Inane Whittering #12

So, long time, no post.

In my defence, at the beginning of October I was signed off of work for 3 weeks due to wrist problems. The assumed culprit was Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Several doctor’s appointments, a course of electric shocks to test the nerves, an x-ray and ultrasound scans later, I finally know what’s wrong.

The Neurologist I saw had no idea what was up and simply said “Kind, die Nerven gehen nicht kaputt.” Naja, I could have told you that after having had electric currents run through them. The Orthopaedic specialist yesterday was far more amusing to deal with. After pushing and pulling my back about and remarking “Sie haben wirklich breiten Schultern – kräftig. Sie können auch ein Bissel mehr essen, aber außerdem ist alles in Ordnung.” (You have really broad shoulders – strong ones. You could also do with eating a bit more, but apart from that, everything’s fine), he decided to send me for an x-ray.

As per usual, it couldn’t be something straightforward. Oh, no – that would make things too easy. I have what’s called Ulna Minus, where the ulna (or die Elle, auf deutsch) in the wrist is too short. This results in a weaker, more flexible joint. The ultrasound then explained the mysterious pains and pins and needles I’ve been having. Ganglions are benign cysts or tumours and it turns out that I have some growing inbetween the nerves in my hand. And ridiculously low blood pressure doesn’t help either – at the time of the ultrasound, I had no radial pulse, which was a bit awkward.

So now I know that more corners were obviously cut when I was built in the factory, I can happily return to work and strengthen my wrists – the only real treatment option. (It’s also the reason why I’ve rekindled my knitting obsession – I last remember knitting when I was 6, so prepare for the ensuing hilarity and blog posts)

Which brings me back to why I’m writing this – computermabob people, I be needing your sage advice again.

I’ve been tasked with redesigning the website. That’s it. Re-structure it and generally make it more accessible. Oh, and somehow fit all the info on one screen without losing content and generally removing the need for scrolling.

Mission impossible? Bring it.

So, after having done some googling and referring back to documentation I remember using last year in Computers and Languages (see, Martin? I was paying attention) I’ve been toying with the idea of trying to build something vaguely tablet-friendly i.e. something with a form of horizontal scrolling. The beta version of the BBC website (only available for UK IP addresses, but I saw it whilst back in Blighty for a lightning-quick visit) was the inspiration, as is GMail’s slick new look, which works wonderfully on my little netbook.

My problem is once again the CMS – I’m supposed to be moving the entire site over to Typo3, which certainly gives me more freedom than our current CMS (there’s even an HTML view! /geekout) I need to work out if I can use javascript – if not, then I’m stuck.

Anyhow, my question is if anyone could recommend anything – I’m already looking at the tab widget that jQuery offers, but then came across this combination of CSS and Mootools which results in a horizontally sliding “follow the mouse” effect.

So, oh Wise Ones, what say ye?
Yay, nay or something inbetween?

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3 thoughts on “Inane Whittering #12

  1. Is there a link anywhere to the website? Would make it easier to make suggestions.

    Personally, I prefer using drop-down menus to keep stuff compact, like the ones this site (http://cssmenumaker.com/drop_down_css_menu.php) will do for you. Horizontal menus are also good but stay away from the mouse scrolling thingy, it’s just not very user friendly.

  2. Try this. It should be the homepage in English. At the minute, the general consensus is that important information gets lost too easily – all the text is also to be re-written and re-structured But essentially they want fewer pages. Using drop-down menus is a fair point – I should have thought of that one earlier, to be honest. My main issue at the minute is trying to explain the limitations of what I can do due to corporate design – I can only modify the left hand navbar and the middle panel with the content – the news feed on the right and everything else requires permissions that I don’t have… Thank youu :)

    1. Have a look at other university website to see what they do. Find a website you like, and steal whatever makes you like it. ;)

      A few suggestions then:

      The accessability of the website would be greatly improved if you could view subitems on the menu on the left without reloading the page, allowing people to access the entire site menu from the home page. Particularly, if people have slow internet connections.

      There are two menus (the left and top) which seem to overlap. Combining them into one would free space where the other is.

      The news feed isn’t too much of a problem I would say as it doesn’t take up too much space, but if you realy want to change it then I guess find someone with permissions.

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