This week’s class had readings as usual. We had five articles to read. The article about navigation was also the most discussed topic in this week’s class. There were different types of navigation that was discussed in that article. The importance of navigation, positioning of such elements in a webpage, wording of those elements and appropriate choice of navigation from the different types were discussed in that article. “How did one got here?” is perhaps the most important question to answer for it. In another reading, user interface for mobile devices was discussed. For me, understanding about chrome was the most interesting part of the article. In another article the importance of usability and making controls to the user was discussed in detail. Making the right control visible is very important. For a large site it could be a harder task to select the right controls to make it visible from available hundreds of options to select from. There would be need to understand any website that makes one to think is a bad design. The feel of busyness and background noise are two of the important issues that large websites face. However, reinventing the wheel could make a huge difference especially when the new wheel i.e. design would bring in better reading by scanning.
This week’s class started with a photo. To me it looks like a trap pole that one would use to catch animals especially in the wild. Some thought it would be for swinging around holding the pole. However, the majority concluded it could be some sort of art work that has no real practical purpose associated to it. This reminded me of how a web page would like an art when a tablet’s touch sense stops working for a while.
Then we talked mainly about affordance, information scent and excise. We talked a lot about navigation in general. The instructor was doing all the talking but I’m saying “we” because we were part of the discussion as the class progressed. In the four types of control on a user interface -Imperative, Selection, Display and Entry were discussed. It was interesting to me how new types of controls have evolved like that combines entry with list box to actually illustrate entry. Then we discussed briefly about pervasive information architecture, which means ubiquitous information architecture, which means how to make omni-presence of information. The importance to eliminate excise from the workflow was discussed with examples like captcha.
One of the interesting points instructor mentioned in the class was about a project of hers for nano hub website. I would like to give my 2 cents of suggestion on this. Even though nanotechnology is a research field like many other research fields, in this field in particular the professionals and researchers have a well-defined area of research interest. One interesting limitation about them is that most of them have limited set of topics that they would be interested in and their knowledge is very limited to those topics. So classifying based on those topics could help in redesigning the user interface accordingly. Material, device and circuit-design are three major categories. Physics is more related to material and device. For example, people (most but not all) interested in electronic devices design would not have much knowledge on electronic circuit design, people (most but not all) interested in optical electronics would not have much knowledge on other materials used in the devices, people (most but not all) interested in algorithm development would have only selected knowledge across different sections of nano-electronics but mostly would be associated to electronic circuit design, people (most but not all) interested in analog circuits design would not know much about digital circuits and vice-versa but both would know more about electronic devices, people(most but not all) interested in lab experiments would hardly have any software development knowledge but they would be interested in materials and devices but not circuit design, people (most but not all) interested in simulation development would hardly have any interest on doing lab experiments, and people working on these topics would mostly be interested only in those simulators and related physics and mathematical concepts and hardly be interested in any closely related topics even though they would collaborate on some projects. One easy way to find this is by looking into their area of specialization rather than looking into their collaborations. However, there will be a strong trend in the collaborations that people would have to do their projects and to write their papers. It would be easier to draw affinity diagrams based on these and one could reorganize the pages accordingly using this analysis. I hope this helps, however I don’t want to give any guarantee that my suggestions would work.