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La Cage Branding in the New York Times

0 Commentsby   |  04.02.10  |  My Design Blog

Jeff Rogers, an alumnus working at Spot Co in New York, passed on this New York Times article. The owner of Spot Co talks thought all of the rejected comps for the new Broadway show La Cage aux Folles. It’s a great peek into the design process. This is for all those students who complain about multiple rough comps.


Project 4 (functionality) (b)

0 Commentsby   |  03.27.10  |  My Design Blog

Part 1: Define the Problem

Look for a problem that you would like solved through a mobile app. Examples:

  • What to do in a new city
  • Show prospective students what it’s like to attend ACU
  • Help college students eat healthy
  • Help food banks coordinate and keep track of inventory across a city

Part 2: Research & Information Design

Interviews, Scenario Outlines and App Names, (INDIVIDUALLY)

  • Interview at least 5 potential users (write notes based on each interview)
  • summarize (in written form on the blog) and present key finding from interview that will lead design
  • Write an outline for a user scenario
  • Generate at least 5 app name ideas

Information Design

Video User Scenarios & Wireframes (TEAMS)

  • Complete 2 drafts of a video user scenario


  • Core Tasks: this is a list of core tasks the user should be able to accomplish when using your tool. Imagine your first prototype of the app is complete and you are going to test it with an actual user. This list should be written in a way that a user could read any single task on your list and navigate through your tool to accomplish it quickly and efficiently.
  • Page Tasks: Review draft 1 of the video wireframes and write a task list for each “page”. Include any missing items in draft 2.

Users & Goals

  • This will be explained during the workshop

Microscope Exercise:

  • Work with your client to generate single word descriptors of “Things we are and things we aren’t”. The words should describe the values of the company. Draw two circles labeled 10x and 100x. Start with 10x and put ‘things we are’ inside the circle and ‘things we aren’t’ outside the circle. Make this a longer list. In the 100x circle choose 3 core words to move from the 10x circle. Also choose three words ‘you aren’t’ and place those outside the 100x circle.
  • Try to choose words that have visual connotations. They can be abstract but should suggest or repel visual qualities. For example, “innovative” is an abstract concept but suggests certain visual qualities and repels others. If the design solution has a lot of centered, all-caps, classic, serif typography (like an original copy of the novel Moby Dick), I wouldn’t consider that innovative. But a condensed, sans serif set on it’s side likely feels more innovative. Other abstract words that may work are ‘fresh, traditional, vibrant, playful, strong, fast, and stable.’ Words that may be a bit too abstract are, ‘thoughtful, funny, safe, on-time, secure, convenient, quality.’ Before selecting a word as a 100x keyword make sure it can suggest and repel visuals otherwise your microscope exercise won’t be very useful for directing design work.
  • Try to stay away from words that prescribe functionality or are too concrete. For example, ‘customizable’, ‘easy to use’, ‘colorful’, ‘not complicated’, ‘intuitive’. Words like these can define the design too narrowly at this point in the process.
  • Example Words: fresh, traditional, vibrant, playful, strong, fast, stable, innovative, trendy, inviting, energetic, clean, pure, dependable, simplicity, fresh, edgy, modern, high class or classy.

Part 4: Graphic Design

  • Gut Checks
  • Design 5 fragments
  • Design as many screens needed to illustrate the final user experience

Final Deliverables

  • Interview Summaries (from each of you)
  • User Scenario Outlines (from each of you)
  • Task List (from each of you)
  • Final Video Scenario With Wireframes (from each team)
  • Gut Check Material and Results (from each team)
  • Users & Goals (from each team)
  • Microscope Exercise
  • Final Comps (5-6 screens and home icon)
  • Final Mockup on for Portfolio


Great Information Design Personal Project

2 Commentsby   |  03.02.10  |  My Design Blog

Nicholas Felton is a graphic designer that specializes in information design. He produces these great personal annual reports that visualize ‘daily data’. I would recommend checking it out and maybe producing one of your own. I would love to see it.



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The Emotion of Design

0 Commentsby   |  01.28.10  |  My Design Blog

Great Ted talk by Donald Norman addressing the roll of emotion within design. Most fascinating to me is the research he brings in from cognitive science and psychology. In the past he has argued persuasively for functional design but here he relates function to beauty, fun and pleasure. Much of this talk comes from his book Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things.

Tablet Interface

0 Commentsby   |  01.26.10  |  My Design Blog

Many may have seen the Sport Illustrated Tablet demo. Here is another beautifully produced demo talking through interface approaches and philosophies for magazine layout.

Pretty Good Free Font List

1 Commentby   |  12.08.09  |  My Design Blog

Here is a nice list of the best free fonts of 2009 put together by the web design blog WDL.

AOL Brand Redesign

0 Commentsby   |  11.28.09  |  My Design Blog

AOL redesigns their brand. Check it out here. “Brand New” is a great branding and identity blog. Also, if you like logo design and branding check out LogoDesignLove.

Movement and Architecture

2 Commentsby   |  11.23.09  |  My Design Blog

A design firm from the Netherlands created some beautiful projections. Facinating interaction of architecture and image.

Titillium, New Open Source Font


0 Commentsby   |  11.19.09  |  My Design Blog

A very nice open source font being developed by students in Italy. Check it out here…

Another Lovely Package Design Blog

0 Commentsby   |  11.17.09  |  My Design Blog

Here is another package design blog. It has a nice twist with a section of student work.