Leshell Hatley (LDH)

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About Me

My name is Leshell Hatley (LDH). I am a 3rd year PhD student in the iSchool (College of Information Studies). I am a member of the HCIL and Allison Druin is my advisor.

I am interested in creating technologies (hw & sw) that support and enhance the life experiences of children (e.g. play, explore, learn).

This is my final semester of coursework and I am taking this course as an elective.

Contact Me

I can be reached via email at leshell [at] umd [dot] com. My personal website is http://www.leshellhatley.com.

Interface I Don't Enjoy

I do not enjoy interacting with the homepage of RealClearPolitics.com because, quick frankly, the huge list of items hurts my eyes.

The red hyperlinks are hard on my eyes and always gives the impression that the articles are filled with angry or urgent sentiments. There are too many articles listed and they don't seem to have an logical ordering or categorization. The font is also extremely small.

The left navigation is helpful, but only to a point. The advertisements are the only clearly visible elements on the page, which might lead one to believe that the main purpose the site is to make money from advertising. This can limit the value users potentially place on the site.

I think I've visited this site a few times to get news a few months ago and haven't returned much since then.


Interface I Do Enjoy

One (game) interface I enjoy is Yahoo's TEXT TWIST. I don't normally play games, but this is one I really like.

The interface is simple and makes the game easy (and somewhat intuitive) to play. The blue color enables relaxation as you play and the sound of the timer near the end of each round adds to the intensity of the game sometimes! It's alot of fun actually.

Here's a screenshot (used on the game's website):

Texttwist screenshot2.jpg

Technology that Changed Human Behavior in the Last 5 years

I think many technologies have changed human behavior over the past 5 years. These include but aren't limited to: (Apple's iPhone/iPod Touch, Skype, Twitter and similar social networking web apps (those that can be created and customized by the user, like ning.com and those that cannot, like Facebook), and WIKIs. One common aspect of most, if not all, of these technologies is an opened door for users and developers, not associated with the companies that created them, to extend the product offering with customized content, component programs/modules, and/or some feeling of ownership (beyond simple usage). For example, one concept of technology that enables these attributes are the concept of and movement behind open source software. This extension shows itself not only in the form of ownership and/or being a part of the technology, but the technology can now be carried around with users 24/7, if desired. Mobility is a key factor in the last 5 years as well. Thus, making technology a natural extension of users/developers and their daily activities and/or lifestyle.

Combined with this lifestyle (technology which is social, mobile, a natural extension, and personal) will always be the drive to create, improve, and perform better than one's competition or simply something totally new. As a result, it seems (web) technology innovation has increased its speed over the last 5 years as well. The motivation to develop and contribute reaches beyond simply creating a good product and now focuses on creating a good product that you know people will use. Why? Because the very nature of current technology seems to be designed with use by the masses, and used by the masses collaboratively. This collaboration spawns new ideas to fill introduced needs, and the cycle continues.