Archive for the ‘Web Design’ Category

What We Learned About PowerPoint Add-Ons and OS

January 24, 2011

PowerPoint add-ons like Articulate and Adobe Presenter enable you to vastly improve training programs and presentations with enhanced motion graphics and sound. But be careful when upgrading equipment and software you’ll run those apps on.

If you also plan to use RAM-hungry programs for things like video editing, you might want to make your next PC a 64-bit system. It will accommodate 8MB of RAM (vs. 4 with a 32-bit computer) and should process faster. Windows 7 and many other operating systems can be ordered either way.

If you do, be aware that software and OS suppliers don’t always know which apps run correctly in the 64-bit environment. We ran into that when upgrading to PowerPoint 2010 and adding a 64-bit Dell Studio XPS system. Dell supplied the 64-bit version of PPT and the add-on (32-bit version) gave us trouble.

Sixty-four-bit operating systems are supposedly backwards-compatible with 32-bit programs (but not vice-versa). So we figured the problem had to be using the 32-bit add-on with the 64-bit PPT. This turned out to be true, even though the more popular PPT add-ons run with 32- and 64-bit versions of PPT (thank you, user forum contributors). PPT 2010 is the exception.

Since switching to the 32-bit PPT, things have been fine. We look forward to pushing the envelope with images and action for training and presentations created with 64-bit video and graphics programs. Can anyone recommend some good ones?



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Web Redesign for Hand-Helds?

February 5, 2010

In a recent report from MediaPost, and commented upon by my friend and marketing guru Marian Wood, the Gartner Group sees Web access via smartphones outpacing Web access via desktop computers by 2013. Gartner suggested that: “To successfully expand into mobile, publishers will have to reformat sites from the small form-factor of handheld devices.”

I don’t agree.

I think this new way to access the web begs for some really capable techy person – which I am certainly not – to create a new app for all smartphones. With this app, WHEN a reader gets to a website with its wonderful bells and whistles (translated Flash stuff), the smartphone automatically recognizes that it can’t do justice to the site, and redirects the reader to its Mobile Equivalent. Maybe I should just patent that phrase right now, and abbreviate it ME (pronounced Em-Eee) to sound cool.

Or if that’s not possible, someone — maybe me — will create an icon that instantly conveys: Click for Mobile Version. This icon would become a staple in the upper right corner of every website. And, of course, every website would then have a Mobile Version of itself, with clean, simple images and short snappier messages. Mobile readers would become used to having a less-is-more site on their mobiles, and get the fatter site versions (if they want more info) when they get to their home computers with bigger screens.

I don’t see why the entire flavor of the Web — with its exciting movement and interactivity and yes, sometimes byte-heavy material — needs to be changed completely for the sake of the small screen.

— Susan Brier/Creative Director