Vampires: If they look so good nowadays, why don’t their sites?

It’s so hard to find a good design for a site based on vampires. At this rate I’ll be turning to blogs and news sites to find something that doesn’t hurt my eyes or my feelings. Shouldn’t these bloodsuckers have a company ready to commercialize them by now?

#1

http://celestina.newsvine.com/_news/2007/04/18/670251-vampire-mythology-and-corporate-america

Visual Design and Site Flow

Green and white, each with various shades work well together to not hurt the eye. Visual design is simple and there’s nothing inside the main content that distracts from the intended article.

Organizational Structure

3 levels, 12 main categories, 7 subcategories in dropdown menu form

Content Quality

1

comparing corporate America to vampires with the fanged tooth stapler was pretty compelling

Target Audience

individuals, age 20s-40s News sites typically try to appeal to all, but young and middle age adults seem to be who they have the most success with

Useful Features

Colored tabs let’s me know which section I’m in.

#2

http://www.monstropedia.org/index.php?title=Main_Page

Visual Design and Site Flow

A white area for reading the content is surrounded by dark menus and ads. Colors seperate the page sections from one another.

Organizational Structure

Several levels, more than five

15 main sections

Ridiculous amounts of subsections

Content Quality

4

Most information is gotten by embedding wikipedia into the page

Target Audience

Monster fans of all ages

Useful Features

None in particular.

#3

http://vampires.monstrous.com/

Visual Design and Site Flow

Black background with white and yellow text, and a red menu. A bit cluttered, content and navigations can stand to be spaced out a bit. Site flow needs work since navigation is specific to each level

Organizational Structure

3 levels, with only one navigation section it only offers navigation for the level you are currently on

Content Quality

1 great information and a few pictures, covers all forms of vampire mythology

Target Audience

vampire fans, definitely no regard for those with bad eye sight

Useful Features

A drop down menu to related sites

#4

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vampire_folklore_by_region

Visual Design and Site Flow

a white and simple page

Organizational Structure

with so much content it is hard to tell, most rely on the search feature

Content Quality

1

provides great amounts of information on precursors of vampires and many legends from different regions.

Target Audience

all audiences

Useful Features

search feature, footnotes, and reference section

#5

http://www.pathwaytodarkness.com/

Visual Design and Site Flow

Dark patterns with speckles of blood, orange text, pictures for branding and at the bottom of the page that are not too bright to hurt one’s eyes while looking at the dark design

Organizational Structure

4 levels

7 main categories with subcategories coming in a drop down menu

levels three and four reached by links on the above level

Content Quality

1

Includes articles, blogs, forums, videos, and wine (vampires just happen to be part of the brand)

Target Audience

older more sophisticated users, wine drinkers and vampire fans alike

Useful Features

Drop down menus

Web Design: More than just CSS/XHTML

http://www.wpdfd.com/issues/87/bland_and_grand_web_designs/

Take a look at the pages within the above link. What do you see? In the bland section, I see some boring pages, but some particularly nice ones too. So why are they there? To be blunt, design flaws, from a bland look, to simple functionality. It may be subtle, but these are pages that are just good enough, not exactly bad, but not as good as they could be. Which just goes to show, it takes more than just coding and a layout to build a page.
Finding a perfect balance of content and visual design is key here. So, when it comes time for finals my fellow students, you should probably run your page by a typography, and color fundamentals, teacher before you turn it in. You’ll improve your chances for an A by alot.

If you’re designing for somebody, definitely run it by one of your teachers, it’ll be worth it, especially when you’re trying to put together a portfolio. That’s what this guy happens to think.

Semantic Web apps on the rise

http://ablvienna.wordpress.com/category/semantic-web/

The above link may not lead to a blog about semantic web design, but it may be just as crucial to the subject. It’s important to know all you can know about what you’re designing for. That way you can have a better grasp on how to design your page in the simplest and easiest to read format. But what about those hard to find subjects.

When it comes to interactive media, finding information of any use can be a bit tough. Google may be good, but it can’t get everything. Blogs seem to be the way to go, but if you’re not too big on blogging or have a hard time finding the right information in blogs, some new semantic web apps might be of some use to you.

The 3 applications mentioned in the above link, include Twine, Talis, and Clearforest (each of which were taken from Read/WriteWeb). Based on the information given, I’d say Twine is the most appealing to me. It’s sort of like combining wikipedia, rss feeds, and facebook. While it’s still in private testing, it sounds very promising because, even if their is only a small user group, it’ll grow rapidly as long as anybody remains dedicated. That’s what I happen to think.

Pod/Vodcasting

http://edmarketing.apple.com/adcinstitute/wp-content/Missouri_Podcasting_White_Paper.pdf

Have you ever wanted your own radio show? Well, this link is the place to learn the basics. I actually have all of the equipment needed to create a podcast. I don’t think it’s in my best interest though. I can’t really talk all that long without stumbling over my words. Typing a blog is much better for my purposes. I guess I could just write a script though. I shouldn’t really limit myself. So maybe, one day, I’ll try a podcast. But as for right now, I think I’ll pass. That’s what this guy happens to think.

HTML/CSS

Html and css go hand in hand. It’s sort of like peanut butter and jelly. You get the knife in one and before you know it, you’re slapping the other on the bread. The same goes with html and css. At least on html dogs and w3 schools. It’s because html is basically setting the content and css is formatting it. Type a few words and a source code and that’s html. Set the heading, font style, color, or just about anything else and you’re working in css. Learning the basics is simple enough, and after a little bit of practice, it’s easy enough to remember. If you forget anything, htmldogs.com and w3schools.com have easy step by step guides showing the necessary code to complete whatever it is you need. All you need to do is know what it is you’re looking forward and what it’s called. I imagine that these sites will make designing a website very simple, or at least straight forward. Once I learn more and more, I feel confident that I’ll spectacular pages with those two sites as a code reference. That’s what this guy happens to think.

My PLE

Well then, my very own PLE. I really don’t know what to say about it. I have two aggregators.  If I can’t get to one, I can get to the other. Netvibes and Google Reader are the ones I use. Mainly because they’re just simple to use so I haven’t checked out any others. I have my things separated into to categories so when I look something up I know where to look first. The things that I actually use are separated from random things that I stumble across, which often times get deleted before long. In Netvibes, I make use of the three rows provided under each tab to further separate things in a category. I have tabs for technology, school work, social sites, manga sites, and game development. It’s just well organized and that’s what helps me the most. I know how to do research so if I feel the need to add anything on a whim I can. Often times, the sites that I have saved link to other sites that I would find useful and I take advantage of that. My PLE takes care of the things that I have to handle and that’s what makes it Personal. Thats’ what this guy happens to think.

Fun With Haptics

“Haptics is a new technology in its early stages. It allows for kinesthetic feedback to users from the computer itself. The problems with it at the moment include, the use of extensive processing power, the need for special equipment (which is often times not very portable), and the sheer amount of complexity. So far, haptics are used in flight simulation, virtual roller coasters, video game controllers, and other various small simulators. This leaves huge room for development.”

This is a small summary I did on haptics a couple of last week (sorry for not updating sooner). Well, remember when I said that there’s huge room for development in haptics? Well, let’s just say that not only is the phone industry, military, and video game industry are looking into it, but also boxing coaches, the car industry, and porn industry as well. I’m not making it up. Well, it was sort of obvious that the sex industry would jump all over this in ways that I need not to describe. But anyways, all sorts of things are happening with haptics. Studies show that it works wonders with boxing. It’s like a coaches dream come true.

“In experiments with arm motions, the researchers found that the suit increased students’ learning rates by up to 23%, and reduced errors by up to 27%, as well as enabling students to learn movements ‘more deeply’ by affecting their subconscious learning of motor skills.

How do they accomplish this? They use vibrations to guide boxers into the perfect form that their coaches recorded.  I wish they had this for football. Maybe my old team would have tackled better. Moving on, the military would like to use certain vibrations, pulses, and other sensations in their vests to help commanders know the status and actions of their troops to help them make better decisions in battles. Then there’s the use of haptics in driving. Cars can start shaking when people are driving into oncoming traffic or making a wrong turn, maybe even shake somebody awake if they fall asleep driving. Haptics involve reading signals from the human body as well, so it would be possible for cars to detect this. Some of the less critical uses for haptics include the button press sensation on touch screens, because people feel more secure that way. This way we can still make smaller devices without the screens getting much smaller.I’m getting jealous of the new generations, with all the cool technology they have coming their way. That’s what this guy happens to think.