Friday, October 28, 2005

Blog design mistakes

[Tags: ]. Jakob Nielsen has done another list of web design mistakes - this time focusing on blogs. I can read most of them with confidence - but hit no.10 with a sense of shame: "Having a Domain Name Owned by a Weblog Service".

I'm off to some domain name register services...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Designers talk about design

[Tags: ]. Here's a nice little page: a summary of blog postings about design, from

Nifty mouseovers to enlarge images

[Tags: ]. Another article by Poynter, this one claiming news images are often too small and that we need "expansion of a small image when the user passes the mouse cursor over the original" - there's a link to a great example at Yahoo! Local. What would have been more useful is to know the code behind it, but I'll do some digging to see if I can come up with it... (I'm guessing a rollover created in Fireworks that uses more than one frame).

They know who you are - just by what you've printed

[Tags: ]. There's a disturbing article over at Poynter on work by the Electronic Frontier Foundation that reveals how governments could trace printouts to the individual machine that printed them:
"Researchers working for the foundation have broken the code that some color printer manufacturers are using to watermark printouts so the printer that produced them can be identified, down to the serial number.

"... This is a good reminder that while new technologies in general have made it easier for people to communicate and share information, they also allow new kinds of government or law-enforcement monitoring that can threaten our civil liberties -- or enable despotic regimes to crack down on dissent."

Yahoo! launches! podcast! site!

[Tags: ]. The Internet Media Service mailing list reports on the launch of Yahoo! Podcasts:
"Yahoo's new podcasting service will allow users to download shows from US Public Radio, the weekly presidential address, and independent shows with subjects ranging from sports to knitting, the company said.

"The service -- at -- will allow users to rate and review various shows. It also includes searching functions that allow users browse from a directory with tens of thousands of podcasts from across the Web."

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Common Web Design Mistakes

[Tags: ]. has published an article on five common web design mistakes that's worth a scan. If five isn't enough for you, you might also want to look at Jakob Nielsen's top ten mistakes, isitebuild's 12 common web design mistakes, or Dog Hause's list of 15 mistakes of first time web design. Or perhaps you could leave your own comments here on your own. For me, I still can't believe people create splash pages ("welcome to our site. Click here to enter"). Urgh.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Link: online magazine

[Tags: ]. Here's an interesting experiment in online magazinery from Sony - to promote the PSP. has a navigation system that takes some getting used to, but I do like the way they use rollover animation on the contents page.

A place to find interesting design

[Tags: ]. Worth looking at: "A refuge from commercial restrictions, no rules, just a creative baseline", says one page. A bunch of links to sites that may or may not look pretty nice, is another way of putting it.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Modifying Dreamweaver to Produce Valid XHTML

Credit to Lee Aplin for finding this link, which outlines how to tweak Dreamweaver to produce XHTML (for those of us using older versions than MX 2004). Why should we produce XHTML? Two reasons: accessibility (so people with disabilities can access your content) and compatibility (so your content can be viewed on anything from a mobile phone to a PDA). Check out Wikipedia's definition of XHTML for more.

Top Ten Web Design Mistakes of 2005

There are few surprises in Jakob Nielsen's article on web design mistakes, but it's a good checklist to run your own site by - and contains lots of useful links to other Alertbox columns (as well as the usual expensive reports).

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Internet TV is about to arrive - again

New Media Age this week reports on the build up to the launch of Internet TV... Hold on, haven't we heard this one before? Apparently this time it's different, with broadband penetration and big name backing, and an interface that doesn't use web browsers or email programs.

The article's not online - but you can read the author's thoughts on the subject elsewhere at

The end of WYSIWYG

Fascinating article by the great Jakob Nielsen on the 'death of WYSIWYG'. Although in truth it may be decades before we truly see that happening, it's a real paradigm shift to see Microsoft designing in this way. Here's a quote...

"The next version of Microsoft Office (code-named "Office 12") will be based on a new interaction paradigm called the results-oriented user interface. As the demos show, the most obvious departure from the past is that menus and toolbars are all but wiped out. The focus is now on letting users specify the results they want, rather than focusing on the primitive operations required to reach their goals.

"The new interface displays galleries of possible end-states, each of which combine many formatting operations. From this gallery, you select the complete look of your target -- say an org chart or an entire document -- and watch it change shape as you mouse over the alternatives in the gallery. The interaction paradigm has been reversed; it's now What You Get Is What You See, or WYGIWYS."

Monday, October 10, 2005

The Web & New Media Blog launches

Welcome to the Web & New Media Blog. This is intended to contain news, tips, useful links, and updates about modules on, students on, and the degree in BA (Hons) Media & Communication (Web & New Media) at UCE Birmingham, for which I am Degree Leader.

It's intended to be a communal resource, so please comment, let me know your own blogs, and if you want to be a contributor, let me know!

Paul Bradshaw