Blog 3 – LeaguePro

League_of_Legends_logo

Introduction

League of Legends is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game developed by Riot Games. It is quickly rising among one of the most played games in the world with 32 million monthly active players. The purpose of this website is to create a community for LoL (League of Legends) players where they can find useful information about the game and discuss strategies. I chose this website not only because it is one of my hobbies I enjoy but also that this information is vital for players to be successful. Without this knowledge players may become frustrated and leave the game before giving it a chance. Similarly so if a player has access to all the information he/she may need, not only will they improve as a player but also enjoy the game more. A similar website that has been implemented for this purpose can be found here. TSM (Team Solo Mid) is a professional team from NA (North America) that competes against the best teams in the world.

My website proposal includes the following categories with brief explanations:

  • Pro Guides – The Pro Guide section is an area where Pro’s post and updated champion guides, each champion may have multiple guides from different Pro’s. The rest of the pages in Pro Guides only have one unique page. This is done to cause less confusion among the community on whether what is wrong or right for these strategies. Essentially a universal agreement between the Pro’s done for each page. The pages are updated accordingly whenever the game goes through patch updates and Meta changes (Meta means how the game is supposed to be played to be successful and is accepted to be the right way in the community)
  • User Guides – Similar to the Pro Guide section, the User Guides section allows users whom are not Pro to create their own guides. One main difference is that the Other Guides section is not limited to one unique page. Players may share their views on different strategies and ideas for anything they wish.
  • Login/Register – Login and Register function. This allows players to buy merchandise, post on the forums and use the Pro/User Guides section (need Pro powers for Pro Guides). Included is a password recovery page.
  • Shop – To allow fans to support the website through purchasing our merchandise.
  • Forums – Where fans and players hang out to discuss different strategies or ideas.
  • Streams – Where featured streams and other streams are listed. This section lists all notable streamers in the world on one page so you can find all your favourite players in one place!

Target Audience

The main demographic for LeaguePro will be males aged between 12 – 30 years of age. The video game scene is very male dominate with little female presence. It should be noted that this small percentage of females is still actually a considerable amount since LoL’s player base is so vast. To give a more comprehensive description of what a typical audience may be, I have created four persona’s below.

Persona 1: Omar Jackson is a male aged 16 years old. He is a teenager in high school that enjoys his sports and video games. His friends just introduced him to the game League of Legends a week ago. Omar experienced difficulties in game and could not understand why he was losing so much. He tried to ask his friends for tips but they also seem flabbergasted. Omar decides to take matters into his own hands and find information online that could help improve his game.

Persona 2: Michael Lee is a male aged 22 years old. Michael just graduated from University last year and wishes to turn pro. Michael is a very high ranked player but he cannot seem to find the publicity he needs to attract professional teams. He compiled a number of strategies where he could increase his popularity. One of them being featured on a highly recognised LoL website stream.

Persona 3: Anthony James is a male aged 19 years old. Anthony just turned pro a couple of months ago and is easing into his new team. Because his team is rather new, Anthony’s salary is quite low and he wishes to earn extra money on the side. He decides he would like to create Pro Guides for a highly established LoL website as they get paid for the amount of views it receives.

Persona 4: John Shields is a male aged 27 years old. John is a veteran to the game and is also very passionate he wishes to give back to the community. Even though John is not a professional player he is recognised throughout the LoL community as a knowledgeable individual where he discusses in depth strategies on his stream and forum posts. His fan base has recently surged into greater heights this increased the number of FAQ John answered. John then decided it would be of great benefit to the community if he placed all his informative strategies and blogs onto a single website where everyone could see. (User Guides)

Website Structure (Blueprints)

Blog3Blueprint

LeaguePro uses a horizontal/hierarchical navigational design. It is one of the most commonly used style found online. Information can be found easily with drop down menus, this lessens the need for excessive amounts of text that clogs up the websites design. As mentioned before the website has six categories not including the search feature. Anybody that views the website has access to all these categories. However some features of the website requires the user to have a account to be able to use its features (not view). For example when a user registers his/her account the website will confirm its authentication. Once logged in the user may post on the forums, buy merchandise and create guides. The ability to create Pro Guides requires the user to be a professional player in LoL. This is reviewed and confirmed by the website admins. The search feature seeks out all information in the databases to find the most relative data for the user. On the topic of databases each major function that requires a huge amount of information to be stored has its own repository that stores and fetches data.

Wireframes

Shown below is an example of what the navigational bar would look like:

1. Navigation Bar

As mentioned before the website uses drop down menus with horizontal navigation. Not mentioned on the blueprints above is a shopping trolley where users can check on their current chart.

2. Home

Shown above is the Home page of the website. The homepage consists of the latest news concerning the game. The banner underneath Welcome to LeaguePro is a slide bar which lists featured articles and news. For this particle day a new champion has been released for LoL. An article has been written about the champion and a image of said champion can be found on the right. Major sponsors of e-sports can be seen on the advertisement banner since the website is well recognised (Kingston, Origin, Nvidia, Asus, Corsair, Razer). Facebook and Twitter details are shared so the community can stay in tune on their social media websites. RSS is also available.

3. Login

An example of what the Login section looks like.6. Streams

An example of what the Stream section looks like. Once a user clicks on a stream, the window is enlarged that includes chat features.

5. Forums

An example of what the Forum section looks like. User’s are identified with their login details.4. Pro GuidesAn example of what the Pro Guide section looks like. Notice the drop down menu, this also caters to user guides and Login (Register). The Champion guide section lists all champions in the game. The user has the option of filtering out the check boxes or alternatively search the champion directly. This will of course lead the user to another page of the specific champion selected with his/her Pro Guides (multiple guides can be seen per champion, there are no limits).

Metadata Matrix

metadataControlled Vocabulary

controlledvocab

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Blog 2 – Part 3 (Website Labeling)

Google

The website I chose was the one and only Google.

table

What labels you did not like and why, and suggest improvements.

I love how Google has implemented their labels, they are clear and precise with no additional jargon to distract the eyes. The top labels will most likely be used that is why they are more heavily contrasted. Additionally the More label smartly condenses labels that may not be used as frequently in a drop down menu. The labels on the bottom of the website also serves a purpose as they are equally as important as the top. However user’s who browse Google are generally not interested in these labels, so they are less obvious to the user similar to T&C’s you see at the bottom of a shopping catalog. I would not change any labels, it is excellent as is.

Whether there were any inconsistencies in the labeling system between the pages (in terms of style, presentation, syntax, granularity, comprehensiveness and audience).

As expected Google is consistent in all pages where it is applicable. (95% of the time)

Examine at least two other similar or competing web sites.  How similar are the labeling systems?  Is any one site clearly the winner (and if so, why)?

yahoo

bing

The two similar websites I chose were, Bing and Yahoo. Funnily enough these two websites have VERY similar labeling systems/designs as Google, especially Yahoo. Last time I checked Yahoo’s search engine website was clogged up with useless information. I am one to admit however it has been a long time since I have visited Yahoo, and I have never visited Bing before. Even though they are very similar, I still prefer Google’s minimalist design coupled with their websites features (Maps, Youtube, Gmail). Also the fact that Google first introduced the “sleek” search engine design first and with the addition of their reputation and reliability, Google is the winner no contest.

Blog 2 – Part 2 (Arranging in alphabetical order)

abc

A, B, C, it’s easy as 1, 2, 3!

Original list:

  • El Paso, Texas
  • Saint Nicholas, Belgium
  • The Lord of the Rings
  • Newark, New Jersey
  • XVIIme siècle
  • .38 Special
  • St. Louis, Missouri
  • New York, New York
  • 1001 Arabian Nights
  • The 1-2-3 of Magic
  • Albany, New York
  • #!%&: Creating Comic Books
  • The Hague, Netherlands
  • $35 a Day Through Europe
  • H20: The Beauty of Water
  • Plzen, Czech Republic

My rearranged list:

  • #!%&: Creating Comic Books
  • $35 a Day Through Europe
  • .38 Special
  • The 1-2-3 of Magic
  • 1001 Arabian Nights
  • Albany, New York
  • El Paso, Texas
  • H20: The Beauty of Water
  • The Hague, Netherlands
  • The Lord of the Rings
  • New York, New York
  • Newark, New Jersey
  • Plzen, Czech Republic
  • Saint Nicholas, Belgium
  • St. Louis, Missouri
  • XVIIme siècle

Did you put The Hague under T or H?

H, more than likely most databases will omit “The” or “A”, nouns or plurals.

Did you put El Paso under E or P?

E, even though El stands for “The” in English it would be best placed in E because most of the list in written in English.
Which came first in your list, Newark or New York?

New York, “Space” takes precedence over A-Z.
Does St. Louis come before or after Saint Nicholas?

After, even though St. stands for Saint I put it after to keep it following the alphabetical order. It is debatable however to which is correct.
How did you handle numbers, punctuation, and special characters?

I used the ASCII table.
Assuming the italicised terms are book titles, what might be a more useful way to organise this list?

To have book titles and cities separated into two lists.
If the cities represent places you’ve visited and the book titles are ones you’ve read, how could chronology be used to order the list in a more meaningful way?

Again two lists, have the cities and book titles you have most recently visited/read in chronological order.

Blog 2 – Part 1 (IA)

IA

A Information Architect cannot be described in one or a few sentences. It is rather a art that is mastered over time, each individual website has different goals and objectives. Depending on the scope of the website the role of a IA can vary. These four short definitions found in Morville & Rosenfeld’s IA book portray a IA well:

1. The structural design of shared information environments.
2. The combination of organization, labeling, search, and navigation systems within web sites and intranets.
3. The art and science of shaping information products and experiences to support usability and findability.
4. An emerging discipline and community of practice focused on bringing principles of design and architecture to the digital landscape.

In layman’s terms a IA designs the infrastructure of information on a website. This creates a more user friendly environment where users can navigate, search, label and organise their information. Similarly so, maintenance of the website will also be cleaner and more cost effective to sustain. An elevator pitch found in Morville & Rosenfeld’s IA book describes this even clearer.

“I’m an information architect. I organize huge amounts of information on big web sites and intranets so that people can actually find what they’re looking for. Think of me as an Internet librarian.”

ebayThink of a massive website that needs a great foundation of IA to be effective. Ebay for example, can you image the vast amount of data stored on this website? Without great IA a e-commerce website such as Ebay could not function efficiently, it would more than likely fail in a couple of months without solid IA. So why does IA matter? Simply because IA brings costs benefits and significant value to your website/intranet. These may or could include:

  • The cost of not finding information
  • The value of education
  • The cost of construction
  • The cost of maintenance
  • The cost of training
  • The value of brand

In my opinion having a good IA for a large organisations is a must, but if you are a small business it is not necessary as you would not hold enough information to reap the full benefits of a IA.

Blog 1 – The Semantic Web

I had never heard of the term “Semantic Web” before so I had to brush up on some knowledge before beginning this blog. The amount of data that is withheld online is so vast it is unimaginable. How could one individual sort out mountains of pages and seek what he or she is actually looking for? Well we have Google and that is fine for now (also has it’s problems), but what is the next step in evolution? Imagine jumping onto your computer one day and news feeds of exactly what you were going to search for automatically pops up. What if it correctly predicted your actions for the next few hours? That is like something out of Ironman, having your own personal Jarvis. It would be surreal, your experiences online would a be breeze like you are literally “surfing” because the Semantic Web can mimic your thoughts and actions.

Now combining the Semantic Web and The Internet of Things is a scary thought. Having said that I think it is already happening as we speak. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social

media websites. Who is it to say they aren’t placing us into categories which then can be managed and analysed by computers? (we already are for advertisements and suggestions) Obviously not to the vast scale of the Semantic web but the foundation is already there. We are already so protective of our privacy as it is with current networking websites that I don’t even know what would happen if it were connected to the Semantic Web and beyond (web 4, 5 +). It would break our form of Democracy, the Constitution, our right to privacy, everything of what it means to be human. Which brings me to my next point if data ever becomes machine understandable and all our physical characteristics and actions are stored. By this time we would be under the laws of communism unless a new form of government is brought to office. That in itself is already a blurring of humanity (whole argument in itself). You could not hide from the Government, machines would roam the cities and streets, your home. Where is your freedom? You are constantly being analyised and categorised by machines, every action you take may be misinterpreted for the worse. Machines are not humans, no matter how technological advanced they become simply because they do not posses one important human trait, emotion.

Damn I should direct a movie 😛

Blog 1 – Facebook’s ToS & Privacy Policy

So I am one to admit I never read the ToS/T&Cs of any program or website I purchase/register to. My assumption has always been that by using common sense I would never breach any code or practice in the first place. I use the service how it was intended to be without abusing its features. All good and well but now that I think about it my assumption does not protect me from possible data collection, privacy rights and possible security threats that may lead to leaked information about myself or family and friends. It’s kind of daunting how billions of people in society live under the blanket of security. Where we trust organisations such as Facebook, Google, hell even our major banks or Governments with this information (PRISM anyone?). Sure there are laws and practices that “technically” keep us safe but should these always replied upon? How do we know for certain that our personal information cannot be accessed? A writing on piece of paper does not mean anything when an anonymous hacker from the outside can gain access to sensitive information at any given time. Sure you can take the proper precautions, but what I am trying to say is our information is never 100% secure. Well anyway that is enough ranting, onto the questions at hand.

What does Facebook say about how they will use your information?

Copied from Facebook’s Data Use Policy, they state:

We use the information we receive about you in connection with the services and features we provide to you and other users like your friends, our partners, the advertisers that purchase ads on the site, and the developers that build the games, applications, and websites you use. For example, in addition to helping people see and find things that you do and share, we may use the information we receive about you:

  • as part of our efforts to keep Facebook products, services and integrations safe and secure;
  • to protect Facebook’s or others’ rights or property;
  • to provide you with location features and services, like telling you and your friends when something is going on nearby;
  • to measure or understand the effectiveness of ads you and others see, including to deliver relevant ads to you;
  • to make suggestions to you and other users on Facebook, such as: suggesting that your friend use our contact importer because you found friends using it, suggesting that another user add you as a friend because the user imported the same email address as you did, or suggesting that your friend tag you in a picture they have uploaded with you in it; and
  • for internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research and service improvement.

What will they do if there is a breach in security on their site?

Facebook does not state officially what their practices for a security breach are. I did however find an article here which entails a security breach where Facebook exposed 6 million phone numbers and emails. According to this article, Facebook handles their security threats internally and with help of the White Hat program ensures that Facebook’s security are at the highest of standards. In addition to that Facebook also notified their corresponding regulators and affected users via email. To what was said in those emails, we will never know.

Summary

In summary I believe Facebook ToS and privacy policies are adequate to what their services provide, However they can be a bit vague at times, eg. when talking about how data will be stored even after the user has deleted his/her account (backup copies up to 90 days). Why do they do this? In general though I am content with their policies, especially these.

While you are allowing us to use the information we receive about you, you always own all of your information. Your trust is important to us, which is why we don’t share information we receive about you with others unless we have:

  • received your permission;
  • given you notice, such as by telling you about it in this policy; or
  • removed your name or any other personally identifying information from it.

Of course, for information others share about you, they control how it is shared.

The text stated in bold is worrisome. You cannot control how your friends and family do this. What about their family and friends and so on? Facebook does state in their ToS “WE TRY TO KEEP FACEBOOK UP, BUG-FREE, AND SAFE, BUT YOU USE IT AT YOUR OWN RISK.” Like a wise man said with great power comes great responsibility. That doesn’t actually make sense does it? LOL. Well use Facebook at your own risk and take responsibility when something goes wrong, Facebook cannot protect you from everything.

Blog 1 – Feed Readers

The Feed Reader I chose was Feedly seeing as it was ranked No.1 among the other RSS Readers listed in Googles suggested alternatives. I quickly registered and to my surprised the layout and design was pleasing to the eye. Navigation was smooth and load times are quick. They even allow you to change colour themes which I thought was a nice touch. Seeing as I had never used RSS or a Feed Reader before I had to familiarise myself with the technology. To be perfectly honest with you guys I never even knew what RSS was until I read about it. Sure I’ve seen the RSS logo around and what not but I never took the time to research it. I had always looked up my favourite websites manually and never thought anything of it. Since I discovered RSS I feel kind of silly, how could I have missed such a thing, I never knew such thing existed! I’m supposed to be a qualified IT professional in a years time, it’s worrying isn’t it :P. I can see myself using Feedly from now on but it could take some time getting use to. Changing my browsing habits of the last decade may take some time. Anyways I have only used Feedly for a couple of days now so the Pros and Cons I list may or may not be accurate.

Pros:

  • Easy to keep up with your favourite websites. Saves time.
  • Easy to manage your website in specific groups. At the moment I have three, one for my course group, one for other students and a personal group.

Cons:

  • May not list articles or updates that I want to read, spam in a kind of way.
  • No live feed or notification, need to manually click on “Today” to see if there are any updates.

Overall, not bad. 

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