entertainment
Source of communication:
• showcasing articles that others find on the web and think is interesting/funny
User needs & interests:
• want to be entertained
• want to see what’s out on the web
• want to share with others what they find
• all the articles and information that users are looking for is in the center
• less important stuff around the sides
• tabs along the top & center for different categories
• search engine in the corner
• put ads above the site title
Graphic User Interface:
• BAD; very poorly designed
• horrible logo
• ads and stuff around all sides instead of just on one or along the bottom
• only use purple, so the navigation bar doesn’t stand out
• hard to figure out how to link to each article – you must click on a logo, which makes you think you will be taken to that home page instead of the article you want
• 3 column grid – widest column in center for most important info which is functional
• it’s nice that the genre of the article is graphically shown next to the title, although the graphics could look nicer

January 18, 2007

Web Terms

  • Internet: Connection of computer networks that are publically accessible. wikipedia
  • World Wide Web: A collection of interconnected documents.wikipedia
  • Web Server: A computer that delivers Web pages to browsers and other files to applications via the HTTP protocol..Free Encyclopedia
  • Web Site: A Web site is a related collection of World Wide Web (WWW) files that includes a beginning file called a home page..The Free Dictionary
  • Web Pages: A document on the World Wide Web. Every Web page is identified by a unique URLWeb-o-pedia
  • Web Browser: A browser is an application program that provides a way to look at and interact with all the information on the World Wide
  • Podcast: A podcast is a media file that is distributed by subscription (paid or unpaid) over the Internet using syndication feeds. Wikipedia.
  • Cache: A computer system in a network that keeps copies of the most-recently requested Web pages in memory or on disk in order to speed up retrieval.
  • HTML: Hyper Text Markup Language. Not "code" but tags that mark up the text.
  • XHTML: Extensible hyper text markup language. A markup language written in XML; therefore, it is an XML application. web-O-pedia
  • XML: Extensible markup language is a W3C initiative that allows information and services to be encoded with meaningful structure and semantics that computers and humans can understand. google
  • JavaScript: A scripting language developed by Netscape and used to create interactive Web
  • IP Address: Four unique numbers for every computer connected to the internet.
  • URL's: An Internet address, usually consisting of the access protocol (http), the domain name (, and optionally the path to a file or resource residing on that server (trade).
  • Domain Name: A name that is entered into a computer (e.g. as part of a Web site or other URL, or an e-mail address). These names are technically hostnames. wikipedia
  • HTTP: Hyper Text Transfer Protocol used to view internet material usually through a web browser.
  • FTP: File Transfer Protocol. A protocol used to upload and download files to a server.
  • ISP: Internet Service Provider. The company that gives you all of your internets.
  • IPP: Internet Print Protocol. A protocol for printing and managing print jobs over the Internet using HTTP.
  • Modem: A device that connects a computer(s) to the internet.
  • Cable Modem: A device that uses coaxial cable to connect one or more computers to the internet.
  • Ethernet: A type of cord that connects computers on a network usually through a network hub, switch or router.
  • Wireless: Uses 802.11 Technology to tranfer and internet connection to computers.
  • CSS: Cascading Style Sheets.
  • Blog: Online Journal/Column
  • MP3: Mpeg layer 3 audio file.
  • JPEG: (Joint Photographic Experts Group) An ISO/ITU standard for compressing still images. Pronounced "jay-peg," the JPEG format is very popular due to its variable compression range.
  • GIF: Compuserv GIF. An image file format that Compuserv created to preserve transparencies in images.
  • GUI: Graphic User Interface
  • PHP: PHP Hypertext Preprocessor. allows web developers to create dynamic content that interacts with databases.

January 16, 2007

class structure 2.o

I am very interested in interactive design, however, I believe that I know way too little. Every time I make my web site, I try something new, but it all goes to hell. for example, open my new web page in anything but Safari.

There are things I like, and things I don't. This is why I am taking this course. I want to learn. A lot of people couldn't tell you what web 2.0 is, what a podcast is, what and RSS reader is. These are things that the world is doing on the internet. THIS is what I want to learn. Anthony seems to know what's up with this. A podcast as an assignment? That's freakin' awsome!!! PHP, CSS. I've only been in this class for 33 minutes and I'm already excited.

Things I know...

  • dreamweaver
  • html
  • Things I KINDA know...

  • css
  • rss
  • xhtml
  • podcast (or netcasting?)
  • web 2.0
  • What I know exists, but know nothing about

  • java
  • javaScript
  • xml
  • Movable Type...not so much

    This interface is bad. I know I'm not very good with interface, but I do know that I can't use this very well. I've used googles Blogger before, and that was easiar and I was editing the html and CSS, through trial and error.

    What also doesn't help is that my buddy is IMing me right now telling me what the iPhone can and can't do. Hmmm...interactivity on the iPhone. How hard will it be make a widget on it (if Apple allows it)? What will websites interact like with "pinching?"