The new device is about 5 inches (12 centimeters) long and 3.5 inches (9 cm) wide, making it more compact than traditional stationary retinal scanners.
“Based on our research, this device is unique with respect to its compactness,” Uwe Schelinski, a researcher at the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems in Dresden, Germany, said in a statement.]]>
This “vision-correcting display” is a thin, transparent material that fits on top of the screen of a smartphone or other device. It works in conjunction with a software program to correct the viewer’s focal distance — the range at which the eye can bring objects into focus.
People with visual impairments, such as nearsightedness and farsightedness, have trouble with focal distance, said Gordon Wetzstein, a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab who helped develop the new display technology.]]>
The new photo-editing algorithm allows people to control certain features of outdoor photographs, known as “transient attributes,” which include weather, time of day and even the season. Users can decide how they want their photograph to look by sending simple text commands to an interactive database. Making a photo a touch drearier is as simple as sending a command to the database that reads “more rain,” according to the researchers who developed the new technology.
Normally, photographers would need to invest in expensive software, such as Adobe Photoshop, in order to make these types of changes to a photograph, said James Hays, an assistant professor of computer science at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, who developed the new algorithm.]]>
Android runs on more than four out of five mobile devices. It is popular because it is free and its terms do not dictate to device manufacturers what hardware it must be used on.]]>
So much for the light at the end of the IT jobs tunnel. According to job data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as analyzed by Janco Associates, the IT professional job market has all but lost the head of steam it built up earlier this year.
A mere 3,400 IT jobs were added in August, down from 4,600 added for July, and way down from the 13,800 added in April of this year. The overall picture for IT hiring in 2014 is one of a weak start that surged, only to stumble again.
The job participation rate also remains flat, having bottomed out at its April low of 62.8 percent. Despite a slight perk above 63 percent earlier this year, those numbers continue to be the worst in three decades. The one positive part of the picture is that at least the jobs numbers still registered gains; the last actual losses were recorded in Feburary of this year, and then only a loss of 300 or so jobs — a statistical blip.
Janco’s surveys of CIO’s hiring plans show most of the hiring will be happening either in staff, middle or senior management — and only over the course of the coming 12 months, not immediately. Short-term plans either remain unchanged or will involve shedding jobs for the sake of cost control.
Despite a strong summer for the economy generally, hiring in August dipped across the board, with only 142,000 jobs added overall for the month. Tech jobs have demonstrated consistent resilience in the face of general downturns — so much so that tech job applicants can now afford to hold out for better pay — but that only goes so far, it seems.
And while unemployment overall fell slightly, to 6.1 percent, that was more a reflection of people dropping out of the workforce than people landing work, as The New York Times pointed out. (Official unemployment stats may be further skewed by low response rates to BLS polling.)
The surge of tech jobs earlier this year prompted Dice.com to take a look back in August at which were the fastest-growing states for technology jobs. Texas came in first, with a growth rate for new IT jobs of just under 6 percent. Florida and North Carolina trailed with 5.64 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively. New York, which has been pitching itself of late as a hot spot for tech startups, landed the No. 6 slot with a 3.08 percent growth rate.]]>
Well it was only a matter of time, eh? According to the latest IMRG Capgemini Quarterly Benchmarking report, approximately 52% of visits to retail websites took place on a mobile device, overtaking desktop traffic for the first time ever.
With the majority of retail traffic now tipping to mobile devices, these results represents staggering growth of over 2,000% within the last 4 years! Of these mobiles sales, smart phones accounted for 18% whilst tablets 82%. As these trends are obviously expected to continue, it is clear that customers want to be able to shop seamlessly across all channels, and it appears mobile is now the preferred choice for online retail therapy.
We’ve all spent the time filling out a long form to apply for a loan, enquire about a product or just complain about something, accidentally entered the wrong information in a field and then been presented with nothing more than this:
Not very helpful. Leaving your users to scratch their heads as they try to work out what they did wrong will simply frustrate them and perhaps even convince some not to bother trying again.
It is important to explain form errors to users in a positive voice, with clear indicators on what needs to change for the entered data to be valid.
eBay.com.au – Their registration form could not possibly be clearer with its error handling. The summary at the top makes it obvious that there are mistakes that need correcting and specifies the affected fields. Each field is highlighted red indicating error, with a friendly message (again in a positive voice) explaining the issue. This validation appears when the form is submitted.
ThinkGeek.com describe the issue with a little humour and importantly, a link to their live support in the error dialogue itself, should the user need further help.
Validation that triggers when a user leaves a field (before the form is submitted) is even better as the problem can be dealt with before proceeding. Some examples of immediate feedback would be:
A credit card that does not match a valid card type
An invalid email address
A username that is already in use
A password strength meter
Twitter makes great use of such practices on their signup form:
Immediate feedback on key up from a field
Positive descriptions of what needs fixing, and reassurances about the process
Colour coding with simple iconography that cannot be misinterpreted
Suggestions on how to improve the data in the form
Website forms are the gateway to the rich content that your website is all about, so make them a aimple and pleasurable experience.]]>
As a student earning a degree in web design, you should feel confident that you are learning the skills and techniques necessary to create a strong foundation on which to build. But the fact is, like many industries, the design world is constantly evolving. Because of this, staying on top of the latest web design trends is critical to your success.
With new techniques and technologies emerging every year, it’s important to be sure you don’t fall behind the latest web design trends. Your education, combined with a passion to continue flourishing as a designer, will keep you sharp when it comes time to enter the workforce.
So to help keep you organized in your professional development efforts, we’ve compiled some tips and tricks to help you stay on top of the latest web design trends. These are real tactics that industry experts have shared with us, so pay close attention.
1. Read web design blogs
Keeping tabs on the top web design blogs is a great way to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry. But be careful because it’s difficult to determine which trends are worth adopting and which are just a fad. If you notice multiple blogs mentioning the same topic, trend or technique, chances are it’s worth knowing.
Some of the best:
A List Apart
Web Designer Depot
Go the extra mile: When you come across an interesting blog post, share a thought or question in the comments section. This is a great way to spark conversation and start building relationships with other web designers!
2. Follow industry leaders on Twitter
As an aspiring web designer, it’s always smart to take tips from the pros when you can get them. Twitter is an outstanding tool for getting up-to-the-minute thoughts and ideas from the industry’s biggest names. By following professionals in the field, you get a taste for what they’re working on and the techniques they are using.
Some of the best:
Jeffrey Zeldman, @zeldman
Chris Spooner, @chrisspooner
Brian Hoff, @behoff
Chris Coyier, @chriscoyier
Brad Frost, @brad_frost
Go the extra mile: When you find designers worth following on Twitter, add them to a Twitter list. This will make it easy to keep tabs on them and retweet any helpful tidbits.
3. Join professional design organizations
Becoming a member of these organizations has numerous benefits. Not only will you form relationships with other members but you’ll also have unique opportunities to participate in events. Most of these clubs also distribute newsletters highlighting new industry trends.
Some of the best:
American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA)
World Organization of Webmasters (WOW)
International Webmasters Association (IWA)
Go the extra mile: Do some research on various organizations that have chapters in your area. Once you determine which is best suited for you, become an active member and contribute to the community. If there are no chapters in your area, exercise your leadership skills and start one!
4. Participate in design forums
Web design forums provide a unique opportunity to interact with other designers. They can be used to solve problems, learn new techniques and bounce ideas off one another. By participating in these communities, you can hear opinions about new trends.
Some of the best:
Dynamic Drive Forums
Web Dev Forums
Go the extra mile: Rather than merely reading through these discussions as a spectator, get involved in the action! Post questions, share your opinions and make connections with other designers.
5. Attend conferences/networking events
It’s easy to limit your learning to only what can be accomplished behind a computer screen, but attending events offline is invaluable. Not only will you get to hear live speakers present about web design trends, but it’s a great way to network with others in attendance. Rather than merely being known as an avatar, showing your personality face-to-face may help open doors in the future.
Some of the best:
An Event Apart
AIGA Gain Conferences
Go the extra mile: Every time you attend one of these events, challenge yourself to collect and hand out at least five business cards. If you’re feeling really brave, you can even introduce yourself to the keynote speaker!
6. Listen to design-related Podcasts
Listening to podcasts is a great way to hear about new techniques and ideas from thought leaders throughout the industry. This is an easy way to introduce yourself to new information and challenge yourself without leaving the comfort of your own home. You can even listen to them while working out or in the car while running errands!
Some of the best:
Shop Talk Show
The Big Web Show
The Web Ahead
Go the extra mile: When listening to these podcasts, devote all of your attention to the speaker. Keep a notebook on hand to jot down the most interesting tidbits!
7. Browse websites for inspiration
One of the best ways to stay fresh as a designer is to allow yourself to be inspired by the designs of your peers. Whether it’s designed by a rookie or a seasoned pro, every design can teach you something about what (or what not) to do.
Some of the best:
Go the extra mile: Whenever you come across a website or design element you are particularly fond of, save it to a folder on your computer. By keeping a virtual inspiration journal, you can easily refer back to favorites for ideas!
8. Participate in online tutorials
Your web design courses are providing you with the basic skills and training you’ll need to work in the industry, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn some of the fun stuff on your own! There are hundreds of tutorials available to help you add new skills to your repertoire.
Some of the best:
Go the extra mile: Challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone. If you routinely use a certain technique, take a stab at an alternative method. Try to learn one new skill each month!
9. Set Google Alerts
Since your time is valuable, Google Alerts can be a life saver! Simply set an alert for a specific term (e.g., WordPress or jQuery) and any new articles involving that term will automatically be sent to your email every day. It’s the easiest way to stay informed about new developments or releases without having to check ten websites daily, says Micah Warren of Large Media, Inc.
Remember … learning never stops
So besides your assigned coursework, you now have a handful of new tricks up your sleeve to help you stay up-to-date on the latest web design trends.
Piled on top of your schoolwork, your family and maybe even a job, it may seem like you’ve got limited time to spare. But even taking just ten minutes a day to focus on a few of these tactics will help keep your skills sharp and your mind developing.
These tactics can play a big role in helping you stand out to future employers. But once you’ve landed a job, the work isn’t over. Bookmark this article to keep it handy because as a web designer, you should always be thirsty for more knowledge!]]>