Teaching Examples


Beauty and function in design: Orange & Blue
January 20, 2007, 7:54 pm
Filed under: design, magazines, usability

It’s always nice to see a student grow into a thoughtful designer. Our doctoral student Dave Stanton has done just that. Check out his fall 2006 design of the student magazine, Orange & Blue. Ted Spiker’s undergrad magazine class puts out a print version and then hands off the content to JOU 4946, one of our four undergrad online journalism classes, for which Dave acts as managing editor and my colleague David Carlson acts as publisher. (I have nothing to do with this class!)

If you want to see an awesome use of Ajax, check out the photo gallery on this story about Kappy’s Submarine Shop. Dave adapted the Lightbox script by Lokesh Dhakar to make this work.

Even better — see the same effect used with a SWF — launching a Soundslides about kosher sushi (the brainchild of Gainesville’s resident Lubavitch rabbi).

The magazine also includes one audio interview (with our local food critic), using a neat little Flash player embedded on the page (4 min. 3 sec.).

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2 Comments so far
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Even better — see the same effect used with a SWF — launching a Soundslides about kosher sushi (the brainchild of Gainesville’s resident Lubavitch rabbi).

Just to be clear, that effect makes use of another JavaScript library called jQuery, not Prototype/script.acaulo.us (what Lightbox uses). We used this library here at The Roanoke Times and roanoke.com for our contact and search forms on the Sports TimesCast.

We also used a similar effect with the Lightbox Gone Wild script, which is adapted from the Lightbox script for the Homestand package. It can be buggy — some of the SWF files are clipped after loading (seems to be random), which is why we cite the URL — so I’d suggest jQuery.

But honestly, if you’re just trying to use one effect relying on an entire library isn’t the best technique. It can really increase your page-load time, which is a bad thing for usability.

The best tip: Write your own script (often easier said, than done).

Comment by Patrick

Good advice, Patrick — thanks!

Comment by Mindy McAdams




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