November 17, 2007
Print to (nearly) any network printer
You can send documents to nearly any networked printer at Michigan using the mPrint service from ITCS. Quite handy when you have a large job -- send it through the web, and it will be finished by the time you have walked over to the printer.
Bad Designs on Campus Winners
The winners of the Bad Designs on Campus contest have been announced.
Of note to Michigan developers is winning entry number three: there should be a login box on the frontpage of the webmail system. This is a basic usability problem that shows up in many UM web applications (mPrint, mfile).
November 07, 2007
Courses: Flash, Access, Dreamweaver, Copyright, Ctools
ITCS Education offers for-cost workshops on basic, intermediate, and advanced technologies, including Dreamweaver, Flash, Illustrator, relational databases, and many other technologies.
The Library's Teaching and Technology Collaborative offers courses to faculty on social tagging, citation software, copyright law, and other information management tools.
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
[the] Office of Undergraduate Admissions redesigned the undergraduate admissions website in 2007.
The site was built by Michigan Marketing and Design. There are no clues about the underlying content management system in the page source.
The site is built centered; the masthead is 980 pixels wide and the content 800, creating a shaft-capital, column-like appearance. The layout was achieved with 4 nested tables and some semantic HTML. Ten easily fixable validation errors were found on the front page, which is coded in XHTML Transitional. The type, Garamond and Arial, creates nice contrasts, but is always set in fixed sizes that occasionally trend small.
There are 23 top-level navigation links on the homepage, and none of them appear to lead to any new communication tools. No RSS or events feeds are available. The front page appears to be static content. The admissions staff does not post recent news and there is no visible two-way communication except for "Blogs en Español". (other colleges have added communication features: the U of Chicago runs a friendly blog with comments on; Cornell, student-published blogs)
Google Analytics tracking code is embedded at the bottom of every page, so the team can base future decisions on site metrics.
School of Natural Resources and the Environment
The SNRE relaunched their website in September 2007.
The site is built flush-left with a fixed width of 940 pixels and set in Verdana and Arial at flexible sizes. Semantic code, not tables, were used to produce the layout. The homepage and three randomly chosen subpages all validate as XHTML 1.0 strict.
Google Analytics and a download tracker script attached to Drupal's Google Analytics module.
November 01, 2007
World Usability Day Conference at MSU
Michigan State University is hosting its fifth annual usability & accessibility event on Nov 8. Best of all it's free! Full details can be found at http://www.usability.msu.edu/conf2007.asp