Monthly Archives: September 2007

Promoempleo o Como tirar el dinero de los impuestos a la basura

Ayer recibí en un correo de mi ex-facultad la noticia de que existía una bolsa de trabajo. Al inicio supuse que era una bolsa de trabajo solamente para egresados de computación así que revisé la liga, el sitio se llama promoempleo:
http://www.promoempleo.com.mx

Inicialmente el nombre del sitio me sonó demasiado a chambatel, un listado de trabajos del gobierno federal (promoempleo es a nivel estatal) pero realmente orientado a trabajos de salario mínimo aún para egresados de nivel superior.

Revisé el sitio sin ninguna esperanza de encontrar algo bueno y la después de poco tiempo solo sentí pena por lanzar al “mercado” un sitio que:

  • Tiene una pésima usabilidad, en especial el asistente que ocupa mucho espacio y no provee información útil (por suerte puede desactivarse).
  • Les dio flojera (o no pudieron) poner información “Legible” y la ponen directamente de la base de datos (incluidos los nombres de las tablas)
  • Información poco clara, alguien puede explicarme cuando aparecerá un trabajo que cumpla este criterio: “Donde fecha sea mayor a hoy“, ¿acaso fue hecha para viajeros en el tiempo?
  • Además incluyen una parte para que incluyas tus “Habilidades” y “Talentos” lo cual me parece de lo más atrasado:
  • Los tests son horribles, mal hechos y con demasiado errores, el de inteligencia me “reprobó” en varias secciones porque no pude “terminar” a tiempo, aún cuando la interfaz no me permitía colocar los elementos de manera precisa.

Lo curioso es que el sector demográfico al que está enfocado parece ser el mismo que chambatel, y dudo que una persona con un salario tan básico pueda tener acceso de alta velocidad para ver los gráficos en Flash en lo que está hecho todo el sistema.

Otro aspecto mediocre es que publicitan que tienen de 600 a 700 visitas semanales, es decir un promedio de 100 visitas diarias, esperemos que sean realmente visitas, porque si fueran hits esto sería de risa, ya que solo lo visitarian unicamente los desarrolladores. El número es muy bajo, pero tal vez podemos pensar que como es “regional” el número bajo de visitas está permitido, pues resulta que según el INEGI en Puebla hay un 4.05% de desocupación y el número de personas ocupadas es de: 814,326; es decir existen aproximadamente 30,000 personas desempleadas, de esas 30,000 personas desempleadas sólo 700 entraron en una semana, es decir un mísero 2.3% (y eso si no contamos las personas recurrentes).

Pero lamentablemente lo más mediocre, discriminativo y lo peor porque es un desarrollo impulsado por el gobierno es que soliciten datos que están prohibidos por la constitución para seleccionarte para un trabajo: Estado Civil, Estatura y Complexión:
Discriminacion en promoempleo

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Article: Untangling the Usability of Fisheye Menus

I’ve read at ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI), the following article:
Untangling the Usability of Fisheye Menus

The article does a user testing on the usability of fisheye menus and reveals in terms of text menu they are worse than normal menus; and the best menu is the hierarchical menus.

Fisheye menus are those which when you pass the mouse over an item, this item is focused showing it more bigger than actually is and the other elements are reduced in size. For example [taken from: http://www.cs.umd.edu/class/fall2002/cmsc838s/tichi/fisheye.html]:

Fisheye Example

Some points are interesting of the research:

However, the level of magnification had significant effect: Participants performed faster at a magnification level of two twice normal size) than at both lower and higher levels of magnification. Also, the three fisheye interfaces were significantly faster than two overview+detail ones.

….

Scanpath length, … Bonferroni-adjusted post hoc tests indicated that participants’ scanpaths were shorter with the hierarchical
menu than with the multifocus and overview menus, suggesting that participants engaged in less visual search with the former. [...] Bonferroni-adjusted post hoc tests indicated that fixations may be longer with the fisheye menu than with hierarchical and multifocus menus.

….

Participants’ selection times with fisheye, multifocus, and overview menus show a bell-shaped distribution, meaning that items at the beginning and end of the menus were selected much faster than those in the middle [...]. Linear contrasts indicated that the first 10% of the menu items were selected the fastest, followed by the last 10%, and finally, the selection of middle items . Fast selection of the first menu items is expectable. Fast selection of the last items may be attributable to the fact that these items are in an area that is easy to identify; selecting the menu item “Zen” with the alphabetical dataset is almost certain to involve some of the last menu items, facilitating a decision to make a fast coarse movement toward the end of the menu.

One explanation is that while participants using the hierarchical menu take more time getting close to the target menu item, they take substantially less time selecting it. Getting close to a menu item is slow with the hierarchical menu because of the changes required in the direction of mouse movement, the small delay before menu items at lower levels expand, and the laborious backtracking necessary to correct erroneous selections.

A final explanation for why participants perform well with the hierarchical menu is that it simplifies navigation.With fisheye and overview menus, participants made longer fixations, suggesting increased mental activity [Goldberg and Kotval 1999], compared with the hierarchical menu. Also, participants’ scanpaths were longer with the multifocus and overview menus, indicating
more visual search. Reasons for this could include: (a) the need with nonhierarchical menus to determine or remember which part of the menu structure one is currently in; and (b) difficulties operating the focus-lock mode. While these explanations are somewhat speculative, they are supported by participants’ comments after the experiment and by their usage patterns.

I think fisheye menus should be used only on graphical elements like youtube’s menu at the end of embedded videos.

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Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability

Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
I’ve finished reading this compact but excellent book:
Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability

The book is written in an easy to read form; you will pick up the basic aspects of usability in this book.
The cartoons are funny and help to understand the main ideas. It use several examples from real world showing you common mistakes and easy to implement solutions for making a site really usable.

http://safari.oreilly.com/0321344758

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3D Models from plain Images

I’ve found an interesting page:
http://fotowoosh.com/

This project when launched will allow you to create a 3D model from a plain image, the demos are astounding.

Video:
This idea are fully explained in this tutorial: http://www.cs.unc.edu/~marc/tutorial/

Also I’ve seen Microsoft is also launching an app: Photosynth (http://labs.live.com/photosynth/default.html)

Update:Virtual tourism as called by Microsoft seems to be an oustanding and a future development which will change our ways to know places through photos: http://research.microsoft.com/IVM/PhotoTours/

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Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, 2nd Edition

Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, 2nd EditionI’ve finished reading this excellent book, I think in some parts have a lot of content and some chapters are barely explained.

This book mandatory for HCI / usability areas, it clearly explain the role of information architecture through examples, but of course some of the links in the book are outdated

I’ve read through Safari Books (with my ACM Professional account), I’ve used Safari before with subscription for about a year, but I think now their main problem is they aren’t allowing read new books / editions (this book is in third edition for about a year, also I want to read the Ambient Findability book of the same author).

http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/infotecture2/

By the way, talking about HCI / usability, a good link is: http://scobleizer.com/2006/03/04/the-role-of-anti-marketing-design/ about ugly design =) ( I prefer to have a good looking professional site, even on that free sites ;-) )

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