Sunday, April 21, 2013

Is pessimism good for older adults?

According to this article published in the Journal of ‘Psychology and Aging’, pessimism about the future can make older adults live more healthier and longer lives. The key excerpt from this article is summarized below:
  • An extensive longitudinal study was conducted with individuals aged 18 to 39 years old, 40 to 64 years old, and 65 years old and above, from 1993-2003. The individuals were asked to rate how satisfied they were with their lives and how satisfied they thought they would be in five years, using a 0-10 scale. This data was collected via in-person interviews.
  • There were interesting age related differences. Younger adults had more optimistic expectations about the future, middle aged adults had more stable expectations, and older adults had more pessimistic expectations about the future. Younger adults do not have much experience with life and therefore have a positive outlook, which helps them to pursue their goals. At middle-age, adults form a more realistic outlook of what to expect from life. Older adults perhaps have a more pessimistic attitude towards life compared to middle-aged and younger adults because they know that their time is limited and want to enjoy their present rather than expecting things to change in the future.
  • Interestingly, pessimism about the future among older adults was associated with a lower decline of health. In other words, a darker outlook on the future makes older adults live a more cautious life, contributing to better health outcomes.

Photo credit: Rhoda Baer, via Wikimedia Commons

Monday, April 1, 2013

Responsive design

Mashable has termed 2013 as the year of responsive web design. According to this article:
  • We are in the post-PC era, where PC sales are falling while tablets and smartphones are in popular demand.
  • Supporting mobile web is very important because majority of the users prefer reading content in mobile web versus having a specific app.
  • With the plethora of devices that technology consumers interact with today, it is important to design a website in such a way that it is supported in multiple devices. The solution to this is responsive design.
  • In short, responsive web design is a term that is used to denote a design approach that aims at designing websites that provides an optimal reading experience across a range of devices, from desktop monitors to mobile phones to tablets, and a range of browsers.
  • So, how is this done? Responsive design uses media queries to determine the resolution of the device in which the website is being run and based on that resizes the image and the content.
  • The obvious advantage of the responsive design technique is that you need to create the website only once and it works on different devices. This does require planning ahead of time. Understanding the organizational layout, navigation and searching methods across the various device platforms helps to create web designs with the appropriate content and layout that will provide a good user experience across platforms.
Using this website, you can check out how your website would look in an iPhone, iPad, a small tablet, and a small phone.

Photo credit: Muhammad Rafizeldi, via Wikimedia Commons.