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Do you think he's be offended if I said, "I CAN'T HEAR YOU!"?

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Sep. 12th, 2006 | 09:19 am
location: NBCC SJ
mood: PMSing
music: Walking in Memphis
posted by: null_variable in cptnotes

Notes à la K80

Output Design – Chapter #15
Input Design – Chapter #16
(I believe this is according to a different book that the old firsties have … some brown book ... Be sure to check for corresponding chapters. PS: DON’T ask questions over again *face palm*)

Things to remember (that is to say, that I remember):
- Ask for help when you need it (shouldn’t really be an issue for Systems, considering you’ve already passed it, but please keep it in mind.)
- Ask for help when you need it (no, really, keep it in mind.)
- Make sure to have an ongoing open dialog with your client – this means make appointments, send emails, and know what they want. Remember: “How would you know what I’m looking for if we haven’t met until this presentation?” And make sure to meet with everybody, too, not just the boss. *coughJOEcough*
- Design guidelines ... Hah. I think your best bet is to just stick to (more or less, depending on the resulting mark) the outputs produced last year. If there’s anything you’re uncertain of, feel free to consult the book, but make sure to ask Patstone what he’s looking for, since his expectations and the book’s templates aren’t always one and the same.
- You must must must make sure that you’ve got your outputs completed well before the deadline, or, if not possible, at least make sure you’re working on it steady well before the deadline so that you’re only completing last minute refinements by the end. Remember, you’re now working and attending school, which is going to make spare time a luxury. Empty periods in between classes are work time, not nap time. I know the open labs cut close to when you can get to work this year, but you don’t work every evening. Try to milk them for all their worth, hmm?

Okay, right now Patstone’s discussing the layout of a document. Here’s the quick and dirty version:



What?! I told you it was quick and dirty! Don’t’ give me that look, I could’ve done nothing. Anyway, for future reference, check out the old System notes on CPTNOTES for expanded reference. This one in particular, I should think. ... And, umm, we’ll say the textbook, too.

Dimensions for those outputs are 8.5” x 11” vertically by horizontally, and 17” diagonally.

ETA: Patstone says that the chapters from the new book translate in to chapters 11 and 12 in the old, crappy, red textbook. And possibly 14. Sybil said that there’s some OOP stuff in the new book that’ll seem strange and unusual to me, so I should probably bum one of the firsties books off of them so I know what I’m doing. ...Though they’re technically not the firsties anymore. Hmm, no matter.

Moving on ...

What purpose do rules serve on a page? A piece of paper, a webpage, etc? To guide the eye, of course! (It really wasn’t that obvious when it was 9:30 in the morning and we were all semi-conscious). Something about them carrying weight as well. I’m trying really hard, honest. If you need a visual rule (rather than just the white space), we start with a hairline – that is to say, the minimum weight possible. (These stupid grammatical errors in Word are really starting to piss me off.) When separating sections of a document, other than using white space for the overall border, if you’ve not got the space to leave another white space for that, make sure to use a double hairline to separate (since you should, in theory, have used the single hairline up in the header.) But don’t excessively use double lines or too much weight, because it’s very distracting. So, with rules, the fewer the better. (Goddamn grammatical errors!!)

Sybil also says that if you’re using a rectangle to highlight a section, use them sparingly. They should only be used for imperative information. Try light on the border and then a colour change, rather than a line, because they really draw attention, and you wanna draw that attention to the data, not notes that people man y not need to read more than the first time.

Moving on again ... to text ...

Patstone: Who does it have to be readable to?
Me: Sybil!
Everyone: Haha!

...

Sans serif is general best as far as legibility goes: Helvetica, Tahoma, Verdana, or Arial (which, Sybil pointed out, is popular with the instructors due to its easy spelling, haha.) We’re talking size 12-ish. Remember, they have to be able to read it without a magnifying glass. Patstone made a crack about aging eyesight in North America, but I think that sort of applies to just CPT, too. The point is, you gotta make it visible. Remember that the VB default is 10, so be careful, hmm?

Titles should be a bit more noticeable – maybe all caps, underline, bold, size 15, etc. For Zone identifiers, maybe just bold or what have you. Just make sure with plain data you start at size 12 plain, and work your way up for titling.

Font size falls into two categories – proportional and fixed. Fixed means that each character takes up the same amount of space horizontally (IE Courier New). Proportional is just the opposite – each letter just takes up the amount it needs to, etc. Patstone doesn’t get why his colleagues make fun of his use of Courier New, but let’s keep in mind that it’s fugly, shall we?

Serif and Sans Serif ... Serifs are with, as I articulately put it, the ones with the “doohickeys”. Sans Serifs are easier to read, faster to read. Serifs are considered more formal, more businesslike, etc.

Ugh, do I really need to take notes on plain text versus italicized text? *face palm* We’ll just stick to “mild degree of emphasis” for italics. Also, “frequently used for instructions.” In our culture, anyway.

Bold is just for super duper emphasis. Example: “Do not press this button, total electrical shutdown.

Electronically, there’s an option that you don’t have on paper: blinking. Which is effing obnoxious, distracting, and I HATE IT! ARGH! Or, as Patstone said, your client may slash your tires or strangle you. Fun! Though these are good for apocalyptic messages, example, “Core overload in 10 seconds.”

Electronically also opens up the door to audio alarms. More obnoxiousness ensues.

Let’s talk about the use of colour ... light on dark is a very eye catching one. And so on and so on. I don’t think this really requires elaboration.

And upper and lower case, to finish. DON’T TYPE EVERYTHING LIKE THIS, BECAUSE IT’S LIKE YOU’RE SHOUTING AT PEOPLE ON THE PAGE. SYBIL MENTIONED THAT OUR GENERATION IS MUCH MORE SENSITIVE TO THIS, WHICH IS TOTALLY TRUE. ...ALSO SOMETHING ABOUT ALL CAPS TEXT BEING 30% HARDER TO READ. PISSED YET?!

but please don’t do this either. you look like you’re illiterate. i don’t really think that’s the way to win over the client’s favour – or mine. argh.

I guess I’m not finished yet. Patstone put in a good point that I never actually thought of: a caption to a variable name. Make the caption size 10, and the variable name size 12. After all, the variable name is what’s important, right?

caption variable
caption variable

char firstName
int totalIncome
bool ifAnnoying

Also remember that captions can go just about anywhere. Above the box, below, to the left or to the right. ...I tried to represent this graphically, but Word didn’t like me, and I am laaaaaazy. Weee (usss!)
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