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: