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Example of a great yet simple game August 6, 2007

Posted by stacey27 in educational games.
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I came across a game that tests your knowledge of the presidents of the United States today. It is a great example of a game that is challenging, engaging, yet is just a simple design.

I really feel that it is not always the 3D graphics that make a game engaging but the design of the game. I will not argue that 3D graphics are not engaging. I think they are. But if a game does not have a good design, no matter how great the graphics are, it will not engage.

I must admit that my knowledge of the presidents of the United States is not at the level it needs to be to win this game. However, I will still try to play it. And maybe I just might learn something along the way!

Play the game!

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Rules for Course Design August 6, 2007

Posted by stacey27 in development, visual design.
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I have been tasked at work recently with updating some courses. They were built a few years ago, and while the content is still relevant, the design may not be as current. (or designed as well as it could be)

Right now I am working on my second course and I am noticing a bit of a trend on the changes I am making to update these courses. Here is a list of the things I have been doing to make sure that the courses are well developed and and have a good visual design.

  1. No unnecessary animations. They distract the learner. Unless if it is an animation that is pertinent to the delivery of the content, I say they must be removed.
  2. No bright blocks of color behind text. These bright colors behind text or as the text color, perhaps, are again distracting. When the learner focuses on the bright colors or has trouble reading the content, you begin to lose him or her. If I use a dark color in the background, I make sure that the color is in fact dark, and I’ll use a very light color for the text, such as white. Most times though, I stick to a light background – maybe a slightly tinted white – and use dark text. This is the easiest for the user to read.
  3. Use clean easy to read buttons. I cannot stand when I roll over a button and it moves away from me, or shifts. I tend to use the buttons built into Flash many times because they are clean and well built. If I dont use one of those buttons, I focus on making my buttons simple, clean and easy to read.
  4. Make sure images are not distorted. To ensure the images maintain the appropriate proportions, hold the shift key when re-sizing using the transform tool (in Flash). Or always constrain proportions. You dont want want an image to look stretched out.

This is only a short list right now. More to come in time.

addicted to RSS August 2, 2007

Posted by stacey27 in Uncategorized.
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I am addicted to my RSS reader and blogs.

Normal Day: wake up, get ready for work, drive to work, get to work, READ BLOGS on my RSS READER, work, READ BLOGS, eat lunch, READ BLOGS…etc. It keeps going and going.

Maybe its the fact that I am used to multitasking. Maybe I am just a procrastinator. Maybe I dont like to feel left out. Whatever the reason, I am constantly compelled to read the blogs, look for new blogs, and stay caught up. It’s fun and it’s a challenge. And I am constantly learning new stuff. [YET, I must say that I am still productive in my life – work and personal. It is not an addiction that consumes my life (only jumps into my “on-the-computer” time). In case if you were wondering.]

But I find it funny. I’ll go to a website, and if it only even slightly resembles a blog, i try to subscribe (well, that is, if i like the site).

So what I am wondering, is — is the use of RSS readers growing? I know for a while I had read that they were not catching on as some had thought.

Also I am wondering, is anyone else doing this? Or to some degree? Are you excited to see what’s newly posted and to learn more? And to have all of that at your fingertips?

Just wondering. I have noticed the growing trend in myself. Sometimes I go with the curve and other times, against.