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Meeting #2 Friday, June 16, 2006

Posted by VoeD in Journal, Meetings.
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We covered some ground on the backend. The system is currently running on top of Tomcat with some servlets. In any case, the more important things are:

  1. Need to formalize:
    • cutomization
    • user base
    • language for UI
  2. Write up schedule
  3. Continue reading

Well, I have been bogged up more with points 2 and 3 since the meeting actually. Im meeting Prof Tan today and I need to either decline / manage this offer for doing a website design. The money is good but its more about timing issue. 

As for the reading, Ive been really glued to the Handbook on Human Factors in Web Design. Ive been abandoning my Ajax and Usability books so point 1 is a lil hard to accomplish. Then again, im having more and more thoughts of what the system should look like and be like. So once I come back to reading on ajax again (i dont think I want to blindly choose RoR for the project) I will have a better idea on which one will achieve my purpose best. 

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Meeting soon Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Posted by VoeD in Journal.
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Alright, I just got back from Indon.

To Do:

  1. Read Ben Shneiderman, Nielson, and Ivory
  2. Continue with RoR, Ajax reading
  3. Free Form Thinking on: User tasks for LINC
  4. HYP Schedule broken down by month – hard-copy, Google calendar, Excel
  5. Look at NLB search interface
  6. Look for other Library interface – any other AJAX-ed?
  7. Re-read Malcolm's paper

Hmmm….

Handbook of Human Factors in Web Design Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Posted by VoeD in Books, Journal.
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Handbook of Human Factors in Web Design

Handbook of Human Factors in Web Design
by Robert W. Proctor (Editor), Kim-Phuong L. Vu (Editor)
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates 2004.

Progress: N.A.

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Swing Development Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Posted by VoeD in Design, Implementation, Miscellaneous, Testing, Thoughts.
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This should be on the first page of every usability and/or software development book: (Not sure the image is of whose copyright though)

Amazon.com: To tab or not to tab? Monday, May 29, 2006

Posted by VoeD in Design, Thoughts.
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A lot of publicity has gone over Amazon.com's new Ajax-enabled Book Reader. Ajaxian's article is here and I suppose you can find lots of similar coverage on the new feature in other Ajax sites as well as the normal bunch who write about these stuff: Slashdot, Techcrunch, etc. Although, probably not much lime light was shed when the British Library (at least I don't remember so) had a Macromedia Shockwave book reader, called and trademarked Turning the pages, of various original works like from Leonardo da Vinci, Lewis Caroll, Jane Austen, etc (some are even hand written). And for that matter, not many people has heard of Project Gutenburg.

But this post is about Amazon, and not the rest (in keeping things related to my project hehe). I first noticed this in Steve Krug's book (which is still burried amongst the many boxes in my room): Amazon was one of the best examples for using tabs to realize web site navigation. When I say best example, I meant it in the same way Steve Krug did, Amazon's tabs was a success and they maintained a high level of usability in those tabs to help users navigate through their website.

But over the years, (the picture above was neither most recent nor quite recent) their business expanded and with that so did their website:

There is even one with three rows of tabs (I saw an image of such in Steve Krug's book – I wish I can just take a photo of that and paste it here haha) and silly as it is (and it was actually taken down after a few weeks) its still tabs and still usable. And a few (weeks? months? a year?) ago it was still quite managable I might say… (Notice the "See more stores" link)

But just take a look at the "tabbed" website now (Notice the "See all XX product categories" link):

I traced the change back to this post in Bigfatsite.com (in 2005 or so). I won't be surprised if Amazon gets rid of the tabs sometime soon? Or hey.. I dont actually have an Amazon account. So probably they customize the tabs according to customer. But not everyone goes to Amazon to shop I suppose (I go there to check what a book looks like and what people think about it). Then again, the change was indeed in 2005 and its been a year since then. I guess its a step to cure the so-called tab cancer. I wonder why I never noticed the change in their tabs design till now. Hmmm…