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  • Search Bars: Sometimes Simple is Best

    Posted on January 31st, 2012 lisskane No comments

    While reading “Man-Computer Symbiosis” I was struck by the discussion of the need for a more efficient way to locate items on a computer than a serial search. I started thinking about how many times a day I use engines like google, the finder on my macbook or the command F to locate random words within pages of text. Having easy and convenient search abilities makes having a computer a hundred times more useful. I decided to search articles on searching. I came across “Designing the Holy Search Box: Examples and Best Practices” on smashingmagazine.com. I found the article interesting in that it did discuss how convenient the search bar is, but also how a simplified version of it is important. The author of the article György Fekete called a search bar not only helpful but “crucial” and even a “user’s lifeline to mastering complex websites”. If a websites content is confusing or unorganized, a user is either going to use a given search box or leave the site entirely. But he says that because the search box is so crucial, it should actually be simple and not complex. Although the technology is there to make it more advanced a simple search bar is best. Problems in search bars come in when they are hard to find or use. Or when they are connected to areas of the site, or other sites, that do not relate to what the user is looking for. (Such as a newsletter box). Fekete continues to go into do’s and dont’s of creating search bars. I never realized how much could go into a search bar or even thought about how it could stray wrong. The article was interesting and I have found that smashingmagazing.com has a lot of tech related articles that appear to be intriguing if anyone is struggling with finding them.

    http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/12/04/designing-the-holy-search-box-examples-and-best-practices/

  • A Glance at the Future

    Posted on January 25th, 2012 lisskane No comments

    As We May Think – Vannevar Bush

    I found it extremely interesting reading about future thoughts about cameras. First off, it was funny having “cameras where you could immediately see the image” be such a forward and exciting idea. I am a completely picture taking junkie and I can’t imagine not being able to look at my film right away. He mentioned it would be convenient a lot of times and I think that was an understatement. It was also interesting what he thought future cameras would be like. A walnut sized camera on your forehead that took a picture whenever you looked at something worthy of capturing. That invention has not been made, and I am not sure if it is possible, but that would be an extremely cool upgrade in the future. It would be so cool to look back at memories from the very perspective you first saw them. So many moments that are now forgotten, would be captured forever. Another interesting nugget was the piece about a future device for individual use, “which is a sort of mechanized private file and library.” It would store a person’s books, records and files in its’ large memory and would be simple to look things up with exceeding speed and flexibility. This idea, which he called “memex”, sure sounds an awfully lot like a computer. Having all of our files and records at the tip of our fingers within seconds, organized and stored away neatly, is something my generation probably takes for granite. We grew up with this organization system and can’t imagine our world without it.

  • Inclusive Interfaces

    Posted on January 23rd, 2012 lisskane No comments

    http://uxdesign.smashingmagazine.com/2012/01/12/inclusive-design/

    The article “inclusive design” by Faruk Ates, discusses the evolution of interfaces and what inclusive means in relation to interfaces.  Inclusive in the general sense means a culture of equal opportunity. In the web sense, inclusive means that anybody, despite their skill level, can get something out of and use the interface. It gave the super Mario bros as a prime example of an inclusive interface. Any skill level could use it, but advanced gamers got more out of it. Trying to make websites inclusive involves trying to choose color schemes and layout that will please the most people. This is the same for skill level required. This caused designers to have to dumb down their interface, in order to go middle of the road. This problem has tried to have been fixed by adding customization options to interfaces. This way, people with little to no skill level can use the basics and those with advanced skills can add advanced customization features. The problem with this is that a very small percentage of users ever actually use these customizations and most often stick the default settings. Steve Jobs went at the problem by adding applications that can be added and are only open when chosen to be. Applications have come with problems too though. There is still a need to improve interfaces to make them assessable to the largest population of people. Interfaces still need work until they are efficiently inclusive. This is something that will be worked on, as the next step to the evolution of interfaces. The inclusiveness is so important because people may be turned off by an interface is it is too simple or too complicated for them. As the internet continues to grow, and the percent of the population that uses the internet goes up, it will need to be assessable to more people.  Over the years developers have been coming up with better and better ways to make interfaces inclusive and further exploration and testing will need to take place in order to perfect it. The only way that we will reach this goal is by working towards and seeing which directions help and which do not.

     

     

  • #vtclis12

    Posted on January 19th, 2012 lisskane No comments

    Memex to YouTube: An Introduction to New Media Studies. Excited to start blogging for class!

  • Hello world!

    Posted on January 17th, 2012 lisskane 1 comment

    Welcome to Blogs@VT Sites. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!