March 10, 2007

Use of CSS

I think that useability through CSS is very important in our current non-profit organization website project. I think CSS is especially important for all governmental, educational, and non-profit sites. I think it is in the best interest of private corporations to use it as well. Non-profit organizations have a responsibility to serve the people they are representing and targeting and that means making sure everyone can view the information on the site.

Web Font

I think Univers is a good web/interactive font due to the fact that it has so many different styles within it. It allows you to use the same font in several different ways to create hierarchy and interesing design.

March 3, 2007

Digital Billboards

I definitely think digital billboards should be regulated. I have found myself looking at them for way too long while I'm driving, waiting for them to change or do something cool. We already have enough distractions on the road and enough advertising in our lives. There is no need to have digital changing billboards. I don't have any problems with the ones that just stay still...even though I suppose people will still be looking at them to see if they will change whether they actually do or not.

February 19, 2007

Interactive Kiosks

To be honest I can't remember running into any interactive kiosks besides the UMD one in Solon Campus Center. It is actually kind of exciting to run into one, because you don't see them very often. It's something new to explore. I think interactive kiosks are nice because they eliminate the paper waste of maps and other information that is included in the kiosk. They have the ability to show all kinds of different information using motion graphics and sound, so they can be really interesting and fun. One disadvantage though is that they are (or can be) rather large and immobile, which can pose a problem in some spaces. They can also take a massive amount of time to create and get running. I guess maybe the biggest disadvantage is that they are breakable and in that case you would confused people.

February 4, 2007

Second Life

I'm not a huge fan of second life. I think it's cool that we have the technology to create it, but I don't think it is something that is really that valuable. Just as with any other video game, maybe it's okay in moderation, but inevitably people will get totally sucked into it and start spending hours upon hours of time in this fantasy world. We already have several virtual modes of communication that do just fine for recreational and business use; there is no need for a whole new virtual world. It just brings up awkward questions like, if you kiss someone in Second Life are you cheating on your real life partner? These things shouldn't even be an issue. Maybe some people think it's useful for things like IBM's annual meeting. Maybe it saved them some money (travel, hotels...etc) but I don't really think there is an equal substitute for personal human communication. Maybe if IBM had an actual annual meeting, some people may have gotten to talk and come up brilliant new ideas. Instead, they probably just logged in to Second Life, listened to the meeting, said to someone, "Hey this is cool!" and then logged off and went back to work.

January 29, 2007

Nintendo Wii

I think I just became a hacker. I started playing Wii before midnight and realized it was way after by the time I was ready to quit. The Nintendo Wii is by far the most interactive game console on the market. I think I would compare the difference between say Play Station and Nintendo Wii to the difference between a PC and a Mac. The Mac/Wii being way more intuitive and having the all around "cool factor."

The user plays the games on a Wii with a hand held remote or wiimote, similar in looks to a TV remote. Using motion sensors the users act out with certain arm motions what they are trying to accomplish on the screen. For instance, in Wii Sports (the "free" game included with purchase of a Wii) the user holds the wiimote like a golf club, a baseball bat or a tennis racket and makes the appropriate swinging motion for that sport.

The user navigates through the interface using hand, wrist or arms motions with the Wiimote and doing the basic point and click. This kind of movement makes play go quickly because many times you can just use your body motion. Instead of trying to figure out what button makes your arms move, you just move your arms! I am a huge fan of creating the characters for the game called Miis. You can go through a series of screens to create a character that has all of your features. Then you can play games as yourself and be in games when other people are playing, like I might be playing baseball and my team is made up of all of the Miis that my friends have created. You can also access your Mii via the internet to use it on a different Wii.

Even though the Nintendo Wii is extremely intuitive and easy to interact with (not to mention you can actually get somewhat of a physical workout playing the Wii) there most definitely is a learning curve. It takes a while to really feel like you have control over your motions on the screen and get the right timing down. You also have to be aware of your hand/arm movements the entire time you are playing. I was playing baseball and accidentally threw a pitch when I wasn't even paying attention because I flicked my wrist.

It's exciting to see video games start to turn towards using motion sensors and human activity rather than just finger controls.

January 23, 2007

Web Terms

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January 16, 2007

Interactive Design Questions

What is Interactive Design?
Interactive Design is any digital design that calls for the user to control the interaction. The user decides what path and how long it will take them to get to their desired destination.

What do you want to learn in the course?
I would like to become more comfortable with creating things for the internet and uploading/posting them. In doing that hopefully I will become more proficient in the programs used to do so.

What applications / programming languages do you know or want to learn?
I have used Dreamweaver and Flash. I want to learn more about both of those as well as other stuff that will help me in interactive design.... ...