Week 2, Jan 15

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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.)


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