I had to make this page last year in order to pass my course. My grade turned out a good first with 71%. I quiet liked blogging about things I had learnt and breaking information down for those who are new to web based topics. I am looking now though to open the blog up to anything Computing related or University related. I was wondering if there was anyone who needed help with something or give me a few topics to blog about?
I also want to used WordPress better because I think writing and adding images is a bit plain and boring. So feel free to comment and I’ll blog on the topics I know about or have researched.
In reflection this blog was done completely from lecture material and therefore could have had more of my own content into it. However it did have plenty of examples in, where other blogs may not have. I have fully understood this material and as the weeks have proceeded, which allowed me to gain an understanding of how complex the web can actually be. Although I could have been more active inside and out of the blogging community, which would help me gain a deeper understanding of the topics I have written about. It would also enable me to write more concisely and as explored written in a more scannable manner. I could have also gone into more detail on posts and the done more reading, to understand certain topics that where not as easily understood.
Over the past few weeks I have been writing about various pieces of the web. This week reading is focused on the statics and methods of how people read the web, as well as how it is different to print. When writing content for the web, people are busy and want to find the information they are looking for as quickly as possible.
Recent studies have shown that writing concisely, adding in keywords and using hyperlinks to highlight key points in a paragraph to shorten pages is the best way to keep readers attention. In addition adding sub heading also help because it allows the user to go straight to the paragraph they are interested in. In addition bullet pointed lists are also more effective than thick chunky paragraphs.
Studies have shown that:
When written more concisely, scannable and objective, they were 124% higher in measured usability.
When only one of the above were improved on a webpage, it only achieved around 27% to 58% more in usability.
When pages were rewritten they achieved 159% higher than the original webpage in usability.
(It is important to note that these studies may have issues with reliability and some studies do vary slightly in percentages, this is due to research on this topic still being in its infancy.)
Furthermore it is important to note that webpages are different to print. Print is all about catchy headlines, which are vague to interest the reader. They are also designed to story tell and entertain those viewing the story. However webpages are meant for information and users want this information as fast as possible. This is because the web is so large and is used daily to find out facts across the globe unlike television and newspapers which tell most stories locally or have an entertainment value. As a result the content of a webpage is not only important to get users to view it but also to get to the top of the search engines. This explains the importance of the job information architects have, that I have mentioned in previous weeks.
Upon reflection I really enjoyed doing this post because I really understood the topic for this weeks. I was also able to add my own content and multimedia elements. However I could improve on my sentence structures and how I writing for the blog, this could be done by writing more concisely. In addition the sources I have chosen have come from an ordinary Google search, I could use a meta search engine to improve the quality of my findings or I could use a search engine like Goggle Scholar. This would give me better quality documents, which are more credible academically. I should also because more active in the blogging community and look at other people’s posts, to gain wider knowledge each week, on each topic.
Have a look at these Youtube video’s for more information:
It is easy to be secure on the internet with the large amounts of anti- virus software available to internet users. However there is a big difference between security and safety, which many people do not think about. When being secure on the internet products, such as Norton 360 and turning on the computers firewall, can ensure that your computer and the information on it is safe from hackers and virus’. However no product can ensure safety as this is purely human behaviour.
Safety is usually how criminals get their information for example, sending a vulnerable user spam or an email posing as the bank. This tricks users into believing the bank has contacted them, due to an issue with their account. As a result the user types in all their PIN numbers and passwords which are being watched by hackers. Consequently this information is in completely the wrong hands and whole bank accounts are emptied of their money.
Moreover although new technologies, are allowing for bigger risks new advanced protections are being invented, like the AVISPA tool which checks for attacks on the input protocols. Similarly the internet can pose other risks such as addition. Currently internet addition is not a recognised illness however those with impulsive traits like gambling, do tend to experience addiction to the internet. Studies have been carried out and as the internet is growing, so are the users and in particular the gamers. For example China in 2009 increased by 28.9 percent with regards to users of the internet. (Study on Causes and Strategies of Online Game Addition among College Students, 2010) Therefore the internet may not be as safe as users think, especially as it is linked to part of the reason for the rise in obesity.
Upon reflection I really enjoyed writing this post, I understood the content really well and added some of my own content. However to improve I could be writing a little more concisely to reduce the size of the blog. In addition becoming more active in the blogging community would benefit me because it would allow me to gain feedback upon my work. This would also enable me to check my understanding and ensure all relevant points have been expressed properly.
Cites for this blog:
Adeyinka, O. 2008. Sch. of Comput. & Technol., Univ. of East London, London. pp. 77-82. Available from: doi: 10.1109/AMS.2008.68.
Armando, A., Basin, D., Boichut, Y., Chevalier, Y., Compagna, L., Cuellar, J., Drielsma, P., Heám, P., Kouchnarenko, O., Mantovani, J., Mödersheim, S., Oheimb, D., Rusinowitch, M., Santiago, J., Turuani, M., Viganò, L. and Vigneron, L. 2005. The AVISPA Tool for the Automated Validation of Internet Security Protocols and Applications. pp. 281-285. Available from: doi: 10.1007/11513988_27.
Uk.images.search.yahoo.com. 2014. Principales Antivirus. [online] Available at: http://uk.images.search.yahoo.com/images/view;_ylt=A2KLj9HydO5S5CgAQRVNBQx.;_ylu=X3oDMTIzMWhmbnZ0BHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDaW1nBG9pZAMwZGE2ZDFkODA0MDZiZWUwZGZhZmEyMGUyYmY1YTM2NARncG9zAzEzBGl0A2Jpbmc-?back=http%3A%2F%2Fuk.images.search.yahoo.com%2Fyhs%2Fsearch%3Fp%3Dantivirus%26type%3Dirmsd1202%26fr2%3Dpiv-web%26hsimp%3Dyhs-fullyhosted_003%26hspart%3Dironsource%26tab%3Dorganic%26ri%3D13&w=650&h=451&imgurl=1.bp.blogspot.com%2F-Yju-yU2OIDI%2FUKl1g3ePxcI%2FAAAAAAAAAIY%2FO9KpuwqKlBU%2Fs1600%2Fantivirus-windows7.png&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fsenavirusyantivirusinformaticos2012.blogspot.com%2F&size=178.6KB&name=Principales+%3Cb%3EAntivirus%3C%2Fb%3E&p=antivirus&oid=0da6d1d80406bee0dfafa20e2bf5a364&fr2=piv-web&fr=&tt=Principales+%3Cb%3EAntivirus%3C%2Fb%3E&b=0&ni=96&no=13&ts=&tab=organic&sigr=11o1q46u9&sigb=14hdd2q6u&sigi=12va0b257&.crumb=mwnIVsGMQ.m&type=irmsd1202&hsimp=yhs-fullyhosted_003&hspart=ironsource [Accessed: 2 Feb 2014].
Xuemei, Q. and Hua, N. 2010. Dept. of Sociology, Guangxi Univ. of Technol., Liuzhou, China. pp. 1-4. Available from: doi: 10.1109/ICMULT.2010.5630987.
There was no scheduled readings for week twelve, as there is a reading week every six weeks. As a result I used this week to complete tasks outstanding within my course subject. This week the focus is on social networking and social media and the advantages it gives to businesses. Moreover exploring the cultural differences in regards to social networking.
Social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace allow business to advertise their business more, as well as having a more active presence. These sites bridge the gap between creators and the people who use the support content. It also enables creators and business to gain rich feedback, quickly. Whereas before feedback too much longer with customer support phone calls and focused interviews. Although new policies and carefully planning, guidelines and strategies are needed because social media does not suit every product or user.
Furthermore social networking for those like Koreans have great emphasis on maintaining social support from existing social relationships. On the other hand American’s place greater emphasis and importance on gaining entertainment. American’s also use social networking sites more than Korean’s because of the difference culturally when managing and developing social relationships. Social networking sites also enables news, about natural disasters and similar events to circulate to other countries faster. This allows people to get help quicker and easier, however it can print stories that are bias because countries can lose some of the control when it is uploaded onto these sites. This is similar to business and how they advertise their products and the reason it may not be suitable for some users or products (as mentioned earlier).
Upon reflection it was very difficult to go into detail on this topic because it is closely related to other topics such as security and safety. In addition multimedia elements could have been added to improve the post, as well as interactive elements such as polls. Furthermore I could be more active in the blogging community by commenting on other students posts and adding my page to external bloggers, in order to gain more interest in my pages. Plus adding my own content would support arguments and better convey my knowledge on this topic.
Cites for this blog:
Katajisto, L. 2010. Nokia, USA. pp. 236-242. Available from: doi: 10.1109/IPCC.2010.5530019.
Palen, L., Vieweg, S., Liu, S. and Hughes, A. 2009. Crisis in a Networked World Features of Computer-Mediated Communication in the April 16, 2007, Virginia Tech Event. 27 (4), pp. 467-480. Available from: doi: 10.1177/0894439309332302.
As the web grows in size every day, there are many issues with the webpages that exist on the web. As discussed in my last blog accessibility is an issue on the web. Although the web appears to be evolving and accommodating for the less able users, it still is not as good as some experts think. This is mainly due to the issue that homepage (which is the main gateway that users gain access to a site) being inaccessible.
There has been many studies into the accessibility of websites for users with disabilities. For example changing the font size for those with visual impairments or colour change for those with colour blindness.This is due to an ageing population, that naturally gain disabilities as they get older. Many experts have studied the changes as the web evolves. However the results are shocking for some, only a small percentage of websites studied on changed within the first year, some took three years to adapt and other still had not changed over ten years. Critically it is also important to note that these studies have issues, such as small samples and may not be representative of all genres with regards to websites.
Due to this research, W3C have put in guidelines to help designers create a better accessible website. This is especially important to international websites, for example those in the travel and tourism industry. Although it is arguable that other issues play a role, instead of just disability for example language barriers/ translators and running on old and new software.
Upon reflection I understood all the information given to me and was able to add my own multimedia. However I could research into this area more to develop a deeper understanding of why certain sites have not adapted to users with disabilities. In addition adding my own material would convey my knowledge and understanding considerably more. In addition I could change some of my sentences, to improve on my sentence structure and overall writing style. As well as this I could become more active in the blogging community.
For as long as computers and technology have been evolving, the race to make the web more usable and accessible to as many people as possible has been growing rapidly. For example changing fonts to enable people with dyslexia to use the web, to changing networks from dial up to fibre optic enabling the web to be accessed quickly. Companies all over the world are constantly developing new applications and software to aid the web in being more usable and accessible.
The usability of the web is focused on user experience and how you can measure that experience. In contrast the web accessibility concerns the tools available. However the Human Computer Interface (HCI) of the web is also very important when making making the web more usable and accessible. HCI is related to many different subject area’s such as architecture, psychology and graphics. HCI enables the distance between what humans want and what the computer can understand, as minimal as possible. (Remember the computer is only as clever as the person using it!)
The studies into HCI can be varied, for example The Principles of Universal Designs. These are the guidelines that help people create better HCI. These can include how flexible it is in use, perceptible information, tolerance of error and low physical effort. however these are not always followed and can conflict each other all the time. In addition studies into how accessible and usable the web is, are carried out regularly using questionnaires, experiments ans interviews. For example one study consisted of two groups of people, those trained to search the web and those not. They were both asked to carry out simple tasks and more complex tasks. the simple task only needed one resource to provide the answer, however the more complex needed two or more resources and the study of their relationship to find the answers. This enabled information to be gained on HCI and possible developments, however these studies can be criticised, in relation to reliability. Although accessibility is mostly important as it needs to be used by all due to laws such as DDA (1995) and SEDNA (2001).
Upon reflection I could have added some multimedia and some of my own material. This would have widened as well as, deepen my knowledge. In addition if I had more time I could go over the blog and improve sentence structure and add more key terms to make my blog even more focused upon the topic discussed.
Cites for this Blog:
Fang, X. and Holsapple, C. 2011. Impacts of navigation structure, task complexity, and users’ domain knowledge on Web site usability—an empirical study. 13 (4), pp. 453-469. Available from: doi: 10.1007/s10796-010-9227-3.
Nielsen, J. and Faber, J. 1996. Improving system usability through parallel design. 29 (2), pp. 29-35. Available from: doi: 10.1109/2.485844.
Nielson, J. 1997. Learning From The Real World. 14 (4), pp. 98-99. Available from: doi: 10.1109/MS.1997.595966.
Designers often use prototypes as a way of saving money when it comes to designing a website for a client. The prototype allows the client to view where each element will appear on the page and what it does. In addition all hyper-links can be clicked on and it will take the client to the page the link has been allocated. This allows clients to iron out any mistakes or design issues before the website is made. The earlier the issue is spotted the more costs are saved, not only in money but also in time and effort.
Low fidelity prototypes can be produce by pencil and paper or by a computer and a piece of software. This then leaves the people to think that low fidelity prototypes are the best option. Simply because it saves a lot of time, money, effort and the problem can be spotted sooner. However high fidelity prototypes give the client an idea of exactly how the website will look and interact with users. High fidelity prototypes are only ever made by a computer and software. This is because it is the only way, the client may view how the links navigate to different pages. Due to these reasons high fidelity prototypes are produced, because of this is seen as more professional.
As a result low fidelity prototypes are needed to produce quick designs to convey to the client an understanding of their requirements has been met. Also the designer is not limited by the software of a computer, if the designer does not know how to fully use it, because with pencil and paper there are no limitations. Not only this, it allows designers to have a solid foundation on which they can build higher fidelity prototypes. Moreover high fidelity prototypes are needed to convey a more professional approach of the design phase. Also most importantly, convey to the client exactly what will be implemented as the final product, now that all the improvements from previous prototypes have been made. As well as being able to carry out remote testing on the website, to highlight any outstanding or major issues. For example images not being shown, due to a file path being incorrect or new filters blocking the path.
Upon reflection I feel this week I have been able to really connect with the material and understand the information being given to me. However to improve I feel I need to add my own material and use it to support my writing. In addition I should also be trying to actively participate within the blogging community. Also I feel I could make my blogs more concise and integrate more specialist terminology.
Still, B. and Morris, J. 2010. The Blank-Page Technique: Reinvigorating Paper Prototyping in Usability Testing. Professional Communication, IEEE Transactions on, 53 (2), pp. 144-157. Available from: doi: 10.1109/TPC.2010.2046100 [Accessed: 6 Dec 2013].
Walker, M., Takayama, L. and Landay, J. 2013. High-Fidelity or Low-Fidelity, Paper or Computer? Choosing Attributes when Testing Web Prototypes. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, 46 (5), pp. 661-665. Available from: doi: 10.1177/154193120204600513 [Accessed: 6 Dec 2013].
Information architecture has only evolved over the past few years, therefore currently it has a wide variety of disciplines but very shallow understanding of agreed scope and aim. Generally it is the way in which information is structured on a website. Information architecture can be viewed as both science and art, as well as providing order and method to information to ensure people’s needs are met. It seems to be the point at which people who need information, context of use, and actual content and applications cross.
There are two different methods that information architects usually use. The first is the bottom-up method, which begins with the actual content and applications. In contrast top-down method starts with content of use and the people who need information. There are various other methods, because information architects comes from many different backgrounds. However these methods are the ones that are most commonly used. For example information architects may come from the background of cognitive psychology, library science and journalism. This is supported by Robertson, Hewlett, Harvey and Edwards (2003) that suggested information architects require a broad range of skills including research, focused designing, evaluation, coordinating internal and external stakeholders, and management.
When designing a website the information architects, may use a whole range of site structures. These structures may include linear, hierarchical, organic or hub and spoke. Each of these has its own pros and cons of using the structure, therefore the information architect must select one suitable for the task. For example linear only allows the user to go one way through the site. Consequently this would not be suitable for a website with the aim of providing many different recipes. The user would have to make a fresh search every time and it would become uncomfortable for the user. However it would be suitable when making an online payment, so ensure the user follows the procedure from the basket to entering their bank details. It is also important to note, as Fu-Tien Chiou suggests, that information architecture is most effective when the information system created has an attractive interface. This usually applies to most websites, especially commercial sites.
Upon reflection this week I feel I did well to support my points. However I do feel I need to read up on information architecture even more, to ensure I have a solid foundation of knowledge for this particular subject. I also need to go and find out how to locate the resource that is currently unavailable to me, as this may have helped deepen my knowledge of understanding, with regards to information architecture. Moreover doing more research will also allow me to challenge certain views and add my research into the reading material given to me.
Burford, S. 2011. Complexity and the practice of web information architecture. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 62 (10), pp. 2024-2037. Available from: doi: 10.1002/asi.21582 [Accessed: 30 Nov 2013].
Green, G. 2013. Information Architecture. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, 45 (6), pp. 595-598. Available from: doi: 10.1177/154193120104500604 [Accessed: 30 Nov 2013].
This week there is only one reading because this week in lecture we are required to look at how CSS work with HTML. In addition students are required to actually create style sheets and start redefining tags and ID’s with style sheets, as well as getting used to Dreamweaver software.
As mentioned before CSS is focused on the presentation of the content and not actually the content its self (which is HTML). When elements are added, each one produces a box, which is what is meant by the box model. This rectangular box consists on margin area, outer edge, border, inner edge, padding area and a content area. The size of this box is determined when the user enters the width and height of this box. However some properties behave differently depending on whether the element is block or inline.
These boxes can be styled by changing the borders to how the user wishes, for example the borders can be dashed or different colours. The thickness of the borders can also be changed and margins can also be changed. For examples margins can be collapsed (when the space around and between elements may behave unpredictably.) or set to specific measurements, in regards to height and width. In addition there can also be negative margins, which causes the box element to move in the opposite direction of the positive border value.
Furthermore these boxes containing the elements can be floated and cleared. Floating for example may allow an image to be applied near some text. Floating enables the user to move, in this case, the image to as far left within the box as possible. It may also be necessary to add a margin to separate the two elements. Clearing however, is applied to elements after the floating. This tell the browsers that items with ‘clear’ on, after to come after the floated elements and not get mixed up with the floated elements. As well as this elements can be positioned absolutely, static, relatively or fixed. This will affect how elements appear, where they will be positions and if they are in the normal flow or not.
Page layout strategies also effect the box model. There is no way of knowing what the resolution monitor the webpage will be viewed on or even the size of the web page. As a result to ensure the webpage does not look uncomfortable, there are layouts such as liquid page design, elastic and fixed. There is no right or wrong layout, it is completely up to the designer. Although it is important to note that each have their own draw backs. For example elastic layouts are consistent with layout experiences, while able to allow text size to be flexible. On the other hand images do not automatically rescale, to be in proportion with the text and layout.
Upon reflection this week I feel I am able to offer a lot more depth to computing as a subject and have started to use key terminology more often. However I feel I need to support articles or challenge articles with my own research, this will give me a much deeper understanding, as well as breath of knowledge. I also need to develop further the skill of skim reading, so that reading time is shorter but I am still able to gather the key points correctly. In addition I need to add more multimedia elements to the blogs.
Cites for this week’s blog:
Niederst Robbins, J. 2007. Learning web design. 4th ed. Beijing: O’Reilly.