Course Guide

All course content, projects, readings, and other handouts are collected in this Course Guide.

Calendar

Follow the links at the bottom of this page for a schedule of readings, assignments, and due dates for each week this semester. Unless specifically noted otherwise, all assignments are to be completed before class on the day listed.

This course calendar may be updated throughout the semester. I'll notify you about any major changes, but you are still responsible for keeping up with the current schedule.

IMPORTANT: You must visit all of the links provided within the course calendar. There are many links to follow and read. Make sure you visit all of them. Some links provide easy access to other parts of the class site which will help you in your coursework. Some links are to required readings. Others provide you with detailed instructions on completing projects. Eventually, you may come to know the instructions that supplement assignments repeated throughout the course, but it's still a good idea to continue to revisit the instructions to make sure that you are satisfying all of the course requirements.

Week 1, Jan 10

Thursday, January 10

Group Activities

  • Introduction to the course and each other.
  • Review carefully the Course Description, paying particular attention to all requirements. It is important that you become very familiar with the course policies so you can understand what is expected of you in this class.

For Tuesday, January 15

  • Reading: Norman, 2 Prefaces and Chapter 1 (no written response required)

Week 2, Jan 15

Tuesday, January 15

Due Today

  • Reading: Norman, 2 Prefaces and Chapter 1 (no written response required)

Lecture of Interest

Bob Stein, pioneer of the digital age and guru on the future of the book, will present today (Jan. 15, 2013) on "Social Reading Platforms and the Future of the Book" in the Strom Thurmond Institute Auditorium from 1:30 to 2:30 pm. You shouldn't miss this if you're interested in books, reading, and social networking.

Group Activities

  • Discuss The Design of Everyday Things

In-Class and On Your Own

Exploring the class website:

  • Complete Getting Started 1: Registering on the Site, Getting Started 2: Logging in for the First Time, and Getting Started 3: Editing Your Account for the First Time
  • Read Learning to Navigate the Site. Then explore the class website. Make sure that you login; some class website features are not available to guests. It'll be easier as we move forward if you take the time now to explore. Get familiar with where things are located, which links take you further into the class website and which take you outside to other resources.
  • I've created a post on the course home page inviting you to introduce yourself. Post a comment to that post in which you
    • describe where you are from
    • give your course of study and year in the graduate program
    • talk about your areas of interest and career goals
    • tell what you would like to get out of this course
    • describe one of your favorite books and what you like about it

Dropbox: You'll receive an invitation to join a Dropbox folder that we'll use throughout the semester to share files. Many course readings have already been put there. You should install the Dropbox client if you haven't already.

Thursday, January 17

Due Today

  • Reading: Norman, Chapter 2 (no written response required)
  • Post your own introduction as a comment to my introduction.

Group Activities

  • Discuss The Design of Everyday Things, Chapters 1 and 2; in groups of three, discuss and define these five concepts and come up with three examples (not mentioned in the book) of each to share with the class: 1) natural design; 2) affordances; 3) conceptual models 4) mapping; and 5) the principle of feedback. Your examples should show these concepts in action, either on websites or in the real world. (At least one should show "good design" and at least one should show "shaky design.") Collect your three examples in a blog post (with links to images/sites or embedded images) and tag it design examples. Take no more than 30 minutes.

For Tuesday, January 22

  • Reading: Katz, Designing Information, Introduction and Chapter 1 (pages 12-29).
  • Reading Responses: Find an example of ineffective information design on the Web (a site, a posted photo) or in the world (take your own photograph), then discuss it using the principles mentioned on pages 18 and 19 ("When it doesn't work"). Is the problem with the data? The designer? The audience? Be sure to add a link to the image or site if you don't use your own photograph. If you do use your own photograph or other example, attach it to your post or link to it in some way so that other can view it. Use the tags: reading response, shaky, and any others that you wish. (Use all lower case for tags for consistency.)

Explore

Check out the Metropolitan Museum of Art's exhibition, "Pen and Parchment: Drawing in the Middle Ages."

Week 3, Jan 22

Tuesday, January 22

Due Today

  • Reading: Katz, Designing Information, Introduction and Chapter 1 (pages 12-29).
  • Reading Responses: Find an example of ineffective information design on the Web (a site, a posted photo) or in the world (take your own photograph), then discuss it using the principles mentioned on pages 18 and 19 ("When it doesn't work"). Is the problem with the data? The designer? The audience? Be sure to add a link to the image or site if you don't use your own photograph. If you do use your own photograph or other example, attach it to your post or link to it in some way so that other can view it. Use the tags: reading response, shaky, and any others that you wish. (Use all lower case for tags for consistency.)

On Your Own

  • Take the first 15 minutes of class to read through and comment on the reading responses of your peer (click on the shaky link to see them all in one place).

Group Activities

  • Discuss The Design of Everyday Things, Chapter 2.

For Thursday, January 24

  • Reading: Norman, Chapter 3 (no written response required)

Thursday, January 24

Due Today

  • Reading: Norman, Chapter 3 (no written response required)

Group Activities

  • Learning Module 1: Presenting Data
  • Discuss Project 1: Qualitative Issues

For Tuesday, January 29

  • Reading: Katz, Designing Information, Chapter 1 (29–39).
  • Reading Responses: Find an example of effective information design on the Web (a site, a posted photo) or in the world (take your own photograph). The example should illustrate one of the approached mentioned in this section: dispersed vs. layered, anatomy and function, metaphor and simile, emotional power. What makes the example effective design? Try to use the terms from the reading as you discuss your example. Be sure to add a link to the image or site if you don't use your own photograph. If you do use your own photograph or other example, attach it to your post or link to it in some way so that other can view it. Use the tags: reading response, effective design, and any others that you wish. (Use all lower case for tags for consistency.)

Extensions

Check out David Macaulay's TED talk on "Rome Antics": http://www.ted.com/talks/david_macaulay_s_rome_antics.html

Week 4, Jan 29

Tuesday, January 29

Due Today

  • Reading: Katz, Designing Information, Chapter 1 (29–39).
  • Reading Responses: Find an example of effective information design on the Web (a site, a posted photo) or in the world (take your own photograph). The example should illustrate one of the approached mentioned in this section: dispersed vs. layered, anatomy and function, metaphor and simile, emotional power. What makes the example effective design? Try to use the terms from the reading as you discuss your example. Be sure to add a link to the image or site if you don't use your own photograph. If you do use your own photograph or other example, attach it to your post or link to it in some way so that other can view it. Use the tags: reading response, effective design, and any others that you wish. (Use all lower case for tags for consistency.)

On Your Own

  • Take the first 15 minutes of class to read through and comment on the reading responses of your peer (click on the effective design link to see them all in one place).

Group Activities

  • Finish Learning Module 1. The new Photoshop image (two tomatoes, with channel added) is in the Learning Modules folder with the extension .psd. Start your channel manipulation with that image. Be sure to follow the steps in the You Suck at Photoshop video.

For Thursday, January 31

Please Note: Class will not meet on Thursday, January 31, because Dr. Blakesley has meetings with the Board of Trustees in Columbia. We will re-gather on Tuesday, February 5th.

Thursday, January 31

Please Note: Class will not meet today because Dr. Blakesley has meetings with the Board of Trustees in Columbia. We will re-gather on Tuesday, February 5th.

For Tuesday, February 5

  • Reading: Katz, Designing Information, Chapter 2, "Qualitative Issues" (40-75).
  • Reading Responses: Find an example of information design on the Web (a site, a posted photo) or in the world (take your own photograph) that raises qualitative issues discussed in Chapter 2. The example should illustrate one of the features of quality mentioned in this section: shapes, color, labeling, connections, point of view, interpretation, etc. How does the example use qualitative design effectively? Ineffectively Try to use the terms from the reading as you discuss your example. Be sure to add a link to the image or site if you don't use your own photograph. If you do use your own photograph or other example, attach it to your post or link to it in some way so that other can view it. Use the tags: reading response, qualitative issues, and any others that you wish. (Use all lower case for tags for consistency.)

Week 5, Feb 5

Tuesday, February 5

Due Today

  • Reading: Katz, Designing Information, Chapter 2, "Qualitative Issues" (40-75).
  • Reading Responses: Find an example of information design on the Web (a site, a posted photo) or in the world (take your own photograph) that raises qualitative issues discussed in Chapter 2. The example should illustrate one of the features of quality mentioned in this section: shapes, color, labeling, connections, point of view, interpretation, etc. How does the example use qualitative design effectively? Ineffectively Try to use the terms from the reading as you discuss your example. Be sure to add a link to the image or site if you don't use your own photograph. If you do use your own photograph or other example, attach it to your post or link to it in some way so that other can view it. Use the tags: reading response, qualitative issues, and any others that you wish. (Use all lower case for tags for consistency.)

Group Activities

For Thursday, February 7

  • Reading: Norman, Chapter 4 (no written response required)
  • Selection and short discussion of your example of information design, posted to your blog and tagged project 1. See Project 1 description for more details.

Thursday, February 7

Due Today

  • Reading: Norman, Chapter 4 (no written response required)
  • Selection and short discussion of your example of information design, posted to your blog and tagged project 1. See Project 1 description for more details.

Group Activities

  • Meet in groups of three to discuss examples chosen for Project 1. Authors should show their examples to respondents. Respondents should ask questions about the suitability of the example and whether it displays the principles of qualitative design richly enough to warrant analysis.
  • Discuss Collaborative, Client-Based Project, Meet in Groups

On Your Own

For Tuesday, February 12

  • Reading: Norman, Chapter 5 (no written response required)

Week 6, Feb. 12

Tuesday, February 12

Due Today

  • Reading: Norman, Chapter 5 (no written response required)

Group Activities

Learning Module 2: Annotating Images

On Your Own

For Thursday, February 14

Thursday, February 14

Introduction of the Group Project: Client-Based Information Design. Choose a client/topic that you may be interested in and sign-up for it. Groups will be assigned based on interests. There should be no more than one graduate student per group.

Due Today

  • Initial Draft (Deliverable 2) of Project 1 due at the start of class for peer review. Your document should be in the form of a single PDF file containing the example for analysis and the parts you've completed thus far.

As a Group

  • In groups of three, share your initial drafts. Each Reader should read two drafts, then complete the Peer Review of Individual Projects form (attached below) for each and send it to the Author. Allow 15-20 minutes for each form. When finished, gather as a group to share oral feedback on each Author's draft.

For Tuesday, February 19

Upload: 

Week 7, Feb 19

Tuesday, February 19

Continue work on Project 1: Qualitative Issues: Perceptions, Conventions, Proximity. Review Chapter 2 in Designing Information as you build your analysis. Remember that an analysis is not (strictly speaking) an evaluation but an elaboration of the features/parts/elements of the design and delivery of information.

Group Activities

  • Group Project: By the end of class, your team should post an intial project log identifying your client and project, as well as team members (by user name) and roles. (See these guidelines for project logs.) Only one person on the team needs to post the Project Log as a blog post. Tag: project log

On Your Own

For Thursday, February 21

Thursday, February 21

Due Today

As a Group

  • Meet with your Group Project Teams to discuss Step 2, Research Client Context. Assign tasks to team members. Meet with Dr. B. in class to ask questions about the client to help you get started. Create a shared Dropbox folder called Info_Design TeamName and share it with all members and Dr. B.

For Tuesday, February 26

  • Reading: Katz, Designing Information, Chapter 3 "Quantitative Issues" (76-96).
  • Reading Responses: Find an example of an information graphic that provides too much information, seriously damaging its overall rhetorical effectiveness. The example should be one that you can find in printed form only (not on the Web) so look in newspapers, magazines, or on signs that you might see posted around campus. Make a (digital) copy or take a picture of the example to attach with your reading response. The example should suffer from one of the problems with qualitative issues discussed in this section of Chapter 3. Try to use the terms from the reading as you discuss how the example. Use the tags: reading response, qualitative issues, and any others that you wish. (Use all lower case for tags for consistency.)

Week 8, Feb. 26

Tuesday, February 26

Due Today

  • Reading: Katz, Designing Information, Chapter 3 "Quantitative Issues" (76-96).
  • Reading Responses: Find an example of an information graphic that provides too much information, seriously damaging its overall rhetorical effectiveness. The example should be one that you can find in printed form only (not on the Web) so look in newspapers, magazines, or on signs that you might see posted around campus. Make a (digital) copy or take a picture of the example to attach with your reading response. The example should suffer from one of the problems with qualitative issues discussed in this section of Chapter 3. Try to use the terms from the reading as you discuss how the example works. Use the tags: reading response, qualitative issues, and any others that you wish. (Use all lower case for tags for consistency.)

On Your Own

  • At the start of class, spend fifteen minutes responding to the reading responses to the "Qualitative Issues" chapter.

As a Group

For Thursday, February 28

  • From the Group Project description (Step 2): Complete research your client context by learning as much as you can about the client from documents (including websites and physical locations). Divide the research so that each person can report back to the team. Create a shared Dropbox called Info_Design TeamName and share it with all members and Dr. B. After the team has discussed this research, post a project log summarizing what data was collected and pointing to any online sources. Tag: project log and teamnameDue Feb. 28.

Thursday, February 28

Due Today

  • Complete research your client context by learning as much as you can about the client from documents (including websites and physical locations). Divide the research so that each person can report back to the team. Create a shared Dropbox called Info_Design TeamName and share it with all members and Dr. B. After the team has discussed this research, post a project log summarizing what data was collected and pointing to any online sources. Tag: project log and teamname.

Assigned

As a Group

For Tuesday, March 5

  • Reading: Tufte, Envisioning Information (Chapter 1)
  • Reading Responses: Identify (and include in your post) what you think is the most important principle discussed in Chapter 1. Explain why you think it's important and how it helps you understand information design. Cite examples. Use the tags: reading response, envisioning information, and any others that you wish. (Use all lower case for tags for consistency.)
  • Complete Step 1 of Project 2 (Topic Description/Data Source). Post it to your blog with the tag: project2 and data source.

Week 9, March 5

Tuesday, March 5

Due Today

  • Reading: Tufte, Envisioning Information (Chapter 1)
  • Reading Responses: Identify (and include in your post) what you think is the most important principle discussed in Chapter 1. Explain why you think it's important and how it helps you understand information design. Cite examples. Use the tags: reading response, envisioning information, and any others that you wish. (Use all lower case for tags for consistency.)

As a Group

  • Finalize plans for your interview with your client(s). Be prepared to conduct them this week or next, while Dr. B. is at conferences.

On Your Own

  • Complete Step 1 of Project 2 (Topic Description/Data Source). Post it to your blog with the tag: project2 and data source.

For Next Time

Please Note: Dr. B. has to leave town to present at two conferences at the end of this week and next, so there will be no in-class meetings on March 7, 12, and 14. However, you're expected to continue work on your group projects (client interviews) and Individual Project 2 and should be posting completed steps when they are due, which are listed on the project description and calendar.

Week 11, March 12

Dr. B. is on a conference trip this week, so you should continue work on your collaborative project (client interviews and research) and Project 2: Quantitative Issues: Dimensionality, Comparison, Numbers, Scale

Week 12, March 26

Tuesday, March 26

Due Today

  • Project 2: In a blog post, describe the form your information graphic will take (how you will represent your data visually). Tag your post project 2.

On Your Own

  • Project 2: Continue to develop your initial draft of Project 2, including all elements of your information graphic except the 250-word story. Your draft is due Tuesday, April 2, and should include visuals, captions, legends or other information that will help readers understand the information.

As a Group

  • Meet with your Group Project Teams to discuss your results from the Client Interview process. Formally plan the next steps in the process (Development and Testing), with a goal of having working prototypes of your designs by Thursday, April 4.

For Thursday, March 28

  • Reading: Tufte, Chapter 3 ("Layering and Separation), pp. 53-66.
  • Reading Responses: Explain what you think Tufte means by "layering and separation" and then provide one quotation from the text that identifies the importance of one or the other (be sure to provide the page number). Discuss what you think Tufte means.

Thursday, March 28

Due Today

  • Reading: Tufte, Chapter 3 ("Layering and Separation), pp. 53-66.
  • Reading Responses: Explain what you think Tufte means by "layering and separation" and then provide one quotation from the text that identifies the importance of one or the other (be sure to provide the page number). Discuss what you think Tufte means.

On Your Own

  • Learning Module 3: Optimizing Graphics with Acrobat. This learning module will teach you how to take a graph, chart, or table prepared in program like Excel or Word and prepare it for use as a high quality image in InDesign. The files you need for this module, including the directions, are in the Learning Modules folder of the class's Dropbox folder (489-689 Info Design > Learning Modules > Learning Module 3).
  • Project 2: Continue to develop your initial draft of Project 2, including all elements of your information graphic except the 250-word story. Your draft is due Tuesday, April 2, and should include visuals, captions, legends or other information that will help readers understand the information.

As a Group

  • Meet with your Group Project Teams to continue development of the working prototypes, which are due Thursday, April 4.

For Tuesday, April 2

  • Project 2 drafts due for peer review. Prepare your draft as a PDF so that it may be easily exchanged/read by two peers. (Post your draft to a blog post as a PDF file; tag your post project 2 and project 2 draft.) Your draft should include all elements of your information graphic except the 250-word story: visuals, captions, legends, or other information that will help readers understand the information. Each respondent should complete the "Peer Review of Individual Projects (Quantitative)" sheet (attached to Week 13 calendar) and return it to the author.

Week 13, April 2

Tuesday, April 2

Due Today

  • Project 2 drafts due for peer review. Prepare your draft as a PDF so that it may be easily exchanged/read by two peers. Your draft should include all elements of your information graphic except the 250-word story: visuals, captions, legends, or other information that will help readers understand the information. Each respondent should complete the "Peer Review of Individual Projects (Quantitative)" sheet (attached to Week 13 calendar) and return it to the author.

As a Group

  • Meet with your Group Project Teams to continue development of the working prototypes, which are due Thursday, April 4.

For Thursday, April 4

  • User Testing of Prototypes: Group Project Teams will review the prototypes of two other groups, answering a series of questions amongst themselves first and then sharing their feedback with the two other groups. Questions will be provided in class.

Thursday, April 4

Note that the due date for Project 2 has been extended to Tuesday, April 9.

As a Group

  • User Testing of Prototypes: Group Project Teams will review the prototypes of two other groups, answering a series of questions amongst themselves first and then sharing their feedback with the two other groups. Questions will be provided in class.

For Tuesday, April 9

  • Project 2 final drafts due. (Note that this date was extended from April 4.) Your polished draft should include your information graphic, your related story, and the data you used to create the information graphic, in the form of a single PDF file, submitted to the class Dropbox folder, Project 2 Deliverables subfolder.

Upload: 

Week 14, April 9

Tuesday, April 9

Due Today

  • Project 2 final drafts due. (Note that this date was extended from April 4.) Your polished draft should include your information graphic, your related story, and the data you used to create the information graphic, in the form of a single PDF file, submitted to the class Dropbox folder, Project 2 Deliverables subfolder. Please have it submitted by the end of the day today.

As a Group

For Thursday, April 11

Note: The Showcase has been rescheduled for April 24!

As a Group

  • Review of Prototypes for the Group Project: Although our Showcase has been postponed until April 24, I would like groups to present prototypes to each other for discussion and feedback, if you haven't already done so.

On Your Own

Thursday, April 11

Note: The Showcase has been rescheduled for April 24!

  • Review of Prototypes for the Group Project: Although our Showcase has been postponed until April 24, I would like groups to present prototypes to each other for discussion and feedback if you haven't already done so.

For Tuesday, April 16

  • Reading: Chapter 4 of Designing Information ("Structure, Organization, Type: Hierarchy and Visual Grammar").
  • Reading Response: Define the concepts of organization, proximity, and hiearchy, then find (and link to or attach) one example (form or image) that violates good practice in some way. Explain in a couple of sentences what went wrong. (Tag: reading response)
  • Step 1 of Project 3 due. In a blog post, describe the focus of your project, your reason for choosing it, and the specfic information that you hope to convey. Be sure to mention the sources for your information. Tag your post project 3. You'll have some time in class to discuss your topic with others and, if needed, to change your mind and repost a refined topic.

Week 15, April 16

Tuesday, April 16

Due Today

  • Reading: Chapter 4 of Designing Information ("Structure, Organization, Type: Hierarchy and Visual Grammar").
  • Reading Response: Define the concepts of organization, proximity, and hiearchy, then find (and link to or attach) one example (form or image) that violates good practice in some way. Explain in a couple of sentences what went wrong. (Tag: reading response)
  • Step 1 of Project 3 due. In a blog post, describe the focus of your project, your reason for choosing it, and the specfic information that you hope to convey. Be sure to mention the sources for your information. Tag your post project 3. You'll have some time in class to discuss your topic with others and, if needed, to change your mind and repost a refined topic.

Peer Review

  • Peer Review of Project 3 Topics. Read and respond to five (5) blog posts of your peers. Try to respond as a reader. Will the form or pictograph solve a problem or address a need simply and elegantly?

As a Group

  • Continue development of your Group Project.

Thursday, April 18

On Your Own

As a Group

  • Final Review of Prototypes for the Group Project: Meet with the two groups you met with for initial peer review, updating them on your progress. Reviewers: Be tough. What needs to be done before the showcase?

For Tuesday, April 23

  • Draft of Project 3 due for peer review. Your initial draft draft should include all elements of your form or be a complete pictograph ready for in class user-testing and review. Post your draft to a blog post as a PDF file or a link (to a Google Form, for example); tag your post project 3 and project 3 draft.
  • Group Projects should be ready for final testing, printing, etc.

Week 16, April 23

Tuesday, April 23

Due Today

  • Draft of Project 3 due for peer review. Your initial draft draft should include all elements of your form or be a complete pictograph ready for in class user-testing and review. Post your draft to a blog post as a PDF file or a link (to a Google Form, for example); tag your post project 3 and project 3 draft. Each person should complete two reviews using the form attached to this calendar. Due, Tuesday, April 23.
  • Group Projects should be ready for final testing, printing, etc.

Wednesday, April 24

The Pearce Center for Professional Communication invites you to a showcase featuring student work from the Client-Based Program, the Pearce Center Interns, the Writing Fellows Program, and other Pearce Center sponsored initiatives. Students will be displaying their work in the newly redesigned Class of 1941 Studio for Student Communication in Daniel Hall. Please drop in between 11:30am-1:30pm on Wednesday, April 24. Light refreshments will be served.

Those able to attend should set-up no later than 11:15 am. Bring printed projects (where applicable) ready for display.

Thursday, April 25

Last day of class . . .

Due Today

  • Project 3 Due: Your polished draft should include your information graphic, your related story, and the data you used to create the information graphic, in the form of a single PDF file, submitted to the class Dropbox folder, Project 3 subfolder. Due by the end of the day.

On Your Own

  • Learning Module 4 (Managing Your Identify): The directions for this module will be distributed in class and are in the Dropbox > Learning Modules > Module 4 folder. Also, two of the needed files are attached to this calendar.
  • Complete and submit the Collaborative Project Evaluation Form (attached) no later than May 3. Email it to Dr. Blakesley.

Upload: 

Course Description

English 487/687: Multi-Touch, Interactive eBooks and the Future of Publishing
Dr. David Blakesley (dblakes@clemson.edu)
Office: Strode 616; Phone: 765.409.2649 (c)
Office Hours: T-Th 11-2 (in Strode 616 or 1941 Studio) and by appt.
Twitter: dblakesley
Text Message: 765-409-2649 (use it!)
Gmail address: david.blakesley@gmail.com (for Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.)

English 489/689
Spring 2013
T-Th 9:30 – 10:45 am
MATRF Lab, Daniel 409
Clemson University

Course Website

http://parlormultimedia.com/information_design

Course Location

Early in the semester, most of our class meetings will be in the MATRF, Daniel 409. As projects begin, individuals and groups may also work in the 1941 Studio for Student Communication, which is currently being transformed into a high-end production and design studio geared toward publishing high quality print and digital publications. Unless the course calendar indicates otherwise, class will begin in the MATRF. Access to the MATRF During Open Hours: Students may use the MATRF facility and equipment during its open hours throughout the semester. If you do want access, however, there’s a required materials fee of $45, which can be paid by check (payable to Clemson University) or cash to Kristin Sindorf in the English Department main office, Strode 801.

Course Readings

The primary readings for the course will be from the three required course texts, each available at the Clemson University Bookstore. The course calendar specifies what should be read and when.

Joel Katz, Designing Information: Human Factors and Common Sense in Information Design (Wiley, 2012); ISBN: 978-1118341971

Donald A. Norman, The Design of Everyday Things (Basic Books, 2002); ISBN: 978-0465067107

Edward R. Tufte, Envisioning Information (Graphics Press, 1990); ISBN: 978-0961392116

Digital Readings: This will be distributed electronically via Dropbox, the course website, our Feed Aggregator, a shared folder in Instapaper, and other sources. t will include timely articles on information design, interface design, visual communication, and more. Although not all feed articles will appear on the course calendar, you should read thee feeds regularly at our site's feed aggregator and via the blocks on the front page of the course site. Required readings will be listed on the course calendar at least a week in advance of the due date.

Course Goals and Objectives

This course is designed to give students in-depth knowledge and experience in information design, data visualization, and information architecture, with extensions to the new field of interaction design. Course projects will teach the principles and practices of design, visual rhetoric, and visual analysis and will involve developing digital and print-based projects designed for publication on the Web or in print. At least one project will teach the principles of interaction design useful for creating apps for smart phones and tablet computers. Another may involve designing an interactive exhibit in which information design, usability, accessibility, user-experience design, and human-computer interaction may play a significant role.

The course is offered in the MATRF lab and on occasion in the Production and Design Studio in the Pearce Center for Professional Communication to allow for hands-on learning, collaboration, and design practice. Students will also gain experience useful for securing future internships or positions with local publishers like Parlor Press (http://www.parlorpress.com) or the Center for Electronic and Digital Publishing (CEDP).

Prior experience with Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver) and software that allows for data integration (Word, Excel, Google Docs) will be helpful but is not required at the start. Students may need to learn some coding with HTML and CSS.

Coursework

Further details about each of these project will be discussed in class and linked from the calendar.

  1. Reading Responses: You should complete ten (10) reading responses during the semester. Starting Week 2, I want you to respond to questions or readings listed on the calendar with one short (200- 300-word) semi-formal response posted to your blog at the course website. These responses will need to be posted by class time on the due date. I will usually give you five to ten minutes at the start of every class meeting to write comments on the posts of others and to compose new responses of your own. Some topics will be open. I would also like you to write a minimum of three (3) comments and replies every other week. These can be shorter posts that ask questions, comment, elaborate, or link. These follow-up comments and replies should normally be no more than 150 words, but length ultimately depends on the nature of your response. I will reply to some of your responses but not all. (20% of course grade.)
  2. Bi-Weekly In-Class Learning Modules: These modules will help you become proficient with the software and hardware useful for producing and testing high quality design documents using data and information that is provided to you. You’ll be given specific challenges or tasks that apply principles from the course readings. There will be five (5) modules over the course of the semester. Some will be completed in the MATRF, but others may require you to work in the 1941 Studio or at another location. (10% of course grade.)
  3. Individual Project: There will be four individual design projects, each tied to a specific chapter in Designing Information: 1) Qualitative Issues: Perceptions, Conventions, Proximity; 2) Quantitative Issues: Dimensionality, Comparison, Numbers, Scale; 3) Structure, Organization, Type: Hierarchy and Visual Grammar; and 4) Finding Your Way? Movement, Orientation, Siutational Geography. Each project will involve conceptualization, production, design, and user-testing. At the end of the semester, you’ll present at least on of these projects during the Showcase in the new Publishing and Design Studio. (10% each; 40% of course grade.)
  4. Collaborative Project: In groups of two or three, you’ll work with a client to develop an information graphic, poster, book cover and interior design (print or digital, such as an iBook theme), website theme, or other significant interface that presents complex and important information effectively. Early in the semester, you’ll form groups based on interests and experience, then research possible clients and projects, settling on one by the end of Week 5. You’ll then plan, develop, and produce the project, allowing for peer and client review along the way. By Week 10, your project will be nearly complete, with only fine-tuning and final production/distribution issues remaining. Each group member should contribute significantly to the success of the project. Graduate students will act as team leaders. Each group member will contribute to a team project log. (20% of course grade.)
  5. Showcase: At the end of the semester, we will host a Showcase in the 1941 Studio. The class will plan the event together, and each person will play a role at the showcase. Work will include development of poster or other interactive, visual displays for attendees. (10% of course grade)

Grading

Reading Responses 20%
Bi-Weekly Modules 10%
Individual Projects 40%
Collaborative Project 20%
Showcase 10%
Total
100%

Grading Criteria and Process

To earn full credit for reading responses and bi-weekly modules you will need to complete all of them and, in the case of reading responses, actively respond to your peers on the course website. Your reading responses and replies should show that you’re engaged with the topic and open to new possibilities and ideas. Bi-weekly modules, because they must be completed during class, cannot be made up. The criteria for evaluation of the individual and collaborative projects will be spelled out on the full description of each. For the collaborative project, you’ll be asked to complete a Collaborative Project Evaluation Form and submit it privately to me on or before the project’s due date. For the showcase, you’ll be expected to participate actively in its planning and to present your work for the semester during the event.

You’ll receive oral feedback along the way throughout each project (in or out-of-class) and a grade on the individual projects after they’re completed. Individual projects may be revised once for further review, with the qualification that the revision be submitted within one week of their return to you.

Attendance

Attendance is required at all scheduled meetings. Three absences may result in your final grade being lowered by as much as a letter grade. More than three absences can result in a failing grade for the course. Excused absences will only be granted for religious holidays or university-sponsored events, provided you make a written request to me no less than two weeks in advance and that you complete any required work before the due date. Being excessively or regularly late for class can also be counted as an absence. Note: If the instructor is late to class, you only need to wait fifteen (15) minutes.

Academic Integrity

Clemson students and their instructors are expected to adhere to the community and ethical standards for behavior and academic integrity at the University:

"As members of the Clemson University community, we have inherited Thomas Green Clemson's vision of this institution as a "high seminary of learning." Fundamental to this vision is a mutual commitment to truthfulness, honor, and responsibility, without which we cannot earn the trust 2 and respect of others. Furthermore, we recognize that academic dishonesty detracts from the value of a Clemson degree. Therefore, we shall not tolerate lying, cheating, or stealing in any form."

"When, in the opinion of a faculty member, there is evidence that a student has committed an act of academic dishonesty, the faculty member shall make a formal written charge of academic dishonesty, including a description of the misconduct, to the Associate Dean for Curriculum in the Office of Undergraduate Studies. At the same time, the faculty member may, but is not required to, inform each involved student privately of the nature of the alleged charge."

Unless otherwise noted in assignment guidelines, you should not submit work for this course that has been submitted for a grade in other courses.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities who need accommodations should make an appointment with Arlene Stewart, Director of Student Disability Services, to discuss specific needs within the first month of classes. Students should present a Faculty Accommodation Letter from Student Disabilities Services when they meet with instructors. Student Disability Services is located in G-20 Redfern (telephone number: 656-6848; e-mail: sds-l@clemson.edu). Please be aware that accommodations are not retroactive and new Faculty Accommodation Letters must be presented each semester.

In Case of a Campus Emergency

In the event of a major campus emergency, course requirements, deadlines and grading percentages are subject to changes that may be necessitated by a revised semester calendar or other circumstances. You can acquire updated information from the course website, by emailing, texting, or calling me using the information provided on this course description, or by contacting me through the English Department at (864) 656-3151.

Late Work

The majority of missed class assignments cannot be made up. If a serious and unavoidable problem arises, however, you should contact me in writing prior to the deadline to determine whether or not an extension for the work will or will not be granted.

Handouts

Course handouts, guides, tips, and miscellany will be collected here.

Project 1: Qualitative Issues: Perceptions, Conventions, Proximity

Prompt

Identify one rich and complex example of information design for analysis using the terms and principles from Chapter 2 ("Qualitative Issues: Perceptions, Conventions, Proximity") of Designing Information. Your analysis should apply at least three of the principles discussed in the chapter, which include the following:

  • use of lines
  • shape
  • form
  • color
  • labeling
  • connections
  • notation
  • time
  • point of view
  • navigation
  • interpretation

Your example for analysis should be one that can be viewed on a single screen or page, such as an information graphic, poster, flyer, book cover, or website front page. At the start of your analysis, you should include an image of the example and then some background information about its context. Your analysis should include screenshots, images, close-ups and whatever other visual content may be necessary to understand your analsysis or the basis of your conclusions. In your interpretation and conclusions, you should be sure to comment on whether the visualization of information has accurately represented the subject matter. The length of the analysis, in terms of word count, should be about 1,000 words, which may include narrative, annotations, and captions. You can use the presentation of content in Designing Information for your inspiration (i.e., layout) or other scheme that you devise.

Discussion of the Prompt

This project asks you analyze, which is a method of elaborating the complexity of a subject by breaking it down into features, components, or parts, followed by an interpretation of how everything works together to achieve (or not) some purpose. Much will depend on your selection of an example of information design for analysis. You should pick an example that is complex and interesting enough to warrant your close attention (see some tips for finding good examples below).

Deliverables

  1. Selection and short discussion of your example of information design. In a blog post, attach or provide a link to the example you want to use for your analysis and then three sentences about why this example is a good subject for analysis. Tag your post project 1. Due Thursday, Feb. 7. You'll have some time in class to discuss your example with others and, if needed, change your mind and repost a more suitable example.
  2. Initial draft for in-class peer review. You should post your draft to a blog post (tag: project 1). Your draft should include discussion of at least one of the three principles you're using to analyze the example, an image of the (full) example, and any subsidiary images that focus on particular elements. Due Thursday, Feb. 14.
  3. Polished draft. Your polished draft should include all elements of your analysis, including application of (at least) three principles, background information, representative images, interpretation, and a list of illustrations/sources/bibliography that identifies any cited material that requires documentation. Note: citation information pertaining to images should be include in a caption beneath the image. You'll be given directions in class for where to submit your polished draft in PDF format. Due Thursday, Feb. 21 by the end of the day.

Format and Presentation of Project 1

The format and presentation of Project 1 will be an important consideration in its overall quality and evaluation, which means that you should take care to use a layout and design that best represents the content. Your polished draft should emulate the principles you're applying to your example. Use the elements of qualitative design (lines, shape, form, color, labeling, connections, notation, time, point of view, navigation) to present the information in a readable and persuasive format. You can, if you choose, use Designing Information itself as the inspiration for your layout. Your images should be good quality and can be annotated (using Adobe Acrobat, for example), and each should have a caption that includes a description and a credit line that identifies the source. You should use typography consistently and purposefully. I recommend using Adobe InDesign (and other tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, and Acrobat) to make the composition effective and relatively easy (managing effective and complex layouts in Word can be very tricky). If you don't know how to use InDesign, now would be the time to learn.

Grading Criteria

You must complete all three deliverables to earn credit for Project 1. Deliverable 3, your polished draft, will be evaluated based on your choice of an interesting and complex example, the quality and perceptiveness of your analysis of at least three of the principles, your effective use of the terminology of information design in presenting your analysis (terms from Designing Information or The Psychology of Everyday Things, for example), and the quality of your polished draft's presentation in terms of layout and design.

Revisions

After you receive feedback on your polished draft, you may elect to revise and resubmit. If you choose to revise, you'll be required to include detailed submission notes with your revision. Submission notes should explain the significant revisions you've made to improve the project. All revisions should do more than make corrections and may involve reconceptualizing the approach or possibly choosing a new example for analysis. Revisions will be due one week after originally returned to you.

Sample Information Graphics, Sites, Posters, etc.

Search on Pinterest for examples of information design and posters:
http://pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=information+design
http://pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=poster+design

Information Graphics
Dailyinfographic.com
http://pinterest.com/source/dailyinfographic.com/

Information Is Beautiful
http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/

Monsters University
http://monstersuniversity.com/edu/index.html

Project 2: Quantitative Issues: Dimensionality, Comparison, Numbers, Scale

Prompt

Using information (data) that you collect from a data source, create an original information graphic and accompanying story that displays the best practices discussed in Chapter 3 ("Quantitative Issues: Dimensionality, Comparison, Numbers, Scale") of Designing Information. You will also need to provide the primary data (e.g., in a table, screenshot, or other simple form) that you used to build your information graphic. Your (one page/screen) information graphic should demonstrate that you've learned the lessons from Chapter 2 on display/design and that you've understood the pertinent concepts in Chapter 3 on the following:

  • information overload
  • representation of numbers
  • dimensional comparison
  • the relation of size/volume to numbers and percentages
  • substitution
  • numerical integrity
  • meaningful numbers
  • geography
  • per capita
  • data and form
  • data scale consistency
  • ratios of change
  • multiple axiality
  • measurement and proportion

Discussion of the Prompt

Your information graphic should be tightly focused on the representation of one particular data set (don't try to represent too much, in other words), with some type of comparison or change over time being the key tropes (a trope is a relational principle). Begin by formulating a question or hypothesis about some fact(s) that you've been curious about or that you think people would want to know or be surprised to learn about. Then research to find the relevant data and choose a form that would best convey the information to a reader. You'll then need to decide whether a graph (chart), timeline, data map, pyramid, or other visual display would best convey the data. It would be helpful to emulate a form (example) shown in Designing Information.

Your information graphic should be supported by a one-page (250-word) text that explains the data, written like a news article or magazine feature addressed to interested readers. (You could imagine, for example, that your information graphic was being published in Wired magazine.)

Data Sources

The reliability and comprehensiveness of data sources is critical, so for this project, limit your data sources to the following:

Deliverables

  1. Selection and short discussion of your question and data source. In a blog post, describe the focus of your project (what kind of data and about what), your reason for choosing it, and the specfic data (via a link) that you plan to use. Tag your post project 2. Due Tuesday, March 5. You'll have some time in class to discuss your topic with others and, if needed, to change your mind and repost a refined topic.
  2. Explanation of the form(s) of your information graphic. In a blog post, describe the form your information graphic will take (how you will represent your data visually). Tag your post project 2. Due Tuesday, March 26.
  3. Draft for peer review. Your initial draft draft should include all elements of your information graphic except for your 250-word story and should include the visuals, captions, legends, or other information that will help readers understand the information. Post your draft to a blog post as a PDF file; tag your post project 2 and project 2 draft. Due, Tuesday, April 2.
  4. Polished draft. Your polished draft should include your information graphic, your related story, and the data you used to create the information graphic, in the form of a single PDF file, submitted to the class Dropbox folder, Project 2 subfolder. Due Thursday, April 4 by the end of the day.

Format and Presentation of Project 2

The format and presentation of Project 2 will be an important consideration in its overall quality and evaluation, which means that you should take care to use a layout and design that best represents the data and conveys the information clearly and elegantly. Use the elements of qualitative design (lines, shape, form, color, labeling, connections, notation, time, point of view, navigation) to present the information in a readable and persuasive format. Your images should be high quality, and your choice of typography well suited to the context, consistent, and purposeful. I recommend using Adobe InDesign (and other tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, Excel, MS Word's drawing tools, or Google SketchUp; see http://www.sketchup.com/) to make the composition effective.

Grading Criteria

You must complete all four deliverables to earn credit for Project 2. Deliverable 4, your polished draft, will be evaluated based on the quality, design, and information represented in your graphical design; your accompanying story; the relation of graphical content to the data represented; the integrity of your data; and your effective use of the strategies for conveying quantitative information discussed in the course readings. Deliverable 4 must include all three parts: graphic, story, data source.

Revisions

After you receive feedback on your polished draft, you may elect to revise and resubmit. If you choose to revise, you'll be required to include detailed submission notes with your revision. Submission notes should explain the significant revisions you've made to improve the project. All revisions should do more than make corrections and may involve reconceptualizing the approach or possibly choosing a new example for analysis. Revisions will be due one week after originally returned to you.

Project 3: Structure, Organization, Type: Hierarchy and Visual Grammar

Prompt

Drawing inspiration and concepts from Chapter 4 of Designing Information, create one simple and elegant form, pictograph, or sign that helps solve a real problem or need and does so with flair.

Discussion of the Prompt

If you choose to develop a form, you can use InDesign or Word to create it, then use Adobe Acrobat in the finishing stages to create the form fields for easy fill-in. Or you can use Google Forms to create and design a form for collecting data online. Your form should serve a real need for a client, or you can ask Dr. B. for ideas and suggestions. If you choose to develop a pictograph or sign, it should be original, creative, and functional, suitable for posting as a sign (in the 1941 Studio, for example). In both cases, you could also create a "meta-form," "meta-pictograph," or "meta-sign," something that (humorously) comments on the nature of forms, pictographs, or signs (like the cartoon about the butterfly ballot). You could also create a visual pun (see p. 137 of Designing Information).

Your design should have a title or name and should be accompanied by a 100-word explanation or discussion, suitable, for example, as a plaque (as in a museum exhibit). Don't forget to attach your name (as the artist/designer).

Deliverables

  1. Selection and short discussion of your project. In a blog post, describe the focus of your project (what kind of form or pictograph you will create), how it will be used, and who will use it. Tag your post project 2. Due Tuesday, April 16. You'll have some time in class to discuss your topic with others and, if needed, to change your mind and repost a refined topic.
  2. Draft for peer review. Your initial draft draft should include all elements of your form or be a complete pictograph ready for in class user-testing and review. Post your draft to a blog post as a PDF file or a link (to a Google Form, for example); tag your post project 3 and project 3 draft. Due, Tuesday, April 23.
  3. Polished draft. Your polished draft should include your information graphic, your related story, and the data you used to create the information graphic, in the form of a single PDF file, submitted to the class Dropbox folder, Project 3 subfolder. Due Thursady, April 25 by the end of the day.

Format and Presentation of Project 3

The functionality of Project 3 will be an important consideration in its overall quality and evaluation, which means that your form should work well with the autdience and fulfill a need, or your pictograph or sign should accomplish a clear goal. Use the elements of structure, organization, type, hierarchy, and visual grammar discussed in Chapter 4 of Designing Information. Your images should be high quality and suitable for reproduction. Your choice of typography, if any, should be well suited to the context. I recommend using Adobe InDesign (and other tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, Excel, MS Word's drawing tools, or Google SketchUp; see http://www.sketchup.com/) to make the composition of your forms or images effective and usable.

Grading Criteria

You must complete all three deliverables to earn credit for Project 3. Deliverable 3, your polished draft, will be evaluated based on the quality, design, and function of your form, or the usefulness, cleverness, or kairos of your pictograph or sign; your accompanying "plaque" or explanation, which should be well written and also suitable for public display (on the Web, on a wall); and your effective use of the strategies for organizing information, images, or text on the page or screen

Revisions

After you receive feedback on your polished draft, you may elect to revise and resubmit. If you choose to revise, you'll be required to include detailed submission notes with your revision. Submission notes should explain the significant revisions you've made to improve the project. All revisions should do more than make corrections and may involve reconceptualizing the approach or possibly choosing a new example for analysis. Revisions will be due one week after graded projects have been returned to you.

Group Project: Client-Based Information Design

Prompt

Working with a real client, research, plan, draft, design, and test at least four related information graphics that meet the client's expressed need. You should interpret "information graphic" to mean any graphical representation that conveys information visually, either in the form of images and text or images alone. Some of the source information should be contributed by the client, at least in its raw form. In the end, the information graphics should accomplish a clear rhetorical purpose with a targeted audience.

Discussion of the Prompt

It will be important to conduct client research so that you can learn more about the client's context and communication needs. The purpose of this project is not simply to produce content that you like but to produce content that the client likes and needs and that achieves a clear rhetorical purpose. The process, therefore, will involve meeting with the client, gathering information sources and visual assets, in-progress reviews, project logs, and user testing.

Steps in the Process

  1. Formation of Teams and Client Selection. Once your teams have formed, discuss what each member brings to the team and what roles, at least initially, each person will play. If your team has a graduate student, s/he should serve as the team leader. Each team should decide on a client project by Tuesday, Feb. 19. Post an initial project log identifying your client and project, as well as team members (by user name) and roles. Tag: project log and teamname.
  2. Research Client Context. Research your client context by learning as much as you can about the client from documents (including websites and physical locations). Divide the research so that each person can report back to the team. Create a shared Dropbox called Info_Design TeamName and share it with all members and Dr. B. After the team has discussed this research, post a project log summarizing what data was collected and pointing to any online sources. Tag: project log and teamname. Due Feb. 28.
  3. Client Interview. Plan and conduct an interview with your client(s). as a team, develop a set of specific questions about the project and your deliverables. Be sure to ask about any particular presentation needs or conditions. You should plan on conducting your interview during the week of March 7 -  15 (the week when Dr. B. is at a conference). Follow the Ethical Guidelines for Conducting Interviews provided on the Handouts page at the course site. Discuss the results of the interview before you leave for Spring Break and create and post a Project Log in which you outline remaining steps to be completed. Tag: project log and teamname
  4. Development and Testing. Using information gathered from your client research, develop working prototypes of your designs, complete the steps for user testing (see the Handouts page) and solicit feedback from your client. Complete these steps by April 4. Update your project log with a summary of your user testing and client feedback as well. Tag: project log and teamname
  5. Showcase. Be prepared to display your work on Thursday, April 11 during the 1941 Studio's Rededication on April 10, when people from all over campus and from the Board of Trustees will be present. Events will occur throughout the day and be announced several weeks in advance. You should have polished drafts of your work on April 11.
  6. Completed Projects. Turn in your completed projects, in PDF or other formats suitable for the medium for which you've designed on April 25 by the end of the day. Directions for submission will be provided in class.

Overview of Client Projects

Pearce Center for Professional Communication and Parlor Press: For this project, you'll develop QR code art that represents the clients effectively.

1941 Studio for Student Communication/Pearce Center: For this project, you'll develop information graphics about the Studio for display on the newly installed LED screens in the Studio, as well as specifications for future displays.

Astronomy and Astrophysics Department:
For this project, you'll develop information graphics about the Department and/or the Pearce Center for display using the Planetarium projector.

Clemson Book Lab: For this project, you'll develop information graphics about the Clemson Book Lab for promotional purposes and for display on LED screens.

Clemson Faculty Senate (probable client): For this project, you'll develop information graphics about the Senate's operations and role at Clemson.

Media Technologies

The precise form of your deliverables will depend on client needs and may involve presenting your designs in PDF format, in print, in presentation technologies like Keynote, PowerPoint, or Prezi, as a physical display. Or on a website.

Collaboration

Each person on the team should play a specific role that should be negotiated at the beginning of the project and then reaffirmed at key stages of development. Everyone should contribute equally and all are responsible for ensuring that happens. At the end of the project, you'll be asked to submit a collaborative project evaluation form.

Grading

Your final grade on this project will depend on the quality of your deliverables, your group's timely completion of all steps in the process, your success in meeting client needs, and the quality of your collaboration.

Collaboration

Each person on the team should play a specific role that should be negotiated at the beginning of the project and then reaffirmed at key stages of development. Everyone should contribute equally and all are responsible for ensuring that happens. At the end of the project, you'll be asked to submit a collaborative project evaluation form.

Tags: 

Career Paths Event for English Majors

This semester’s first speaker in the “Career Paths” series, a joint initiative between the English Department and the Pearce Center, is Jake Lappi, who after graduating with a BA in English in 2008 served for three years as a corps member in Teach for America. Jake is currently Assistant Principal at Reid Park Academy in Charlotte as part of the New Leaders for New Schools initiative.

This Friday, 1/25, Jake will make a 20-25 presentation at 4:00 in the Pearce Center’s Studio for Student Communication (first floor, Daniel Hall), then take questions and meet with students.

Please announce Jake’s visit to your classes. If you know of any students interested in Teach for America or possible careers in education, please encourage them to attend. Interested students may also be able to join Jake and Mike LeMahieu for lunch, so if you're interested, contact Dr. LeMahieu at mlemahi@clemson.edu.

Tags: 

Ethical Guidelines for Conducting an Interview with a Client

  1. Spend some time doing some background research on the client and client context so that you're prepared to address the client as a well-informed, professional researcher.
  2. Request an interview in advance. Explain why you want the interview, how long it will take, and what you hope to accomplish. Be professional with this request and formal with all subsequent interaction so that the client knows you are conducting research and not just "chatting."
  3. Although a live interview may work best, you can also consider interviewing the client by Skype if it is more convenient for him or her.
  4. Come to the interveiw prepared with a list of written questions. It’s usually a good idea to give clients some questions in advance so that they can be prepared as well
  5. If you wish to record the interview (audio and/or video), you must ask permission first.
  6. Take notes during the interview, even if you use a recorder. Your notes will help refresh your memory when you don't have tune to review the entire recording; they can also help you identify the most important points of discussion. Because give-and-take is important, it's often a good idea to have two people on the interviewing team present; one to take notes, one to conduct the interview.
  7. Be flexible. Don't try to make the person you are interviewing answer all your prepared questions if he or she doesn't find some of them appropriate or interesting. If your interviewee shows more interest in a question than you had anticipated or wants to discuss a related issue, just accept this change in plans and return to your list of questions when appropriate.
  8. Try a variety of questioning techniques. People are sometimes unable or unwilling to answer direct questions. So try rephrasing questions. Be more general or specific, depending upon what you think your client will respond to well.
  9. If you transcribe the interview and use it for any other purpose, you must give the client the option to review a transcript and the option to revise where necessary. Under no circumstances should you publish (to the Web or elsewhere) an interview with the client without the client’s consent. (In journalist interviews, that permission is normally granted implicitly; good journalists, though, will often take the time to confirm quotations.)

Expanded and adapted from from Lisa Ede’s Work in Progress, 4th Edition. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998.

Getting Started 1: Registering on the Site

To get started with your course, you'll need to complete a few steps, which include

  • Registering for the course website (here).
  • Logging in for the first time.
  • Editing your account for the first time.

Registering for the course website

  1. Go to the course website.
  2. Click on "create new account" under "User Login" in the navigation menu on the left.

  3. Create a username that will identify you in the system and that you will use for logging in. Because this site is public on the Internet, your username should not include your last name. You are welcome to use any username (e.g., your IM screenname, SL name) that would not be offensive to others or otherwise inappropriate for a course website. Capitalize your username as you intend to use it; usernames are case sensitive.

  4. Enter your email address. You may use your Clemson email address. If you have an alternate one, use the one that you check most regularly.
  5. Provide your real name. Note that your real name will only be visible to students registered at the site.
  6. Provide your contact information so that your peers and instructor can contact you. This information will only be visible to students and the instructor.
  7. Provide the URL of your homepage, portfolio, or blog.
  8. Tell us about your interests.
  9. Check whether or not you grant permission for your instructor to send you grades via your registered email address.
  10. Click on "Create new account" at the bottom of the page. If moderated registration is turned on, registration information will be sent to the email address you listed, so check your email soon after you register. You will need the password that it sends you. Your instructor will approve your registration (if new account requests are moderated), and then you will be able to log in to use site features. If moderation is off, you will be able to use the site immediately.

Getting Started 2: Logging in for the First Time

To get started with your course, you'll also need to complete this second step:

Logging in for the first time

  1. If new accounts are moderated at your class site or confirmation is required, you should have received an email from the system that directions for completing the process. With that email handy, return to the course website.
  2. Enter your username and password in the "User login" box. Your initial password can be retyped or cut-and-pasted into the password box. If you cut-and-paste it, make sure you don't include any extra spaces before or after the password characters. The password and user name are case sensitive.

  3. Click on Log in. When you've successfully logged in, you will your name in the upper-right corner of the page and then "My Account" and "log out" beneath the shortcut bar on the right side of the page near the top. If you are unable to log in successfully, try re-entering your password. Remember that usernames and passwords are case sensitve, so make sure you don't have Caps Lock turned on by accident and that (if pasting in your password) that you don't include extra spaces. You may also click on "Request new password" if you ever forget yours.

Getting Started 3: Editing Your Account for the First Time

To get started with your course, you'll also need to complete this third step, which will take a bit more time than the previous two.

Editing your account for the first time

Once you've logged in successfully, you need to edit your account and provide some additional information about yourself.

  1. Click on my account link on the upper-middle of the page, next to the log out link.
  2. On the next screen, click on the edit tab.

  3. On the account settings screen, you can change your username, email address, password, and more.
  4. Scroll to the Picture area.
  5. Upload a picture of yourself or avatar (an image that represents you well) that you would use in a public context. You may have to find one and edit in an image editor, so you just try to have this step completed by the end of Week 2. If you need help editing an image, send a copy to your instructor for help.
  6. Scroll down the page to enter or change information in the Real Name or Contact Information boxes.
  7. Scroll to the Contact settings region.
  8. Check the Personal contact form box.
  9. In the Comment Follow-Up Notifications Settings box, check whether you'd like to receive email notifications when people comment on your posts.

  10. When you have made all of your changes, click on the Submit button at the bottom of the page.

That's it! You have completed all the steps of the Getting Started process. If you ever need to change any of the information, you can always edit these pages again.

If you have any trouble along the way, please be sure to let your instructor know.

HTML 5 Workshop

The Multimedia Authoring Teaching & Research Facility (MATRF) is hosting its popular workshop series for students and faculty. This week's workshop will cover the basics of HTML5 including tags, styling, and composition. The workshop is Thursday, January 24th (12:00pm to 1:00pm) in 409 Daniel. It’s free, open to all, and will be led by MATRF staff members Katie Mawyer and Katie Hockaday. Snacks will be provided.

The MATRF will be hosting other workshops this semester. Please see our schedule at http://www.clemson.edu/caah/matrf/workshops/index.html for full details. Please contact Tharon Howard at tharon@clemson.edu if you would like to lead a workshop or if you have any questions.

Tags: 

Learning Module 1: Curves (Resources)

Here's the You Suck at Photoshop video on Curves:

Learning to Navigate the Site

On or after the first day of class, you'll want to explore some of the features of the site. This document gives an overview of a few features you might want to take a look at that will help you to navigate the site.

Navigation

In the header visible at the top of every page, you'll find one row of tabs that take you to various key pages on the course site. Follow them to see where they lead.

Once you've logged in to the site, you'll also find one or more "blocks" that contain additional site navigation or other content boxes. These boxes may be located on the left or the right side of the page, depending on the site's design.

The navigation block is your gateway to many areas of the site useful for creating and viewing content and managing your work. For example,

  • Add content
    From here you can post to your individual blog or the front page.
  • Blogs
    Lists all the blogs on the site and includes a direct link to your blog in its submenu.
  • Compose tips takes you to a page that walks you through various methods of posting content to the site.
  • Recent content
    This display allows you to access all of the recent content posted by everyone. In the content listing, the red asterisks denote pages you have yet to read and notices of new unread comments.
  • Feed aggregator collects (via RSS feeds) content that has been published elsewhere and may relate to course content. There are also a few blocks on the front page that include feed summaries.
  • Contact allows you to contact the instructor via the course site. (You can also click on a person's name when you see it above a post to contact him or her this way.)

Book Navigation

All course materials on the site are integrated into the course guide, which you can reach via the tab menu near the top of the page.

The course guide is a hypertext with many levels of pages.

  • You can use the book navigation links that show previous and next pages below the main text or use the breadcrumb navigation at the top.
  • Use the printer-friendly version link beneath any page to get a text-only version of that page and all of its subpages collated into one. For example, if you go to the top page of the guide and click on printer-friendly version, you will see the entire course guide, including the calendar, on one screen (a very long one).

Project Logs

Throughout the semester, you may keep a project log at the course website, either for an individual or group project. These will be blog entries tagged "project log."

Purpose

Project logs help you keep track of your progress on complex projects, as well as provide a forum for receiving feedback from others who may be able to answer questions along the way or learn from your process. Project logs may be individual or shared among members of a group when the project is collaborative.

After college, you may find keeping a project log useful in your professional career:

  • In the busy life of a professional, it can often be difficult to remember all aspects of a project when compiling regular progress reports.
  • Consultants can use project logs to provide supporting evidence of work done on a project in preparing invoices or in case a client questions about billable hours.
  • Once a project is completed, a project log can be useful as a record for planning similar, future projects that will be completed by others.

Guidelines

Regularly post a short report in the form of a project log that follows these guidelines or includes this information. If you have both individual and collaborative projects ongoing, you should post separate Project Log entries and use a tag like project log (for individual projects) or nameofproject project log (for collaborative projects)

  • Use informative titles (e.g., Project Log for Week 5: Project X Takes Shape)
  • Tag your post with the recommended tag
  • Report on the status of the project: Is it in early drafting? Is it production ready? Is your group conducting research?
  • Report on any scheduled plans for completing specific tasks in the project.
  • Plan out ideas for completing the project.
  • Link to any assets or resources you plan to use to complete the project, or provide them as attachments to the post.

For collaborative projects:

  • Tag your post with the group name (e.g., "morte darthur project log"). Record your contributions to the project that week. Teams may appoint one person to post the main project log and then decide that others can add to it by commenting. It's important that all members of the group participate in builiding the project log.
  • Record the contributions of everyone in the group.
  • Record the time and date of group meetings and communication and describe briefly what was accomplished. Did the group have an email discussion? Did you text message with another group member?
  • What group members have taken on which specific tasks? What are the prospective deadlines?
  • Plan out ideas for completing the project, including ways to collaborate and communicate more effectively with your group.
  • Reflect on any lessons you have learned about collaboration and electronic communication.

Remember: Collaborative project logs are public and can be read by other group members. Be diplomatic. Do not write about what other group members failed to do or negatively evaluate their participation. Simply record what others have agreed to do and the tasks that they have completed. You will have ample opportunity to assess the work of others at the end of the project.

You can of, course, post more than once a week.

Tags: 

Sources for Photos, Illustrations, Content