Monday, January 31, 2011

iA: web design is 95% typography, and don't make me think reply

After reading and going through the two articles I found the way Reichenstein approached the subject was interesting and in some way ruthless, although, I feel his point is valid. When working in the web, I've been learning that you need to have your rule sets much more than working in print. there are certain things that won't work across the page, due to lack of technology, or due to lack of experience on the web. I really liked the point he made about how typographers in the past may have only been able to deal with one font, such as in the renaissance times, but they still mastered the way it looks, only using one font. I think this is something I struggle with to be honest. Pushing things around on a page is hard to do, and using typography to my advantage is a difficult skill to show. Also, to this point that choosing a type face is not being a typographer, which I'm sort of confused by. I guess that the point his trying to make is that just because you're using Helvetica, doesn't mean you're using it well.

It was interesting to see how he responded to his responses on the web. I think he enjoyed stirring the pot up a bit to give his look on how web design is. Although, he does come back with some remorse, he still stood by his opinions. I liked the part where he gave his reasons to the typical use of something, such as college students versus professional graphic designers. It gave me some insight to what not to do, maybe?


This little section was also a good insight. Thinking about the layers of a website is vital at the beginning, due to making it up as you go can cause chaos, and inconsistency. I liked his moral: It's vital to have sample pages that show the navigation for all the potential levels of the site before you start arguing about the color scheme for the Home page. This is really applicable to what we're doing and what we just talked to marty about down in crit. I need to be more detail oriented, consistent and flexible with space, before I think about the design of the page. Yes, the grid is part of the design, but the formal design needs to wait. I need to not get ahead of myself.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

UE: Progress

Moving forward with the interview Keaton and I got on Thursday we've decided to change our sub-culture to bus/bike commuters. Due to KC being a highly car commuting percentage we felt the research we would find with bus and bike commuters would be more intriguing and different. We've decided to use the culture probe selection of research methods. We put together a kit for the bike/bus commuter to experience. It includes a map of KC for them to show their commutes, to work, and recreational, possibly while going to lunch running a quick errand. It has directions to show how they can mark the map differently. Such as problem area, and good areas to ride around in. Maybe a bad bus route? Or bad bus driver? We told them to write it on a sticky note and place it on the map in the appropriate area. We also are going to put on an interview to get more information. If our participant is willing to have us go through his stuff that he takes along with him on his commutes we were planning on doing a photo essay with his belongings and images of his bike.

 Some notes about what we are going to possibly include in our probe.
 Our interview being changed from car commuters to bus/bike commuters
 culture probe
culture probe - the stop watch.

Culture probe includes: stickers, markers, map, pedometer, stop watch, instructions and sticky notes.

IA: Speculation and wireframes

Throughout analyzing the New York times we found that it was a cluttered set of information all on one page. I felt that by making it more organized and more consistent with how you find information it would work better for the user.
Here are some notes I have been taking to think of ways to improve the users experience.

-make the search bar more obvious.
-maybe making it a dominant feature on the page.
-consistent place for sections. No switching around so that the user has to look for it.
-Since the news is all about what's going on, maybe making the dates of each articles more dominant as well.
- Each section has a top story. By putting each section header with image on the front NYT page it would possibly make it clearer to which each section would have in it.
-Basically be more selective with what is shown, and make it much more organized and cleaner looking.
- Be more clear with type hierarchy.
- Front page could sort through each section's feature story.
- Make only one area for ads, so that they aren't spread out.
- Within the style section there is a half the page dedicated to the T-magazine, which is great...but there needs to be some differentiation there.
- Is listing the articles in order the answer? do they list them anyway, latest vs. most read?
- Should Twittering be on the page at all?...
- Re-evaluate space and how much space is dedicated to each subject.
- Does each section need to follow the guidelines and grid structure of the rest of the website. Within the news paper they didn't seem to keep a system with how they arranged their info. So should it be okay on the web too?
- Pop up data is neat...maybe making it more interactive and more obvious.
- Needs more images. due to content.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

S{o}TA: TypeCon Analysis

-2009 TypeCon Conference: Rhythm
-Wanted to stay far away from the conference turning into a music festival.
-The Identity  is based on the music staff, the practical structure for determining rhythm.
-Need various types of surprise in rhythm.
-Result in the logo was that it doesn't feel static, and it can be applied to multiple types of media.
-The 70 pg program was filled with information such as: schedules, session descriptions, speaker bios and sponsors advertisements.
-The conference was 6 days long.

These are just some of the things I found while researching this specific conference. Under Consideration has a lot of information about how they branded the event. It's quite interesting to see their process. Over all I felt that this conference seemed like a successful event. I of course did not go, but I would have wanted to. And, mostly because of how it looked to be honest. A type conference sounds like fun, but with how this event was branded and brought to life really caught my eye. I think it's good to consider how something looks, and who you are trying to attract. This of course is a large objective within what we learn in this department, and it's nice to see the process and progress of this project. Within our own symposium/conference I think targeting our audience is going to be key. Although, our audience may not even pay attention to what they're attracted to design wise, I know I didn't in high school.

Friday, January 28, 2011

UE: Recorded Interview

Here are some notes I took from the interview Keaton and I had with Darrin, he was kind enough to be openly involved with the project even though he's not particularly part of our sub-culture, but a former individual of it (which is hard to find, I think).

-95% of people in KC commute in a car daily, that's including carpooling.
-Out of that 95% only 10% use a carpool system.
-Carpooling normally happens through word of mouth mostly. Some are approached with the idea, and some find it on their own.
-It seems that carpooling is popular among professionals within the financial spectrum, due to them knowing the benefits of saving money.
-before 5-6 years ago, Darrin drove to every job he had.
Darrin's journey to becoming a bike and bus commuter.
     -Started learning and hearing about environmental issues more regularly, and thought that he could contribute to helping. He then started to carpool, then started taking the bus to further his contribution, then started to see people biking and thought that it would be a difficult task to do daily. But, one time saw someone going into a business office with his bike in the winter and realized that if that person could do that, then he could too. So now he is trying to make biking a consistent task he does to got to work. Although, the harsh winters KC has a rough effect on riding your bike to work versus doing the 20 minute bus ride to work. (Which is picked up near his house on an express route)
- He explained that the hybrid cars are slowing becoming a more popular choice for a commuter, but due to the short term memory of a consumer that the percentage of trucks and SUV's are on the rise.

- The bus system here in KC and Johnson county are hard one's to tackle because KC has to compete with St. Louis for transportation needs, and for example for another city that has a good system doesn't have to compete for government money.
- There are some improvements coming soon though.

NYT: Fashion/Style break down

I.A.: Don't make me think notes and thoughts.

DON'T MAKE ME THINK chapters 3 and 4

- Design pages for scanning, not reading.
    -create a clear visual hierarchy on each page.
    -Break pages up into clearly defined ares
    -Make obvious what is clickable.
    -Minimize noise.

HIERARCHY: Make relationships make sense.
        -relatable information and non relatable information should be seperate.
    The more important something is the more prominent it is.
        EX: Larger, Bolder, Color difference, more white space, and positioning.
    Things that are related logically are also related visually.
        -Grouping under a specific header
        -clearly defined spaces.
    Things that are "nested" visually to show what's part of what.
        -put appropriate topics with appropriate images and sections.
    Visual hierarchy saves us work by preprocessing the page for us.
    No hierarchy is harder to process.

CONVENTIONS: are your friends.
    The way things work systematically for years can work for you as well.
    Although, conventions are good don't always rely on the preferred system. As designers we are hired to bring something new to the table. Something usable and different at the same time. Make sure when you are exploring make it something to be "wow-ing"

ADVICE: Innovate when you know you have something better than the convention: and people will be impressed.

Clearly define areas of the page.   
    -quick and effective.
Make Clickable ares OBVIOUS!
    -Watch coloring of non linkable words, can be confusing.

    two kinds of noise: Busy-ness and Backgroud noise.

    why users like mindless decisions.

When using the internet clicking on links is natural, until you have to stop and think about what you're clicking on. Putting information on the page so that the user can get good, helpful information fast so they don't have to think about it. Making the wrong decision on the web is easy due to lack of information, so picking the wrong link can lead you somewhere unnecessary and useless.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011