UPDATES

CONFERENCES:
web directions South - Oct 6-9 in Sydney, Australia - www.webdirections.org/
Usability Week Conference
- Oct. 12-18 in Las Vegas - www.nngroup.com/events/las_vegas/
An Event Apart 2009
- Oct. 12-13 in Chicago - http://aneventapart.com/2009/chicago/
An Event Apart 2009 - Dec. 2-3 in San Francisco - http://aneventapart.com/2009/sanfrancisco/
FECT (Florida Educators Technology Conference) - Jan 12-15 in Orlando - www.fetc.org/

UK's netmanager - to understand the severity of outside attacks on UK web sites - https://its.net.uky.edu/home.php


SITE REVIEWS

Institutional Research, Planning, and Effectiveness - www.uky.edu/IRPE/
Adolescent Risk Behavior Research - www.uky.edu/arbr/
Surgical Skills Lab - www.mc.uky.edu/ssl/
IGERT (Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship) - http://igert.engr.uky.edu/
Center of Obesity and Cardiovascular Research - www.mc.uky.edu/cocvd/


BUILDING RESPECT FOR USABILITY EXPERTISE

In response to a reader question concerning his article titled "Guesses vs. Data as Basis for Design Recommendations," Jakob Nielsen encourages us to use research, knowledge and patience to get colleagues — who are not usability experts — to trust us with their content.

Nielsen concludes that once content owners see how much better viewers react to web sites that are written and designed according to established usability guidelines, they'll start respecting you more. This is very similar to the way an organization as a whole builds usability maturity: one step at a time.

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FIRST LOOK: OBJECT ORIENTED CSS

While early on the complicated end of the HTML spectrum this methodology promises considerably smaller CSS files, but slightly larger HTML files. Smaller CSS means less time spent looking at a blank page. Once your CSS has loaded, your site’s HTML content is displayed progressively as it loads.

“OOCSS isn’t really a framework … but a way of writing scalable, sane, maintainable CSS,” writes Nicole Sullivan, who has developed the methodology called Object Oriented CSS (OOCSS) (an example in code is included.).

This article by SitePoint's Kevin Yank goes on to answer the questions "What's the point?" and "Is it worth it?"

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MOBILE USABILITY

How concerned should be we be that our web sites be viewable on mobile devises?

Usability tests were given to Blackberry and iPhone users around the world in a Nielsen-Norman Group study of mobile usability and whether it enables users to perform the same tasks they could on a computer or netbook.

One conclusion — mobile user experience is miserable due to small screens, awkward input, download delays and badly designed sites. One other observation was that the better the phone the better the experience.

The study ends by stating that unless web sites are redesigned for the special circumstances of mobile use, the mobile Web will remain a mirage.

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WRITE BETTER CSS WITH LESS

LESS is a coding method that embraces CSS, and any additional functionality it comes with, is integrated in such a way as to make it as seamless as possible. Thus, you can gradually move your CSS to LESS, or if you're only interesting in using variables, or operations, you aren't forced to learning a whole new language.

In this article by Raena Jackson Armitage, sample codes and grids are used to illustrate a streamlined way of building and maintaining your web site.

Caution: downloading a Ruby app is necessary to run LESS.

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Notes from Campus

THE 10 FACES OF COMPUTER MALWARE

Everything from a worm to a threat an effect your computer's performance and therefore your work efficiency. Knowing what to look for, prevent and get rid of can go a long way toward making life easier as a webmaster.

For instance, did you know that a computer virus can invade as a Replicator, Concealor or Payload? Or that computer worms can take on the role of Penetration Tool, Installer, Discovery Tool, Scanner or Payload?

Each of these terms, and more, are explained in laymen's language by TechReplublic's Michael Kassner. In addition, he delves into the lesser known User-mode, Kernel-mode and Firmware rootkits.

Kassner's final words include:

  • Malware isn’t going away any time soon. Especially when it became evident that money, lots of money, can be made from its use.
  • Since all anti-malware applications are reactionary, they are destined to fail.
  • Developers who create operating system and application software need to show zero tolerance for software vulnerabilities.
  • Everyone who uses computers needs to take more ownership in learning how to react to the ever-changing malware environment.
  • It can’t be stressed enough: Please be sure to keep operating system and application software up to date.

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