Wednesday, April 15, 2015

ia: ebay user test + 3 user tests

ebay user test
In general, using ebay was...well let's just say that the website looks like a google search, with blue hyperlinks and chaotic information everywhere. I actually haven't ever used ebay before, so it was interesting see how ebay functions in comparison to things that I usually use, like amazon. 

buying wood type | 2-3 inches tall | full alphabet

This is the home page. It's relatively clean, with a clear search bar at the top. Everything else on the bottom are key items or popular sales.

Just like a google search, other search terms appear when you type in your desired item. 

The results for "wood type" in the Printing and Graphic Arts category. There are ways to sort the info on the left, and more related items on the right. Here it feels very cluttered. But what I liked was that it had the option of viewing the results in different ways. Here I added "full alphabet." The titles for these items are always IN FULL CAPS and have a ton of extra information about the item.

Clicked on one of the items. Scrolling down, it has more info, but it wasn't the whole alphabet so I went back and searched again. The seller's ratings are on the right

This is another result I found. Scrolling down, it fit all the qualifications. The bidding information comes first, then its details (like amazon). This makes sense because if people like what they see, they will continue to scroll downwards. Otherwise, they would go back and search again.

The information presented here is after scrolling down. Information is bolded, and describes what the user will receive. 

marc chagall print collector
I really was not sure how to go about this one. But, I figured that the "event" was bidding at the auction. Finding all of Chagall's prints were mainly about filtering and sorting through piles of information.

Here, I first type Marc Chagall's name, and then see what options come up first. 

I see all the results, but I want to change the way I view it.

After viewing it in gallery mode, I see what sorting options I have

I realize that I'm only looking for his prints (left side)

I then click "Auctions" because I want to be a part of the live auction.

Upon clicking one of the results, I decide to be a part of the auction for that particular work

Placing bid

3 user tests for app
Sam Yates
After the landing page I lose nelson's feet. The perspective seems weird. But I medics truly know to click story. When deciding how man players I feel a little lost. Maybe just having the number would do the trick. Next screen is navigable and explanatory. Arriving on the where to begin seems self-explanatory but maybe making the dots more "clickable" would aid in UI. 
Michael Batiste

Overall I think the interface is pretty straight forward. I think the gestures are pretty familiar and easy to follow. I just have a couple questions about transitions and buttons.
For the first screen I clicked lets do it!
Second screen I pressed story. But was confused on the purpose of the button sense there is no other options.
Third I choose one character and assumed it would activate or notify me that its active. Then choose continue. I wondered if the buttons could be more broad in the options like one, + one or group or something.
Fourth I choose mini games and selected my starting point. I thought these two transitions where pretty clear and straight forward. Did you guys think about what it be like if the starting point was proximity censored. Meaning automatically selecting the starting point because the censor recognizes the location.
Fifth I assumed the racket would work by dragging and holding it in position to hit the birdie. Not sure if this is right so instructions might help. ( under the racket maybe, with a low opacity. That fades away once you understand the controls.) 

pp: interview key + reading

interview key

7 Things You Must Do Before Applying to Jobs | Sarah Chang
before sending out applications, you should...

  • Do work on your online reputation
    • 80% of employers google applicants before interviews
  • LinkedIn is crucial to have updated
    • don't let people mistakenly think you've landed a new job
  • 3 Things to do before the job search
    • determine who the stakeholders are
      • people whose daily life will be altered by your next job
      • a new job means a new life
    • build your network and your reputation
      • a reputation is something you build
      • network online and in person
    • Figure out what your skill set is and what you want to do with it — and be ready to entertain far-out ideas.
  • ask "What are you optimizing for?"
  • do some soul searching
    • what're your unique talents? don't take them for granted
    • assess your eight essential dimensions: interests, motivators...
  • figure out how you feel about your current job
    • is the grass always greener?
    • is there a long time plan?
    • are you appreciated?
    • what does my boss think of me?
  • 9 things to consider before job searching while employed
    • keep job search and work separate
    • be careful who you tell
    • schedule interviews strategically
    • your boss may be threatened
    • use former employees as references
    • be honest with potential employers
    • don't forget about current job
    • remember that you don't have the job yet

Friday, April 10, 2015

Thursday, April 09, 2015

pp: interviews + reading

For my informational interviews, I wanted to ask professionals in fields in either motion graphics or environmental graphic design. I'm leaning towards the latter, but I'm still open to motion graphics. Generally, the interviews were a little awkward at first, but it later sparked good conversations about design and their personal experiences. I interviewed four people over the semester, but I plan on interviewing a couple more people as I move on in the year, in order to get a better sense of what's out there. Below are summaries of my interviews with these professionals:

Taylor Pruitt | Intern at Gensler

Taylor Pruitt is our adjunct professor in our User Experience class, but she also is currently working at MindMixer and previously interned at Gensler. When I asked Kidwell about environmental graphic design, he referred me to a couple of people, including Taylor. I first asked her what her story was, starting from graduating KCAI. She explained that during her junior year, she applied to Gensler in Chicago and was selected out of 300 other applicants. Afterwards, she applied to other places like Hallmark, Barkley, and Meers. Her first choice was Hallmark, however Meers sought her out and gave her the job. She went on to work at MindMixer, and is still there today. Specifically at Gensler, she worked mostly around branding. A lot of the internship was about researching about how people will react with the space, and idea generation in teams. Architecture allows for more possibilities than strictly graphic design, in terms of scale and scope. She explained that spatial design in general has a much slower process, which often happens in architecture firms. When I asked about the pros and cons, I was surprised to hear that one boring aspect of the field was wayfinding. It can be dull due to its highly technical and meticulous nature.

Finally, some advice from Taylor:
-be open-minded
-look anywhere to apply, and apply early
-the thing you stay with right after graduation is what you'll probably end up with

Other people/studios she referred me to:
-Keitra Dickson
-Bethany Joy Foss
-Ian Spaeth
-Eisterhold Studio

Bethany Joy Foss | Studio Tilt

Another person Kidwell (and Taylor) referred me to for environmental graphic design was Bethany Joy Foss. After researching about her background, I understood why Kidwell suggested her. I realized we have a lot of things in common, in terms of experience and interests. We both are double-majoring in graphic design and art history, we both interned (will intern) at the Nelson-Atkins Museum, and we both have an interest in spatial design. Growing up, she was interested in architecture from the beginning. Even from 10 years old, she drew architectural floor plans of buildings. As she grew older, she became intrigued with painting, and decided to attend KCAI for a BFA with an emphasis in painting. Not long after, she switched her major to graphic design. Currently, she works at Studio Tilt and is working on recreational centers, specifically the Chicago Bulls.

In terms of spatial design, she explained that its mostly about how people feel in a space and creating atmospheres/environments. There is a common misconception that environmental graphic design just started recently, however, in actuality it began with Deborah Sussman and her designs for the L.A. Olympics. When I asked her to elaborate on her experience at HOK, similar to Taylor's observation about wayfinding, she replied that signage and wayfinding was the most dull. The most exciting projects for her were branding experiences, which is very much like "regular" graphic design branding. Another engaging aspect of spatial design that Bethany pointed out was the ideation process, where there are no constraints and where they are free of the clients opinion. The most challenging aspect for her were creating/understanding construction documents, which are usually for architects. As a spatial designer, her team is involved in the whole process of the design. Ideally, the client will come to the design team first, then fabrication, and then the client. In between these relationships are project managers who facilitate communication. She observed that clients do not usually think about adding graphics to their spaces until the end, which places limitations for the designers.

One thing she told me to be wary of was being a designer for architecture firms. As the designer, she cautioned me that they mostly only do marketing and don't offer opportunities to create spaces. She also said that these firms sometimes do not value graphic designers as a vital part of their firm.

-talk to people at architecture firms
-start to know key players in the area and get to know faces
-have a strong portfolio (environmental graphic design firms are not necessarily looking for experience in the field because it's relatively new - just looking for type and design sensibilities)
-intern at architecture firms
-apply for competitions on SEGD

Other studios she told me to look at:

Kelly Furlong | Populous

Kelly and I held the interview at Thou Mayest Cafe. Meeting with her was really helpful in learning about experiential design and how to get where she is today. Kelly has a really impressive resume, abundant with awards and public recognition. Despite not having as much experience, she's already a senior graphic designer.

Upon graduation, Kelly knew that she did not want to work with an advertising firm; She wanted to work with non-profit clients. Using her senior degree project, which involved using graphic wit for a cause (gender and racial equality), as a springboard for her career, Kelly was able to intern at the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. She then worked at Eisterhold for six years, and now works at Populous.

Kelly described her experience at Eisterhold as a good learning process. As it was a smaller firm, she was exposed to other sects of the company such as budgeting and management. She explained that as a designer, she was the last to receive the content of the project, which she would later have to distribute throughout the space. The job was mostly about organizing the content in an engaging way. However, she wanted to explore the "wow" factor. In other words, she wanted to have more creative freedom with her projects.

She then moved on to Populous, a firm that designs spaces for sports centers, airports, convention centers, etc. Basically, the firm draws people together for a shared experience. In comparison to Eisterhold, she said that projects at Populous were more "superficial" in that the content was not as deeply thought out in relation to the museum context. She expressed her love for Populous, and said that it is a really fun environment to work in. In terms of environmental design in general, having an understanding of the culture you're designing for is key.

-use senior degree project to narrow your focus
-apply for internships everywhere
-work in 3D, and understand how things are built
-gear portfolio to environmental design
-have a general understanding of ADA (though not crucial)

Other firms to look at:
-Workshop Design
-Dimensional Innovations
-Gensler, HOK, etc.

John Baker | previous animator at MK12

view previous post to read the interview summary


Open Letter to Design Students Everywhere | Jessica Helfand
My freedom thus consists in my moving about within the narrow frame that I have assigned to myself for each one of my undertakings. I shall go even further: my freedom will be so much the greater and more meaningful the more narrowly I limit my field of action and the more I surround myself with obstacles. Whatever diminishes constraint diminishes strength. The more constraints one imposes, the more one frees oneself of the claims that shackle the spirit. - Ignor Stravinsky, The Poetics of Music

  • What is your Thesis?
    • less is more!
      • big implications, big public spaces, big audiences may work against you - try being more specific
      • start simply and go from there
    • with structure comes freedom
      • don't be afraid to start small, never stop learning
Helfand offers some advice to all designers in her article. For freshmen in college, she suggests writing down everything and carrying around a sketchbook. For juniors and seniors, she asks, "What is your thesis?" She emphasizes two things: less is more and freedom is found in structure. From education to creative briefs, limitations should be invited and embraced. Working around limitations leads to new ideas, solving limitations leads to innovation, and defining limitations and breaking them leads to change. College specifically offers a space where students can learn not only academically but in relationships, from having discussions and experimenting. 

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

ia: design directions + digital native

  • digital natives are those who grew up with technology, and were born into it
    • "speak fluently" in digital language
  • digital immigrants are those who were born before the digital age, who usually have a harder time adapting to the hi-tech process
  • differences in socialization between the two
  • gap between digital immigrant professors and digital native students
    • digital natives are used to receiving information very fast
      • have little appreciation for new skills 
      • less patience for "step-by-step" instruction
    • the same methods of the digital immigrants will not work with the digital natives
    • digital natives are unlikely to go back in time to the digital immigrant's way of learning
  • implications
    • today's digital immigrant professors should...
      • faster, less step-by-step, in parallel with other topics
      • incorporating both methods information
        • legacy - reading, writing, ideas of the past, tradition
        • future - digital, tech
        • how to use both?

This question involves thinking about current state of interactive design curriculum and addressing risk taking in interactive design. As technologies constantly change how do you stay up with new technologies?

I think young people today around their 20-30s, like myself, have a unique experience apart from clear-cut digital natives and digital immigrants. This age group was born in a period of transition from analog to digital; we were able to have a taste of what it was like pre-internet and before the age of social media but still be able to fluidly adapt to technology. 

When I was younger, I remember asking what it was like for my parents to experience new technology like cellular phones. They replied that new tech was pretty exciting, but it also seemed natural within its timeframe. I wonder if today, this still holds true. Has technology jumped too far ahead for it to naturally and seamlessly adapt to all ages, old and young? 

According to Marc Prensky, it seems like there needs to be an obvious effort to incorporate how digital natives learn. He went even so far as to separate the world into two clear groups, digital natives and digital immigrants. 

I have definitely felt this difference and gap between instructors and students, in terms of how they relate to technology. When I was growing up, I had the general feeling that school and tech could not go together. Phones weren't allowed in class, laptops were discouraged, and instructors were still relying on what they've learned in the past. We did have computer classes, but whenever professors tried to incorporate digital mediums, it seemed forced and unnecessary to me. For example, playing a game on the computer that would teach us multiplication, but would fail to keep kids engaged. Applying "the digital" felt a little superficial and not completely immersive at the time. However, it may be different for kids today, though I'm not sure what their experience is like.

I think I stay up to date with new technology when instructors learn with us. Students and instructors are both learning new technology that gives us new tools, but both don't know how to use it. One successful experience I had with this was in my Typography 2 class. We were learning how to make interactive editorial articles in InDesign. The instructor did not have much experience with it, however we collectively went through it together. 

I think this is the most immersive and best way to keep up with technology, in terms of education.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

ux: progress on nelson

interactive, friendly, playful, intelligent yet basic, story-like

to create a memorable experience
to create an appreciation for art
to involve all the senses
engage both children and adults (whole families) and couples
for the event to "live beyond" the event


The pamphlet will be designed like a storybook, told with a signature character throughout. The experience is customizable, and has multiple, possible endings. Though we haven't figured out how exactly the storybook will play out in the pamphlet, we know that the user will be able to document their experience from beginning to end.


Our app will include a number of mini games that will compile into a story at the end.