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Information Architecture

November 27th, 2008 Olivia
Information Architecture

It's easy for laymen to develop the impression that search engine optimization is about keywords and tag and such, but I came across o very interesting article the other day by David Snyder that looks at a more foundational concept: information architecture.

According to Snyder:One of the most overlooked concepts in the construction of a website is how the information for that website will be structured. Too often the organization of this information is constructed without any usability or search engine optimization in mind.In other words, keywords and link exchanges only go so far in promoting a poorly designed website. And a website's design can in and of itself prevent it from getting more than a mediocre page rank.

People just don't use websites that aren't, well, usable. IN Snyder's words, poor information environment design will lead to user abandonment, due to poor or counter intuitive navigation. Think about how often you get fed up with a website's design and just click the red X….

You can read Snyder's piece here.

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto, Image# 7618994

By:  Greg Cruey                        Source

Hylocomium splendens

November 23rd, 2008 Olivia
Hylocomium splendens

It”s been a tough year for the plant people at UBC. The most recent loss was the passing last week of Dr. Wilf Schofield, professor emeritus in the Department of Botany. An internationally-renowned bryologist (one who studies mosses and liverworts), Wilf had an immeasurable impact on the understanding of these diminutive plants (particularly in the Pacific Northwest of North America). Over a decade ago, Wilf was honoured with a special issue of the Botanical Electronic News, dedicated to him on the occasion of his 70th birthday: BEN 168. At the time, he had collected 107,990 bryophyte specimens — over 4 per day for every day of his life. He continued to collect, I believe, until this past summer, and his collections form the majority of the UBC Herbarium”s bryophyte collection.

I didn”t know Wilf as well as I would have liked — the garden and the botany department (and herbarium) are separated by a 15 minute walk, and there are too few occasions to visit — but in all my interactions with him, including as a student, I recall only positive things: patience, curiousity, intellect. His death is a loss that will be shared by many.

This patch of stair-step moss / stepped feathermoss was also featured in this wider shot of the area.

By:  Daniel Mosquin                        Source

Could Chrysler’s GEM Peapod be the car of the future?

November 13th, 2008 Olivia
Could Chrysler's GEM Peapod be the car of the future?

It looks cute, its name is cute and it runs on electricity. What more could you want from a car? A place to dock your iPod perhaps? Done! According to Chrysler (via Engadget), production will begin on the GEM (Green Eco Mobility) Peapod sometime next year.

I love the look and idea of this car but I have a couple of problems with it: one, no-one”s spilling the price, which can”t bode well for the budget-conscious among us (and that”s all of us these days) and two: the glass-all-over doors look a little…. exposing. Not to mention hard to clean.

By:  Sarah                        Source

Feather Me Pretty

November 6th, 2008 Olivia
Feather Me Pretty

So I'm reading InStyle online and see a feature on celebs sporting the latest new thing: Feathered accessories. I was happy to see that none of the ladies featured made the monumental mistake of being swallowed up in feathers. A touch of feathers, like a touch of animal print as opposed to going whole hog, can be very pretty and chic.

Pictured is a Tasha feather flower headband, available at Nordstrom. What I like best about it is that it's not only decorative, it's practical as well for women who want to keep their hair out of their faces. Plus, it's a neutral color that won't stand out in a distracting way, but will probably prompt several people to ask you "Where did you get that cute headband?"

By:  Del                         Source

Understanding Heart Disease

November 1st, 2008 jennifer

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Heart disease affects more than 20 million Americans. Let’s explore the various forms that heart disease can take.