Web Usability

This week I learned about web usability in class. The concept of web usability is the ease of the use of the world wide web. Information should be shared in a clear and concise way in the simplest form. Placement of information is important. Any links should be leading to appropriate information regarding that link title. Another key method of web usability is to ensure that the content can be displayed on various devices and browsers.

I also learned about a web usability consultant by the name of Jakob Nielsen. He is Danish and has a Ph.D. in human-computer interaction. His usability goals consist of five quality components, these are:

  • Learnability
  • Efficiency
  • Memorability
  • Satisfaction
  • Errors

Drafting up a website before publishing is good practice as you can tweak words and/or images with fresh eyes after returning to it. The most important thing is to get your relevant information across simply by focusing on the essential message and starting with the context.

This information I learned is beneficial for the website I am building that will give information on media ethics. It is not until you break down the different methods of having a good website, that you understand that it is a lengthy process.

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Studying Sherlock Holmes

This week I am learning about Sherlock Holmes in Victorian literature class. The first short story we are focusing on is ‘The Man with the Twisted Lip‘ 1891. There are at least four other short stories belonging to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the Sherlock Holmes series that feature a facial deformity in the main title. Other novels that can be related to Sherlock Holmes’ short stories of doubling are The strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde alongside The Picture of Dorian Gray. The trope of double-consciousness is a major theme in these stories. Bram Stoker’s Dracula can also be classified in this category. Sherlock’s intellectual mindset allows him to solve crimes and in this particular short story, he solves the mystery of a character that leads a double life. This character is comparable to those of Jekyll, Hyde and Gray as they lead double lives through the personality changes that they all endure.

Holmes himself is a master of disguise with his ever-changing array of characters. In ‘The Man with the Twisted Lip‘, he puts that theory into effect with his clever disguise in the opium den which leads to Dr. Watson’s bewilderment when he is finally told by Holmes who he is. Of course, the most iconic relevant Holmes is portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch who does a remarkable job in the eccentricity of Holmes’ character. His puts in an astounding performance of him onscreen and brings Sherlock Holmes to life for all viewers. Above is a link to a youtube narration of the short story.

Housekeeping – A Novel

This week in my American Literature module, we are studying and reading Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson. The story is an interesting one about mainly women and family and their journeys after suffering some sort of loss. The novel juxtaposes the idea of keeping a house clean with the idea of spiritual keeping in a house. The theme of abandonment is used throughout the novel, with the women suffering different losses.

It reminds me of a book I studied in Belgium titled If I Told You Once by Judy Budnitz. They are similar in several different ways, but the abandonment by the male species is abundant throughout. The women suffer loss but gather courage and strength again and again as time heals their wounds.

I learnt that although the novels are set in different era’s, it is positive to see the strength that women display through characters such as these written by strong independent authors. It is important that we keep writing and reading novels such as these to portray a good role model outlook for the young women of today. They suffer greatly in the novels but manage to gain courage again and become strong, independent women.

Imagery sourced from: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81xZtBhLjEL.jpg

The Presentation of Jekyll and Hyde

This week in our Victorian literature module, we had to give a presentation on The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. There were four of us and I must say that we worked well as a team. We communicated efficiently through Facebook chat to organise what we must do beforehand. We decided on incorporating abjection, double-consciousness and the other into the presentation. I was inspired to write about abjection through Julia Kristeva‘s essay Powers of Horror. Researching the story was actually more interesting than I thought as I found it to be quite intriguing learning different aspects of it. The fascination with the human mind is extraordinary but especially in Jekyll and Hyde as the emotional war between the two characters makes for a good read.

I also watched the 1930’s film Jekyll and Hyde for research purposes. It was dramatically different from the novel, however it did provide good insight into the characters and how Hyde was the true alter-ego of evil.

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A screenshot from our presentation

We also had to have a class discussion at the end of the presentation. This consisted of a few questions we composed ourselves and had the other class members answer them and lead a discussion that way. While I do suffer from nerves giving presentations, I found that working well as a team eased my conscious somewhat.

Overall I think that the presentation went well and we hope as a team to achieve good results.

The link to information on the 1931 film starring Fredric March can be found here on the internet movie database site:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0022835/

 

 

 

 

Charity Week

This week in UL, I have learnt that even though the majority of students use charity week as a big drinking session, some students still give back. I am fortunate enough to be an MnM which stands for Meitheal na Mac Léinn. We work in teams on day and night shifts to provide safety around the off-campus estates. Our presence puts residents at ease and they can confide in us when a distressing matter arises. The night shifts are more entertaining and busier as most students would be at house parties and would be walking around the estates. We do have to put up with negative personalities and drunk students at all hours. However the positives are being in a team and working well with each other.

Other students volunteer by taking charity buckets and collecting money for charity that way for a few hours a day. Events take place in the courtyard throughout the week which consist of dunking people in water and nearly naked miles. All these things are fun ways to raise money.

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All Tvvins playing in the courtyard for Charity Week. 

Students forget that RAG stands for Raise and Give. it is not just an excuse to binge drink for a week, but to raise money for worthwhile charities. Reflectively, I find that UL is a great university when it comes to events such as these.

Photograph is my own.