Archive for category Usability

Decoration aid

When it comes to designing websites choosing what colors to use is one of the first steps. Nowadays online applications often let users personalize the look and feel of the site by offering a way to customize the colors the website wears. JavaScript and HTML can be used effectively to this end. A problem is arising for component developers using JavaScript: what framework to use? There is MooTools, ProtoType, YUI library, jQuery, etc, etc… This is the reason I developed a standalone color picker. It also works with every JavaScript framework, as it does not depend on one or interferes with one. It is one single .js file, no extra images, css, javascript or whatsoever.

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No robots beyond this line

Customs passport checkOnline communities are hot. Globally recognized examples are easy to give: websites like Facebook, LinkedIn and are very popular, manufacturers have online fora to have their customers support each other, newspapers let you leave comments on their articles on their websites and you can share everything with tools like Delicious, Digg and Reddit. This development on the Internet supports new possibilities which were unknown before. Of course this also counts for rogues. Spam is a commonly known phenomenon and global annoyance. Beside spamming unwanted messages by mail, spamming the comment boxes and fora is an issue web programmers have to deal with too. Spamming often is automated and this is a feature which can be used to counter spam. The goal is to identify a messenger being human or robot.

For this purpose the captcha was invented. Besides the fact that captcha sounds nice enough to be a buzz word it actually is short for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart, although this is a bit contrived. This means that a captcha is a challenge response mechanism but it doesn’t need to be in the form of an image depicting distorted text which has to be copied in a text box which is the most common form of captchas. Creative new captchas can be found, like a transistor image which has to be read. Read the rest of this entry »

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