Author Archives: Andy Parker

Mediabarn’s 1st Annual Chili Cook-Off

Yesterday we had our first ever chili cook-off here at Mediabarn and it proved to be a great success! Steven, Keith, Katherine, Nanette, and Mauro all competed for the coveted title of 2012 Chili Cook-Off Champ. Fifty bowls of chili and a bottle of tums later, Steven was declared the winner for his “Roll-Tide Tailgating Chili” and awarded an elegant, yet understated trophy (see below). It was a close race and a lot of fun for the chefs and tasters alike. We look forward to making the chili cook-off a Mediabarn tradition! Take a peek at some pictures from the … Continue reading

Mediabarn Delivers at USPTO!

United States Patent and Trademark Office taps Mediabarn’s User Experience Group for its usability and user interface design expertise.  Read more in the press release here:

The Boston College Chapter of Uplifting Athletes got a mention during ESPN’s College Game Day this past week as they were spotlighting BC’s defensive star Mark Herzlich’s battle with cancer. They have also been mentioned in the USA Today and the Wall Street Journal in the last few weeks. ( Any press is good press, but good press is great press. We’re glad we can help Uplifting Athletes continue to make a difference.

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Throughout the month of October, 4-H is collecting the user’s experiment data for their 4-H National Science Experiment – Biofuel Blast. In preparation for that, we’ve created a Flash ‘quiz’ to collect all the user data. A new database table handles the results and ties into the previously created registration table. It was a pretty straight forward assignment, but shows the great potential Flash has as a serious application Front-end. (Ask us about our Flash Dash Board projects!) ( We are proud that we could help support the 4-H organization. launches updated and expanded section: National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), conducted every October since 2001, is a national public awareness campaign to encourage everyone to protect their computers and our nation’s critical cyber infrastructure. This year’s theme is “Our Shared Responsibility”. The expanded section now contains an events calendar, links to become an official endorser, and collateral material downloads. Also check out the newly redesigned Top Tips page.

We couldn’t be happier with the feedback we’ve been getting on the success of the Uplifting Athletes site. We are please to announce that they have added a new chapter to their cause and site… Boston College Adding the new chapter to their existing site was fairly easy since we’re using Drupal to manage the site. We look forward to adding many more chapters to the site in the near future.


I’m actually pleased with the news that MS is pushing Internet Explorer 8 (IE 8) as an automatic update. Have you been using or testing your sites in IE 8 yet? If not, you need to be! The numbers aren’t that high yet, but I bet they will –thankfully– be increasing rapidly. Why thankfully? Well, mainly because IE 8 supports (almost) all of the CSS2.1 specification. For full details check out quirksmode’s CSS Compatibility Chart. This means, in theory, that a single set of CSS can be written and –drum roll please– it will render correctly in IE 8. Wait! … Continue reading

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A little under 6-months after delivering the initial site redesign for the National Cyber Security Alliance‘s site, we’ve done it again. The initial project utilized an existing design from another firm. Mediabarn made some minor tweaks to the existing designs focusing on content organization and usability issues. We developed the site in Drupal, an open-source CMS, launching in late 2008. Since the initial launch we have continued to support NCSA with their site content needs and adding several bits of new functionality. The latest redesign brings a major new face lift to the site without changing the overall structure … Continue reading

Scrolling and Ad Blindness

Ad Blindness is a phenomenon commonly found with eye tracking research. Ad blindness also includes “right rail” blindness, a similar occurrence due to the placement of tower and stamp-shaped ads loaded up in the right column of a webpage. Rebeka Sedaca wrote about reclaiming the right rail in 2006. As seen in many of our tests, right rail blindness can also be linked to user behavior; e.g. the use of the mouse scroll wheel. In a website usability and eye tracking test at Mediabarn, we noticed an avoidance of the right rail column. Upon further inspection, what we noticed was … Continue reading

The Naming of Mediabarn

People often ask us what the origin of the name Mediabarn is. The following is a long-winded answer to that question! Back in 1994 when AOL was still on Westwood Center Drive in Vienna, Dave Baker was the manager of a group that Jason and I worked on called the Rainteam. We were originally put together to kick start the use of photos on the service using the new Rainman publishing system that the amazing AOL developers created. After Rainman was more widely implemented and the individual channels were publishing their own Rainman content, our team was re-purposed to work … Continue reading