Video, Silverlight and jQuery

During our 25 days of blogging last year, Sam talked about some of the new websites designs that we’ve been working on.  The 125 website was the first to go live last month and today we have released the website accompanying the exhibition for a new sports development.

For both sites we’ve developed some new ways of displaying information as well as improving the designs. Bot the homepage designs use jQuery to create visual effects on the page. 125 has multiple “slides” of information. Each slide transitions to the next after a short period of time or when you click the link on the right.

New Sport also uses some jQuery transitions, this time to change the background image and headline when you hover over links to each section.

There’s a few more new additions to the sport site. We were provided with a DVD containing lots of aerial photos of the campus to feature in a gallery. We’ve done the usual thumbnail gallery but we’ve also got a fancier way of showing off photos.

Microsoft Photosynth is a tool from their Live Labs project. It works by taking a set of photos, working out how they fit together and creating a 3D model in which you can navigate around them. Our set of photos is 71% “synthy” – a measure of how we matched they are – pretty good I’d say! The one negative thing is that viewing the resulting photosynth requires Silverlight on the browser.

Photosynth of Edge Hill

Another new development that’s being released for the first time on this site is a video browser. The observant may have noticed last week video pages on the Edge Hill site changed slightly, doubling the size of the video and moving around some elements on the page. This was to allow us to highlight related videos right along side.

Video player

One final little thing we’ve incorporated into this site is embedding the PDF of exhibition boards – normally a sizable download – into the page using Scribd. Using third party hosted services has risks associated with it but here it clearly benefits the user to be able to quickly scan through pages without the need to download a large file and open in Acrobat.

5 thoughts on “Video, Silverlight and jQuery

  1. I thought quite hard about the Photosynth thing, having seen Warwick use it. I admit to being reasonably unimpressed at its actual utility whilst being impressed at the technical achievement.

    Yours is actually not bad, I just find photosynth views in general quite hard to use, and quite jarring when it switches from one pic to another.

  2. Hi Mike,

    We were also looking at the idea of a photosynth for a project site, the only reservation we had was with the download of Silverlight rather than using Flash. Did you have any resistance to using something that prompts the majority of users for a download?

  3. Hi Kris,

    In the past I’ve been very reluctant to consider Silverlight as an alternative to HTML/CSS/JavaScript or Flash for most things – we wouldn’t use Silverlight to embed video for example. With the Photosynth of the aerial photos there isn’t anything else equivalent in more widely adopted technologies so if we’re going to offer alternative ways of visualising the university we have to force the user to install something. Of course we provided a selection of the aerial photographs in a normal lightbox gallery for those users unable or unwilling to install Silverlight.

  4. Good choice to website.exhibition for a new sports development also nice think. I think your sports activity so nice and good think. sports are the one important part of life.
    Thanks for sharing information with us……..

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