7 Study Tips for Finals
Simmons College website gives 7 easy tips to make the most of your studying. As finals are this week I thought this would be a fitting post! I have summarized the 7 tips below, but feel free to visit the following website for the whole article – http://www.simmons.edu/blogs/300thefenway/2011/12/7-awesome-study-tips-for-finals.php
1. Take the time to “Time Manage.”
- Organize your study materials. This will help maximize your time and make a stable study routine.
2. Set realistic studying goals.
- Don’t overwhelm yourself! Space out your studying and don’t wait until the last minute.
3. Take lots of breaks.
- Try to take a 5-15 minute break between every hour of studying. The breaks are just as important as the studying!
4. Reserve library rooms ahead of time.
- Libraries are packed during finals week – make a reservation so you can ensure yourself a study room!
5. Don’t bring food with you.
- Food can serve as a distraction. Try a cold drink instead to stay well-hydrated and focused.
6. Reward yourself.
- Once you accomplish a specific goal while studying, take a break to reward yourself. Watch a movie, visit with a friend, or take a walk outside.
7. Ask for help!
- Don’t be shy about asking for help if you don’t understand the material! Contact a classmate, TA, or your professor.
Finding inspiration is a vital part of starting a project. There are many ways to spark your creativity to get the ball rolling. One of the resources I use for inspiration and outside-of-the-box thinking is http://www.deviantart.com/. Here you can browse almost any kind of art made and uploaded by users.
Once you’ve created a prototype from some of the inspiration you just browsed for, you can post it and receive constructive criticism and compliments. This is especially useful if user testing is hard to come by. Since there are thousands of users on deviantART, the comments can come quickly and plentiful. If neither of these features are what you’re looking for then perhaps you can simply use deviantART as a portfolio to store your designs and artwork. Anyway you use it, deviantArt is a useful and popular way to browse, share and comment on user designs and artwork.
Designing for the Color Blind
I found a very nice article entitled “Tips for Designing for Colorblind Users” by Joshua Johnson. It was published on July 28, 2010, so it is getting close to being 2 years old, but it is very well written and still relevant today. I chose to do a post on this topic because, so far, we have only had slides cover this information, not an actual lecture. Johnson gives techniques and principles to keep in mind especially when designing for a large user audience, because the larger the audience, the larger the number of colorblind users.
Johnson explains that when designing for color impaired people, that it is all about shades. He gives a detailed explanation and includes picture examples. He then goes on to articulate color combinations that are extremely painful to look at for colorblind people. Johnson gives several picture examples to go with his article and then further explains the reasoning behind each thing he says. This is just a brief overview of the article, but I recommend that you go to the site to read the entire article:
As we get closer to the end of this year, we strive for the completion of our portfolio websites. All of us are run down, tired and well we need a little help and inspiration, or we want some really cool free social networking buttons to use. I have been a noble follower of this website since I took CGT 211. This website has an abundance of information that will totally blow your mind. The website is called DesignrFix, http://designrfix.com/. As you go to this website intrigued by “the website that has everything” it is a very overwhelming navigation system (that I have yet to figure out) don’t give up on it yet! Browse around and find amazing stuff! This website can inspire you with ideas, teach you through tutorials that are step by step instructions, and provide recourses… it just keeps going on and on! I can literally spend hours on this website every day. You can also follow them on twitter at @Designrfix. I will admit the twitter will blow up your newsfeed several times a day, but I have learned to take a quick glance at the subjects that I would find interesting and go back to the article at a later time if it looks helpful. Enjoy!
Meet the pro: Jared Spool.
Jared Spool is the CEO of User Interface Engineering (UIE). He founded the company in 1988 and today it is the largest organization of its kind, worldwide. UIE, based in Massachusetts, is a research, training, and consulting firm specializing in website and product usability. Spool has been working in the field of usability and design since 1978, way before anyone in the industry even knew what “usability” was. He is known as the most effective and knowledgeable communicator in the field of usability today. Spool speaks at more than 20 conferences every year and is always considered one of the most top-rated speakers.
Spool has written the books “Web Usability: A Designer’s Guide” and “Web Anatomy: Interaction Design Frameworks that Work.” He posts blogs and articles concerning UX frequently as well. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @jmspool.
- Alex Dunfee
Snipplr. A coder’s second home.
Some time ago I came across www.snipplr.com while looking for coding examples for a particular programming language. What I found at this site was another home. It’s the perfect site for finding coding snippets in all your favorite languages. The site contains small scripts in every language from Actionscript to XSLT submitted by the community. It features a nice search engine that allows you to narrow your search by language, tags, and more. The only downside to the site is that it is not very aesthetically pleasing, but finding what you want/need is still quite straightforward and simple. So if you’re looking for any type of sample code, from resizing images using php, to detecting a browser resize using jQuery, this is the site for you. Very beneficial to software, application, and web developers. It even features CSS codes! Check it out!
- John Brown
Justafriend. An HTML5 experience!
I recently stumbled upon this site www.justafriend.ie and let me tell you, it’s pretty amazing. The selling point behind this site is that it’s coded entirely in HTML5 and features a completely dynamic music video in which the user can interact with elements while the video plays. To begin, the site asks you to either sign in with your facebook account or to just enter a name. Signing in with your facebook account allows the site to pull images and names from your facebook and dynamically project them into the music video. Aside from you being able to see your picture and name at various times throughout the video, there are also points where your interaction will alter what happens. In the video you are able to play minigames such as bowling, a ddr-type game, and more that affects how the main character in the video reacts. There is also a cool behind-the-scenes site you can go to after the video that explains almost exactly how the video was made. It’s quite intensive, so there were a few slowdown points throughout the video, but this is still an amazing testament to the power of HTML5. Supposedly works best in Internet Explorer. Go check it out!
- John Brown
Adobe Kuler Extension
This goes back to our color assignment last month. Kuler is a web-base color theme generator that allows you to customize or create your own color themes or browse other user submitted themes. The great thing about Kuler is that it provides you with all the color codes for each color in each theme, so whether you’re in Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign you can use the same color themes in what you are working on.
But one of the main things that makes Kuler stand out from other web based color theme sites is that Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Flash already have a built in extension specifically for Kuler. By going to Windows > Extensions > Kuler, a window shows that allows you to browse or search color themes, and add them to your swatch panel with just one mouse click!
More information on Kuler : http://www.adobe.com/products/kuler/features/
Featured website: http://superdit.com/2011/07/04/useful-css-gradient-generator-websites/
I found this site to be very useful for generating css and lots of different colors. The website itself has lots of different websites in it that have the generators on them. I found them fun to play with and use to make my css that much more interesting.