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Archive for the 'Reading Reviews' Category

AIDS awareness design

The idea of having user input in order to create effective design in a different cultural setting is driving in the point in understanding the audience that you are designing for. I would be able to make an ad for AIDS awareness in my own culture, no matter how flashy or provocative it is in the US does not mean it translate well overseas. The imagery made by the Kenyan audience-designers  did not speak to me because that sort of context is not effective in my cultural and visual language. However if such images were to go over well with other Kenyans, then the design is effective.

This reading reminded me of the Dezyne Klass reading where the student designers had immersed themselves in Hip hop culture to get a better sense of how it is a strong language and culture that you must really get ‘personal’ with the subject before you do create something based on it. Simply put, it is a matter of knowing your audience and being able to have a conversation with them through effective visual means.

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Link: Web design help

Thought this link was a good reminder of all the basics we’ve gone over in class to apply to our own sites.

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Multifunctional Clock/Alarm/Radio/Cd/Mp3 Player

Audiences: Aim for college students in the 18 – 23 Age range. Accessibility for the 14-18 range as well as the 24-35 range.
This is meant to combine all the basics of an affordable Clock, Alarm, AM/FM Radio (with digital tuning), CD and MP3 Player in one.

Unlike the iPod and Zune/ Mp3 player docking systems, this would include a plug to hook up your mp3 player to this and play your tunes.
You can also play cds while loading the songs into the hard drive to work as an mp3 player itself. The cd player function is kept for older adults who want to just use the cd player and can make it easy for them to upload their songs.

Affordances:
Instead of a touch screen display I’ve decided on a Multi functional button system that can scroll through the number of items shown on the screen. The button pad at the bottom of the machine, underneath the screen itself, allows

Constraints:
The technology I’ve chosen has proven to be difficult to design for all kinds of users to effectively use. I originally wanted to have a touch screen setting but designing a software for it would be too confusing in placing each button on the screen itself. Also to have touch screen ability would be limited in cases of the machine freezing and no cancel button other than what would be on screen would be efficient for the users. I’ve instead made a button pad at the bottom of the machine for users to look at the screen and use the buttons for easier functionality.

Research: There are a number of designs where I’ve based this system on. The biggest inspiration was the dock systems meant for the iPod. There were some designs that had it as a multifunctional dock machine that could function more than a simple speaker system. The only thing is that the designs seemed too complicated for older users to use. The designs were daunting but effective in making me reconsider how I should design the object as simple as possible for the user.

Conceptual Model:

design.pngpicture-1.pngpicture-2.png1.pngcd.pngmp31.pngmp32.pngmp33.pngradio1.pngradio2.png

research: orbitipoddockingstation.jpgjansenspeakerstandipod.jpgaxionaxn9905.jpgaxionb.jpg

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on Norman on Affordances.

in the design of future things, norman clarifies his updated view on affordances:

“It started off with an e-mail: Clarisse de Souza, a professor of informatics in Rio de Janeiro wrote to disagree with my definition of “affordance.”  “Affordance,” she told me, “is really communication between the designer and the user of a product.”  “No,” I wrote back.  “An affordance is simply a relationship that exists in the world: it is simply there.  Nothing to do with communication.”

I was wrong.  She was not only right, but she got me to spend a delightful week in Brazil, convincing me, then went on to expand upon her idea in an important book, Semiotic Engineering.  I ended up a believer: “Once designs are thought of as shared communication and technologies as media, the entire design philosophy changes radically, but in a positive and constructive way,” is what I wrote about the book for its back cover.”

–Norman, The Design of Future Things, pp. 66-67

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Visual Design of Interactive Software for Older Adults

I found this exasperating, extensive reading on the process of creating a software for Older Adult patients taking medication all together frustrating. To create an effective and very important program for Older adults taking medications has a lot of responsibility as well as care that for it I would never have the patience. The extensive details of each aspect from the input of the users from each session to the work put into designing then redesigning each part of the program felt redundant. Going through the process from this reading was already all too familiar in the small projects we’ve done in class. The information, very thorough and helpful, would be effective for research development in projects in the future as it does give a glimpse into effective design for older adults.

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Museum(kinda)

ok so i decided to post up my “museum” visit since i haven’t really had time to. this was from the new york auto show. enjoy.img127.jpgimg129.jpgimg130.jpgimg131.jpgimg132.jpgimg133.jpgimg134.jpgimg135.jpgimg136.jpgimg137.jpgimg138.jpgimg144.jpgimg145.jpgimg146.jpgimg147.jpg

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The Design of Everyday Things

The reading really opened my mind to consider how much work is input into making something understandable for a number of users to easily use. There are a number of factors to consider when one is creating a product. You have to create a good model as a designer that can easily be used by consumers. This makes sense as being in this class has taught me to be on both ends of the spectrum of designing something. I have looked at websites I have created and found them easy to use on my own, but when I get outside input, I find that they are harder for others to understand the process of where the links are and how to view the website. Although I have been defensive about my work, when I took another look at it I realized what others said was true. Without something a little more easily understandable, one cannot really understand how to use something. Both chapters in the book have presented the issues that designers and testers go through and the enjoyable antidotes that Norman writes really drives the point through. Design is essentially a long process where you must test and test over again and really have a large audience input for effective design.

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Directed Storytelling

The Directed Storytelling system is an effective way that was somewhat used as we did the Coffee Machine system design. The users in my group would create stories that were based on our personal and collective experiences with machines and coffeeshops. This helped us to figure out a simple design that was not insulting for anyone to use but easily accessible to not complicate the matter of getting a cup of coffee.

The example of how effective this system works with the design of the blackboard online education systems was informative as I have used the system before. I am familiar with how easy blackboard was easy to use, once you got used to the system. I didn’t realize at the time how much work and input was needed for it to be easily used by students and professors. Although the system is not used as much by most of the classes I have taken over the past four years, it was effective in communicating with the professor and accessing class information. Only recently do professors maintain their own websites or use email to communicate with students.

The ending note of the article (or disclaimer) was true when it said that such a system is used when a limited budget or schedule for the design execution. As it states, “your data is only as good as your storytellers.”

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Audience as Co-designer: Participatory Design of HIV/AIDS Awareness and Prevention Posters in Kenya

What a contrast to have a dry analytical essay and then read about two of the participants and what they’d gone through. Their trials remind me of other situations such as pregnancy out of ‘wedlock’ in America until just the last few decades (even Diana Ross had the song “Love Child”). I know I should be concentrating on the methodology of the team, but the personal stories just blew me away. I like the idea of audience participation—it takes marketing research to its logical extreme. One nice side benefit of the project is that several participants could move on to become local graphic designers.

I guess this also hit home because I just found out that an acquaintance of mine has been HIV + for 10 years and has recently become ill. He’s a graphic designer too. The posters in this country didn’t work for him. Yet what else can you do but try to educate people. And maybe offer free condoms.

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Visual Design of Interactive Software for Older Adults

Visual features of interface design could “enhance comprehension, appeal, and ease of use in such a program for older adults.” I know that my grandparents would need bolder and bigger sized fonts in a program to make it easier for them to see and understand. Illustrations are also a good idea to make it easier for anyone (like we discussed in class with the metro-card machine and coffee shop assignments). I realized that when you design something you have to take into account who you’re designing it for. When making an interactive software for older people, like in this reading, you would need to make it have slower speeds, with cleaner and more direct functions.

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