Archive of ‘technology’ category
The Future Of Mobile Web Design: Video Game Design And Storytelling
As attention spans shorten and visitors just want to get to the good stuff on a website, designers have to get more creative in how they communicate their website’s “story.”
By Suzanne Scacca June 25, 2018
What is truly impressive, however, is how we are now able to use design to tell a story. In other words, we no longer need to use long scrolls to set up plots or describe what a company does. This is especially great when designing for the mobile experience, which already sets pretty strict limits on how much we can “tell” versus “show.”
Three Video Game Storytelling Techniques We Need More Of In Web Design
1. Make Your Visitor the Hero
Create User Personas
Develop user personas before you do anything else when strategizing and planning for a website. Your personas should have a key “problem” they face.
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Use Relatable Content
In video game design, there is something known as “ludonarrative dissonance.”
the unpleasant situation where we’re asking players to do something they don’t want to do… or prevent them from doing what they want.
Spin a Fantasy
Here’s an interesting fact: people are 22 times more likely to remember data when it’s presented in a narrative form.
The brain digests visual content 60% more quickly than written content, so your web designs and other visuals (like video, animation, and so on) are the keys to doing this.
The Airbnb blog always does a great job of this type of visual storytelling.
2. Minimize Distractions by Using Symbols
As of August 2017, 52.64% of all visits to websites were done via a smartphone. And, starting in 2017, the most popular size for a smartphonewas between five and six inches and will only continue to grow in popularity as the years go on.
That’s not a lot of space to fill with content for the majority of site visitors, is it?
Functional minimalism is already something you’re doing in your own web design efforts, but have you thought about how it can tie into the storytelling aspect as well?
Here are some ways in which you might use symbols to declutter your site:
- Hamburger icon (for the navigation)
- Profile photo icon (for account details)
- Pencil icon (for an editing interface)
- Gear icon (for settings)
- Shopping cart icon (to checkout)
- Magnifying glass (to expand the search bar)
- Connector icon (to open social sharing and RSS feed options)
- Question mark (to expand live chat, search, or help options)
- And so on.
3. Be Smart About How You Use Space
Use a Spotlight
In video games, you can use light and darkness to draw attention to important pathways. On websites, it’s not always easy to employ the use of lightness or darkness as too-dark of a design or too-light of text could lead to a bad user experience. What you want to do instead is create a “spotlight” of sorts. You can do this by infusing a key area of your design with a dramatic color or a boldly stylized font.
If you’ve ever played a horror video game before, you know how critical the element of sound can be for it.
That said, while you might not be able to direct visitors down the page with the sound of something playing down below, you can use other elements to lead them. For one, you can use interactive elements like animation to draw their attention to where it needs to go.
Employ a Mascot
For some brands, it might make sense to employ the use of an actual mascot to guide visitors through the story.
As attention spans shorten and visitors just want to get to the good stuff on a website, designers have to get more creative in how they communicate their website’s “story.” Ideally, your web design will do more showing of that story instead of telling, which is how video game design tends to succeed in this matter.
Remember: Storytelling isn’t just relegated to big brands that can weave bright and shiny tales about how consumers’ lives were changed with their products. Nor is it just for video game designers that have hours of gameplay to develop for their audiences. A story simply needs to convey to the end-user how their problem can be fixed by your site’s solution. Through subtle design strategies inspired by video game storytelling techniques, you can effectively share and shape your own story.
Teachers Are Turning to Podcasts as an Instructional Tool
Students practice reading, writing, interviewing
By Sasha Jones February 11, 2019
“Traditionally, it’s write, write, write, write, write, and if you’re not a strong writer, you may start to think you’re not good at an English class in general.”
Podcasts that require scripts similarly encourage students to explore writing formats that stray from the traditional essay.
“When it’s just my eyes seeing it, it’s one-on-one and I’m the safety net,” Stevens said. “Even when you open it up to their classmates, they realize ‘OK, I’m going to be judged by them,’ and then you open it up to the internet. It’s a big deal.”
Last spring, cinematic arts and broadcast journalism teacher Michael Hernandez introduced his 11th and 12th graders to podcasting to teach them speaking skills that could be necessary for upcoming college or job interview.
more on podcasts in this IMS blog
Chinese Facial Recognition Will Take over the World in 2019
Michael K. Spencer Jan 14, 2018
The best facial recognition startups are in China, by a long-shot. As their software is less biased, global adoption is occurring via their software. This is evidenced in 2019 by the New York Police department in NYC for example, according to the South China Morning Post.
The mass surveillance state of data harvesting in real-time is coming. Facebook already rates and profiles us.
The Tech Wars come down to an AI-War
Whether the NYC police angle is true or not (it’s being hotly disputed), Facebook and Google are thinking along lines that follow the whims of the Chinese Government.
SenseTime and Megvii won’t just be worth $5 Billion, they will be worth many times that in the future. This is because a facial recognition data-harvesting of everything is the future of consumerism and capitalism, and in some places, the central tenet of social order (think Asia).
China has already ‘won’ the trade-war, because its winning the race to innovation. America doesn’t regulate Amazon, Microsoft, Google or Facebook properly, that stunts innovation and ethics in technology where the West is now forced to copy China just to keep up.
more about facial recognition in schools
Six Ways to Protect Student Data and Prevent Cyberattacks
By Ricky Doyle Dec 10, 2018
School administrators and IT staff can be super-vigilant, but the hackers are getting better and better at sneaking through security.
the most common cybersecurity threats, and how can school staff avoid them?
Eavesdropping / Man-in-the-Middle (MiTM) Attacks
What they are: It’s likely that you sometimes use a school laptop or mobile device to gain internet access via Wi-Fi networks in public places like coffee shops or airports. If so, be aware that there may be hackers eavesdropping to try and gain entry to any two-party exchange you make so they can filter and steal data.
How to avoid them: Always use a school-verified SIM card, dongle or VPN(virtual private network) to access the internet in public places.
Social Engineering Attacks
According to Verizon’s 2018 Breach Investigations report, 92 percent of malware is delivered via email, often referred to as social engineering attacks. The aim is to interact with the user and influence and manipulate their actions to gain access to systems and install harmful software. Malware uses various guises. Here are some of the most common:
1. Phishing emails
2. Baiting attacks
3. Quid pro quo requests
4. Pretexting attacks
5. Contact with a ‘compromised’ website
- The IMS Global organization has a tool to compare up to three Open Badge platforms:https://www.imsglobal.org/cc/statuschart/openbadges
- Badge Alliance also has a list of Open Badge platforms: http://www.badgealliance.org/badge-issuing-platforms/
- College of the Canyons did its own badge platform review last year, which was documented by SynEd:https://syned.org/2018/10/05/summary-of-digital-badge-provider-comparison-at-college-of-the-canyons/
- The Colorado Community College System put together a comprehensive white paper about its use of badges: https://www.cccs.edu/wp-content/uploads/documents/CCCS-Digital-Badging-Taskforce-Whitepaper-11.12.14.pdf
We are exploring the very same topic. We have been using Credly for the past year or so to give badges to faculty who complete courses in a 3 course series we developed for effective online teaching.
That said, we are a Canvas school and, as we explore our own pilot program, are looking at Badgr’s badging solution (which is free to use, at least for Canvas, maybe all though?) as well as their Pathway’s solution for stacking badges and providing a view of that badge path for participants.
It’s is all very early stage but those are the two platforms and vendors we have focused our time currently.
more on Credly in this IMS blog
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more on VR in education in this IMS blog
ELI Webinar | Credential Engine: Promoting Credential Transparency
When: Tues, Jan 22, 12PM
Where: Atwood Mississippi Room
Who: Anyone who is interested in microcredentialing
thanks to SCSU ITS and Mark Kotcho, whose Educause membership provided access to this webinar
more on microcredentialing in this IMS blog
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