Create User Interfaces- Class 5

Inspired by photos by emlyn and clarita from morgueFile.com

Link to all Classes     Class 1     Class 2     Class 3     Class 4

Today’s Class

  • Talking about inspirations
  • Web Design – Photoshop Workshop (in class)

Talking about Inspiration

While you are a student you should be able to experiment as much as you can. I mean, you should claim your right to experiment in your work. Rather than always going for a conservative option.

On the other hand you never want to stop searching for inspiration in the work of others and in society, the built environment and nature in general.

As you could see with the first assessment – taking close-up photos can lead to unexpected results. Objects never look the same on screen as they do on the floor or in real life.

Close-up at Fed Square, Federico Viola 2013

Close-up at Fed Square, Federico Viola 2013, Found at p.ic

Some inspirations you will simply find in the artwork and design work of current practitioners and past masters. For current designers you want to look at sites and magazines such as Computer Arts and Computer Arts Projects, Mashable,  Design Envy and Dzineblog are just a few inspiring resources.

This week’s Visual Design Component Class covered links and some descriptions of some styles and movements that I relate to very much:

  • Swiss International Style
  • Constructivism (often called Russian Constructivism)
  • Vietnames Propaganda Poster
  • Photomontage

I highly recommend reading up on each and particularly looking at examples of the works. It is good to find out what stylistic choices each movement made and what ideas were big in their days.

Swiss International Style - Joseph Müller-Brockmann - Beethoven - found at www.designhistory.com

Swiss International Style – Joseph Müller-Brockmann – Beethoven Concert Poster – found at http://www.designhistory.com

Contemporary design in style of Construcitvism by Teo Brito found at LauraGreen92 - click image for more information and link to her blog

Contemporary design in style of Constructivism by Teo Brito found at LauraGreen92 – click image for more information and link to her WordPress blog

It is fine to be inspired by other artist’s and designer’s work. Actually, you should look for greatness in other works and reference their works. This is done by paying a tribute to the original artist in form of a homage.

Experimental Photomontage by Robert Heinecken

Experimental Photomontage by Robert Heinecken

Web Design – Photoshop Workshop

In-class workshop. We will continue to apply the grid system to a website design. This time we will apply the grid to a gallery. The design will depend on your choices of layout and number of thumbnails that you want to feature.

Screenshot - applying 960 Grid 12 Col layout from 960 Grid System

Screenshot – In-class Tutorial: Applying 960 Grid 12 Col layout from 960 Grid System

  1. Access the 960 Grid System site: http://960.gs/ and download their 960 Grid System Templates by pressing the ‘Big ol’ Download Button’. This will start the download of a comprehensive folder by Nathan Smith with 960 Grid System templates and plug-ins for Photoshop, DreamWeaver and many other programs.
  2. In template>Photoshop open the 960_grid_12_col template
  3. Save the file under a new name and in your class folder.
  4. Make sure the guides are visible (Command+; or Ctrl+;)
  5. Add horizontal guides (View>New Guide) at 245px, 255px, 265px, 500px, 510px, 520px, 755px, 765px, 775px and 1010px. Lock your guides (View>Lock Guides or Alt+Ctrl+;) These guides will make it easier to arrange your content and to allow for 10px margins.

    Setting the grid up.

    Setting the grid up.

  6. Use the M (Rectangular Marquee) Tool to create spaces for a banner, text content, image content and a menu. Fill the spaces with colour (Shift+F5). Place each on individual layers. Name the layers (banner, text content, etc)
  7. Place images (File>Place). Make sure that they are located on top of the layers with the colourboxes.
  8. Create Clipping Masks: make sure the banner image sits on top of the banner layer (with the colour space). Have only the layer with the image selected and right click on the active layer (beside the name of the layer) and click on Create Clipping Mask. Your image should take on the dimensions of the layer  below. – Alternatively you could use the short cut Ctrl+Alt+G (Cmd+Alt+G).

    Concept for Gallery Screnshot

    Concept for Gallery Screenshot

The 960_grid_12_col template is based on 12 columns. You can then place your text and images over 1, 2, 3 or more columns. The grid system allows you to organise your website in a visually pleasing way.

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Create User Interfaces- Class 4

Inspired by photos by emlyn and clarita from morgueFile.com

Inspired by photos by emlyn and clarita from morgueFile.com

Link to all Classes     Class 1     Class 2     Class 3     Class 5

Today’s Class

  • Introduction to Assessment 2
  • Web Design – Photoshop Workshop (in class)

Assessment 2 – Design a GUI

This assessment is a combined assessment for: Create User Interfaces, Visual Design Components, Information and Meta-tags!

Design a Graphic User Interface. You can choose to design for a Website or App.

First: think about a project. What do you want the GUI to be for? Think about a client scenario, who is your client and what is the purpose of the site or app? What do you want the user to do after visiting it?

Develop sketches and refine your design in Photoshop.

You will need 4 pages (example Website: home, about us, portfolio, …)

Make sure to include:

http://960.gs - A button that is hard to miss

http://960.gs – A button that is hard to miss

Web Design – Photoshop Workshop

In-class workshop. We will look at how to apply a grid system to a website design.

  1. Access the 960 Grid System site: http://960.gs/ and download their 960 Grid System Templates by pressing the ‘Big ol’ Download Button’. This will start the download of a comprehensive folder by Nathan Smith with 960 Grid System templates and plug-ins for Photoshop, DreamWeaver and many other programs.
  2. In template>Photoshop open the 960_grid_12_col template
  3. Save the file under a new name and in your class folder.
  4. Make sure the guides are visible (Command+; or Ctrl+;)
  5. Add horizontal guides (View>New Guide) at 245px, 255px, 265px, 500px, 510px, 520px, 755px, 765px, 775px and 1010px. Lock your guides (View>Lock Guides or Alt+Ctrl+;) These guides will make it easier to arrange your content and to allow for 10px margins.
  6. Use the M (Rectangular Marquee) Tool to create spaces for a banner, text content, image content and a menu. Fill the spaces with colour (Shift+F5). Place each on individual layers. Name the layers (banner, text content, etc)
  7. Place images (File>Place). Make sure that they are located on top of the layers with the colourboxes.
  8. Create Clipping Masks: make sure the banner image sits on top of the banner layer (with the colour space). Have only the layer with the image selected and right click on the active layer (beside the name of the layer) and click on Create Clipping Mask. Your image should take on the dimensions of the layer  below. – Alternatively you could use the short cut Ctrl+Alt+G (Cmd+Alt+G).

The 960_grid_12_col template is based on 12 columns. You can then place your text and images over 1, 2, 3 or more columns. The grid system allows you to organise your website in a visually pleasing way.

Inclass Tutorial - applying the 12 column based 960px grid to a website

Inclass Tutorial – applying the 12 column based 960px grid to a website

Examples of 16 col and 12 col variations of the 960 grid system - from 960.gs

Examples of 16 col and 12 col variations of the 960 grid system – from 960.gs

Create User Interfaces- Class 3

Inspired by photos by emlyn and clarita from morgueFile.com

Inspired by photos by emlyn and clarita from morgueFile.com

Link to all Classes     Class 1     Class 2      Class 4     Class 5

Task – User Centred Design

Today we will focus on UCD or User Centred Design. UCD is also called Human Centred Design and is a way of designing interfaces and websites in general that places the user in the centre of all design efforts.

Please read the excellent text from W3C – Web Accessability Initiative and create a list of points (like a check list) that you can use to check if you have made the GUI user centred.

Assignment 1

I will check each student’s work for Assignment 1 (GUI Workshop) and provide feedback in class.

Please ensure to keep working on your assignment.

Create User Interfaces- Class 1

Inspired by photos by emlyn and clarita from morgueFile.com

Inspired by photos by emlyn and clarita from morgueFile.com

Link to all Classes     Class 2     Class 3     Class 4

Welcome to your first class on Create User Interfaces.

This class is about the creation of a user interface in these steps:

  • Clarify project requirements
  • Generate ideas
  • Plan approach
  • Produce user interface
  • Evaluate user interface

Clarify Project Requirements

This stage of the process is all about developing a good understanding of the client brief, the target audience, the needs of the client and target audience and the purpose of the interactive media product.

You will also need to look at technical aspects, such as the delivery platform, file output format.

Generate Ideas

Research interactive media product interfaces, designs, images, artwork and other creative sources that may inspire design ideas.

Use sketches and concepts as the basis of your design ideas,.

Incorporate brainstorming and other creative idea generation methods when developing concepts. Spider diagrams, word maps or morphological analysis are other methods that can be used in exploring directions.

Copyright clearance needs to be obtained and recorded where necessary.

The initial concepts for the interface design need to be presented to relevant personnel and the client for discussion and feedback.

Plan Approach

Select final design and incorporate the feedback.

Use an appropriate industry standard graphics software that will suit the needs and requirements of the project.

Explore a range of typographical ideas, as well as visual design elements that could be used for the interface design.

Produce User Interface

Use graphics software to develop the structure for user interfaces based on the final design concept.

Source, create and integrate all graphic interactive components.

Apply visual design and communication principles to the development of the user interface.

Ensure that user interfaces meet the principles of user-centred design and relevant standards.

Document styles for text and presentation for use in style sheets and templates or themes.

Save user interfaces in appropriate output format suitable to the technical needs of the project.

Evaluate User Interface

Review the final design to be able to assess effectiveness of the user interface, appropriateness to the user and audience and technical feasibility.

The 5 Planes of a Website Project

Please view the presentation below about the 5 Planes approach by Jesse Garreth when designing a website or other interactive product.

UX Design_Federico Viola

Below is a link to an article from Smashing Magazine which is an excellent overview and introduction to user interfaces. Read it:

http://www.smashingmagazine.com/smashing-book-1/user-interface-design-in-modern-web-applications/

E-Learning Class 5

Link to Class 3/4      Link to  Class 2     Link to  Class 1

Overview:

  • Instructional Design
  • Instructional Design on a Macro Level
  • Learner Needs Analysis
  • User Interface Design
  • Instructional Design on a Micro Level
  • Your Task

Instructional Design

Instructional design operates on a macro and micro level. On a macro level it looks at the learning on a larger scale (it may consist of several resources) on a micro level you need to ensure that your individual resource is suitable and easily understood.

Macro Level

To ensure that you applying good instructional design to your e-learning resources ensure that your resources include:

Step 1 Pre-requisites:

  •  Learner Needs Analysis
  • Prepare the content (by content expert)
  • User interface (User-centred design)

The content needs to be prepared by or with the help of a content expert, eg a learning resource on how to bake a variety of breads using sourdough for some as well as yeast for other breads needs a content expert, a baker to ensure that the steps taken are correct and the ingredients are suitable.

The User Interface is extremely important for e-learning resources. Some user interfaces use touch screens (tablets, smart phones), mouse, keyboard or a  joystick  (computers) or a controller (Xbox360 or PS3). Some new technologies work with motion capture technology, such as Xbox Kinect or with a hybrid such as the PS Move and the Wii.

The most central aspect of a User Interface is that it is easy to use.

Step 2:

  • The overall goal
  • Objectives
  • Content
  • Methods of instruction (create a Flow-chart of steps of E-learning resource)
  • Learner evaluation strategies (test with results)

The overall goal describes what the learner will be able to do after completing the instruction.
The objectives describe what the learner will learn during the lesson.
The content describes what will be taught in order to achieve the objectives.
The methods of instruction describe how the content will be taught.
The learner evaluation strategies describe how the learner will be evaluated to see if he or she has obtained the objectives (eg a test or a level is achieved and a new level unlocked).

Micro Level

A lesson should commence with the objectives and an overview of the main ideas to be learned.

Normally the instructor also states the motivation for learning the content, the prerequisites the learner needs to learn the content and the agenda for the lesson.

In your e-learning resource you might be able to use an alternative for the instructor; there could be the option of a narrator or simply a written instruction.

During the lesson the content will be explained and demonstrated, and then the learner will practice doing what the instructor demonstrated (recalling facts, identifying concepts, predicting by using principles, or performing a psychomotor skill). The instructor may provide feedback on the practice and the learner may have the chance to repeat the lesson.

Next the learner or user will take action.

At the end of the lesson the instructor summarizes what was learned, integrates the lesson with the previous and next lessons, restates the objective, and tests the learner.

In short the micro level includes:

  • Objective
  • Overview
  • Motivation
  • Explanation (to allow learning)
  • Taking Action
  • Evaluation

Task 1

For 25 minutes research Graphic User Interfaces. Choose Google, DzineBlog, WIRED, Mashable or even CommArts (see links at the side – Links to inspire you.) Collect your findings in a PowerPoint Show.

Discussion: Select 2 GUIs and discuss how they work. Do they use buttons? Do they use touch screen technology? Do they use a device, controller or motion capture device? How well do they perform for their intended function.

Select 2 of your favourite GUIs and place links in a comment (below this post) with your full name.

Discussion: Compare WordPress and MyKangan as platforms. What are your experiences? Are the buttons intuitive?

Here are two resources I recommend to you to read before next class (open the link or the Word document)

If you missed the class please supply a sample of a GUI as a link in  a comment.

Next Week:

We will simplify and existing interface.