Sunday, December 23, 2012

Usability - Should you build a mobile website?

Usability - Should you build a mobile website?

Many of online business relations are moving to mobile devices like your smartphone. With this mobile growth, clients are asking about creating a mobile version of their website. So, do you need a mobile version for your site?

As with most things the answer is, “it is influenced by the demand.”

A major reason in determining if you need a mobile version of your website is your indicators. If 25% of the people visiting your site are on mobile devices, then you absolutely need a mobile version of your site. If your site has 5% of the visiting traffic from mobile operating systems (Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod) then it may not be worthwhile (see graphic below). The ROI to build a mobile version may not justify a mobile-optimized site; the cost would be too great to offset a return.

If you’re considering having a mobile version of your website built understand the traffic patterns of your specific audience. Not every website appeals to users using mobile devices so the ROI of a mobile version of your website may not be sensible.

Variable-data printing (VDP)

Consider using Variable-data printing (VDP) for your next marketing campaign to target potential clients who may wish to use your services. This form of digital printing uses elements such as text, graphics and images that can be changed from one printed piece to the next, without stopping or slowing down the printing process and using information from a client database. For example, a personalized letter, with the same basic layout, can be printed with a different name and address on each letter. Variable data printing is mainly used for direct marketing, customer relationship management, and advertising, along with invoicing and applying addressing on self-mailers, brochures or postcard campaigns.

VDP has been a proven method of increased customer replies on marketing campaigns. Consider using this method on your next print job to increase the likely hood of a response.

Perfecting and continually cultivating your website supports your business to accomplish your outcomes

Perfecting and continually cultivating your website supports your business to accomplish your outcomes. Websites are continuous methods of information demonstration; they can tell the visitors almost everything they want to know about your business. If you are a business owner it is an expected advantage for you to offer your services with a functional website using good design practices.

Composition in Photography

A photograph image is one that communicates its message to the audience and that says what you want it to say, is interesting and becomes an effective composition.

Composition, is the act of relating the image in the viewfinder, is a visual method of organizing the elements and individual details of a scene into a balanced and pleasing arrangement. However what one person finds attractive, someone else will not, composition arrangement is largely a matter of personal taste.

A composition that conveys a photographer's intended meaning is an effective one and a composition that confuses the viewer is not. How you organize a scene's elements in your camera's viewfinder will not only control the success of your picture's graphic design, but will also contribute to how well its message is communicated.

Consider how you want your image displayed before you click but click often, shooting 1000 images may only give you 10 good images with amazing compositions. So keep photographing, I am beyond the millions of images captured and I clearly can recall 50 that I truly find amazing and am proud to have captured.

Some Points to consider about your images: 

Do the patterns appear well placed?

Is the image you have captured esthetically pleasing?

 Does the image have movement in the organization?

 Do the arrangement of the elements in a scene work for the eyes to flow over?

Does the image have lines, shapes, forms and colors that are important to convey a message?

When you review your work does it show these composition rules to communicate its message to the audience?

Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs)

 Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs)

Unfortunate is the moment when teachers discover that what our students have learned is not at all what we believed we were teaching. In looking for an effective way of evaluating learning throughout the semester, I found some research from Thomas A. Angelo and K. Patricia Cross, Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers, describing strategies that college teachers had found useful and that could be used as representations for asking the essential but often indefinable questions "What are your students learning?" and its result, "How effectively are you teaching?"

I attempted an activity that stated by the authors, can help teachers to analyze objectively on what transpires in the classroom, and to guide students in a self-analysis of their own learning processes.

I created and handed out a specific questionnaire (What did you learn today) entitled, “Knowledge, Skills and Behavior” to accurately gauge individual's enactment of the day’s lesson plans, and provide me a reasonable estimate of class performance when compared to one another. I used this to gauge their leaning and gave verbal directions to write down and communicate with classmates, “what did you learn today” and writing and a discussion incurred with the students. The form had 1 – 10 listed on the form.

What I was looking for was the following:

  • 1.     Did they write down the same process or procedures they competed in the day’s lesson, to check for understanding?

  • 2.     Did the student use current industry terminology in a proper method?

  • 3.     Did they complete anything meaningful in the day’s lab after hearing the lecture, seeing my demonstration and preforming the task themselves?

  • 4.     Did they verbalize the same process or procedures they competed in the day’s lesson, to check for understanding?

This feedback received was useful to me, the instructor to realize if the student absorbed the basic concepts of learning that day’s lesson and then can tie it into the unit’s lesson or the bigger picture for the Print for Production course.

Case Study:

In a Graphic Design, Print for Production course after instructing and demonstrating to the students twice on color balancing to their own profile on a Mac desktop, I ask them to write down what they had learned or just preformed.

I was looking for specific terminology and/or tasks to answer the following questions:

  • 1.     Did the student recall learning a specific task that they would have to use in the Graphic Design field and for the class project outputs.
  • 2.     Could they perform the task from memory by jotting down some meaningful words to recall what they had just completed?
  • 3.     Could they verbalize the task from memory by speaking with a classmate using meaningful words to recall what they had just completed?

I wanted to know how many times the student would have to listen and preform the task to learn how to color balance their Mac computer, as well as save the setting to their own preferences profile upon logging in.

Analyzed the Data Results:

I was surprised that on the first day I handed out the entitled “Knowledge, Skills and Behavior” form one student wrote down tasks and terminology that they had been taught from a previous lesson. 
I had terms written down such as, moiré (pronounced "more-ray") pattern (this is sometimes seen in printed materials, more specifically a Moiré patterns come’s about when two halftone screen patterns come into conflict — something that both designers and printers want to avoid.) I had shown to this to my student’s a week prior from a Hagar comic strip I had pre-pressed while working in the printing field. I showed an excellent example used for training within a printing plant, on a newsprint color coated stock to be used for the pressman to proof their printing and to match color. While the student could recall a term it was neither the specific term(s) nor task that I had discussed for the days lesson. It did prove that she had learned a term and understood the concern of a Moiré pattern, as she verbally discussed this to the class after writing it down, but it was a past experience of learning.

Other results from the same students wrote very specifically on what they had learned for the day and could recall the day’s events with clarity. They used the term “color balance” (A color balance is used to successfully and accurately adjust a monitor screen for color printing; these adjustments must take place to properly calibrated equipment for more accurate color printing to avoid color casting on output to a hard copy, what you see in analog on the screen should match to the digital print.) but did not offer anything greater to elaborate on the topic, they knew a term but could they recall the step-by-step process?

Overall I find these non-grade Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) methods useful to me as an instructor to gauge the students learning and to generate a conversation on what they had covered in the day’s classroom experience. I would reword the document to include a step-by-step process question to entice a recall on the events and would also verbally explain twice to the student that this is a non graded process to generate conversation that includes writing down ideas and terms learned in the classroom. I do know this alarmed one student, as this student may have never experienced reflection on what they had just learned in the classroom in a discussion and writing format.

  • Note: I followed, Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers, Cross and Angelo recommendations that this strategy of classroom assessment technique be ungraded as this technique seem to work best when they are viewed as a source of feedback and not as a system for evaluating student performance.

The Principles of Design and Elements of Design

The Principles of Design and Elements of Design: 

There are many basic concepts in the field of design. These can be classified differently depending on teaching methodology or philosophy. You can group all of the basic beliefs of design into two categories: principles of design and elements of design.

Principles of Design are the distribution or the arrangement of objects within a composition. The Elements of Design are the components of design themselves or the objects to be arranged.

 1. The basic principles of design or the truisms of the design profession are as follows:

 • Balance
• Rhythm
• Proportion
• Dominance
• Unity

2. The basic elements of design or the truisms of the design profession are as follows:

• Lines
• Shapes
• Mass
• Texture
• Color

The elements of design are the building blocks of all designs, selected to deliver the message beyond the actual words or images used.