Friday, November 30, 2007

Color and Layout

I would like to share two web sites that I found helpful as I experimented with the color scheme and various layouts for my web site. All you have to do is walk into a Chinese restaurant and step onto the ubiquitous red carpet to know that red is an important color in the culture of China. I knew that different colors imply different meaning in different cultures, but this web site lists color symbolism by culture, which was fun to review. See So the purple of the energetic Team in Training web site in this country would have a completely different meaning, should one of the runners hail from Thailand (mourning).

I had a field day scrolling through dozens of web layouts at Many of them are designs for blogs, but others are simple web designs that different people have shared. I found this a good tool for generating ideas. Even when we see a layout we don't like, it prompts us to think about what we don't like about it, which is revealing in itself.

A kind of Search Engine

I know that we have discussed about the new versions of search engines in other classes. I read about this one and found it interesting. When thinking about the increase of WWW, this can be counted as one of the first trials for the next generation of search engines. Try it if you have time...

Flash CS3 Professional site

This is a site that is made by Flash CS3 Professional. I tested CS3 flash and I find it better than previous one; easier and you can also do more complicated things with that. As an example in this web site, the navigation bar is not hard to do.

Traveling is awesome because it is so simple. This is where I usually search for my flight arrangements when I am traveling. It is simply a search engine for flights. After you enter your departure and destination details it gives you all the prices starting from cheapest to more expensive. It embodies everything a search engine should; simplicity, convenience and reliability.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


This website has just enough color the user is looking for. It has everything the user is looking for right in front of them and at the top of the page. The only thing that is not clear is the fact of where to sign in. It is very small at the top of the page. What is your opinion? The URL is:

Guys please help! (This is not about our website)

My friend is launching a fantasy soccer it tips for fantasy owners.

Can the layout be improved, so maybe it's less confusing or keeps users coming back??

Thank you!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Pay Pal

I thought this website was very useful for its users and has everything that they are looking for in a website. What I do not like about this site is the fact that it does not really attract the users by using more color or pizzazz. What is your opinion? The website is:

How am I going to get paid?

At my job, we are each responsible for entering our time on our intranet site. As long as I can remember the tab to do this was located under one name. After returning from thanksgiving vacation, I went to enter my time and realized I could no longer find the tab to do this. Two days went by and I scrolled down and saw that the link name had been changed and was now called the hub.

Luckily, this wasn't a huge issue for me since we just got paid. It would have been helpful if on the intranet site's main page a note was posted informing us of the change.

Future of web design

You may want to listen the podcasts from;

Good For Design, Not For Publishing

I may be the only one, but I have come to hate trying to connect and publish webpages using photoshop alone. Dont get me wrong, I love the tool as a design medium to create the layouts and make the pages look exaclty as you want them, but connecting pages and content is a nightmare. I dislike the web galleries and hate the zoomify feature even more. I do not think they are aesthetically pleasing or very useful. Attatching videos has been a struggle as well.

All in all, I do not hate photoshop as a program because of this, as I know this is not what it was made for, but it is just frustrating spending so much time slicing and saving tediously over and over. Ill take photoshop to start the designs, but give me Dreamweaver or Flash for the rest.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New Egg

I really enjoyed this website. It had a lot of good color and just enough white and orange for the user to come back for more. It has a very nice use of white space and just enough links to cover the page for what the user is looking for. The URL is:

Monday, November 26, 2007

Newspapers on the Web

I know we have talked a lot about layout and design of content and daily I go to

To get the latest stories from the philly paper on my teams ill also check out the main page as well just to see what else is going on near my home. I wonder how effective people find newspapers on the web? I rarely read a hard paper anymore but a couple times recently around work I picked up a USA Today and realised I actually missed it.


So this past summer I moved into Newington CT and granted there isnt much to do in Newington but I wanted to see if they had a home page and to find out some info about parks the town pool etc....their home page is awful not only cause it doesnt work but also because aesthetically it is tough to look at... here it is


I meant World of Warcraft. This site is very eye pleasing and makes users come back for more. It has just enough animation and colors to have the user come back. It has the information that a user wants to look at, which is located at the top of the screen so it is easy to find. The URL is:

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Blackboard Color Reading

While starting to study for the exam on December 1st, I read through the reading that was posted on blackboard. I found the reading very interesting because it discussed what designers need to know when using/developing colors for websites. Now, reading these articles it makes me understand why Professor Callahan told me to change the colors I was using for my final project/website. Please read this article it is very informative and helpful when designing your website.


This reminds me of YouTube a little bit. It has enough color to make the user come back for more but the problem with this site is that it is not pleasing for all types of viewers. It seems it is only for people from Asian countries. What is your opinion? The URL is:

The Barbican

The Barbican is an arts venue in London, and I absolutely love their website. Not many sites make me say "WOW", but this one does. It is so simple to navigate with a minimum of scrolling, and the Flash animation is not at all overdone. The white space on the page balances out the bright colors, which I find to be very attractive. If you navigate to other pages, you'll find that the color scheme changes as well as the content. I just can't say enough about this page - it just knocked me out visually. This is one of the best I've seen in a long time. Any thoughts? Agree or disagree?

The Barbican

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


This website has just enough animation to make the page pop. It has a nice contrast of colors and white space to make the page easy to read and understandable. What is your opinion? The URL is:

Redesigns can be frustrating...

At work, we're finally hammering out a redesign for our current music program, and having the tech out-sourced so we can build the site faster. We have a new design guy who is working fast to help us get a totally new look and feel to our site. The current design (which was never officially launched) can be seen here. The reason why it looks TERRIBLE and has such shoddy design is because the original creators of the site made a really sketchy back-end. Meaning...the html and entire behind the scenes simply would not allow for a better redesign. We had to stick to strict guidelines and we couldn't even move any of the charts or features.

Finally, we've been allowed to break those constraints, and open ourselves up a little more. The picture attached to this post is the first draft of our *new* ListenerStation homepage.

It's not perfect, but its DEFINITELY better than what we had. A little more cutting edge, better coloration, different sized features and areas to promote our different artists. It's extremely frustrating to articulate ideas to a 3rd party designer though. I find that at times, I wish I could just do it myself (hence, my enrollment in this program). I hope to be the designer for our company someday. I find I'm told to "document my thoughts" about every single day. Then, designers come and go, and I re-document the same ideas over and over again. It's like I've been walking in circles for the past 2 years. The communication and energy consumed between thought generation and articulation to someone else is definitely starting to wane on me. I wish I could create pages that are this dynamic, but since it's only my first semester in the program, I'll have to wait and learn as I go!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Wow, this is pretty scary!

We should have seen it coming, though. People are already addicted to cell phones, iPods and the like, but those are just accessories. When people start believing that their "cyber lives" are more exciting or fulfilling than their real lives, that's just plain scary. How long will it be before the APA declares "pathological computer use" to be a bonafide psychiatric disorder?

In Korea, a Boot Camp Cure for Web Obsession

Stat Counter

This website is way too wordy for me. It has too much stuff going on the page with too much information. The last thing this page needs is an advertisement. Plus, the website is too plain for my liking. What are other people’s opinions? Here is the URL:

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Blog #10 (Second)

While working on my final project I never realized how easy it is to link pages together with the slice tool. I finally realized after looking at the menu for the slice tool for a few minutes that all you had to do was to decide was name you wanted to call the slice, if you would rather open the link in the same page or on another page, and what URL you are using to link. This became very addictive when making my rough draft pages for my homepage. At the beginning of the semester, when our professor mentioned making a webpage for the final project, I got scared since I never really had a grasp of Photoshop before. Now I am realizing how easy it is to be creative and express your talents in many ways while making a webpage. This course has helped a ton and will help me when I work on my Capstone project this summer.

Blog #10

I love chapter 7! This is my favorite chapter of the whole book because I will get to use this section so I can edit all of the pictures that I take. I really like how this section shows you how to sharpen the pictures in the areas that need to be sharpened. Also, being able to change and highlight certain features on the pictures is great feature to be able to do. I guess I do not need to go to CVS anymore to get this done. Do I?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Eat, Drink, Be Merry and watch streaming video..

Last week in the Saturday class we talked about video on the Internet and what is a tolerable TRT. Most of us agreed that an acceptable length is between two and three minutes. This allows for enough time to get the main idea of the video without getting lost or bored. The beauty of short video clips on the Internet is that you can hop around and in a short amount of time watch a number of videos. But are we ready to use the Internet to sit down and watch longer forms of video such as lengthly features or concerts? As part of AT&T's promotion for the "Loudest Pep Rally," they offered a webcast of the West Point shows this week. I was unable to watch either of these (because I was doing homework of course!), but if I had the time I would have checked it out. But it got me thinking about the questions of web usability and are we ready to use the Internet as a source for longer forms of video entertainment, or are we stuck in youtube mode with short clips?


I think this website is straight to the point. It has what the user is looking for in the “New this week section”. Plus, it only has two colors, which makes a nice contrast on the screen to give the website just enough pizzazz. Here is the website: Check it out.

Check this out!

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Join the Team

I work for The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, an organization that has recently begun an effort to raise funds for seriously ill children through sports events at which athletes commit to raise a significant donation in return for receiving a runner number or spot in a race. Two of our most successful competitors are Team in Training (Leukemia-Lymphoma Society) at and Team Fox (Michael J. Fox Foundation for parkinson's research) at Our current web home page is We are overhauling the current site to achieve a look more in keeping with our new brand and marketing focus, which I have been privileged to help with. The new site should be viewable next month.

A glance at our two competitors' home pages reveals a number of unfortunate attributes: both have considerable text and visuals below the fold, use color in ways that is somewhat limited and use photos that are less inspiring than they might be.

Team in Training is immensely successful with raising funds for leukemia/lymphoma research. The color purple is an important part of their brand. Against the white background, it is appealing, but this morning, when I opened the site, it looked completely different. It was a dense purple throughout with reverse type. Not so easy to read.

The photos at the top take too long to load. Some of the photos in the header video are not as inspiring as the first one in the line-up. The challenge is finding images that work well in the small horizontal space at the top. A better solution might be to place a vertical photo at the top and one side -- especially if it allows the use of a more inspiring photo. A series of photos that change could work well here, if they didn't take quite so long to get started. The initial animation takes too long and doesn't really say anything.

The Team Fox home page contains a huge amount of verbal information that could be better shortened. Buttons with fly-outs could replace some of the text and less text could go below the fold. I like the white background of the site, but the blue is a lackluster shade. The header visual does not change and the photo that has been chosen has a fuzzy look to it and is not very appealing. A larger photo with a sharp image that shows runners having a good time would be a better choice.

Clearly, the sites of our competitors have some things to teach us as we forge ahead with our own redesign.


I visit the web site,, often to get weather forecasts and conditions. It is my favorite weather site because it is easy to use. The homepage is very organized with the button for local weather at the very top and again a little bit below. Since this is a weather web site it is convenient that it is located where the user does not have to search for it. It is designed so that the user can get the forecast then visit the other sections if they choose to.

Type Pad

I think this website is too wordy. It has too much on the page. The noticeable things are the sign up section and the information about a free trial. I think people would be drawn away from this site because it looks too wordy. The URL is

I'm not sure I understand this, but I thought I'd post it anyway...

NPR article

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

This website is very basic. It is pleasing to the user because it has the information the user is looking for in the top right hand corner. It is a user friendly website. What is your opinion about this site? The URL is:

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Okay, don't make fun of me but I watch the Real World. I went on tonight to watch last week's episode. I had no problems watching the show but there were several things that annoyed me. The show was broken up in to 5 clips. Right before each clip aired, the same :15 second commercial ran. I got tired of watching this commercial over and over again. Another thing that bothered me was how distracting some of the ads were on the site. On the right hand side of the screen, next to the video player, were flashing ads. I noticed that I kept looking away from the show to see what obnoxious ad was popping up on the screen. Overall, I like having the option to catch my shows online after I have missed them on television. I think it's a smart tool for websites to post full episodes online for their users to watch.

Rotten Tomatoes

I was wondering what everyone thought about the site Rotten Tomatoes. It's a movie website that compiles the reviews of movies from critics everywhere and combines them to create a "Fresh Score". The higher the score...the better. Example...Fred Clause is only 27% Fresh (well, that figures..). You can also get any sort of information on a movie: trailers, posters, cast information, release dates, box office earnings, you name it. Between Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB, my movie needs are totally covered.

The design of the site is a little overwhelming at first, as there seems to be a lot to click on and many choices. However, spending a few minutes with the site, you can see that the information is strictly on a "want to know" basis, and that you can easily skip ahead and search for a movie coming out, read reviews, check out trailers, and more!

I recently used RT to check out the reviews for Southland Tales, which have definitely been mixed (it's the second film from the Donnie Darko director, Richard Kelly). The link I provided is a good example because you can see the layout of the reviews and how its handled (an excerpt of the review up front, with links to the full reviews provided). Full tomatoes = good. Splattered tomatoes = bad.

Check it out. I love the site.

I used this website as my personal diary in high school. Now, I am critiquing the website. Times have changed. This website is very straight to the point. It has two shades of color and is not to plain. It has the information that the user is looking for (for e.g. where to sign in and how to post information to their journal). I really like this website. What are other people’s opinions about this site? The URL is:

Monday, November 12, 2007


Dig this! Ha-ha. This website I think needs to be more organized. I understand the concept of the site, which is to find the most popular website and tell why it is the most popular but I do not think it should be shown in list form. Any opinions? The URL is:

Sunday, November 11, 2007

All that work for nothing.

I tried to stay on top of our final project and work on two of my pages. Unfortunately, I saved the files as jpegs and didn't also save a copy as a psd file. I realized I couldn't make any changes after I found something that I wanted to alter on one of the pages I had created. On the bright side, at least I have these pages as reference points. In class yesterday, we talked about the importance of saving two files of our work and the fact that once the file is saved as a jpeg, the layers are flattened and nothing else can be done with it.

Here's hoping I can recreate those pages again.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

venting about MyHate...sorry, I meant MySpace.

I have a MySpace account like most of the rest of the world. I have had the page for about 2 years now and I use it to advertise and promote my career as a musician. I HATE MySpace. It seems so easy (since I’ve witnessed 7 year old know how to use the set up functions of the page), however, I have still yet to find time or the patience to understand all the ways to manipulate and change the look and information placement in my profile. I even had a friend set it up initially because it annoys me so much to have to try and figure out how to change settings on it. Although I have become a bit more skillful over the past 2 years, recently, MySpace threw another curve my way…for no apparent reason, after 2 years of everyone seeing my page as intended, suddenly my page does not fit the screen quite right on every computer monitor. THIS MAKES NO SENSE TO ME!!! This issue never occurred before and out of nowhere, I have to reformat, reset-up and oh yeah, SPEND TIME online trying to make my page standard and fit to all screens. WHAT THE HELL? I’m only this angry now because now this change is directly affecting me, but I have noticed this change on some other websites as well. I don’t know whether it is a change that the host site makes (like the MySpace site as a whole) or if it is an issue with new browsers. This type of issue makes me realize how often we all need to update everything about our online lives web presence and how attentive we need to be to the way our information is presented. ..Great, just what I needed…another thing to have to be responsible for…wasn’t MySpace designed for fun????...

Blog #9

When working in chapter 11, I got stuck on the part about “snapping images into position”. I never really knew about snapping images until I was in this course. I did not realize that there needed to be a quadrant for each of the images that you would want to use, and then you had to select what quadrant you wanted the image to be in. This will be useful when I want to put certain type of jpeg’s on my website. I now know how to combine the pictures to make a four box design.

Friday, November 9, 2007

"Let's talk about this off-line"..."After our morning download"..."PC load letter!"

It never ceases to amaze me how much the Internet has impacted every aspect of our daily lives. The Internet has not only changed the way we work but also the way we learn, live and communicate with each other. The perfect examples of this are the phrases, "let's chat off-line," or, "we'll download this information later." Tonight I saw another example of the influence of the Internet when I was watching the news. Yes, sorry to say this was the 10 p.m. news on a Friday night, but when times are tough you spend your Friday nights rubbing your two pennies together for heat and watching the news. I saw this newer segment on Fox called, "Rick's RSS," where Rick Hancock highlights a few websites and reports on the latest trends in technology. I think this is great idea to add a specific element in the newscast for technology and web related stories. I found it to be very informative and a refreshing change of pace from the standard segments and flow of the show. Check out the link for more information:

Adobe Dayz

This week some Adobe software guys came Bristol and did a demo of there latest software, including Photoshop and Illistrator. It was pretty cool seeing the new features of CS3, and how each of the programs can be used independantly or in conjunction on design, video and animation projects.

Anyway the coolest part was when they talked about the Vanishing Point filter, and showed an example of how you can turn a 2D picture of a building into a 3D animation. They also talked about how Martin Scorsese was so impressed with it that he used the vanishing point filter in "The departed" to trace the inside of a set and add movement to an otherwise static camera shot, pretty cool stuff.

Any way here's a link to their blogs, which they update often and has some pretty cool stuff on it. See ya in class,

Subjectivity and Aesthetics:Where is the line drawn?

It is clear from reading Nielsen that he ascribes to a set of standards. It is also clear that Nielsen feels he is right about these standards he sets forth. However, I and many disagree based on our own opinion based on some facts. My question to all is: Where is the line drawn on whether something is right when aesthetics is such a subjective subject?

Artwork is a perfect place to start this argument. Michaelangelo's David is considered to be beautiful by many people. There are people who think the David isn't beautiful; they think it is just a statue of a man. Where does one draw the line on what is aesthetically pleasing?

This class talks about websites and how things are usable and not usable. It has been established that it is the designers fault when the user doesn't understand what the designer designed. What if the user is having a bad day and decides during a usability test that the site is garbage because really he is mad since his sandwich from Subway was soggy today? The response has nothing to do with the website, but instead with the fact the tester is having a bad day. Where does one draw the line between actual fact and subjectivity?

One can say with enough objective proof that good aesthetics is something symmetrical. No one likes something disjointed. That is something most can agree on. Wait.. most.. that means not everyone agrees on what is aesthetically pleasing, even with something as simple as symmetry! I know plenty of individuals who think artists who paint with their buttcheeks randomly on the canvas are artists. That has no specific point other than "artistic expression", which is really someone painting their buttcheeks on a paint canvas. I don't think it's art, I think its buttcheeks on a canvas, but that is my subjective opinion based on the facts of what I think art is, which is different than what someone else obviously thinks art is.

As this class progresses, I am starting to believe this idea of "give the user what he/she wants" is really dulling down the very idea of aesthetics itself. As it stands, aesthetic judgment is completely subjective, which makes it immeasurable. Thus, the designer no longer has the license to create something better, since risk isn't rewarded. Risk holds little inherent value when one is banking on the subjective appeal one can create. The artist or designer is banking on creating something that appeals to something immeasurable, which is completely determined at the moment of apprehension by the user who may for whatever reason decide something stinks for no reason other than they "feel" like it.

No wonder artists are mostly starving. Notice how I said most..


This site is an example of too much stuff going on at one time on its page. It has too many links on the side for you to check out. Plus, it has an advertisement smack in the middle of the page. I would only go to this webpage if I wanted to find information about a movie but nothing else. Who agrees with me? The URL is:

Cell Phone Usability

In our 501 class we have been talking about ubiquitous media with a focus on cell phones being our primary web source in the near future. I think that Nielsen should start to step out of the box and talk about web usability of the future. Things like IPTV and internet over the cell phone need to be looked at. There will be a whole new standard and I'm sure many usability issues that will follow. Designing web for mobile devices is a difficult task and I know that some phones that i've seen with the internet are extremely difficult to navigate through the internet. If we had usability standards for web sites on cell phones, the quality would increase and also the amount of people willing to use the web via mobile devices.

The Power of the Internet, and the Lack of Nielson Techniques!

I was checking out MSN today to see what is going on in the world around me when I cames across the story of love. Apparently, a guy saw a girl on a subway (so romantic) in NYC and in an attempt to find her, created a website. He had no information about her, didn't speak to her...simply gawked at her the entire ride (long enough to draw a picture of her). You can view the entire story here: NYCROMEO.

His website, which you can find here: CHEESYSITE engaged hundreds of New Yorkers in his search for "love at first sight". He posted his number and email address (which is now blanked in the lower left of the site) and had hundreds of responses in minutes about this particular girl. He has since, found is love.

As you will see, the website is very simplistic. For a man who is a Web Designer it seems like he missed a few Visual Aesthetics classes! Even though he does not utilize Nielson's (absurd) techniques to create his site, he is able to get the information across and did so in a manner which appears to have worked. As I have said before, I believe it is the unique-ness of the site that works rather than the hum-drum, textbook "technique".

In conclusion, next time you find yourself on a NYC subway, pay close attention because you never know when you may find your true love (probably sitting next to a drunk bum and a loud person on a cell phone) or help someone else find their true love. And that is the power of the Internet...thanks Al Gore!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

H20 Plus

I love because it is aesthetically pleasing and easy to use. The green and ocean colored homepage gives it a refreshing and natural look. There are also no busy flash or video players clogging up the site. It is a quick, easy and beautiful experience.


This website is too busy and plain for my liking. Yes, I can say that it has all the links that the users want like Food and Music some of the information that the user would be looking for (Gossip and Entertainment) is at the top of the page. What do other people think of this page? Leave your input. The URL is:

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Elegance and Simplicity

Jacob Neilsen warns against animations that flash and pop, something that I too find tremendously annoying. The web site of the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City at offers a sophisticated example of animation that adds appeal without being overbearing.

The homepage links are simple (just eight of them and no repeats) and feature fly-outs that are clear and easy to read. The color scheme is a rich red, yellow and gold, colors in keeping with the Victorian flair of the museum collection's founder. The only drawback I could find is that the user does not necessarily know how to get back to the homepage from interior pages. The way back is to click on the museum name/logo, but nothing points you in the direction; you have to figure it out.

The entire site is appealing, requires very little scrolling, and is extremely easy to navigate. The site design is a good example of the saying that "less is more," and gave me some ideas for my final project.


This webpage has too much stuff going on. It has to many advertisements, and this is one of the reasons why users would not want to come back. It says to the users I just love pop-ups and advertisements and want to give you more of them. The plus side to this website is that the top menus are easy for the user to understand so you can find the information you need to find. The URL is:

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

"Take a hit...pass it on" is promoting their new "Hoooka", a player that users can create to embed into any other website to promote and sell music. Artists can create their own hoooka for self-promotion or an average Joe can create a page, add music, and earn a slice of the pie for mp3s purchased
directly from his/her individual hoooka. Then users can do as their tagline says..."Take a hit...pass it on".

The neat part of Hoooka is that you can customize your Hoooka to look exactly how you want it using your own photos, videos, music, color schemes, etc, to truly personalize the experience your users and listeners will have. Check out the Hoooka for HelloGoodbye here.

At work, we're trying to come up with ideas for customization for our own artists and Hoooka is something we reference daily. The site does a great job at presenting artists and music, and makes it really easy for anyone to embed their hoooka onto any other site, blog, MySpace, whatever. We really feel that customization is key for us to fully engage our users with our website. We don't want to force them upon any sort of design or layout. We want to pull elements we like from other sites and combine them to give our users a unique experience. Maybe hoooka's customization elements mixed with Facebook's ability to click and drag features around? Could make for some cool Artist Page creations! We havn't made any solid decisions yet, but hoooka's direction will most definitely influence our own website as we'll be allowing for the maximum amount of customization possible.

Here is a site that has a lot of links that will help people know where to find the information that they are looking for. The menus at the top of the page are very legible and very easy for the user to comprehend. . The URL is:

Museum of Bad Art

I love this site! Great design, easy to use, truly bad art! And don't forget to read the descriptions of each work - they're hilarious!

Museum of Bad Art

Monday, November 5, 2007

Award winning websites

Hey guys I was surfing around and found this site, some cool links for inspiration!

I can haz cheeseburger?

I just always seem to stumble on examples oh websites that are designed poorly...but are wildly popular.

Check out it is the #1 blog on Wordpress.

I don't even know where to vote, but I find myself routinely checking the updated pictures.

Why doesn't the content trump the confusing web design?

I found this website to be very plain and very straight to the point. It did not have much pizzazz. It had a picture, a background color, and scroll menus for users to choose from. My suggestion would that they should add more color to the homepage so more users would attracted to it. What do other people think of this? The URL is:

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Blog #8

I am getting excited about getting started on working on the webpage for the final project. While working in class on chapter 12, I am very excited about everything you can do in Photoshop. Now I know how to use the slice tool to make tabs on the left hand side of the page, and it was easy to do. The difficult part of getting this done was when you had to label each of the slices to an html file so they could work. This was a little bit complicated because you had to remember what you named each of the slices. This will be very beneficial for me when I make my webpage so I will practice with this tool so I can make perfect tabs.

poor mix of multimeida

This website that I found has a multimedia element that really bothers me.


There are a few reasons, but the main two reasons being that 1) the beginning page and intro takes far too long to load, even with a fast connection. And 2) once it is loaded and plays through the intro the actual site seems like they are designed by completely different designers. The intro is extremely well done and graphically advanced, while the site itself has a very basic set up that seems incomparable to the intro of the site. If you enter the 'services' area of the page and scroll down, you will even find graphics that are improperly stretched and modified. Looking at the differences throughout this site made me feel, as a prospective consumer, that this company could not be consistent in their product promotion and presentation..A reason why I veered away from using this company and they lost a potential client. Multimedia use should be consistent in quality and use throughout an individual site!

Friday, November 2, 2007

sensible guy

"Creating mulitmedia is far more costly and time-consuming than creating static illustrations, so when you're choosing between the two , opt for the most time-and cost-efficient format...." This statement is very practical and very sensible and I get it. I think he makes a good point and this is definetely a good guide for making a website for the most part. But sometimes I wonder is this Nielsen guy completely void of emotion. It seems as though everything he talks about is straightforward but where is the fun in designing a site. I understand that too much mulitmedia is not good but I think websites need a little bit of excitment to them, I just hope that there is a chapter on creating a fun website. lol

Nielsen Annoys Me...

I am so sick of this man, can we please find another book? How about the last Harry Potter book?

In all seriousness, Nielsen's complaints have been getting to me. It might be because I am (self proclaimed) good with computers and technology, but the only reason why I know so much is because I realized early on that the computer will not explode when you press the wrong button. I don't give everyone the credit of being able to teach themselves how to use new technology, but when it comes to websites, its simply about exploring the site. However; Nielsen seems to think if a websites doesn't follow a traditional method, it's useless.

If we are to believe Nielsen's findings then we all need to create the most uninteresting and simplistic web sites on the internet. Granted, I believe people need hand-holding techniques even to get through their everyday lives, but must we cater to them? Do we have to stifle our creativity because someone is using a dial-up connection? I do agree with some of what he said about flash intro and repeating music, but to say "stick with familiar conventions" and "detect user bandwidth" doesn't work for me.

As designers, we have to find a niche in the world by displaying our work in a useful and interesting way. Compare web design to architecture; there are methods to built it but our design is the way to make it stand out.

You Caught Me

Lately, I have been spending a lot of time during lunch working on some of my homework. When I go on certain websites, music automatically starts playing. I try to always have the volume down on my computer while I am at work. Unfortunately our phone system has changed over and voice mail messages now go in to our outlook box. In order to listen to them, we have to adjust the volume on our computer.Nothing is more embarrassing then hearing theme song music, or a jingle playing loudly in front of your co-workers. "If your site has sound, make sure it starts softly and gradually gets louder, and give your users way to adjust the sound" (Nielson, Loranger pg 377).

Thursday, November 1, 2007

A Soft Spot for Nielsen

Finally I can totally understand Nielsens practice of beating things into our heads. My parents have had dial up forever and still are using it today. The only use there computer gets is my mother checking her yahoo mail once a day. I am convinced this has been the slowest computer in Connecticut for the last 8 years, but it was my only internet access throughout middle school and high school. Getting my own PC my senior year of high school was like an epiphany for me. The speed and ease of everything was amazing, until some sites started loading up with multimedia and my 400$ Dell couldn't handle it. I know what it is like to try to get one piece of information on a site and have to wait 20 minutes for it.

I do think that there should be options for the people with dial up and low speed connections, but I also believe that in a couple of years, everyone will have service that will be able to support streaming media. The price of high speed service will be widely affordable, and the sites will be able to pack on the content. I think that the points Neilsen makes in Chapter 11 are definitley valid, but I think that if someone has high hopes for a website, than multimedia needs to be present. The way we look at the Internet is changing and dial up users are going to get left in the dust.

You know I love you, but your just too slow...

Remember, that jingle for cable company promoting high speed Internet?

Chapter 11 gives the example of, which doesn't have an indicator to show how quickly the page is loading. I often used to book flights, and the indicator isn't really helpful, it looks as if it is constantly searching. This site is so slow I find myself minimizing it and working on something else...

Which sites are "worth the wait" and how long will you wait for a page to load before abort quest for more knowledge? (scandalous celebrity pictures)

Too much of a good thing is bad

Nielsen is right when he says too much multimedia and flash videos are bad. Not only can it be annoying, but it can also confuse the user, making it harder to reach his or her goal. One web site that uses just enough multimedia to attract the user and keep them interested is Because there are pictures and no moving or noisy videos, the site can get away with more. It is also good that the user has the option of clicking the link of the clip he or she wants to see, instead of having all of them going at once like some other sites. The homepage is attractive and eye catching without being busy and annoying for the user.

Too much multimedia = bad

I wish I could've come up with a snazzier title, but honestly, after reading Neilsen's sometimes simplistic, and sometimes repetitive work, that's all the creativity I can put forth.

It makes sense. Too much video/multimedia/sound/flash can be annoying. Over-doing a website, and having it muddled with flashing objects or blaring video can turn users away. I also understand him when he says that some users don't have machines that are hi-tech enough to handle running that level of multimedia. Yes, it makes sense. After the 2nd page.

I think that's the main problem I have with Neilsen. Sometimes I get it after page 5, yet continue to read through entire chapters only to re-read the same thing or have him hammer the same point over and over again. I don't feel this way about all his chapters, though. There have been some that I've found very informative and effective; however, when I do get to some of the chapters that seemingly have little to say, I just get frustrated that they are so long and provide so many examples when really the point is simple: too much multimedia = bad.