Please see the My Celebrity Scrapbook Mashup page above for link to final MashUp.
Limiting word count in my news results
Because of the intended styling and layout of my page, I needed to set a word limit for my news articles. I first looked at trying to do this through Yahoo Pipes and the Regex function, but as I’ve mentioned before, Yahoo Pipes is extremely confusing to me. I tried to use the code from an example I found on the web, but it didn’t work. Rather than wasting time tearing my hair out I set...
Twitter and Yahoo Pipes don't play well together
After finally getting my pipe to work properly, Twitter started playing up. I was also warned that if Twitter was causing problems, it could also cause problems for the other data sources in my pipe mashup. So rather than use Yahoo Pipes I’ve just made the Twitter RSS request and extracted the data straight through my PHP code. I also had some trouble getting this to work at first, and was...
Although I have the main style of my mockup worked out, I’m still looking for little bits of inspiration. I’ve been enjoying looking at scrapbooking images on Flickr. Some people take this stuff really seriously! The results are really cool but I don’t think I’d ever have the patience to scrapbook myself. But it’s given me some cool ideas of how to decorate the items...
Scrapbook - Look
I’ve tried to create the scrapbook look for the header/branding of my page. I used a photoshop process involving clipping masks, brushes, a nice fabric pattern and a bit of patience :) I’ve also used a paper texture for my background
Different approach to celebrity news retrieval
Right, so, as good as Daylife API is at aggregating thousands of sources for news, I basically figured out it was only going to work in Yahoo Pipes for a specific search term. I tried to use the URL builder to change the query term but then figured out that the signature key that Daylife API generates for you, which has to be in the URL, changes every time you search for a different term. So it...
Daylife API into Yahoo! pipes
Still having issues feeding the Daylife API into yahoo pipes, so I ended up emailing the developers at Daylife API. This was their response: “Sophie Daylife API calls can give you JSON feeds or XML feeds of content about any subject. You can use a Daylife API request URL as an input to the Feed Fetcher plugin in Yahoo! Pipes to bring content from Daylife and use in your mashup with...
After much frustration and hair-pulling, I finally got deviantart to work in yahoo pipes the way I wanted it to. Unfortunately the RSS feeds available on the site only give about 30 results, so if people are searching for celebrities through the RSS feed in pipes it would only work if the celebrity they were searching for just happened to be one of those 30 results. Some kind, kind soul created a...
Celebrity news - solving dilemmas
Someone who gave me feedback on my idea raised the point that a lot of the celebrity site RSS feeds only provide the 10 or so latest news stories. This posed a problem for me as I want users to be able to search for any celebrity on my site, and that meant there would be no guarantee that there would be any results for the name they searched. I then thought back to one of the mashups which...
Proof of concept PDF →
Design for my idea
I’ve been mulling over how I could merge the celebrity news and deviant art portraits in a really clever way. I decided that the news on its own was definitely not strong or interesting enough. I think the way I’m going to do it is by creating a celebrity ‘scrapbook’ website. The user will type in the name of the celebrity, then a page will load with latest news and the...
Pushing my idea further
So I still like my idea about the celebrity news mash up, but how can I push it further? I can’t figure out any way to incorporate something interesting like Google maps. What about a site that delivers celebrity news, but also popular trends for the day/week/month? A search function? Just stumbled across this mashup http://www.doodlebuzz.com/ which is a news delivery site, but instead...
The five dollar comparison
On a more serious note… this is a mash up with a social conscience. “An exploration of the relative value of five dollars by collecting Flickr photos from around the world of things that cost the equivalent of $5.” That’s a mash up that really gets you thinking. For some reason it looks like this site is no longer functioning, but I read about it on the mashup awards...
Just a thought...
I decided the easiest way to come up with an idea for my mash up was to think of things that would actually find useful in my daily life. I was trying to think about what kind of things I waste a lot of time doing on the internet that could somehow be condensed into one place. Don’t laugh at me, but one of those things is reading celebrity gossip on various websites. I don’t know...
Looking at mash ups - lolwr.us
I think this mash up is quite innovative and funny at the same time - http://lolwr.us/ - It pulls pictures of cats from Flickr under the creative commons license (smart!) then you can search for keywords from Twitter posts such as “kitty” and match the twitter post with a cat picture which may or may not result in a hilarious LOLCAT. This is a good example of a mash up that...
Web Interface Design Initial Analysis - PDF →
Identify top 6 new...
Simplicity Simplicity will aid usability. Graphics should be used only to illustrate, aid and inform, clutter should be avoided, every visual element should serve a purpose. Keep it simple - where there is less choice, the available functions become more apparent and easier to scan. Hide or conceal advanced functionality. Keep things consistent, so that users can recognise patters. Website...
What do I think is so good about simplistic...
They’re easier to navigate You should use only one navigation menu It should be consistent Don’t clutter your navigation menu with ridiculous drop down menus This is going to mean less frustration or confusion for the user Simple designs load faster Faster loading and faster responding websites improve user experience. Content is more scan-able Studies show that most people do...
A few of my resources
This is a handful of the resources that I have referred to when deciding on what my top six features would be for my initial analysis. Four aspects of a usable, modern web interface User interface design in modern web applications Affordances in modern web design 13 must-know articles about user interface design Web design essentials - examples and best practices Responsive web design 10...
Why do we need graphics?
This is a good, basic explanation from the W3 site on how graphics enhance a website http://www.w3.org/standards/webdesign/graphics
How websites looked in the days of yore
Wow…. this article gives a snapshot of what websites looked like back in the good old days. What a difference a few decades make! This article mentions that it pulled these screen shots from waybackmachine, so I’ll probably get on there myself and have a look at a few more. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/6125914/How-20-popular-websites-looked-when-they-launched.html
The history of websites
This is an interesting article that gives an overview of the history of the web and and the first websites. It also talks about the first web browser which was used widely by the general public, Mosaic, which was created by a university student. I think I’ll do some more investigating into this web browser to see what kind of capabilities and features it had, and compare it to the web...