MLIM Student

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Thanks Daniel !

I would like to say thanks to Daniel that he gave us a new view of education. Actually, I have explored a lot of issues that I haven't thinking about before within this semester. And also, I haven't considered before that weblogs can be used in the classroom and education.

After this semester, I will try to think about the relationship between weblogs and libraries/library services, maybe, I will seek comments from Daniel again in the future. And of course, this blog, as my first blog, I will not close it, and hopefully, I will update something in the future.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Submission of Final Assignment

Please click here for larger version, and here for the source file. Please note that I am using Macromedia Flash Professional 8 for production.

This is a floor map to show location of the book and periodical collection. It is for communication and learning as well, because it transfers the information to the receivers. Visuals with interaction increased the remember ability of the receiver (Dale,1969), so that they learn and practice where to find they want through this product.

Two levels of information expressed here:
  • When clicking location name, floors showed. Users can learn the broad information, such as user should go to LG1 and LG4 directly without searching library catalog to do rough browsing of periodical.
  • When clicking specific call number prefix range after location name, the red circle located the exact location of the floor to guide user to locate specific item.

I prefer keeping it simple, instead of adding more functions and contents to the product. Simple is better for communication. Visuals can communicate complex ideas and convey the most knowledge in the shortest time in the small space (Tufte,1983). If complicated ideas and contents placed in one screen, the information transferred are expanded exponentially, and how the audience can totally receive the information.

Moreover, layout and design of simple object can be reused to express a series of knowledge. This time I design for the floor map guide, next time, I can make use of the same layout and design for the service point location or office contact location. Audiences are only necessary to familiar with one similar layout and design. Besides, reuse is a common concept in the internet era. We always make use of cascade style sheet (.css) to standardize the layout of different pages in the web site for web design.

There are two concepts from the web interface usability design I made use here for the planning:

  • Three-click rule: guide to design interface to make possible for anyone to find anything on the site with just three clicks. Because the effective Web page design must be easy to use and navigate to encourage the user to return. A successful site should follow this rule, allowing its visitors to find what they are looking for within these three clicks from the homepage. (Hughes, 2003)
  • Human factors (Whitten, 2004): consider the following to avoid confusion for users using the learning object:
    • keep clear and concise.
    • show next set of buttons after selecting the first pair of button, to let users to aware of what to do next.
    • avoid users to make mistake, only buttons are provided to operate the learning instead of inputting variable.
To make use of the above concepts because the learning object is accessed on the web, the web surfing behavior must be considered for effective communication with target audience. Besides, avoiding user frustrations make users to keep using the object, so that the information can be efficiency communicated. Nice picture may attract user to use, but frustration let users to reluctant and reject to use the object and information is no way to communicate with the users.

General Reference:
  1. Hughes, Arthur Middleton. 2003 The Customer Loyalty Solution : What Works and What Doesn't in Customer Loyalty Programs. McGraw-Hill Professional.
  2. Modified Eager Dale’s Cone of Experience from Dale, E. (1969) Audio-Visual Methods in Teaching, 3rd ed, Holt Rinehart, Winston.
  3. Whitten, J.L., Bentley, L.D. and Dittman, K.C. 2004. Systems Analysis and Design Methods, 6th edition, Irwin/McGraw Hill.
  4. Tufte, Edward R. 1983. The visual display of quantitative information. Graphics Press.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Update Blog Problem by using IE6

I would like report to all my fellow classmates and Daniel that I encounter the captioned problem twice recently. After I did new post, and republished, I found no update in my blog. I am sure that I published correctly and without error, and also I clear the cache. Before today, I am dealing with my blog by IE6, and the problem happened again. However, I found my blog showing is different when I view by Firefox. When I view by Firefox, all updates and new post showed correctly, but it it still not working in IE6.

I checked Blogger help, bloggers said it is a frequently problem, but no one has the solution. My suggestion is, change your browser to Firefox, no more IE6.

Partially Completed Work

I have added something according to those nice comments. Please click here for the larger version.
I will try to complete all I want to do in the LO within this week, because there is still a paper I need to write for this assignment.
Question: Does anyone know how to submit the whole package of this assignment, including the movie (.swf), the source file (.fla), and the two-pages discussion? Besides, I am using Macromedia Flash Professional 8, should I save the source file (.fla) to version 2004?

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Partial work of the assignment

I am working the Flash object according to the prototype I posted before. Some buttons are still not working, e.g. quit button and URL linkage. I haven't decide whether adding something more to the object or not. I am still working on the idea revision now. Please tell me how to improve my work. Thanks a lot.
Thanks Chris, please click here for the original size object.
Besides, I encountered a problem here. The above Flash object is done by macromedia Flash 8 Professional. I found that my object is only work when Flash Player 9 is available. In the mean time, if you see the movie is not working, please upgrade your flash player to version 9.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Prototype vs. Finished Product

Again, the steps are blurred in the production process of application. As I mentioned before, we are quite difficult to separate the storyboard stage and prototype stage, especially for the person who are doing the production.

Prototype is a form of the finished work. It may be in different format or partial completed. For small production, if all these steps are doing by the same person (or same group of persons), it is easy to skip one to two because it seems to perform similar things and sometimes the prototype is already the finished work. (I think that’s why I only found few prototypes in classmate’s blogs!)

Again, technologies provide efficiency for the production work but also provide the confusion of the production process. As we know, the whole production process is the guidance of planning, so that the work will complete under in-depth thinking and consideration, and transfer information accurately. So I think we should ignore the technical issue during the planning process until we go into producing the final product.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Prototype - where to find the item you want?

During the production of prototype, I found something wrong in the layout of the storyboard, so I changed a little bit here. Please comments. Thanks.

(p.s. I am not quite sure that this is a prototype or not, But I want to include these functions in the final product.)

Storyboard vs. Prototype

Both storyboard and prototype are highly used for designing task, such as movie, advertising, software and web design. However, some technical design like software or web design intended to treat storyboard that less important than prototype, and occasionally to skip the stage of storyboard in the design and planning process.

We totally agree that both of them are very important stages in the planning process, and help communicate with all the stakeholders. the production team tends to use prototype instead of storyboard, because prototype is more easily to stimulate the real product than the storyboard to express the idea to everybody. Since the technologies help people to create small prototypes and then the small prototypes may directly extend to be the real product, the production persons feel it is more efficient.

Technologies blurred the steps of planning process, and made us confused when doing designing work.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Storyboard of Assignment

This is very preliminary. I am not quite sure that it is sufficient to express what will be in my assignment.