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Archive for October, 2004

Designing with CSS Part 1

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Designing with CSS Part 1: Introduction to Understanding CSS Design Concepts by Adrian Senior at Macromedia DevNet

This article is the first in a series of tutorials about Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). The aim in part one of this series is to familiarize you with some of the basics of CSS. I’ll review some of the problems you may run into. I’ll also cover the shorthand and longhand versions of the CSS syntax.

I would like to make it clear that I am not advocating that you drop the use of tables as design elements. It is a case of what suits you best. Whatever you feel comfortable with is a good way to go. What this series of tutorials will do is provide you with the ability to create CSS layouts using Dreamweaver MX 2004; once you have some of the basics down you will move on to creating a simple but effective CSS layout in article three. By the end of the series, you will hopefully be able to use whatever design method you wish to use.

Written by anol

October 7th, 2004 at 10:30 pm

Posted in Information Design

Using Patterns in Web Design

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An Introduction to Using Patterns in Web Design by Ryan Singer at 37 Signals

The biggest challenge for web designers is the unthinkably huge number of possible ways to solve any given problem. We usually don’t think of this because we have our habits and traditions to fall back on, but there are literally billions of possible pixel combinations for each page we make.

There is a better way to manage this vast complexity than by making big decisions up front and hoping for the best. To make better sites — sites that are functional, beautiful, and “usable” — we have to break our design problems up into small independent chunks based on the real issues within our requirements. Christopher Alexander, who came up with this stuff, calls these chunks patterns.

I’m going to show you how to sidestep your habits and assumptions and use patterns to make better design decisions. A lot of fancy stuff has been written about patterns. To be simple and clear in this introduction, I’ll just call them chunks.

Written by anol

October 6th, 2004 at 10:30 pm

Posted in Information Design

TAFE frontiers Research : 8 Varieties of KM

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Knowledge Management Research Circles 2004 at TAFE frontiers Research

What’s KM? If you’ve really tried to find out what ‘knowledge management’ is, you’ve probably reached the same conclusion we did – life’s a bit short.
What we have found, though, is that on the ground there are 8 main varieties of the beast being practised in VET. We found KM at work in:

- learning and development
- information management
- client feedback
- knowledge capture
- knowledge generation
- virtual teams
- communities of practice
- content management systems.

For more details of the varieties of KM, see our Field Map of KM in VET.

Via : elearnspace

Written by anol

October 6th, 2004 at 10:29 pm

Incsub

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James is back with Incsub. His new Wordpress blog is here, and the RSS is here. Also he is now offering free consultation, hosting and support in online learning – with the launch of incsub where he’s providing hosting, consultation and support for educators interested in using technologies like blogs and wikis.

James started his new blog with an excellent article on Communication dynamics: Discussion boards, weblogs and the development of communities of inquiry in online learning environments

Online learning environments (OLEs) are now critical to teaching and learning across Australian higher education. Their influence impacts on the availability of content, the design of courses and, perhaps most pedagogically significantly, the nature of communication. The discussion board is the ubiquitous communication tool within these OLEs and hence significantly shapes the kind of communication that takes place. In light of this, the degree to which a successful community of inquiry can be facilitated through the use of discussion boards is examined and compared to the possibilities afforded by weblogs in the same role. Weblogs, it is argued, offer new opportunities in the development of social, cognitive and teacher presence online and should be considered in the development of or alongside established OLEs.

Written by anol

October 6th, 2004 at 10:27 pm

Posted in Social Media

DO Make Me Think

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Please make me think! Potential dangers in usability culture From Design By Fire

I’m not entirely sure how serious I am about this article. On the one hand, I find myself agreeing with my more cynical side on uglier, more demanding work days. On the other, I think I’m overreacting and way off base with this train of thought. Either way, consider this entry nothing more than a philosophical meandering on the culture of usability in the high-tech world, intended only to spark conversation, not to be taken as my unwavering viewpoint on the topic.

To the point: Should you, as a designer, be bound by some ethical mantra to make your work deeper, more thoughtful and complex, not aimed for the lowest common denominator of your user base

Should your design work require your users think? Should your design work not allow users to potentially be lax mentally, so they can glide thoughtlessly through your website, software or product you’ve designed that they interact with on an ongoing basis? Should every control and widget be labeled explicitly? Should every set of instructions be aimed at the most inexperienced user?

Should everything be so damned obvious all of the time?
Even more blunt: By advancing the notion that almost everything should be obvious, is usability dangerous to the world at large?

Written by anol

October 6th, 2004 at 10:26 pm

Posted in Usability & Design