Usability: February 2008 Archives

I just ran into the site German GROW, a site with cultural links for German teachers at http://www.aatg.org/content/view/255/ It's run by the AATG (American Association of German Teachers).

Like the icons? It looks very Web 1.0. But click each link and it actually takes you to a del.icio.us page that the AATG has set up. For instance the Musik link goes to http://del.icio.us/GermanGROW/Musik As you can see, the AATG has established their own folders within del.icio.us.

This is an interesting design which I like because the interface is intuitive to a Web 1.0 educator audience, but actually leverages Web 2.0 technology. If you do understand del.icio.us, you can go directly to http://del.icio.us/GermanGROW/ and even suck in the RSS feed. You can even add your own resources if you know how to tag.

But if you haven't had a chance to get acquainted with tagging yet (and many instructors are still in this position), the Web 1.0 interface will still let you get to that content without learning a new set of terms. As my colleague Tim Perry noted recently, "RSS remains an elusive concept."

The Organization is still in the URL

| | Comments (1)
One issue we keep wrestling with in ITS is how do we hide our organizational structure so that our Web presence can be more seamless to the non-ITS savvy user.

An interesting case is Studio 204. I must say it is a well-designed site and nowhere does it mention that it's tied to ETS, TLT or even ITS. It just says it's a video studio any student or instructor can access.

However...in order to access the site, I MUST know it's a part of TLT because of the URL http://studio204.tlt.psu.edu/ (see that little "tlt" between "studio204" and "psu.edu"?). My first guess was "studio204.psu.edu", but alas I got a 404 error.

I'm really not trying not to play a blame game here (in fact I can hear some of you grinding your teeth an muttering "I know I know"). I also know that you do have to go through "channels" to get a URL like "studio204.psu.edu" - although I also know that it's not especially burdensome.

But if you're ever wondering why people can't find our valuable resources - maybe it's because we've made some of our URL's more exotic than people can digest.