November 2007

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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.

Posted by hampelm at 06:25 PM | Comments (0)

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).

Posted by hampelm at 06:22 PM | Comments (1)

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.

http://www.lib.umich.edu/exploratory/

Posted by hampelm at 06:14 PM | Comments (0)

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 EspaƱol". (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.

Screengrab from 7 November:
The University of Michigan Undergraduate Admissions website

Posted by hampelm at 05:16 PM | Comments (0)

School of Natural Resources and the Environment

The SNRE relaunched their website in September 2007.

Phil Ray writes that the site is based on Drupal, hosted through the ITCS Web Team, and built with help from the Linux Box, a local company.

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.

Neither the homepage nor the news page offer an RSS feed, but the events page does (an ical feed would be helpful here, too).

Screengrab from 7 November 2007:
screenshot of the redesigned School of Natural Resources and the Environment website

Posted by hampelm at 04:46 PM | Comments (0)

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

Posted by samuelpj at 09:16 PM | Comments (0)