Monday, January 31, 2011

Wired Frames : First Round

I have the technology section in order to improve the experience of the reader and I created a series of 4 scenarios. I want with my design to help the reader reach to fastest news and get the best product, brand and news.

Above 1 & 2 scenario, the first 4 panels describe the user trying to find the best cellphone. The incorporation of a chart was very important in which in a roll over state describes the user rating, expert and comments. Scenario 2: describes the way to fin the latest news on facebook. Elements that I want to keep are scrolling gallery and the the navigation bar works best when is at the top.
Scenario 3 and 4 are described above, the top shows how to get tips on the ipad. A component that I think is important is on expert and user response as well a way to respond and get feedback. Scenario 4: the bottom describes how to navigate to obtain the newest invention. I will like to incorporate a scrolling gallery to feature the product.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Reading Response: Don't Make Me Think

In chapter 3 Billboard Design 101 described that in order to have a successful site that people can understand are:
1. Create a clear visual hierarchy on each page: appearance or the things on the page, are easy to grasp in a hurry. Show clear relationships between the things on the page, they should have visual hierarchy. The most important or prominent to read like headings one can create hierarchy by creating something bold, larger, distinctive color. To show relationships, you can show that things are similar through groupings and displaying in a similar style. Items can be nested, when something is a section of something greater it can "nested" or encompass. Looking at newspapers like we have done in class and analyzing bolder headlines draw attention. Good visual hierarchy it saves time and the goal is to grave the content instantly. Bad hierarchy throws off.
2. Take advantage of conventions: are very useful they become conventions if they work. Conventions allows for users o go to different sites and without figuring too much out of it. There is familiarity, is easier to travel through sites. Designers sometimes fall in the trap of changing those innovations because they feel that they are doing "same old". If one decides to reinvent it has too make sure that is clear and self-explanatory.
3. Break pages up into clearly defined areas :it allows users to decide quickly on which areas of the page to focus and which ones they will like to ignore.
4. Make it obvious what's clickable: in web people are looking for the next thing click, so is important that is clear. Clicking should be something mindless.
5. Minimize noise: there are two kinds of noise: busy-ness: when everything on the page is clamoring for my attention the effect can be overwhelming. Lots of punctuation marks, many colors, too many things are bold. Background noise: visual noise such as lines, anything that will wears us down.

In chapter 4 Animal, vegetable, or mineral? in order to be successful to get to a certain point it should not take more than 3-5 clicks. Each click is painless and that the user has confidence in navigating and they feel they are on the right track. On the web many choices are not clear, and the problem is that we face choices all the time on the web and making the choices mindless is one of the main things that make a site easy to use.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Project 1: Female Tech Enthusiast

I'm working on the research portion with Janna and Ray. Last class we found some secondary research, in which we found some articles and blogs in which these main reoccurring topics were discussed.

-Younger women feel that fields in technology are not meant for girls.

-Geek factor plays a role in women picking and deciding wether they should select that particular field.

-Women feel that a job is not about success but being personally happy and rewarded, "Success is not calculated by how many numbers are on your paycheck, but if you are satisfied with your job," said a girl in Chicago.

-They don’t feel that there are many female role models that they are in the field for them to understand the value of.

-Stereotypical women can be turned off by the physical environment “masculine geeky”.

-Lack of visible examples of successful women in the technology field.

-Women still bent on traditional female occupations such as teaching and health services.

-22 percent of computer-science graduates are women, a percentage that has been steadily decreasing, according to 2008 data from the National Science Foundation.

-In 2008, women earned only 18 percent of computer science degrees, compared to 37 percent in 1985.

-People’s perception that people in those careers spend long hours working alone on esoteric ideas in a laboratory or computer room and no, or not enough, time collaborating with others or making positive changes in the world and you can't be social.

We also found that there are support groups that are support groups and they help through to out reach women in middle school or high school.

-Support groups like Girl Geek Dinners : a non-profit organization in which women are brought together by which they have a personal or professional interest.
-Geek Girl Camp in the United States
-Books like: “The Princess at the Keyboard: Why Girls Should Become Computer Scientists.” Are also very influential.

-Through schools like : youth programs, outreach, and engagement at Michigan Technological University, hosted “Get WISE” (Women in Science and Engineering), which brings middle school girls to campus for a hands-on day of learning.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Response to Readings

The Changing Role of Research by Christopher Ireland describes the importance of knowing the audience that you are designing for. In the USA there highly diverse group of people with different desires, beliefs and diverse specific needs. As a designer is important to understand the people, their cultures, belief systems and therefore one must be an observant and identify. Christopher Ireland after working in various packaging, product launches and advertisements he discover that he love to hear from people that used his products he summarize "qualitative design research" by listening, watching and experiencing the user lives. When Christopher was placed in the task in redesigning audiotapes for Disney. He paid careful attention to each of the women, considered their lifestyle and personality by asking realistic and "what if" questions. This approach obtained a greater result than the traditional focus groups approach, which is a gathering of 10-12 consumers who are led in a tightly scripted discussion by a trained moderator usually for about 2 hours.

Ethnography and Critical Design Practice by Tim Plowman who is a trained anthropologist, someone that studies human behavior-how people experience and make sense of what they themselves and others do. Culture are the practices, artifacts, sensibilities and ideas that constitute and inform our everyday lives. We shape culture through behaviors, feelings, thoughts, ways of doing, communicating, and understanding all things. Situatedness multiple ways people consume and integrate designed artifacts into their lives through interaction (use and embodiment) and through their experience creates understanding. One way to engage with the artifact is through use. Designed artifacts are "materialized ideologies" and is through attracting attention (hailing), compelling individuals to generate meaning (interpretation) and behave in a specific relation to designed artifacts. Bronislaw Malinowski, phrase "the imponderabilia of actual life" he referred that one needs to know their audience or "ordinary people" and understand and study their behavior. Through ethnography involves studying and learning about a person or a relatively small group of people. Ethnographic accounts are both scientifically descriptive and interpretive. Descriptive because they are supposed to capture as much as detail as possible, crucial to testing and developing theories. Interpretative because an enthographer must determine the significance of the detail in a relative narrow scope she observes without necessarily gathering broad or statistical information. There was an illustration describe various research tools used when conducting academic ethnography. The primary tools that are used during commercial ethnography are : videotaping and photography, artifacts and material culture collection, local model and representation collection, passive observation and participant observation. The importance of studying beyond applies not only to graphic designers but also industrial design, companies are more willing to spend money in these areas of study because it will be more successful in targeting the audience.

Design for Interaction: Design Research

Dan Saffer explains that if more money and time will be spent in design research: observing, talking to and making artifacts with customers and users many products and services will greatly improved. Design research is the act of investigating, through various means. Design use various research methods like silent observation to an active play, through these activities the designer will obtain information about the subjects and their environment. Designer also understands the emotional, cultural and aesthetic context that the product or service will exist in. PD (participatory design) when the users are invited through the design process for research purposes.
Most of the design research is qualitative not quantitive, because qualitative research is concerned more with the how and why questions. Quantitive deals more with data and statistics.
Design research is important because it can be especially helpful if the product contains features and functionality that are for specific types of users and also it gives the designer empathy for the users.

Brenda Laurel explains that design research is essential for looking for patterns. Through the research the designer can also get inspired and creativity. The first step in design research is to identify one's own biases and beliefs about the subject of study and to "hang them at the door." Framing questions carefully identify the audiences, contexts and research methods.

Remember that knowledge is power, by identifying the deepest needs of our times.

Rick E. Robinson, anthropologist outlined three basic rules for design research:
1. You go to them, designers need observe the subject's environment where activities are performed.
2. Talk to them: designers ask their subjects to tell their own stories in their own manner.
3. You write stuff down. The human memory is faulty. What they hear and see they need to write immediately.

What not to do, in the reading it talks about creating a focus group. It is also not to rely on the research of others unless they are in your design team. Designers need to take their own research notes don't rely on a video tape or transcript to capture what needs to be remember.

Ethical research: 1. Designers should tell the subject that he or she is conducting research study and explain the purpose, preferably in writing. 2. Explain the risk and benefits: the designer may hear or see something that the subject doesn't want him to.3. Respect the subject's privacy: blur photographs and never use subject's real names. 4. Pay subject for their time: people's time is very valuable. 5. If asked to provide data than designers should respect these requests.

Patterns and Phenomena: the main things a designer looks for are patterns and unique phenomena.
Patterns: can be patterns of behavior, patterns in stories, patterns of responses, to questions any action or idea that keeps reoccurring.
Phenomena: unusual behaviors are also important and even methods of working, can suggest directions that will benefit large number of people in their work.

Field Notes
Writing down observations and key phrases is essential.
-Exact quotes with indications of emphasis and tone
-Sketches of the location, annotated with comments and detail.
-History, steps and context of any activities.

Analyzing print and web : USA TODAY

I personally analyzed the Technology section of the USA Today in both print and web. As a group between Kelsey, Ian, Vi and myself we analyze both mediums. In print text is condensed, less saturation of colors, the news are those that happen that day, but if any current or breaking news is not published until the next day. One has to go through various piles in print to reach a particular section. Images and bold headers are the main level hierarchy. In my section there was only one page, in comparison to the website where many tabs lead to different aspects of technology even a forum were user comments are necessary and rated by the readers. In web the immediacy and availability are key, yet advertisements battle in hierarchy since many of them have an interactive component they are distracting. Active links are activated and their rollover state it underlines the category. Some tabs are redundant there was a Science Fair tab and under Science the Science Fair appears again. If the reader decides to visit the forum also labeled the Technology Live, and decides to go back to the home they will reach the main page of the USA Today or just within the Forum but not the home page of the Technology site. In the web through social contributions like the rate of comments and views of the articles is indicated on top of each article. If they are any new breaking news in can be visible and right away visible.

Reading Response : Richard Saul Wurman Introduction

"Information is everything. We are what we read."
-Richard Saul Wurman

Wurman brings to light the importance to reading and the overwhelming flow of data in which he compares is to a tsunami wave. Is the job of a designer to not make only good but easy to read and understand. Is the job of a designer to find meaning and understanding. Information architecture is creating of a systematic and orderly to make something work. In which a collection of data is organized. Wurman recognized that information can be organized in five different ways or LATCH. L: location, A: alphabet, T: organized by time (many museum shows are organized by timeline) C: category and H: hierarchy. We understand information wether visually or verbally if is relevant. Scale is something that is always relatable. Even though not everything in the world is relatable to size they are other relationships that they share and therefore information can be categorize. Information architecture is vital in the age that we live in but is not just about pretty graphs but the function and how the reader is going to understand the information. In the AIGA lecture series, the Intro-Active1: The expanding culture of the web today both speakers Joe Grigsby, Director of Emerging Media at VML and Lisa Qualls, CEO at Fresh ID and President of Social Media Club Kansas City, they drew the attention of functionality and building an experience.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Concept Mapping: Typography Symposium

Concept mapping allows for a more structured and pairing or linking of words. This symposium whose main goal is to tell the participants: audience, which are the high school students and the freshman from KCAI. I started defining what a symposium meant in comparison to a conference. A symposium is more relaxed, friendly and not as formal as conference. Conference is just a component of a symposium, with a fixed schedule. They both are moments in which a discussion and exchanges of opinion occur.