Posted on | May 11, 2009 | No Comments | by Kristen
Sorry for the delay, but Team IV has been busy tweaking and coding away at our lovely senior project yu know and love. Plus, having ImagineRIT in our minds kept us driven to keep working and put off a bit of sleep for a while. No harm there!
Anyways, we have changed a lot since our last post. We have found a great transition from the nodes’ closed state to their full story window state – flipping them on their sides! The transition helps change the node from circle to line/square (on it’s side) so we can pull out a little window for your feed-viewing pleasure. Also, Matt helped to add some awesome particle animations to give some added visuals to the project.
We changed the transition because companies from Industry Day advised us to take away some clicking points. In other words, we wanted the story to load immediately after one click, not after seeing the tweets load and THEN clicking to get the story. So now, the full story window loads and the tweets appear on the right side of the window. Done and done.
We got this design functioning just in time for ImagineRIT, which was May 2nd here at RIT. We had visitors ranging from ages 8 to mid-70′s and all seemed to be impressed with our concept and accomplishments. I found that middle-aged visitors really appreciated out site as they could get all their various news sources in one location without too much text to read/filter through. But, we still got a lot of feedback based on how the visitors experienced and used our site for the first time:
- Node sizes. A handful of visitors asked us if the node sizes they saw on the idle screen indicated levels of importance in terms of the news. We were confused at first, but then we understood that the presence of depth in our site is not so obvious. Since we have been staring at this project for two semesters, we understand that you are to click and hold down the mouse key to surf through the nodes. Yet, this evidently was not obvious enough. The users understood that the sizes were due to your current position on the z-axis, but only after we told them how to move through the nodes.
To fix this problem, we implemented a more 3D-like cursor to help show that you are to move forward and click on things. Also, we added a “breathing” design to the nodes in hopes of drawing people to the distant nodes. The subtle movement/change can catch a users eye and indicate that they should click on the node as well as dig deeper into our site. We are still fine-tuning the concept to ensure that there is little confusion from the start as to how to use our site.
- Smoother transitions. Since ImagineRIT seemed to sneak up on us despite our constant reminders that it would, we showed our project with a few snags and incomplete designs. Our transition from node to full story was a bit rough, but it at least functioned properly and showed the story. Our YouTube nodes were working great and we showed an AWFUL amount of Susan Boyle videos. Fortunately, we discovered that YouTube has a standard “Most Popular” feed should you not specify the date. Once we realized this, we changed the feed link in Flash and immediately saw videos from Obama and from shows OTHER than ‘Britains Got Talent.’ (No offense, but really).
- Last minute additions. Since ImagineRIT, we buckled down and got the final touches in for the most part. We removed unecessary features like the “sound on/off” button and replaced it with our new ‘filter’ button. I mentioned our new 3D cursor above, but I think it really adds to the project. We tweaked the full story mode so that there isn’t a HUGE window for small feed description as well as smoothing the transition all together. Tweets now come in perfectly and have a subtle transition when hovering over them….aaaand we finally added Matt’s partical loader, which explodes into our current, starry background. Everything has been falling together quite well and we are in a very awesome position!
As of now, we are wrapping up our final presentation to show off our hard work. Our project is 97% complete and we are excited to see what our peers and professors think once they get a full showing of it. Here’s to the final week and our upcoming graduations!TESTING