Web Technology @ CCBC

Student driven blog for all things web.

Archive for the ‘personal insights’ Category

It made me think of Edward Tufte

Posted by mashkenes on March 3, 2008

The comment boksoira made on Dorian’s post (re free XHTML and CSS templates) concerning minimalist web page design winning over fancy, flashy, confusing design made me recall some of Edward Tufte’s ideas about information design. Tufte’s perspectives on visual information have always resonated with me, perhaps because what he has to say relates to the presentation of statistical information, an area of responsibility of mine for a number of years of my professional life. I was fortunate enough to have attended a couple of his remarkable day-long seminars; more information about Tufte and his seminars can be found at his website.

While Tufte’s concerns are larger than the web, he has much to say that is very right on about web design. To paraphrase him: never harm the content — the design should be based on the content, not the other way around. He puts a lot of emphasis on making small, subtle visual distinctions in design elements and rails against what he refers to as “chart junk” – over-busy grid lines, redundant overblown representations of the simplest data, the “debris” of computer plotting and the like. It’s easy to relate his thoughts to web presentation.

Tufte developed what he refers to as sparklines – intense, simple, word-sized graphics. I’m not sure if boksoira was talking about Flash when he said “flashy”, but there are good examples of Flash being used to present large amounts of data in a simple, small yet intense manner. A great illustration of that is what looks to me to be a sparkline-inspired graphic that ESPN uses to recap the progress of basketball games. The graphic is called “game flow”. A link to the one from today’s (03/02) Tennessee -Kentucky game is here. It’s down a little ways on the right side of the page. Click on the graphic to activate it. If the link is no longer viable when you’re trying it, just look for another recent recap of a completed basketball game on ESPN.

Posted in 1, design, personal insights, webt143ewh | 1 Comment »

The Robots Exclusion Protocol

Posted by jrosero on February 24, 2008

This site has a ton of information on bots and all kinds of things that might be scanning your site.

http://www.robotstxt.org/

http://www.botsvsbrowsers.com/I know that there are options to prevent posts by unregistered members if you are the owner of a blog, but a lot of times you still get flooded with spam posts. Hopefully these sites can help those of you with your own sites who might be experiencing these annoyances.

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Is your website Handheld friendly?

Posted by jrosero on February 11, 2008

Both the PSP and the DS have the ability to connect to the internet via Wi-fi.

Nintendo DS Browser – Here is the official browser for the DS. It is a version of the Opera browser which has a bunch of features to make surfing on a handheld as painless as possible. It supports Javascript but not flash and it has limited space of course. This won’t substitute a laptop or course but it might be useful to have.

DShobro– This one hasnt been updated recently from the look of this blog, but I will have a look around to see if there has been any other recent versions. I tried this one and it managed to load pictures and text but it did not have all the features of the official browser.

OKIWI– I havent tried this one out but it seems to be more popular as an alternative to the official Opera based browser for the DS. Work on this project seems to have slowed down unfortunately

In order to use the last two which are free, you need to have a flash cart for your DS. This is basically an empty game cartridge which can use micro/mini/or regular SD cards depending on what you buy. These are used by people who want to develop games or applications for the DS but mainly they are bought for pirating the actual games.

As for the PSP, It has a built in browser which runs a bit faster than the DS. There are a ton of “portals” built in flash which can be saved on your memory card in order to quickly access web pages.

Babblr is currently my favorite. It just looks more professional than most of the other ones Ive seen. Video

I just thought it was interesting how some pages have streamlined versions for mobile devices while others don’t.

-Jose

Posted in fun stuff, personal insights | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

webt 143 CSS

Posted by miisronhm on February 9, 2008

Upon visiting css.zengarden I am impressed with the intensity of design changes that are accomplished with CSS. This site has shown me how the look and feel can really stress the overall contents in a web page.

Posted in personal insights, webt143ewh | 1 Comment »