4/27/15: What I Did, Why I Did It

What I Did

Today, I continued wrapping up the final touches on my Remix an Interface project. Like I’ve mentioned before in other blog posts, I’ve found that the most difficult part of this project as been creating content (comments, captions, usernames, etc.). While its difficult to create a lot of original content for all 5 characters, and some of their monsters, I’ve found that one of the best things about this project as been the ability to take risks with my creativity in developing new, unexpected content.

Why I Did It

I’m hoping to have my project completely finalized within the next two class, and then begin work on my presentation.

3/18/16: What I Did. Why I Did It

What I Did

Today, I continued work on writing and drafting my essay for the Interrogate an Interface project. Once I was able to decide how I wanted the essay to be divided up into its different sections, it was very easy begin writing. I plan to finish drafting the essay first, before I add in the screenshots of the tool.

Why I Did It

I believe writing the essay is the most difficult part of the project, because you have to make hard decisions concerning what information to include and how to organize the information. Once I get the essay completely written, it will be easier to insert screenshots into appropriate places.

3/16/15: What I Did. Why I Did It

What I Did:

Today in class, I spent time working on the the outline of my essay in addition to adding a navigation structure to my pages. I decided to break up my essay into five different pages: a landing page for the project, an Overview page, a Design & Modes of Communications page, an Affordances & Constraints page, and finally a Conclusion page. I added a linear navigation structure to the bottom of each page showing “Previous” and “Next,” and I also added linear navigation that shows all the pages on the Conclusion page. I began work on writing the essay, but I still have a lot more writing to do outside of class as well.

Why I Did It:

I wanted to make sure I had all my pages for my project in place, along with working navigation, so that organization will be easier when I start really writing and inserting information onto my site. Also, I thought the linear navigation was the best option for this project because it takes the viewer step by step (or page by page) through my project of Interrogating an Interface.

3/6/15: Online Work Day

What I Did:

Today during our online work day, I began working by creating a username and password and becoming a member of Thematic. It was very simple to join, there was even an option to sign in using Facebook, and you could become a member at no cost. Once logged in, I spent quite a while playing around with the tool to get a hang of it and started learning how to use it. I “explored” a lot of other users stories to see how others have used the tool in the past. As I worked my way throughout the text of Thematic, I also worked on answering the questions for our Writer/Designer Analysis Questions worksheet.

Why I Did It:

The basis for our Interrogating An Interface project is to have a very good understanding of the tool/text itself, and to be comfortable with using it and teaching others how to use it. In order to gain that understanding and level of comfort with Thematic, I knew it was critical that I use the tool myself and extensively work through the text, even studying what others have done using the tool before in the past. I also thought that it seemed smart to work through the Writer/Designer Analysis Questions while I was exploring the tool and learning how to use it, because the questions helped to lead me to other areas of the text and the site in order to gain an even better understanding.

3/4/15: Work Schedule for Interrogate an Interface

For my Interrogate an Interface project, I will attempt to work on my project using the following schedule and deadlines:

  • March 4-5: Create a login, and research how the tool works and what it does (1-2¬†hours total work time)
  • March 6: Fill in the writer/designer analysis questions (about 1 hour total work time)
  • March 7-15: Spring Break
  • March 16-17: Outline web essay, take appropriate screenshots to accompany essay, draft essay (work time will variety depending on writing time, est. 3-4 hours total work time)
  • March 18-19: Draft slideshow and presentation (1-2 hours of total work time)
  • March 20: Arrive to class with completed drafts of essay and slideshow for peer review

3/2/15: Inspiration for Interrogate an Interface

Today, we spent time looking at a couple of other students Interrogate an Interface projects and essays from previous years. There were many different ideas and techniques utilized by students to successfully interrogate their interface, but two really stuck out to me that I would like to use for my own project.

The first was the idea to take and incorporate screenshots of the interface throughout the essay. Having a lot of screenshots that show readers exactly what the tool looks like each step of the way was very helpful. I think it helps readers to really understand the interface and give them the feeling¬†of walking their way through the tool each step of the way. It’s also good to see the interface broken up into different parts, which I believe might help viewers if they want to move forward to use or try the interface themselves.

Also, after a viewing a couple project examples, I know that I want to keep my information concise for my own project. One example had almost everything spread out onto different pages, which really separated the information and made it rather annoying having to navigate from page to page to read the essay. For my own project, I want to try to keep all my information on at most 3 different pages. I think it will be easier for readers to navigate the project, and it will keep the layout of the project concise by keeping similar information grouped together.

2/27/15: Project Three Interface Choice- Thematic

I was lucky enough to get my first choice for our interrogating an interface project, and that interface is Thematic! Thematic is an awesome tool that caught my eye right from the start when I was exploring different interfaces. When I was narrowing down my choices, I knew I wanted a tool that I would be able to use in my upcoming marketing job following graduation. I will be working for a construction and architecture company, so I wanted to find a program that could highlight beautiful construction design, the process of building from start to finish, and a program that was very image heavy–Thematic was the perfect fit.

Thematic allows you to put together multiple large images to tell a story. The story is completely based on visuals, with just a small amount of text to accompany some of the visuals. Some of the example stories that I looked at in Thematic when I was exploring it were called “Manhattan to Brooklyn,” “Midtown Wandering,” and “5 Days in Scotland.” Each of these examples did an amazing job by using large, powerful images to virtually walk viewers through different geographical areas, creating the feel that viewers are actually in through areas experiencing the views and scenery themselves. I immediately thought that this would be an amazing tool for me to use to highlight the different construction projects and properties around the Virginia Beach area for the company that I will be working for following graduation.

2/18/15: What I Did. Why I Did It

What I Did

Today, I completely changed the style and content of my site information page. I not only added explantations for decisions I made about the site, but I also broke up the page into different categories including: “The Purpose | The Inspiration,” “My Voice, My Style,” “Images, Photos, & Videos,” and “Themes, Fonts, & Typography.” I still need to add one additional section to describe my choices for including links to exterior sites, like my professional portfolio, LinkedIn, and Twitter. In addition, I also added a “Get In Touch” page, and added a YouTube video to my About Me page.

Why I Did It

All the decisions I made today were to give my site even more personality and to take the site one step further. I believe the more information I add about myself and my decisions, the better understanding visitors will be able to gain about who I am and how I think.

2/13/15: What I Did. Why I Did It

What I Did:

Today, I focused on creating a Site Information page and continued updating my About Me page. My Site Information page was definitely a lot harder to create and choose content for than my About Me page. For now, I focused my Site Information page on explaining the theme, appearance, and images I’m concentrating on using. I took a look at a lot of the examples from our class website, including The Design Office’s Colophon page and Kevin Shoffner’s Colophon page. I’m thinking that I’m leaning more towards a page like The Design Office, which lists different fonts, images, coding tools, techniques, etc. For my About Me page, I added an additional paragraph to the end describing my life outside of work and school.

Why I Did It:

While my About Me page is meant to explain who I am and the purpose of the site, I wanted my Site Information page to explain why and how I made the decisions I did when it came to fonts, themes, images, etc. I also wanted to use my Site Information page to give credit and provide sources for outside programs and authorities that I referred to to help build my site.

2/11/15: Optional Blog Post

What I Did:

Since my last post, I recently decided to update the About Me page of my blog. I included a picture of myself, as well as two short paragraphs describing a little bit about myself and my professional experience. I also decided to add specific categories to my blog posts including “in-class posts,” “daily posts,” and “projects.”

Why I Did It:

When people visit my blog, I want them to be able to get to know who I am and what I’m all about. I plan to add additional information to my About Me page to include further information on my personal life to give readers an even better insight into my personality. I also want viewers to be able to gain an understanding of why I am posting certain content, and how the content relates to the class.