Monthly Archives: September 2010

Photos the Days – Last week

September 5, 2010

Heading out for a beautiful day.

September 6, 2010

UMass working on the world's longest sushi roll.

September 7, 2010

Some new graffiti to start the year at UMass. They are still at it.

September 8, 2010

This mural's got a secret.

September 9, 2010

This is a bathroom at UMass.

September 10, 2010

Just some plaid shirts.

September 11, 2010

Chalk art on the sidewalks of Northampton, Massachusetts.

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A well-designed journalism website

This is part two of an a assignment for my Web Design for Journalists class at UMass.

Part one of this post involved me searching for a “terribly designed website” and point out what makes it so poorly designed. 

Part two of this assignment requires me to find a well-designed journalism website and make a post about why I like it.

But, as if you couldn’t see this one coming, I have loyally chosen PBS Frontline‘s website.

An aesthetically pleasing example of a well-designed media site.

The Frontline website is aesthetically pleasing, complex yet easy to navigate, and exudes an experience for the user. Here’s how:

  • The colors work. Note the varying shades of blue, gray, and purple. And, what pops out is the copany’s logo, which is classically white on red.
  • The shapes are spot on. Rectangles and squares follow continuous patterns, are spaced fairly, and are lined up like city buildings and skyscrapers.
  • Episodes are featured in two formats, as well as through the program schedule which is clearly marked.
  • Links to a popular topics and current affairs section is also clearly featured and is updated fairly regularly.
  • The user experience is first exemplified by a savvy theme. When users move their mouse over a featured program, an opaque detail card pops up, giving the viewer more information.
  • The front page also features a slick flip-book like rectangle showing off popular episodes.
  • When viewers click around the main menu they are taken to slightly less complicated sub-pages that aren’t necessarily less exciting but are clear and concise – and, yes, aesthetically pleasing.
  • The font and words are easy to read.
  • Their organization is key to helping fans find the shows they love most.
  • The screen fits to the window when it is expanded by a user.
  • Only one scroll bar is necessary.

It’s hip, it’s cool, it’s professional and is accessible.

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Photos getting attention

Within the last week my photos have gotten some good media attention or at least I’ve been getting good publicity.

The great egret photo I shot while in southern New Jersey has been blogged twice to my knowledge. And, a photo I shot in London was used on MassLive.com.

Great Egret at the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in NJ.

 

The egret photo on K-Con Inc. Building Systems is a bit puzzling to me but some one has made some nice comments.

A DC Bird Blog has also included the egret photo in a blog post.

Outside the National Maritime Museum in Greenwhich.

 

A photo I took in Greenwhich London was used on Masslive.com in a report about study abroad programs.

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Llama Lasagne

I went to the Three County Fair this passed weekend. The experience turned out better than I thought. What I wasn’t expecting was an awesome band. And I was impressed by the energy, humor, and talent of local band Llama Lasagne. They delivered a fun time for all. 

Check out some photos I took of them:

Click to view a slideshow.

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Web design ugliness

I’m going to be changing up the pace and kinds of postings on this blog for you all.

I’m taking a journalism course at the University of Massachusetts Amherst called Web Design For Journalists, taught by Brian McDermott. Through the class I will be learning web design skills, taking some quizzes, and producing a website, which will, hopefully, be the new RosieWalunas.com.

Part of our first assignment is to find an awfully designed website and write a blog entry about it. Actually what has been assigned:

• Find a terribly designed website. It can be about anything suitable to show in class. Then, tell me why it’s so awful in 150-250 words on your newly posted blog. Be specific. For example, is the site hard to navigate around? Are the colors ugly? Is there too much motion? Make sure you link to the site in your post. – Brian McDermott

My search for an ugly website began. It’s harder to find an awful designed website when you are looking for one. It seems that they just pop out of no where when you are least expecting it.

Initially I typed “ugly websites” in to Google, which resulted in me finding THE BIG UGLY WEBSITE, which is painfully hideous. I will save your eyes for the moment, but you are welcome to click on the link.

None-the-less I stumbled upon some poor web design for the West Virginia Hippie Fest‘s website. I hope they know they don’t have to live this way online.

I hope no one is offended by this review.

 

Allow me to create an organized list of what is so wrong about this web design.

  • The colors aren’t a great combination, but they are suitable for the site’s content.
  • There are issues with the scroll bar. The site cannot be view in a whole frame, unless seen on a large screen, without scrolling horizontally.
  • Some of the graphics are pixelated, which could be a photographer/designer issue or a web designer issue.
  • The layout of graphics, buttons, and photos is not aesthetically pleasing. There are many awkwardly overlapping squares and rectangles.
  • Because of the odd layout, it makes navigating the site hard on the eyes.
  • After scrolling down, a gigantic table appears. It is hard too read, involves too much scrolling, and, although organized by date, it’s difficult to figure out the information presented because of the layout.
  • What I think they did an awesome job of is including a donation button. It appears to be a PayPal link, but I don’t know for sure because when the page loads I keep encountering errors (that’s a problem)… maybe I will try back later.

Hopefully, I can work on building a site that will not included these attributes to creating a terribly designed website. Stay tuned for my post about a well-designed website.

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Photos of the Days – It’s been a while

It’s been amonth since I have posted any photos of the days or made an significant postings about anything. I’ve been extrememly busy, and I do mean it. I’ve been working full-time and traveling for work. And, as you should know by now, I only have dial-up Internet service where I reside. However, school is back in session, which does mean I will be more busy while also working two jobs, but it also does mean I will be around more fully functioning Internet than I was all summer. So, without further yak, here are the photos you have been waiting for.

August 12, 2010

Grilled corn at Katy's.

August 13, 2010

Andy sliding around on the long board he built.

August 14, 2010

This photo was taken at UMass - not some picturesque farm in Wales or anything.

August 15, 2010

Tomato horn worms. Anyone who takes tomatoes away from me isn't my friend.

August 16, 2010

I highly dislike when people leave their party trash around.

August 17, 2010

All the things I have to do. Crackin' through that list.

August 18, 2010

When the store first came to town, a number of people thought they sold outdoor and wilderness gear.

August 19, 2010

The keys at Katy's. Let's just say it was a long day already!

August 20, 2010

I’m pretty sure I forgo to take a photo on August 20. I drove from Waltham, Mass. to western Mass., then to New Jersey. It wasn’t fun.

August 21, 2010

Sean and I went to the Liberty Science Center in Jersey. It is the best science museum I've ever been to.

August 22, 2010

Just hanging out at Sean's in NJ. It rained a lot that day.

August 23, 2010

Shot a story about bog turtle habitat restoration in northern NJ. It was one amazing time.

August 24, 2010

Back at home with the kids.

August 25, 2010

These are my hipster shoes.

August 26, 2010

Sunflower at sunset.

August 27, 2010

Nature at Smith College.

August 28, 2010

So I guess I forgot to take a photo on August 28? Sorry guys!

August 29, 2010

Saint Francis in the garden.

August 30, 2010

Worked on a jib-crane shoot in southern New Jersey.

August 31, 2010

Found this little guy at the marsh at our shoot.

September 1, 2010

Of course we had to set up a 40 foot boom!

September 2, 2010

Stunned and amazed I capture this egret coming in for a landing.

September 3, 2010

This little guy was definitely talking to me. I just hoped it didn't come after me.

September 4, 2010

A top the ferris wheel at the Three County Fair.

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