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Posts Tagged ‘google chrome’

Optimizing News Websites for Google TV

Google TV

In late 2010, Google developed their new smart TV platform entitled Google TV. The service is built on the Android operating system, and functions as a set-top box to allow users to watch on-demand video services, such as YouTube, Google Reader, and Google Chrome. This integration allows users to subscribe to your site and have regular updates pushed to their Google TV devices (similar to an RSS feed with an RSS aggregator). Mobile phones and tablet devices are changing the landscape of the web for organizations, and soon you may even ask “how does my site look on TV”? This is especially important since Google TV will soon be able to access the Android Market, according to recent news. Since Google TV lies somewhere between mobile devices and desktops/laptops in terms of functionality and user experience, here are a few helpful guidelines to make sure your site is ready for prime time on Google TV.

Design for the Big Screen

According to the Leichtman Research Group, as of 2010, 61% of US households own at least one HDTV, with 26% owning more than one. These high resolution displays mean that there is an increased distance between the user to the television, which means that elements on websites need to be large enough to be seen across the room at a glance. Larger elements also means increased white space between elements. Lets take a look at the New York Times on Google TV.

New York Times on Google TV

New York Times on Google TV

Along with this, websites need to make sure that the most important information is at the top of the page. Web designers call this property “above the fold”, meaning that you include information at the top of a page to prevent users from scrolling vertically to find more information. Since HDTVs will more than likely be widescreen displays (either 720p or 1080p), this means that organizations should rely on either horizontal or grid navigation to make it easier for users to go through your site.

Function over Form

Keep in mind that the processors for most Google TV devices will be somewhere between your mobile phone and your desktop or laptop in terms of processing power. Google has partnered with Intel, Sony, Logitech for current Google TV devices, and new partnerships with Samsung and Vizio ensure that new, faster devices will be coming to the market by the holiday season. Websites designed for Google TV will need to be able to load quickly without a lot of extra animations or Flash videos. Google TV can display Flash content, but it will not be at the same speed as a desktop or laptop, so keep that in mind. Let’s take a look at Al Jazeera on Google TV.

Al Jazeera on Google TV

Al Jazeera on Google TV

Make Navigation Big and Simple

One thing the Al Jazeera site illustrates is that you should also look to use access keys for navigation, such as arrow keys or letters on the keyboard. The mouse pointer on Google TV is small and hard to see, so enabling navigation by keyboard to access a menu or a section of the website creates a great user experience. The key is to simplify user navigation as much as possible. Primary actions for the user should be available in one click; don’t hide key features for your site in menus. You should also provide a legend to explain your keyboard-based navigation system. Don’t make your users think too much about how to navigate your website on Google TV, or else they may change the channel.

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom

The Chrome Browser in Google TV supports the non-standard CSS property called zoom. What does this do, you ask? According to Sitepoint, this property controls the magnification level for the current element. This means that text, videos, and other elements on your page can be enlarged to allow for viewing across large distances or for visually impaired users. Because zoom is a non-standard property, you would probably have to test this on Google TV for troubleshooting purposes.

KQED on Google TV

KQED on Google TV

Overall, these are just a few things developers can do to optimize news websites for Google TV. Other news organizations have already started developing for Google TV, including USA Today, Huffington Post, and KQED. Google has provided a full optimization guide, as well as a number of optimized templates. What news organizations have you seen on Google TV? Share your findings in the comments.

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Using Feedly To Create A Personal News Hub

Twitter’s tremendous growth and active user base means breaking news stories to the web has become easier than ever. But when this is juxtaposed with information from mainstream media sources, keeping up with the latest news around a particular topic can be a bit overwhelming. Luckily, the team at DevHD has come with a great solution for harnessing the news of the web while including instant updates from other sources — they call it Feedly.

feedly-whats-new
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8 Google Chrome Extensions for Journalists

When you’re browsing the web for information to help write your story, no browser helps you pull together your work better than Google Chrome. Google Chrome allows you to add extensions to increase the functionality of the browser and help turn it into a real writing and compiling powerhouse. Here are eight Google Chrome extensions which can help journalists get more done with Google’s revolutionary browser.

After the Deadline

After the Deadline

As a journalist, you know how important it is to ensure that your copy is free from spelling, punctuation, or grammar errors. After the Deadline’s powerful AI system checks your spelling, grammar, and overall writing style to make sure your online copy is error-free. It also checks text in other languages, such as French, Spanish, German, and Portuguese. It’s a prime addition to any online journalist’s toolbox.

Awesome Screenshot: Capture & Annotate

Awesome Screenshot: Capture & Annotate

The name for this extension not only sums up its primary functions, but mentions one main thing: it is awesome. You can easily make a screen capture of either part of a page or a whole page, add annotations such as boxes, circles, text, and arrows, and then save it to your desktop or upload it to the web for easy sharing. Creating screen captures has never been this easy or fun! Once you begin using it, you’ll wonder how you compiled and annotated screen images without it.

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