Archive for August, 2013

Blog 2 – Part 3 (Website Labeling)


The website I chose was the one and only Google.


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)?



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)


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)


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.


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.


  • 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.


  • 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. 

Blog 1 – Proper Introductions

Hello to you all,

Thank you for visiting my blog page. I scribbled some information about myself in the About Me section up top but I never actually realised we had to properly introduce ourselves until I read the Blog 1 questions. So here it goes.

My name is Jason Chau and I am currently studying a Bachelor of Information Technology (Business Analysis) @ Nathan Campus. I will most likely be graduating mid next year but I may have a chance of graduating by the end of this year if I’m eligible for Summer Courses. I think this subject is about keeping up to date with the latest technology and gadgets that helps us find, share and manage content over the Internet. What I hope to get out of this course is to be able to recognise and be familiar with all these elements so that in the future I can form my own opinions on what is needed and useful. I have never maintained a blog but I have known it was becoming a popular trend these days. Personally I never understood what the fuss was about, until I enrolled into this course and saw how other students interacted with one another and thought, hey this is pretty cool. As to what job I aspire to having, at this stage I’m not quite sure. All I know is that I would love to get my feet wet in the IT industry so I can get a better idea of which direction to head towards. If any of you guys/gals can help me or give me advice in this area I would greatly appreciate it :). Other than that, my hobbies and interest include video games (stereotypical yes), fitness, basketball, cars and keeping up with the latest gadgets/technologies. I like to think of myself as a laid back open minded individual that goofs around a lot but can also be serious when necessary. Make sure to comment and follow! Yeeee blogging is funnnnnnyo!1!

Thanks for reading, hope you didn’t fall a sleep!


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