I. ΚΑΛΑΘΟΣΦΑΙΡΙΣΗ – The Home For Tricksters

Wow, blog III, BLOG III…. That’s the last blog entry that I’ll ever upload. Here, take this box of tissues, you’ll need it when it’s time to depart from this ever so welcoming page. It feels like home now doesn’t it, that’s okay, you can always come back and read me again.

Okay, for this entry, I had to think very hard about the topic I wanted to target. I’d sincerely like to thank Jordan Gardiner for writing along the same topic that I was hoping to direct my website at. It’s a good post man, if you’re interested in reading it, clicking his name will take you there.

Site Idea

Now, onto my content, I’ve decided that I will be making a website called “ΚΑΛΑΘΟΣΦΑΙΡΙΣΗ”, (pronounced: Kala-tho-sfe-ree-see), which is the word ‘Basketball’ in Greek. It’s a website about basketball, aiming at engaging people of all ages to learn different tricks and skills that could even impress Curley Boo Johnson.

The basic idea for this website will be to present different videos which will demonstrate the trick, then a breakdown of how to perform that trick. Below the video, there will be a description which will specify different features of the trick, from ball handling, to the right type of ball to use. In order to keep my audience on the website, I will link other relevant tricks to the page, so that once they learn one, they can learn others which have the same basic fundamentals. In order to prevent people from thinking the tricks are impossible, I will have a grading system, starting at beginner, then progressing onto intermediate and finally landing on advanced. It’s a simple website with a simple idea: Teach people to play some mean ball with the use of videos, supported with images and some content. Manute

Typically, basketballers are known and admired for their height and build, as they are more privileged than the shorter athletes. Though, technically speaking, basketball doesn’t necessarily require height in order to be a powerful and valued team player. Shorter players can gain more benefits by learning speed and dribbling skills, as it can build up their confidence and self-esteem, thus granting them the Point Guard position. The PG is known as the “ball handler”, he’s responsible for dribbling the ball up the court and organizing the team throughout the offensive play to ensure that the right player gets the ball at the right time. As you can imagine, without these skilled players, basketball would be a tennis match, with different players running the ball back and forth, shooting at the hoop without any proper offensive form.

Since everyone has a different level of understanding for basketball, I will make the beginner videos much more in depth, specifying hand placement, stance and left/right variations. As the videos progress in difficulty, the level of description in the demonstration of the trick will slowly diminish, resulting in a more detailed written description as opposed to a 15 minute video describing skills which are explained in the more basic videos. The reason this will happen is due to the fact that viewers should start on the basic videos first and then continue on to the more advanced tricks. If an individual starts on the advanced or intermediate tricks, they are assumed to have the basic knowledge which is specified in the beginner tricks.

Hypothetically speaking, the beginner is able to watch advanced videos and start learning the tricks with great difficulty, or they could take the more logical path and start with the basic tutorials. Therefore, this website won’t have a herding effect, where it limits a beginner only to the very simple videos, as it’s essentially useless in doing so since it’s almost guaranteed to lose users. It’s a website with a great sense of freedom, allowing any user to access any feature regardless of their level of skill.

Since basketball is played by both males and females, there is no gender specific content, as basketball doesn’t discriminate between the sexes. The rules used in the WNBA as opposed to the NBA have several differences, though these don’t affect the skills which can be learnt by a female or male. When considering how the rules are different for kids and adults, there are a few notable changes, these include ball size, basket height and foul history. To attend to these factors, there will be a written description in each video, addressing the changes between each age group.

The target audience is assumed to be very broad, therefore, it is wise to include pointers for each video. For example, if I upload a video of me teaching the viewer’s how to spin the ball on their finger, I will have a slight introduction explaining how to spin the ball properly in order to maintain the most optimal spin without having to constantly hit the ball every 10 rotations. I will also include other minor pointers that several advanced players may not need to see. Therefore, there will be an option to skip these factors, allowing the user to watch beginner videos without having to waste their time watching a short tutorial teaching skills that they already know how to perform.

Target Audience

Since it’s a basketball themed website, I don’t want to make a statement that it’s going to be primarily targeted at males, since well you know, women play sport too, I mean take the WNBA for example. Therefore, this website will target kids, teenagers, adults and any older adults which could be coaches or old timers with basketball. It’s a very broad spectrum, but it’s true, essentially, there is no age limit for basketball, so long as you’re determined to learn and expand your knowledge. Therefore, with all this explained, here is the basic target audience breakdown:

  • Any individual that is currently breathing and has blood flowing through their veins
  • People who know what basketball is
    • Anybody who is interested in excelling their current level of basketball skill
    • Kids that just learnt how to dribble a basketball
    • Adults that are returning to the sport after several years
    • Passionate experienced players that may want to see how they rank as a baller
    • Any fans of basketball or general sport fans
    • Coaches that want to teach their team a new recreational skill
    • Anybody that wants to show off to the opposite sex to score a hot date

It’s pretty simple, this website can be used by pretty much anyone. Even internet trolls can find a use to this website, as they can use it to make the owner feel bad or claim that they’re not adequately skilled to teach other people. As for the demographics of the specified Target Audience, there are no unique characteristics, since basketball is relevant to a wide variety of individuals.

Here is a list of clarifications of the demographics:

Gender: Male & Female
Age: 5-65 years of age
Ethnicity: There’s no discrimination in the website, so anyone of any background can view the website
Location: Anywhere, so long as basketball is accessible to them
Language: Primarily English, though anyone can view the videos and understand to some extent
Disabilities: Some assistance may be required depending on the category of disability, though a vast majority of the tricks can be successfully learnt. The content of the website is suitable for disabled individuals
Education: Simple knowledge of how to use a computer is required, as well as basic understanding of the English language. Other than this, the user will learn anything they need to know about basketball through the website and its content.

The Socio-economic take on this website varies depending on the content the user will view. Since the website doesn’t have any form of eCommerce, there is no factor of buying online through the server. Though there is a dedicated set of pages which specify the best product for your money and which products should be avoided. These pages will be in favour of the user, aiming at providing them with a high quality product which will last for the longest duration possible.

Therefore, the user can be of lower class, as they can read the content and only purchase a few of the products which are featured. Many of the users are expected to be of lower or middle class, since higher class users are assumed to have paid for highly qualified coaches.

Geographically, individuals that live in a city or in the suburbs are more likely to browse this website, since they have more access to the internet. People situated in rural locations won’t be expected to use the internet to expand their knowledge of basketball, since most people are situated in low density areas due to work commitments.

Socially, any type of person can view this website, though stereotypically, jocks, coaches, sports fanatics and students would be the typical viewers. White collar and blue collar workers could also view this website, though most possibly not as often as the stated individuals. These hypothesize are made with the average working day in mind, since the majority of workers return home tired and ready to sleep for the next day of work, leaving the weekend to leisure activities and relaxation.

Site Map

By reviewing several sporting websites, it’s quite difficult to establish a powerful yet meaningful theme that will effectively engage the viewer. There seems to be no set way of laying out the information when regarding the standard layout used throughout sporting websites, since each site used a different theme or color in order to match their logo. With the use of Google, I was able to browse several basketball websites, thus guiding me in making several design decisions, as I could compare each website and judge which one seemed the most appealing.

Honestly speaking, I have to admit that I didn’t like either of the sites I was lead to, they all seemed very…. Plain and boring. I know basketball isn’t the type of thing you can learn how to play on the internet, though the guidance you can find deep within each electronic page, could indeed help you from being a bball freshman, to shooting hoops like a hood rat. Still, the creators of each site seemed to find the most basic layout possible, then bombard it with their content, hoping to keep the user interested in the information and not the fact that they haven’t updated the site since the 1990’s.

Therefore, I determined that these websites indeed are of no help to me, though I will still present them in this blog post, just so that you, the reader, will understand what resources I had to work with.

http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/  BadScreen1

BadScreen2  http://www.coachesclipboard.net/

As you can see, neither of these websites are useful when considering the design approach. Though thank Christ that the internet is now an accessible form of research and as a matter of fact, there is a lot of interestingly diverse ideas that are present within the interwebs.

Therefore, with a bit of extra research, I found some great ideas thanks to these websites:

http://howto.wired.com/wiki/Main_Page  GoodScreen2

GoodScreen1  http://www.wikihow.com/Main-Page

Though both of these websites aren’t directly specific to any sport, they provide many different how-to videos, which may include basketball tricks. Each website uses an effective layout, with most of the attention focused on the content, they provide limited options in the menu bar. This simple idea, of having the content as the main navigation around the website really catches my eye and will make the website easy to use for any fresh users that aren’t too sure how to use a website.

As for the color scheme which will be used, the example websites which I have included, don’t seem to have any form of dominance when it comes to the color when regarding the layout. With the help of a few design websites, I was able to decide that the most effective color scheme for me, would be a combination of green, black and white. ColorsForSchemeGreen resembles life and health, white displays youth and freshness and black resembles power, among other aspects too, each color will contribute to encouraging the user to become active and determined to learn different skills.

ColorScheme

Blue Prints

BlueprintThis is the blue print diagram for ΚΑΛΑΘΟΣΦΑΙΡΙΣΗ, it displays the flow of navigation any viewer would use in order to use the website. From the homepage, users are able to view certain predefined content which is either the newest or most popular tricks. From there, the user can search for a word which is used throughout the website, view company information, select certain content to read (such as skills, tricks or information) or use the forum to talk anonymously to other users and discuss basketball in general or any tricks on the website.

To distinguish between which skill level the user has, when they attempt to view the tricks page, they will be prompted to select the level of difficulty (ranging from beginner to intermediate and advanced). Though they can simply choose a type of trick (such as dribbling, shooting, etc.), once they have moved onto the list of the specified type of trick, they can organize them by level of difficulty. By examining the blue print image, it’s understandable that the website appears to be in a hierarchical format, with the homepage being the link to each major page.

The website also contains a global navigation bar, Menuallowing users to jump back and forth through the content. Though the navigation bar contains most of the links throughout the website, the home page will contain a direct link to the more popular areas. For example, a user can select the most popular trick from the home page, allowing them immediate access without having to navigate through the website.

Wireframes

I’ve included several wireframes for ΚΑΛΑΘΟΣΦΑΙΡΙΣΗ to allow any reader to have a brief understanding of what the website will offer. The wireframes were created using the website: http://moqups.com, which is a simple drag and drop canvas. The pages which have been created are the: Homepage, main Tricks page, Advance Trick, Skills – Free Throw and a sample of the drop down menu.

Home Page

Home

Main Tricks Page

TrickDifficulty

Skills Page

Free Throw

Advanced Trick

AdvTrick

Drop Down Menu

DropMenu

Controlled Vocabulary

Since the website features a search function, it’s only logical to provide a vocabulary and metadata matrix. Could you imagine having to search for a term in a website as large as Wikipedia? Now imagine having to search for the word “Benson”, but here’s the catch, Wikipedia will only display pages which literally contain the word Benson, not other linking words, such as Golliwog, Golliwogg, Golly Doll or Golly. That’s both inconvenient and annoying, since you’ll have to do extra research just to find a page which is loosely related to Mr Benson.

Since not every user is assumed to have English as their first language, it’s nature to allow other words to relate to one primary word. For example, Hard or Challenging could relate to Advanced, as can easy, simple and basic relate to Beginner.

Therefore, here is my list of Controlled Vocabulary:

Accepted Term Variant Terms
Beginner Easy, Simple, Basic, Novice
Intermediate Medium, Moderate, Average
Advanced Hard, Challenging
Dribbling Handling, Bouncing
Passing Throwing
Skills Drills, Exercise

This is the Metadata Matrix list that comprehends with the website ΚΑΛΑΘΟΣΦΑΙΡΙΣΗ.

Vocabulary Description Examples Maintenance
Instruction Format Format that instructions will be presented in Dot points, paragraphs, videos, images Moderate
Difficulty Grading Deciding appropriate grade for new tricks Switch ball spin, switch hand ball spin Difficult
Pointers Inserting video pointers Writing when the trick starts and the skills are presented within a   video Moderate
Skill/Trick Category Determining which category the skill or trick belongs to Shooting, passing, defence, offense, dribbling Easy
Skills Required Determining which skills are required for a trick Behind the back dribbling, layup, crossovers, v-dribble Easy
Trick Names Name of the trick Reverse cross overs Moderate

Did you like this blog post? If so, click here to view the entry of another student who also used basketball as their theme for Blog III.

III. How to: Navigate and Label

For this blog entry I will be assessing the website for the National Basketball Association (http://nba.com). Before we dive in, let me clarify just how popular the NBA universe is by presenting these statistics:NBA1

  • Facebook likes – 17 million
  • Twitter – 7.9 million followers
  • Google Plus – 2.4 million

By now you should understand that it isn’t an unknown, low-key competition. It’s the envy of every college baller and WNBA star around the world; even street ballers wish they could play a game against an NBA star. Therefore, let’s continue onto the more important content of this blog.

Label Destination’s Heading Label Destination’s <title> label
Tickets NBATICKETS.com NBA.com: Tickets
Teams TEAMS NBA.com Team   Index
Scores &   Schedules Scores &   Schedule Scores and Schedules | NBA.com
News NBA NEWS News | NBA.com
Blogs (Main topic title   = heading label) Hang Time Blog | NBA.com
Video Tabbed options: Latest Highlights Top Plays Video By Category (Title of   Featured Video) – NBA GAME TIME
Players PLAYERS Players | NBA.com
Standings STANDINGS NBA.com – 2012-2013   Conference Regular Season Standings
Stats Home NBA Stats – Home
Mobile NBA GAME TIME NBA GAME TIME   Mobile Application
TV NBA TV NBA.com – NBA TV
League Pass NBA LEAGUE PASS Subscription –   NBA GAME TIME
Fantasy FANTASY CENTRAL Fantasy | NBA.com

For a first time viewer, the website seems good, consistent layout and colors, relevant content and an effective use of media. One thing this website does very well, is the fact that it draws the user in, making them forget what they came for. They use the whole page to display advertisements, important content and a lot of media. I have to admit though, they kill it when they try to draw the user into the main story, it’s the first thing anyone notices. The way they display the main image in the centre of the page, with bold white letters stating a short title of interest, it’s absolute overkill.

Though with every website there’s always a few negatives, and I just want to admit I was naïve to them before I started this blog. By reading the table above, you can identify that there is a level of inconsistency with the titles, they either appear as: <title> | NBA.com, or <title> – NBA <source>. From my point of view, I think having <title> | NBA.com is much easier to read and just looks better in general. Another form of inconsistency is in the headings, some labels are written entirely in capitals, while others appear in the standard method (Capitalized first letter [can we call this proper case]). There was one case where the heading differs from the link, this was present in the ‘Scores & Schedules’ page, once the link has been opened, the title is ‘Scores & Schedule’.

With the amount of money the NBA universe makes, they should invest in a few Information Architects in order to fix up the consistency of their website. I understand that 90% of viewers don’t notice these minor errors, though any website with a professional approach should present its information the way the viewer expects, professionally.

Once I reviewed the webpage, I re-wrote the table to present how the labels should be presented.

Label Destination’s Heading Label Destination’s <title> label
Tickets Tickets Tickets | NBA.com
Teams Teams Team Index |   NBA.com
Scores &   Schedules Scores &   Schedules Scores and Schedules | NBA.com
News News News | NBA.com
Blogs Blog – Presented by   NBA.com Hang Time Blog | NBA.com
Videos Videos: (With   these options) Latest Highlights Top Plays Video By Category Featured Videos |   NBA.com
Players Players Players | NBA.com
Standings Standings Season Standings   | NBA.com
Stats Statistics: (With   these options) Player Team Conference Playoffs Game Statistics |   NBA.com
Mobile GAME TIME App NBA Mobile |   NBA.com
TV NBA TV NBA TV | NBA.com
League Pass NBA League Pass League Pass |   NBA.com
Fantasy Fantasy Central Fantasy | NBA.com

I don’t know if it’s just me, but whenever I read something online that’s ALL IN CAPITAL LETTERS, I THINK SOMEONE’S YELLING AT ME. DO YOU UNDERSTAND PRIVATE, OR DO YOU WANT ME TO SPELL IT OUT TO YOU? See, I’m sure you’re thinking “Will S2799303 jump through my window and make me do push-ups?” Go close the shutters, just to be extra safe, you never know when a wild S2799303 might strike.

Therefore, I have changed the labels from all capital letters, to the more understandable proper case. Though I gave one exception, for the Mobile page, as when you download the application, the actual name of it is GAME TIME. From having different titles, I changed the two formats into one, now the user can tell what page they’re viewing and the website they’re on.

One thing I must admit that I like a lot about the NBA website, is the fact that they’ve managed to maintain the same style across all pages, including font, layout and their use of media. Their sponsors are displayed in the same areas across each page, making it easier for the user to distinguish the advertisements from the content. The consistency in the layout keeps the users from thinking they’ve strayed onto a different site, though this usually happens more often with users that are inexperienced with the internet. Even though this doesn’t sound very impressive, it allows the user to navigate around the website much easier than if the layout was to change for every second page.

The colors that are used are effective in many different ways:

  1. They are relevant to the NBA logo
  2. They allow the main focus to be on the content, rather than the different colors in the background
  3. Easy on the eyes, making it acceptable for users of all age
  4. Gives the website a professional look
  5. The colors in the banner attract the viewer’s eye

In regards to the approach the website takes on the diverse range of the expected audience, specifically in age, it can do with a few changes when considering not every viewer has good eyesight. The font can appear small in different areas of the web pages, specifically in the points of interest; main headlines, video descriptions, game statistics and sub stories.

The other two websites I will present to you are also American based sports, I sincerely apologize if you’re anti-‘Murican. So, are you ready? I present to you, the home page of the National Hockey League, as well the Major League Baseballs’ page.

First, let’s talk about the NHL page and let me note, I prefer the NHL over the MLB, just so you understand why this review may become slightly biased. I will start this discussion by stating a feature which I wish the NBA would use, though it is very simple and quite plain, I find it attracts my eye every time I’m browsing the website. The top banner contains different options, from selecting a different language to browsing the most recent games (live, future or past). By NHLbrowsing this banner, you will notice there is a 30px tall strip that contains all the team logos, by passing your mouse over each logo, your cursor will almost seem to give life to each team. I can’t specify just how much I enjoy using this feature, it’s nothing fancy, but it gives me a thrill every time I see my team logo lighting up. Here’s the URL: http://nhl.com, go try it out and tell me what you think, do you get the same ecstatic feeling that I get? Does it get your heart racing as if you’re sitting in the front row watching San Jose play Anaheim at a home match in Cali?

MLBOn to the question, ‘How similar are the labelling systems?’ In order to judge this fairly, both website will need to be accessible for viewing. Here’s the MLB screen shot and URL: http://mlb.com

As it can be observed, both websites, if not all three, are relatively similar. By browsing through one of the websites, it’s quite easy to navigate through the other two as each label is almost identical, with a difference in their placement. The main difference between each website is the content and diverse media attraction, obviously. Though, even by visiting each website once, it’s quite noticeable just how comparable the different sports are.

By referring to the three home page pictures I’ve attached to this post (clicking each one with the left mouse key will open them in different tabs), you can see that even the menus are the same, with a variation in title placements. To go even further, I’ve included a picture of all three websites with their ‘Standings’ page opened, allowing you, the reader, to witness just how similar the labelling is.

Standings

Even though this is only one example of the labelling, any user can identify that the other pages will be similar, if not identical, as they can refer to the main menu of each page and see that the titles have the same format. Therefore, to conclude this post, a winner must be elected, since all three websites were very similar, I will have to include user experience in my judgement. College FontUnfortunately for all you ‘hard baller’ fans, I’m going to have to give the ‘puckered up’ fans the glory for this one. The NHL website uses it’s content well, even though I find the College Font that the MLB website uses a very suitable addition, the hockey team banner is most definitely the factor that tipped me over to the colder side.

tl;dr – The first webpage I evaluated was the NBA site, there I found that most of their labels and headings don’t match. I suggested a method which made it easier to read the titles, as well as more suitable in order to maintain the same level of consistency throughout the website.

I then compared the NHL and MLB websites to discover they use roughly the same format for labelling, navigation and layout as the NBA website. Labelling was completed much the same between each website. Therefore, in order to accurately state the best of the three websites, I was required to include usability to the judgement. I concluded with the NHL website taking the crown, as it displayed a level of user friendliness that the other American Sporting websites didn’t include.

What do you think? Agree or disagree, let me know:

II. How to: Alphabetical Ordering

Good day/night to everyone across this extraordinary world. In the second entry to the second blog, we will discover how S2799303 would order the list below. I am interested to see if other people agree or disagree with me, so please, feel free to write your own response in the comment space provided below this post. I’m always intrigued by the insight of others. With that out of the way, feel free to read on.

Arrange the following list in alphabetical order, then answer the questions below:

  • El Paso, Texas
  • Saint Nicholas, Belgium
  • The Lord of the Rings
  • Newark, New Jersey
  • XVIIme siècle
  • .38 Special
  • St. Louis, Missouri
  • New York, New York
  • 1001 Arabian Nights
  • The 1-2-3 of Magic
  • Albany, New York
  • #!%&: Creating Comic Books
  • The Hague, Netherlands
  • $35 a Day Through Europe
  • H20: The Beauty of Water
  • Plzen, Czech Republic

Here is how I organized this list using different methods which are explained in the questions below.

  • #!%&: Creating Comic Books
  • $35 a Day Through Europe
  • .38 Special
  • The 1-2-3 of Magic
  • XVIIme siècle
  • 1001 Arabian Nights
  • Albany, New York
  • El Paso, Texas
  • H20: The Beauty of Water
  • The Lord of the Rings
  • New York, New York
  • Newark, New Jersey
  • Plzen, Czech Republic
  • Saint Nicholas, Belgium
  • St. Louis, Missouri
  • The Hague, Netherlands

Did you put The Hague under T or H? Under ‘T’, since it’s a location, you don’t disregard the title, be it ‘A’ or ‘The’

Did you put El Paso under E or P? I ordered it under ‘E’, since again, it’s a location and it’s improper to cut out half of the title.

Which came first in your list, Newark or New York? New York, as a space between characters is counted as part of the name. The order of precedence is ‘Space’, ‘A’-‘Z’

Does St. Louis come before or after Saint Nicholas? St. Louis comes after Saint Nicholas, as both are locations. When addressing a location formally, the name of the area must remain as it was named, without any form of abbreviation.

How did you handle numbers, punctuation, and special characters?

ascii-codes-tableI ordered the punctuation and characters the same way ASCII is ordered, as this is the same format a computer uses when ordering characters. The numbers were ordered in ascending order, as it’s most logical to the reader.

Assuming the italicised terms are book titles, what might be a more useful way to organise this list? An ideal way would be to make two lists, one which specifies locations and another which includes all the media.

If the cities represent places you’ve visited and the book titles are ones you’ve read, how could chronology be used to order the list in a more meaningful way? Again, it would be much more effective to separate the list into two different categories, one that specifies “Places I’ve been” and the other which documents “Books I’ve read”. If the user wants to maintain one list, they can order them alphabetically by areas they visited and books they read at each area or order by date when each activity was completed. For instance, if ‘The Life and Times of Benson’ was read in Austin, Texas, the user would write:

  • Austin, Texas
  • The Life and Times of Benson

Though, if ‘The Life and Times of Benson’ wasn’t read in Austin, Texas but rather, after the individual returned from Austin, they will maintain the same order. In order to effectively remember when the books were read, the user can write the city next to the book, to make it clear that they read the book in the city they visited.

Example:

  • Austin, Texas
  • The Life and Times of Benson (Austin, TX)

I. Information Architecture

Good job everyone, we have managed to complete the first collection of blog entries successfully. Now we must explore the second set of blog entries, in this submission, we must venture into the world of the Information Architect and identify their role in the development of a web site.

I must begin by clarifying the definition of a word that I know a lot of people have trouble with, the word: Architect, or Architecture. What do you think of when you read Architecture? Do you think about houses and structures? Or if you have IT knowledge, do you think about the architecture of a CPU or the analysis of an information system? Architect BensonWhichever option you choose, I’m glad to say that you’re on the right track, as architecture can be defined as “the structure or design of anything”, thank-you dictionary.reference.com for that quote. Therefore, to simplify this in relevance to the main question, architecture is essentially the breaking down of any system in IT, for example, breaking down your computer set up (including the software and peripherals). Simple isn’t it? Now that we’ve discussed this topic of confusion, let’s explore the part that the Information Architect plays.

An Information Architect is responsible for the usability of a website; more specifically, the navigation and content. In order to understand this better, I’ve included three URLs, each of which displays a different level of user friendliness.

http://heaven.internetarchaeology.org/ -> Where can you navigate to from this page?

http://www.bombshellmanual.com/bombshell.swf -> What’s the purpose of this website?

http://www.arngren.net/ -> What features would turn you away from this website?

Once any one of these webpages have been viewed, any reader can easily understand why I’ve included them in this blog entry. There’s something each of these websites have in common, and that’s bad usability, which will result in a horrible user experience. One major setback of poor usability is the fact that users won’t be willing to return to the page, causing a loss in traffic and a limited amount of loyal viewers.

After doing a bit of research, I discovered that the Consumer Content Chartmajority of the time the advertisements cause viewers to lose interest in the websites they’re browsing. Furthermore, if the advertisements aren’t relevant to the viewer, they have no problem with leaving the site. By referring to the chart to the right, you can identify the other factors which cause disinterest are the standard privacy insecurities, which we have already discussed in Blog I, Entry: III and IV.

Which factor makes you close a webpage faster?

Information Architecture has been used to some extent on most of the webpages available throughout the internet. The act of grouping relevant images or arranging the content in a certain manner is classified as Information Architecture. Therefore, the role of an Information Architect is to organize content into relevant, logical topics that help the user understand the flow of information and their next options regarding navigation. Though this sounds like a lot of front end work, an architect could also be expected to adjust back-end coding and helping to make the code easier to read. This helps the development team when it comes down to testing, as errors are much easier to identify when the code has been organized and formatted to support the separation of brackets.

UndefinedPoor Coding (limited IA)  DefinedGood Coding (proper IA)

tl;drWhat role does an Information Architect play in the development of a web site?

An Information Architect is required to ensure the content and media are relevant to one another. This will assist in usability and ensure that the viewers stay on the website for longer. Though content is one part, architects also adjust the navigation throughout the website, as it’s equally as important to aid in traffic and loyal users.

They are responsible for:

  • Creating a clear pathway between links
  • Categorize or organize relevant content
  • Formatting any coding to assist with readability and reusability
  • Displaying media that’s relevant to the content and bound to attract the viewers interest

IV. Web 3.0 Technologies

Welcome to the final instalment of the first Blog. Are you excited as always? Good, good, even if you’re not, go play basketball and come back when you’ve shot a few hoops. In this entry, we will discover the future for the web and all the wonderful things that could take place. Now children, open your books to page 62 and let’s start from the first paragraph. Great, when you’ve finished reading that paragraph, please return to this page and witness your mind imploding from all the information I shall present.

For anyone out there in the living world that didn’t know that we are currently using Web 2.0, well, now you know. The interwebs started in Web 1.0, obviously, though I can see a few raised hands that are asking me “What is Web 1.0?!?!”My young, naïve readers, Web 1.0 is the typical webpage you’ll see and most definitely scrunch your nose as if a foul odour just entered your nostrils. It’s the page that hasn’t quite evolved yet, the one with static pages, still using tables to format everything and it even has those grey buttons that bring back memories from when you were a kid using Windows 98. Here, I’ll shower you with wonderful childhood memories:
http://www.pacificgrandprix.com/
http://www.rdrop.com/
http://www.arngren.net/ – Warning this website may contain adult gifs, don’t blame me if you cry yourself to sleep tonight.

As it can be seen, these websites use such an old approach in their design, that the user would most definitely think they are back in the 90’s going to play on the computer (Which back in those days meant going on paint and failing at minesweeper).

Now that you have an idea of what Web 1.0 is, let’s explore Web 2.0, the slight change that most websites use now-a-days. Though nothing changed from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 in technical aspects, the web page designers simply changed the way they used HTML. Rather than using tables to create the layout, they discovered divs and padding placeholders. Not only did the design change, but so did the user experience, websites now supported storing data online, rather than retrieving data. A very good example of Web 2.0 technology, is Facebook. It allows users to create accounts, communicate through different means to one-another or even to a wide range of people, they can also upload different types of data (videos, different formats of images) of which they can tag other users. Here are some examples of Web 2.0:
http://youtube.com/
http://wikipedia.com
http://4chan.org/ – Warning I have no responsibility for what you browse on this website, enter by your own will!

Web 3.0 will be an entirely new experience as we know it. Surely many users can agree that the internet is a great place, as it is now, though the capabilities which are possible through incorporating different types of technology can really take the world by storm. When Web 1.0 was introduced, the main purpose was to give the viewer’s access to several different forms of information. Web 2.0 enhanced user experience by allowing them to contribute to websites and interact with different features. Web 3.0 could very possibly interact with viewers by using a smarter level of AI which can store and retrieve information about the user. This could include a simple cookie like system that can relate to the user using a more relevant method, or the system could actually interact similarly to a human being, though if this was the case, what discoveries would be left for Web 4.0?

Once upon a time, when I was a kid (2 years ago….), I was told something very interesting by someone who I can’t remember for the life of me. They told me “s2799303, AI will never be able to interact accurately to every human being, as we’re all unique and we interact with others differently. No two humans are exactly the same.” That’s true, but something which struck me and made me think for a long time was when this person said “A program is only as smart as its programmer”. Now that’s interesting, if you have two programmers making a system, does that make it smarter? I don’t think it would, surely if you had a programmer and an analyst, the system wouldn’t necessarily be smarter, but it could work more effectively. Most people code differently, therefore, if there were two programmers, there could be quite a few problems.

Though Web 3.0 may sound mysterious or quite unpredictable, it probably is! Remember when Web 2.0 was released? I don’t, but I read that many mature aged computer users were sceptical about using these newer web sites, though if I remember correctly, the teenagers or young adults went insane over it! New ways to communicate to people all over the world, who wouldn’t want to try it out? Obviously only the people that are cautious online and don’t trust technology with their information.

Privacy already doesn’t exist, I truly believe that with Web 3.0, the government will step in and use some of the information that is gathered from users of social media. If government organizations start using any data, be it anonymous or directly stored information, many changes can occur for a country. Imagine, in the future, rather than physically travelling to designated areas to vote, the government could simply use the Intel they gather from the internet to determine which party is victorious. I wouldn’t be worried if this was to happen, as so many possibilities could arise, be it more efficient for the country or even having an effective government for a change.

The Semantic Web (Web 3.0) will allow users to personalize their searches and the content which is displayed for them, making it more relevant to what they want and disregards any useless information which the user isn’t likely to be interested in viewing. There are ways to find exactly what the user is implying, though these methods don’t always return the most accurate results. For example, refer to the two images, in the first one we use Google’s Images search to find Benson by typing in: golliwog Benson. As you can see, there are some pictures of Benson, though some of them aren’t even related to the search context. In the second image, we use quotation marks and search for: “golliwog Benson”. There we go! Now that’s more like it, you can clearly see Benson and his family members.

%201_2~1%202_1~1

As for the blurring of what humanity is, I think there’s already a blurring in humanity, even with Web 2.0. For me, if I see people on a date and both couples are on their cell phone, that’s a severe problem. What happened to dating, where the man would try to be romantic and the girl would secretly laugh at his failed attempts? Maybe that’s just me, but still, I remember going out and being flustered because I knew that for one whole night, I would be take up all of this guy’s attention. Now I go out and the guy is constantly checking his phone for anything that can distract him for a split second.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TO US!!!! Web 2.0 is happening to us, and soon, Web 3.0 will be upon us. Then the end of the world and humanity will surely come and I’ll be somewhere looking down on the people that I used to know, now mindless zombies searching for anything with buttons or a screen.

tl;drHow will Web 3.0 change user experience? Web 3.0 is going to use some form of AI to store information about the user in order to make the user experience more efficient and assist the user in extracting exactly what they desire from the search terms they use.

What will happen to Privacy on the Semantic Web? Since there isn’t any privacy as it is, I believe government organizations will start to be granted access to data which is stored from social media.Benson Not Found

Humanity is already blurred in with technology, things can only get worse as technology progresses. The future for us really doesn’t look too bright, at least that’s what my head thinks.

I will finish this blog with a comic, now this comic may cause tears or even frustration, I am not to be held responsible for any emotions you may come across, nor am I responsible for how this comic implements you. I am simply uploading this as I think it will be relevant in the future and I thank Christ if it is, as my children will have a life and not turn into wide-eyed freaks that stay in the basement losing their sanity to this world within our own.

Now I bid you good day and happy reading.

III. Social Networking TOS

Upon reading the requirements for the third part of the first blog, my first thought was “Oh boy”. Perhaps I say this as a form of regret for not knowing anything about social networking, or maybe it’s to indicate that I’m going to have to do a lot of reading. Either way, here is part III of Blog I.

Once I read the Terms of Service pages: Data Use Policy, Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and the Privacy Policy, I have made several realizations.

1. I was right to never want a Facebook account (thank-you Griffith for making me do this)
2. Staying anonymous online is a very smart thing to do
3. Even though the documents state Facebook doesn’t distribute personal details, they simply remove any information which could identify an individual
4. If you delete your account, the Terms of Service (TOS) document clearly expresses that the information you have entered throughout your account lifecycle will remain within the Facebook database, thus giving them the freedom to use the information as they please. Though it still must comply with the stated policies, hopefully…

Benson

Even though some people are well aware of these facts, they still continue to upload their life story and very personal details about themselves or even others. Before making an account, I constantly wondered why Facebook was worth so much money. An answer which I was persistently dwelling on no matter how many facts suggested otherwise, was the fact that Facebook has access to so much information about anyone who signs up. It is believed that if the website was sold to a government organization, such as the military, the information could serve as such a high level of Intel that several grades of militia would be required to maintain all the input.

Since I’m a 100% pro go Army, woo let me serve my country, you guys rock type of person, I wouldn’t mind if this was the case. For sure, if the military really did own Facebook, I would make an account in a heartbeat and target people that I know are up to no good. Though unfortunately, since this isn’t the case, I’m severely sceptical about how to treat Facebook and am very cautious with everything I do. One fact that I can’t seem to comprehend no matter how many articles I read or things I hear, is that in reality, people aren’t worried about what happens to their information once they’ve uploaded it. Even though users know that everything they’ve ever done on Facebook is recorded by the website itself, they still continue to share very private information through messages, of which even private communication is stored.

As for security in Facebook, it’s really up to the user to enable their account stays as secure as possible. If the users account is hacked, it’s their responsibility to reclaim it, though in order to do this, the user should have taken all the necessary precautions to ensure their account is secure. For example, someone can use their phone number as a method to safeguard their account from hackers. If the account is hacked, the user simply has to issue an account recovery request and a code will be messaged to the registered phone number.

A method which I have experience in using, though it is not available through Facebook, but rather, on RuneScape, is the option to activate Jagex Account Guardian. This allows access to an account through registering different devices. If an unrecognized device attempts to access the account, the device is prohibited access and an email is sent to the registered email address which provides a link to the RuneScape website which then prompts the user to login in and answer 3 security questions. The user then has the option to activate this device permanently or enable access for a selected number of hours. Each device which is registered to the account is recorded along with a device name, this allows the user to track how many devices are registered and the duration of accessibility.

Therefore, to conclude this entry, I will simply state that no, I’m not happy with the TOS nor am I comfortable with the level of privacy on Facebook. Though security is moderate, I feel that they could make a much more secure system, considering they have such a dedicated team and a lot of money. I mean, RuneScape has better security than Facebook, and they’re not even worth one 1.000th of what Facebook was in 2012!! (RuneScape just hit $63.000.000 and Facebook was worth $141.000.000.000 in 2012)

tl;dr – Facebook has access to every ounce of information, even the private messages and hidden information on profiles. Though, they claim to make the information anonymous when they distribute it to their relevant clients.
Security isn’t as strong as it should be, since there aren’t many options someone can take if they haven’t properly protected their account. Facebook will simply run through the standard procedure of a lost or forgotten account, including SMS recovery.

Am I happy with the TOS? NO!!! The users don’t really have a say, do they? Makes me feel as though the all American Zuckerberg isn’t really allowing the true spirit of what Americans believe in most to be present with Facebook. And what’s the true spirit of America, you ask? Civil Rights and Freedom!

Do I trust the privacy and security I’m granted? No way son, nuh-huh. Not in this universe. I get better security playing RuneScape, than I would writing to someone on Facebook. It’s the user’s responsibility to keep their account secure, otherwise they risk losing a lot of personal information and possibly a few friends if the information is in the wrong hands. Though privacy exists from user to user, it doesn’t exist from user to anyone who is an admin.

II. Feed Reader

Hello and welcome to the next instalment to s2799303’s blog.

In this segment, we will be learning about Feed Readers and how they make the world of RSS much more enjoyable. Though, this is a lie, as I will be typing about Feed Readers and you will be reading about them, but that’s beside the point. On to the main story…

It’s rather informal of me to not introduce the Feed Reader I was using throughout the week, so without further ado, I’d like everyone to meet Newsify. This specific Feed Reader uses two different methods to enhance their user experience, it provides RSS feeds by using both Google Reader and Feedly. Since Google Reader was shut down on the 1st of July, all feeds are now provided by Feedly, a much more wide spread and commonly used Feed Reader.

Before I continue to the actual content, I want to make a point that this was the first time I was using proper RSS Feeds. Therefore, when I say something which applies to several Feed Readers and not only Newsify, I apologize in advance for my lack of knowledge.

Photo 1-8-13 8 53 18Throughout the week of using Newsify, I was thoroughly impressed with the fact that it did what I expected it to. I find too often in technology, when a user downloads a program, or an app, they are required to pay for additional features which are free on other systems.

This app allowed me to search for different feeds and organize them into which ever categories I wanted. By referring to the first image, it is clearly seen that I have two categories, one dedicated to Basketball and the other dedicated to Entertainment purposes. There is no limit to how many items you can follow on the app, though I chose to only follow the feeds that I knew I would be most interested in.

Another aspect which I really enjoyed using was the ‘All Items’ option. I know, I know, you’re probably thinking “s2799303, that’s not really anything special”, but Ha! For me it is, I see it as an ease of access to everything I have subscribed to and it allows me to see it all in one place. It’s simple and effective, and I like it! Surely, I could individually see each feed directly from the original source, though I rarely used this option, as the categories I had created were relevant to the items they held.

I have to give credit to the usability of this Reader, as it gave me a much better experience rather than manually searching through each website to be updated on the latest news. By the end of the week, I was returning to the app, by choice, to be informed of any changes since the last time I was viewing the page. A feature which I thoroughly enjoyed using, was the option to change the layout of the content pages. Rather than displaying all the feeds in the default Springboard layout (Image 2), the user has the option to change it to a List Menu (Image 1). Sure, the Springboard layout is newer and gives it a playful vibe, though, forgive me for being old fashioned, items which were displayed in a List Menu were much more appealing to me.

Photo 1-8-13 9 01 56Photo 1-8-13 8 56 07

Photo 1-8-13 9 05 57Now, to present the features which gave the feeder a negative impression. Something that I have never been a fan of, is the use of badging items or leaving little notifications that annoy the user by constantly appearing. Ever since it was first available, I have been the type of person to disable every single form of badging, even the notification that you haven’t read a message, or the badge that appears when you miss a phone call. When Newsify was downloaded, and it started showing little numbers in the top right corner of the app image, it really started to aggravate me. Thankfully, there is an option within the app that allows you to disable this little notification badge.

_1_~1The last feature which didn’t really work for me, was the fact that you can’t set any pop-up notifications to occur when a major headline comes around. This isn’t such a major issue, as I already have the notifications from the apps which interest me. Though looking at this from the point of view from someone who is only relying on Newsify as their main source of news updates, it could become a problem. Perhaps an option could exist which enables the user to set one or two feeds to send pop-up notifications when a major event occurs.

tl;dr – Newsify was the Feed Reader which s2799303 used for one week.

Positive Features:

  1. Ability to view a number of feeds in one place
  2. Easy to use interface with an even easier search feature
  3. Allows user to categorize their feeds, giving them the option to view the categories individually
  4. Different menu layouts to suit the user
  5. It’s free

Negative Features:

  1. The badging of the app [though it’s possible to remove the badges]Photo 1-8-13 9 17 29
  2. Feeds weren’t too informative, though Newsify doesn’t have an impact on this, it’s the source that chooses to do this
  3. No pop-up notification available, only option is to manually enter the app and view the items which haven’t been read

Since this is the end of Blog I, Post II, I want to conclude with simply stating, No! I won’t continue using this Feed Reader, as the updates I receive from the other apps I have are much more effective and informative to me!

PEACE!!!

I. Introduction

I’m Student s2799303, but you can call me s2799303.

I Deal Withit
(If I’m just an image, open me in a new tab. Witness my full power!)

I’m studying Bachelor of IT and this is my last semester. This subject is interesting to me, since some time in my past, I had a YouTube account which was similar to blogging. By the end of my video lifecycle, I ended up with over 12 million views throughout the 2 or 3 years I had spent uploading videos, rather than completing my school work… When I applied for partnership, it appeared I had used a piece of music without the artist’s permission and was therefore permanently banned on that account. What a touching story.

This is the reason why I have chosen to study this class. Hopefully it will introduce different aspects of blogging and possibly awaken the blogger within the students that complete this course.

Therefore, to conclude this entry, I present to you, Benson.

Benson