Interface Ugliness

The Hill Screenshot
Forget, for a moment, that the design of the above-the-fold portion of this website is ugly as sin, crowded with ads and "junk" (hat tip, Edward Tufte). Look at the ad, sitting front and center! It's blocking the copy -- the only reason we've come to this page. Yes, I know that lots of publishers are doing this these days. That doesn't make it right -- it makes it intrusive, in the same manner as television ads. And people like these just as little as they like TV ads (in general, Super Bowl excepted!). …continue reading →

Organizational and Emotional Communication

Introduction (Jac de Haan) Our group was tasked with reading Don Norman’s, “Emotional Design: Attractive Things Work Better," and Clay Spinuzzi’s, "Exploring the Blind Spot: Audience, Purpose, and Context in 'Product, Process, and Profit.'"  The first article discussed the theory of thought processing and how attractive design can influence perception and interaction.  The second article discussed the limitations of focusing on a theory of company to audience product communication while ignoring internal organizational dynamics.  To tie these articles together and provide a longitudinal learning opportunity for the class, we chose to fill out our presentation with a case study, a close examination of an organizational theory, and practical tips for effective communication within an organization. Attractive Design (Armin Ausejo) Norman's article provides theory and research to support the notion that attractive things work better. Norman asserts that happier thoughts lead toward a broadened mind, whereas anxious thoughts lead toward a…continue reading →

A New Lexicon of Design

Susan, Claire, and myself presented our findings during week four of the class. We examined how Jonathan Price's "Rhetoric of Objects" relates to Jean Vonderdonckt's "Visual Design Methods, et al" As I stated in class, I believe Vanderdonckt's paper is a valuable asset to our studies. Jac de Han noted in class, "I'm going to start giving this (the diagrams) to my clients." Vanderdonckt sets up a basic nomenclature that is useful between designer and client. If this nomenclature is understood, a producer can say to a designer or client, "There is too much PREDICTABILITY in this design." Or "We need to remove some of this SEQUENTIALITY." And the other person will know what is being said. This relates back to Price as he quotes Aristotle as saying, "It is essentially a matter of the right management of the voice to express the various emotions--of speaking loudly, softly, or between…continue reading →