TC 448, how much apple rules, and a myraid of other useless knowledge to try and help you understand your purpose.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Website Review Jason Santa Maria

Todays review is on JasonSantaMaria.com

I think that this is one of the better "personal/portfolio" sites that I have been to in quite awhile. It has a very defined theme, a great color scheme, and a very useable navigation.

I like the usage of the home page as a "blog" it contains all the recent news and happenings relevant to the site as well as other random personal "bloggy" type things. But it is a great combination of the new web medium, blogging, and traditional webpage.

The navigation is clearly labeled, and easy to understand... there is no weird popups, no lines to follow, no un labeled buttons, its very simple, and easy to use. Each page has the navigation in the same spot, and highlights the page that you are on, like tabbed navigation to allow for easy awareness of where you are in the sight.

The content on the site is also very fitting, and is very focused. All content is about Jason, or deals with Jason, and does a great job of selling him. It is his personal sight, there is no added BS, nothing else but what pertains to him. I think that the focused content does a very good job of portraying him, helping sell him to potential clients.

I am a photographer, and many times when you see a fellow photographer display their work online it is very cluttered and filled with a lot of unneeded content. Jason however uses a straightforward clean and simple display type... that comments his photography style, perhaps my favorite part of the site if it were not for the Bbne. Which is kind of random, however the Best Brand Name Ever section of his site, is a humorous addition that I liked perusing, and added a little spice to the oh so regular personal page.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Robots and Monkeys Website Critique

This weeks website critique is of www.robotsandmonkeys.com

This is sort of a weird site to critique in my opinion. Because comes off as more of a fun, playful, filled with flash movies, and animation, waste your time, site. (pwwwhuuee thats a long web site genre) I am not really sure as to what function this site is trying to fulfill.

The home page is a large flash movie of a robot and a monkey, as the name implies, and it has a large "navigational wheel of fortune" that I would have to say is not the most recognizable form of navigation but I figured it out quite quickly, by use of the arrows on the "thumbnail" by image of the wheel.

Moving deeper into the site the navigation changes... there is no consistency throughout so the user must now move down to the bottom of the page to get back to the home page navigation. This page acts as a jumping off point for half of the content within the site... meaning you can not navigate directly from one part to the next, you must click back to "main" using the bottom nav, in order to view many of the pages. There are also many instances where the animation just seems to stop, but the music keeps going, so A you are not sure if the animation has completed, and you are unable to turn off the music.

So now the second portion of the website is viewed by navigating through the bottom links, that are common throughout all pages in the site. Which actually separates its self further by opening up in a new window... It is a complete separate entity from the rest of the site... there is nothing tying the two pieces together, no navigation no logo nothing. However I feel it is an interesting approach to the display and navigation of a portfolio, one that would not be duplicated anywhere... reverberating the complete random, and oddity of the site echoed throughout, such as the domain name, the odd animations, and its unusual choice of navigational schemes...

I believe this is a good "waste your time trying to figure out what the heck the designer was thinking flash animated" websites. Not so good on the portfolio, display of works end.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

TC448 Website Crit

Not five seconds ago my entire post just somehow disappeared into thin air. Stupid Cyber Space. So anyways here comes attempt number two.

This week's website critique is on www.nelson-atkins.org/tempusfugit

This website is an "exhibit" for a Museum of Art, and it displays this professionalism with its choice of clean and crisp graphics, and font choices.

Museums are usually in the public realm so you would expect that the website would be held to the most strict of usability regulations. So that every single user no matter the disability would get a fair shot at viewing the page. However even at the first page, some confusion begins. There is no "start exhibit here" text link, and it is unclear that you are supposed to click on the image to continue until you mouse over the image.

I also understand that in keeping with the spirit of art, a flash based website would be a good choice, however this makes it extremely difficult to create a page that is accessible to users with visual disabilities, because it is very hard for a screen reader to "view" the content. Flash also makes it more difficult for search engines to seek out the page, and add it to their results.

And until just a few seconds ago I didn't even realize that there are two options two choose from at the front page. You can click on the left side, "World Times" and you can click on the right, "Conservation Time". After clicking one of these links there is also no way to get back to the front page if you happen to close the main black launch page in the background. Ahh I just noticed that at the top there is a navigational bar, that can be used to choose between the different topics. So either I am a completely incompetent fool, or else this site has not done a very good job in testing.

The site does have a few nice features, such as the navigational map, that allows a visual connection to the subject being linked to. It also has a convenient slide-able bar that allows you to hide the map to open up a larger viewing area. Every topic also has link to view a related classroom idea.

I believe that even though this site may not cater to absolutely 100% of the possible users that it encounters, it is still a very good site. I have since determined that I am just a completely incompetent fool, because my brain does not seem to be functioning correctly at this hour, and that the navigation, and layout of this site is well within the boundaries of good design. It has great content, and the design is fairly simple, creative, and even though it employes a slightly unconventional navigational theme, it is still very usable to the everyday user.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

The Apple Microsoft War Reaches Comic Porportions

This Link was sent to me the other day, after years of arguing over Apple and Microsoft.

The Comic is brought to you by Ctrl+Alt+Del

The Comic seems to go on infinately but this section is about the ever present Apple Microsoft wars.


On an interesting side note, it seems that the mighty Microsoft empire is starting to crumble, as an entire sub folder is now being dedicated to the Apple computing community titling it a very suiting Mactopia as this is the feeling one gets while using an apple computer. I never thought that I'd see the day, oh glorious day.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Free mac mini conga.....

This blog is dedicated to the idea of scratching each others backs... Sign up under the "main link" and your name will be added to the data base that will eventually get added to the "main link" the idea is that it will give your link much more exposure.

Check it out

freeminimacconga.blogspot.com

Microsoft Lovers Eat Your Heart Out

Here are a few links that I would like to share with you fool hearty microsoft lovers.

Both of these come from www.apple.slashdot.org

Ipod Most Popular Music Player on Microsoft Campus

and even better, the answers to the question that so many of us Apple users get so often.... "Why doesn't it have a two button mouse?"

Why Apple Makes a One-Button Mouse

Website Review juxtinteractive.com

This is a the third website review I believe for TC 448.

juxtinteractive.com

I actually like this website for its flash styled graphic design usage, and unique approach to designing the site... It has a new age, media art feel to the website that is very easy to abuse, and ruin many websites. However I feel that this website is slightly off when it comes to usability and overall design.

The website actually has a fairly unique navigation as well, in that it appears to be absent. There is no navigation, no extra pages... other than direct links on the front page. However this creates more scrolling than is needed. Instead the website is divided horizontally into "seperate" pages, with their own respective headings... I think that this way of navigating is brought to the simpelist form. Very easy to use and understand. The biggest drawback I see is the use of small text, without very good contrast.

The website is fairly void of contact... there are only links to recent projects, portfolio projects, and then a small news bar. Aside from that the site is basically just a jump point to view content created by the company.

I feel that if this sites main goal is to provide a user with a portfolio view of the company it does a great job. However, if its goal was to provide users with information, about anything more than the works created, such as the companies background, or clientel, area of expertise, ect, the site falls slightly short.

Just noticed something quirky

I just noticed today that with a single transposed letter in the URL
www.deconstructingpurpose.blogspot.com to
www.deconstructingpurpose.blogpsot.com you find yourself at a completely different website without being able to tell how you got there I was confused for at least 3 to 4 mins be cause of my dislexyia...