Thursday, June 19, 2014

Extra Credit: Portfolio Show SU14

There weren't as many graphic designers graduating this quarter, but of the few that were there, they were good. Mitch Barchi really stood out and he was friendly and personable. I think his table clearly showed off what he loves to do and his niche. 

Another graduate who really caught my eye was Diandra Totten, photographer. Her architecture photography was absolutely mind-blowing. Not to mention she had a bright and professional attitude. I was extremely impressed by her poise and her work.

I must say that these two artists were the stars of the show.

Here are some business cards of graduates who interested me!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Unit 8 Reading Response

Wowza, I didn’t know so much went into the design of a mobile application. Olson really went through every detail of brainstorming and how he put the Languages application together. I, personally, don’t want to be an app designer, but it’s fun to do sometimes. To be completely honest, I’m scared! I would hate to fail so miserably creating an app that I spent so much time on. It is truly just solving the problems that users encounter, which can be hard to think of. The way Olson grew from zero to programmer is amazing, his passion was really there to make this app happen. I suppose that’s really what is needed to be successful. His marketing was clever, journalists, making connections with people who would buy the app, just really building a fan base from the get go, before the app even launched. I learned that meeting all the needs comes first, then making the interface comes next. From what I learned, the most important things are passion, usability, marketing tactics, creating a fan base, and connections to people in the industry. It paid off for Jeremy Olson, it could pay off for me, too!

Here are some links to some effective reference applications from the iTunes App store:

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Unit 7 Reading Response

Chapter 10 about users’ goodwill is very interesting to me. I never thought about it the way that Krug thinks about it. I suppose I go onto a webpage and have a full reserve which goes down every time I encounter an issue with the site I’m on. I am very optimistic, though, so I will usually try to find what I’m looking for for a minute or two, but most times if the interface is just cluttered I just leave if I don’t see what I need on the main page. Like Krug said, it’s good to have the information users/customers want and need visible to them. Being upfront and honest I think will only give more reason to the user to respect your business or services. I could go on and on about ads on websites and how annoying they are. I think it’s fine in moderation, but only the static ads. The ads that make you wait to close them, or the ones that slide up from the bottom of the page, then make you “X” out of them (only to open up a pop-up menu) are just plain awful and turn me off from even trying to use whatever website it is. Ads bring in money, and that’s what [online] businesses need to do to keep the money coming in. I think ads are a waste of space because most of the time, I don’t bother looking at them and my eyes automatically register them as “annoying ads” in my head, so I don’t bother taking a second glance. I think ads are never going to go away, so I’ve learned to deal with it.

Here are some responsive design testers I found:

Monday, May 19, 2014

Unit 6 Reading Response

Reading the article on "Designing for iOS 7" made it clearer to me, as an iPhone 5 and iOS 7 user, that there really is a lot more than “simplicity” to Apple’s design aesthetic. I have subconsciously analyzed the interface before, every time I have opened my phone, but it all makes so much more sense to hear about the choices from someone else’s perspective. The transparent blurred boxes are a revolutionary new way to add content without completely separating it from the rest of the screen, and not to mention it looks pretty radical. The interface difference between the iOS 6 and iOS 7’s weather application was probably one of the most dramatic changes in the new iOS, and Apple did it justice because I, as a user, am 110% satisfied every time I open up my weather app; it’s just so simple, it gives me all the information I need, it looks sleek with the thin typeface (yet readable), and the animated depiction of the actual weather in the background raises the interactivity to a whole new level.

The “Long Shadow Love” article is interesting to me... And not all in a good way. I like how it looks, and in the 3-D age of movies and such, it might be the new thing, but I think it adds too much to the interface that it’s just distracting. Some application icons in the article looked good, like the “Photos” and “Camera” apps, but I felt it was just overdone with the Calendar, Notes, and Safari apps, among others which I won’t bother mentioning.

Here are three iPhone application developing tools I found and liked:

Monday, May 12, 2014

Unit 5 Reading Response

I didn’t know that usability testing was so important! In my opinion, this has definitely been the most intense couple of chapters yet. I see that user testing is very important and it ultimately shows perspective on the web page usability. I was thinking of my mom, and how she uses the internet (I’ve watched her navigate through her email and Huffington Post before) and I noticed how differently she and I both use websites. I’m all about the organization and visual elements, while she’s very to-the-point and “on a mission” if you will, to get to what she’s looking for. She’s slower when scrolling through pages, and takes her time. I, on the other hand, am very interested in analyzing what the designer’s choices were. Even this, my observations of my 55 year old mother using the internet, has put a new perspective in my mind, and helped me with my portfolio website design. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again; dumbing down the design to make it almost inevitable for your user to go off-track is so important. I’m not into clutter, and neither is the user. I saw that Krug’s one-on-one user test with 25-year-old Janice showed that she wasn’t sure of some elements so she just ignored them. That tells me that having complicated icons or graphics may not be such a good idea. Now I see how essential it is to have individuals (of preferred audience, of course) test the website before anything goes live. It can bring in money or take it away!

Here is a website which I'm having a hard time using and two websites which have better usability.



Thursday, May 8, 2014

Unit 4 Reading Response

Homepages are the first page that a user will see when they are led to your website, so being organized and informational at first glance is very important. Krug explains how the layout should show obvious hierarchy, and that hierarchy should remain the same or recognizable on each page. It really is important, for me, as a user, I need to know where I am on each page, and if I go to a wrong page, I don’t want to have to wait to go backwards if the page I want is in the navigation still. Taglines! Gosh, I see now that there are so many terrible taglines out there! I also didn’t realize how important taglines were for a business until now. Obviously the ones we see on television advertisements, (if they’re clever enough), can stick with us and we can sing along to the jingle or whatnot. But on a website, it’s a chance for the business to explain themselves without trying to blatantly sell you on their site. I suppose what I’m trying to say is that taglines should be inviting, make the user curious to explore more.

Here are three links to websites I found that follow the idea of good hierarchy, effective taglines, and consistent navigation with effective drop-down menus.

Unit 3 Reading Response

Organization and navigation! Krug developed a great way to explain how users see and use webpages based on the usability of navigation. I understand what he’s talking about, and I know that a lot of students my age don’t have that kind of user experience or more like observance to how webpage navigation works. I love to see the good and bad navigation examples, side by side we know what looks good, but as designers we have to combine that with knowledge and practicality. The way Amazon has developed over the years is outstanding; I’m actually shocked that their website looked so sleek and organized (not to mention pretty) in 1998. I think Amazon really set the standards for webpage usability, and being able to know where you are at all times as a user/customer. Tabs, I agree, are a marvelous method for showing where one is on a webpage, but I do have to say that it’s not appropriate for all navigation. That may be obvious, though. I think that the book title, “Don’t Make Me Think,” has really lived up to it’s meaning in chapter six; as a designer, we have to make webpages simple and apparent to the user, it’s like when you’re applying for a job, you have about six seconds to grab the attention of whoever is reading your resume; same with a webpage.

Here are some webpages I found that follow the tab examples.