Weekly Wrap Up Week 11: The Catch Up

The past couple of week on this blog have been rather quiet, and while some of that is due to lack of classes, and other parts of it is due to other ‘unforeseen circumstances’, it is also because I’ve had a lot of university work, and work itself to do, and I prioritised that over this blog. So, I’m sorry about that, but hey, at least it shows that I know how to prioritise!

Anyway, back to what I’ve been doing. The past couple of weeks has mostly been about our assignments. For Managing Digital Information we have been working on our database. I’m not going to lie, I’m really not enjoying this subject, or these assignments. It seems rahter repetitive, however I can’t deny that is applicable to someone who wants a career  in Information Architecture, as I do. Part of IA is knowing how people search for information on the web, so database management is an essential skill. I have to admit however, that a lot of this seems to be common sense. There is a possibility that I may be thinking this because I’ve already learnt a lot in my previous subjects, and the culmination of that knowledge has lead me to that belief.

Web design on the other hand has probably been my favourite subject in my entire degree. Like I said before, this week was predominately about our assignment. We had a meeting with out tutor, and the subject coordinator. Because I’ve become the project manager of the group, I had to ensure that everyone was up to date with their part of the assignment, according to the plan that we had created.  By this week we wanted to have all of the wireframes done, the CSS and the HTML for the homepage all completed. We had already done all the research for this assignment previously so we didn’t need to do anything with that, however we will need to document it for the report, which is something that will be done by next week hopefully.

I was really happy, because all the feedback we got from our teachers were very good, and they were impressed with what we had done, and we are definitely on track (thankfully!). In fact we were told that they were impressed that we had a homepage completed, apparently no many other groups had done that. The rest of the work for this week will mostly be focused on finishing my part – most of which I’ve done already (The HTML for two of the other five pages, the client brief), and then waiting for everyone else to complete their part so I can finish mine (the usability testing, and finalising the report and prototype of the website).

I’m not sure if I’ve exactly explained what assignment 3 is in this subject, but if you’re interested you can check out this post to find out more!

For MDI I ensured that I wasn’t the project manager (which I often end up doing just because no one else will, and I’m the kind of person who likes to make lists and make sure that everything is completed properly. What can I say, I’m a perfectionist). I decided to do this because i knew I would already have a large workload with Web Design and my other commitments, and to be perfectly honest, I’m not great at this subject, nir am I super passionate about it. So, for this assignment I’m in charge of writing the final report. This is good because it’s something I can do at home while waiting for people from other assignment to send me their stuff.

In the end, I’ve got a lot of stuff to do this week, as well as my Spanish assignment and exam. Wish me luck!

Weekly Wrap Up Week 6: When MDI is away, the Web Designers play.

This week was a rather slow week in regards to content, particularly because we’re focusing a lot on our assignments, but I will talk a bit more about that later below. There isn’t any information here about Managing Digital Information because this week due to other commitments I was unable to attend class.
This week in Web Design we mainly focused on searching. This is really important, because when a user goes on a website, if they’re unable to search for the information they need, there is a problem. We discussed the point of search engines, why they are great, and how they work. I have to admit, there were a lot of algorithms, and there is a reason I’m doing communications instead of maths or science, so this was a bit difficult for me, but the overall concepts make quite a lot of sense, which is a very good thing. There are basically three ways that Search Engines work: They Crawl, which means they collect data from a website by scanning the content of each page; they use indexing, where the data is already in a database; and Ranking and Retrieval, where the user is given the most relevant pages based on key words.
In the tutorial we worked on our assignment three, which is a group assignment. For this assignment we must create our own website for a client, based on Information Architecture theories. For my group we are doing Marvel Comics (Surprise surprise). However, at the moment, the Marvel comics website is pretty good, and it is very broad. Because of this we have actually narrowed our website range down to the current even that is happening in the marvel universe – Secret Wars. I’m not going to lie, I’m a little bit worried about this, because I am the only one who actually knows about it (and is enthused about this assignment to be honest), so I had to constantly explain what is happening in the event, the information needed and other things like that. But we did ask our tutor about it, and they seemed to be rather interested, so I’m looking forward to it. Because I am the only one who actually knows about this topic, I feel like I have been thrust into the spot of team leader. To be fair, I would probably eventually end up in this position, just because I like things to be done correctly, and a year of doing group work has proven to me that unless I’m in charge it won’t be done properly (or at all). So, in regards to the tutorial, we did what is needed to be done in the beginning of a project – the basic decisions that will affect the rest of the project. Things like the Client, the Audience (Primary and Secondary), and then research into the clients needs. That was a surprisingly long process, and because of this it took up the majority of the tutorial.

Weekly Wrap Up Week 5: The quiet before the storm

This week was rather different to the others that I have had. While MDI was rather similar, in Designing for the Web we had an assignment due, and on top of that we didn’t have a live lecture this week.
Designing for the Web
Because we had an assignment due this week, a lot of our tutorial was focused on fixing up our assignments. This was the case because a major part of the assignment was creating a website. I had already completed mine fully, so during this time I was able to update the CSS and make it look more professional. Surprisingly I really enjoyed doing this assignment, because, while I had to do research, I also had to create a website, which meant I got to use my knowledge in HTML and CSS to its (almost) full potential. And the topics that I got to do my research on were interesting as well. We were given a list of topics, and I chose “Mobile UXD” and “User Generated Content”. I chose these because I know that they will both (hopefully) be useful to me in the future.
Managing Digital Information:
In the lecture we mostly talked about frameworks, which is very similar to what we have been talking about before with systems of classifying objects, however they tend to be more in-depth versions. The example that stood out to me the most was Dublin Core, because I understand that KOS, which I will discuss later. We also talked about Meta-data and XML, however I don’t quite understand a lot of that, so I’ll need to do some more research.
In the tutorial this week we talked specifically about Dublin Core, with the basic 15 elements and then the further elements after that. We were given an image of a nudibranch (a type of australian shelled animal), and then had to determine what core elements would be appropriate for it. From there, we discussed it in relation to different types of documents, and it was mentioned that the way we index this document is based on what type of document it is. For example, if it’s a digitised photograph of a shell, like this document it, we would have to decide is the document the photograph, or is it the shell itself. This would then affect most of the categories, which is really important to note for all types of categorising.