FHU Mobile

by Michael Plyler
August 19, 2011 7:13 AM

FHU Mobile, our first native iPhone App, is now available in the App Store.

FHU Mobile is your portal to the heart of Freed-Hardeman University. Developed by FHU computer science students with the prospective student in mind, FHU Mobile connects you to FHU social media, news, current events, faculty, staff and our admissions office. You can apply here, then take a look at your dorm. And, if you are visiting campus, use the interactive campus map to get where you need to go, fast. FHU Mobile is the next best thing to actually being on campus.

Get it in the App Store: http://fhu.edu/fhumobile


Usable Web Forms

by Michael Plyler
June 24, 2011 6:59 AM

UX Booth is one of those sites that has really good resource articles. I visit this site often when I'm looking for information to help improve the usability of our websites at FHU.

One such article that I found is entitled "Creating a Usable Contact Form". Many of the items in this article can be translated to any type of form.

There are some very simple things that you can do for your online forms to make them very usable and to help bridge the gap between your users that are very tech savvy and those who are not.

Some of the important, yet most overlooked areas of form design are discussed in this article: failing gracefully and providing an alternative to the form.

It is important to consider several different user roles, computing environments and levels of communication when developing web forms.

You have to keep in mind, these forms are the way that your users are communicating with you. Good communication is two-way. Poor communication frustrates those involved.

For forms that you've seen or used online, what did you like most about them? What seemed to work well?

What didn't seem to work so well? Please share.


Think About This

by Michael Plyler
June 18, 2011 8:16 AM

Do you like to think about things? Me too.

I also like to visualize those things I think about. Usually these things are for web projects that I am developing.

It is very useful to "chart" and "flowchart" my program workflows or even mockup the interfaces even before programming - guess some of that software development mumbo jumbo sunk in.

A website that I came across last week has several templates for thinking guides or mind maps.

Exploratree, by FutureLab, is a free library of thinking guides. You can even create your own and submit it to other users. Very cool.

Here's a link to their video tutorial (this might help you grasp the concept).


Stay Connected with FHU

by Michael Plyler
June 3, 2011 7:16 AM

FHU Connect received a few upgrades this past week. We have expanded a few ideas from our iPhone App development and have implemented a full "social stream" of all of our sites, not just Twitter. Now, FHU Connect contains content from Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, our Athletics website, FHU Press Releases and our Blogs.

In addition, we've upgraded our 'new posts' notification to have a sleek new look:

 

It is important to us that our campus community has a way to stay connected with FHU.


Innovation

by Michael Plyler
May 30, 2011 8:42 PM

With FHU's Project Development, one of our objectives has been to promote/facilitate innovation in the classroom.

Sometimes it is difficult to put into words ways/means on how to do this and get "non-digital native" users on board with innovating their learning/teaching styles with and without the use of technology.

Here is an interesting article stating Google's 9 Principle's of Innovation:
http://fatagnus.com/googles-9-principles-of-innovation/

I can agree with and relate to several of these principles. It's great when you work for a company or institution that supports these ideals. In my opinion, FHU is quickly becoming such a place.

Innovation is not really a hobby.

Remember that famous quote by John Dewey? - "Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself."

Innovation is a habit and a lifestyle. Doesn't innovation by definition fall in line with one of the major philosophical tenets of most fields in academia?

What are you doing to help promote innovation?