Web Development Articles

The Illusion of Art as Individual Expression

Photo by massygoMuch of the artistic process takes place alone. Writers sit alone in a room and type away on a computer or scribble on a pad of paper. Photographers take photos of other people, but afterward, their work is often done alone in a darkroom or on a computer. Sculptors sketch live models, but later they do their three-dimensional work in the solitude of their studios. Regardless of how little human interaction there is during the creative process, though, creating art is inherently a social act.

Some artists are fond of saying that they create for themselves and not for other people, but this is mostly an illusion. Unless the created work hangs on a wall in a private room in the artist’s home, the art becomes a way of connecting with people. Whether it’s a painting in a gallery, a song on the radio, or a book on a library shelf, art’s purpose is to affect an audience—to elicit a response. Sometimes the result is a discussion among academics, and other times it’s an introspective moment in the life of one audience member. Whatever the response, a dialogue has taken place.

Tags: art, Arts, Culture, Philosophy, Society
Posted in Film, Video, Television, Web Development, Writing | No Comments »

Making Sense of New Concepts in Technology and Media

Photo by William MurphyHave you ever thought you understood someone else’s instructions only to find out later that you needed to hear them again? Have you ever thought you grasped a concept only to find yourself struggling to explain it to someone else? Well, take heart. These experiences, while frustrating at times, are a natural part of the learning process.

As professionals in the world of technological media, we continually need to learn how to use new software, new video equipment, and new coding languages. But despite the fact that there are many ways to learn new skills, including one-on-one instruction, books and articles, and classroom lectures, we can never be sure how much we’ve learned until we engage in active testing.

Tags: brain function, Education, learning, media, technology
Posted in Education, Film, Video, Television, Web Development | 1 Comment »

Web Designers & Developers: Know Your Learning Style

Photo by Sue ClarkIn the field of web design, the opportunities to learn are endless. Whether Adobe releases a new Creative Suite or a new project means you need to learn a new programming language, you will always find reasons to expand your skill-set. The question is, how do you go about it?

You could go to a class, read an online tutorial, watch an instructional video, buy a user guide, experiment and teach yourself , or get one-on-one instruction from other professionals. Sometimes choosing a learning method is about money. After all, you can’t always afford to pay for a class. As you consider methods for learning a new skill, though, you should pay attention to the ways that different methods cater to your strengths and weaknesses as a learner. Do you learn better by reading or by listening? Do you learn better by considering and theorizing or by doing and redoing? Do you prefer to start with an overview or delve right into specific exercises?

Tags: Education, learning, learning styles, neuroscience, web design, Web Development
Posted in Design, Education, Web Development | No Comments »

Neuromarketing: Science & Ethics in Advertising

Photo by GreenFlames09Did you know that most anti-smoking commercials cause smokers to crave cigarettes? Did you know that seeing logos of the brands we’re most loyal to can activate the same parts of our brains as religious symbols? Or how about the fact that product placement without a direct tie to the plot of a movie or show can backfire terribly?1

Using fMRI and PET scans to monitor brain activity, marketers and neuroscientists from around the world are continually uncovering data about our brains’ responses to marketing techniques. The study of these neurological effects is called neuromarketing, and if you work in advertising, it’s essential for you to keep up with the latest discoveries. Moreover, an understanding of the how the brain works—of how and why the brain’s hippocampus chooses just a small portion of what exists in our short-term working memory to transfer to long-term memory—will only help you as you plan future marketing campaigns.2

Tags: advertising, adwords, marketing, ppc, sem, web design
Posted in Design, Online Marketing, Web Development | No Comments »

Website Design for Different Browser Sizes

Photo by Bukowsky18One of the variables that web designers have to deal with during the design process is the continually changing screen resolution of Internet users. Not that long ago, an 800px x 600px screen size was the norm. These days, most people have at least a 1024px x 768px screen. Of course, you still have users who are stuck in the dark ages, with screen resolutions of 640px x 480px, and you have some users who connect to the Internet via their HDTVs, giving them a screen resolution of 1920px x 1080px.

So, how do you, as a web designer, deal with this constantly changing landscape? Well, there’s no easy answer to this. Some designers opt to create pages that are scalable, so they always fill the entire web browser. Others hedge their bets by limiting the width of their sites so they fit within the most common browser size. There are upsides and downsides to both of these approaches, but in both cases, there are other factors to consider.

Tags: google, web browsers, web design
Posted in Design, Web Development | 1 Comment »