Class 14

Classwork

  • Your rough drafts
  • Final questions

Homework

This is it! Presentations are due at the beginning of class. I have already gone over what needs to be in the presentations, but here are some last requirements:

  • You need to have it on my machine so we can project it.
  • It needs to be 5 to 7 minutes long.
  • SPELLCHECK your work. Honestly, you are tired and distracted. Spellcheck.
  • Make sure you practice your presentation: winging it is too loose, reciting it is too boring. Present it once or twice to a friend who knows nothing of web design if possible.
  • Do not read the slides. Just put minimal details in text on your slides and use those words as prompts.

Class 13

Wow, we have 2 weeks after this! I think that we are all in great shape, but next week we will

Classwork

Quick critique of the phone screens:
I just want to check in and make sure everyone feels supported on this. I want to click through as many samples all at once, then look at any areas that are challenging anyone. No need for a one-by-one crit at this point.

Work on the coding portion:
Once again, this is ungraded, so we will move as quickly as you desire

Troubleshooting:
Once again, I will meet with everyone one-on-one as needed.

Homework:

Rough drafts of your presentations

Here is a recap of the expectations for the final presentation:

Presentations should be 5-7 minutes long.When you present your idea, you will need to have the following details covered:

  1. Your elevator pitch: the one sentence wrap up of what your idea/site/product can do and for whom. I always start with this, just to make sure everyone knows where we are going.
    • Remember, we decided that this will be a straightforward pitch: you are pitching your website either to funders or presenting your solution to a client who has solicited the website idea.
  2. Your conclusion from your competitive analysis: remember the initial research you did? Have some key examples ready to back up your claims. Show why your idea will solve a problem better than what is out there, prove it.
  3. Illustrate your knowledge of the target audience: tell a little bit about what you know about who you are trying to serve. Show respect and compassion.
  4. Walk through your sketches, being sure to highlight features or moments where you really serve the audience/user group well. You can talk about any surprises or challenges you encountered here.
  5. Wrap up: tell us how your solution solves the issue at hand. Once again, remind us of the elevator pitch and tie the whole presentation up as a lovely, resolved narrative.

Class 12

Contact Forms

We need to cover some basics of form construction. Here are some excellent examples:  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5

Just remember, you have immense control over styling, Make the form work as a part of the brand message as this is an interaction between you and your user. Make it useful, simple, and inviting.

Video: Lynda.com (login required)

Interactive PDFs

I prepared a PDF to show you how to do a lot of stuff. I will have to cover more later on, but here are some source files to work with.

Code

Here is the code for the responsive demo. We will take a look at it today and start walking through what is what. Here are some handouts: HTML and CSS.

Homework:

You need to wrap up the phone designs for a quick crit next week. We will just walk through the phone screens. I seriously need to see sketches by Wednesday of this week if you want feedback.

Criteria for Internships/First Jobs

Criteria for Opportunities

  • It offers a variety of work experiences, if that is what you are looking for.
    Smaller studios will be looking for people willing to do many things, so keep that in mind.
  • It offers the opportunity to dive deeply into a subject, if that is what you are looking for.
    Larger studios will slot you into a team where you may not get to do a lot of different stuff, but you will get to have lots of specific experience in one or two things.
  • There are great people with whom you can network and connect.
    This is the true benefit of these early experiences: the network you build, the sources you cultivate, and the source you become to others. This is your community. Develop into the citizen you aspire to be and it will absolutely take care of you.

Once you are there, here are some ways to tell if you want to stay:

  • It is fulfilling.
    You are not just there to get coffee, you are an acolyte of a large and world-changing discipline, worthy of respect and cultivation.
  • It is challenging.
    You deserve to be challenged, not just handed the crap work.
  • It leads you to a deeper understanding of what you want (or don’t want) to do with your next five years.
    Have some perspective–start plotting out a course for the next five years, concentrating on a general trajectory without getting too bunged up in details.
  • The culture of the organization is nurturing, meaning you will get useful feedback on your efforts, not just be treated as an indentured servant.

Bad reasons to pursue a certain internship/job:

  • It’s with a big name designer or studio (i.e. the “name-whore syndrome”)
    If this is the only reason, this is not great. It leaves you open to being exploited by someone who may be a luminary (or once was) but who is also going to exploit you.
  • You didn’t find anything else.
    This happens, but just stay open to finding other opportunities if the one you ended up with is crap. You can quit an internship without too much damage to your rep, just do not use them as references or even leave it off your resume.
  • You want to make massive amounts of money.
    My socialist roots are showing, I know. If you are only in it for the money, I think you will end up terribly unhappy. I speak from experience–the pull of the market often does not lead towards true innovation or admirable work. It leads to what sells that is cheap to produce. The corners that end up being cut are often little tee-tiny parts of your soul and they add up pretty darn fast.

Beware of the following

  • “Startup” can be code for “no money, no business, no nothing.”
    Be very careful when being offered work or opportunities from startups. I have nothing against small business, but honestly, these sorts of gigs are by and large a crap shoot: if they have no money now, they probably will never pay you. If you still feel like taking part, get the agreement, goals, deliverables and compensation plans all in writing. You could ask for shares or such, but just know that this is a gamble. Of course, there is the cautionary tale of the Nike logo(sorry for the poor quality of the article behind that link)
  • “This may lead to a full-time position.”
    Be very suspicious as this is an empty promise, chumming you into giving way more than they can ever pay you for. If there is the potential of further employment, the terms for that being a possibility must be in writing at the start: when will they reevaluate you? How will they determine your worthiness? If they cannot give you a contract with these items spelled out, keep looking.
  • “No pay, but this will look great in your portfolio.”
    No. Keep looking for studios who can offer you portfolio-worthy opportunities and a paycheck. What you do is worth money. Your skills and abilities are worthy of pay and these people cannot do what they want nearly as well without you. They need to offer fair compensation. This line is literally telling you that your time is worth nothing now, but may be to someone else later on. No!
  • “$15/hour”
    No. I pay my babysitter that. Yes, she is marvelous and yes, she is taking care of my lovely child. However, you have advanced technical and aesthetic skills (and soon a degree) from a great school. You deserve to be paid more than this.

Internships in NYC and Brooklyn (Resources)

First off, here is a list of places to start looking. I am assembling a list of tips for later today. Ok, here are some resources that I recommend:

Internmatch.com

This is a search of NYC using the Internmatch site.

Craigslist

This is an okay resource, but consider the source: it’s free and so is attractive to smaller places with less of a budget. Nevertheless, you can look here, just choose your area, then “art/media/design jobs” as the area, then search within those results for internships.

Brooklyn Tech Triangle

Don’t limit your search to Manhattan: Brooklyn’s DUMBO area is one of the hottest tech areas out there, with loads of small and rising studios doing great work. I teach really close by, so if you get an interview, maybe we can meet up for coffee before or after to talk about the experience.

Findspark.com

This is a service that offers free and paid levels of service. Try it out for free first and let me know what you think. I do not know it well.

New York Foundation of the Arts

Working for non-profits can still be paid, as can positions for arts organizations. It’s a great way to combine your interests in design and art in a way that pays rent.

FirstJob.com

Once again, this is a service my students have used in the past. Try it out and tell me what you think.

Week 11

Hello!

I did not get much work last week, so I assume everyone took a little break. Ok, no matter, we are cooking with gas as of now!

Today, we wrap up the tablet designs and move on to the phone designs. We will

Classwork:

Here is the Teehan & Lax iPhone template you can use for reference.

Here is a quick video of an alternative approach:

Homework:

I need to see your screens! For full size and tablet! I will give feedback via email in annotated pdfs.

Also, have your phone screens started.

 

Class 10

Hello!

Remember, we are not meeting in class this week. I will be available for an extended Skype session this week and you are responsible for the materials below.

Be sure to turn in your sketches that you have so far. I have gotten no new sketches from anyone.

Skype time:

  • Wednesday night, 8-10pm. I will talk to anyone who needs it, although we may have a few people joining us as we go along.
  • My handle is monstressme.
  • Please email that you will be logging on to talk to me, otherwise I will go about my business.
  • I will also be able to come to campus for a face-to-face make up session next week.
  • If Wednesday night does not work and you are desperate, please let me know and I will work something else out.

Homework:

Begin working on your final presentation. Next week I want to see your outline, or your rough draft of your slideshow. These can be rough, but I want to start seeing it develop as the last weeks of class progress. Also, continue on your sketches.

You will be expected to present a slideshow which you can compose in InDesign, Keynote, Google Docs Slides, or god forbid, PowerPoint. The final presentation will be on the last day of class, and you will have up to 10 minutes each to present. Minimum of 5 minutes.

Here are some videos you need to watch:

Here are some things to think about:

Designers are increasingly being seen as part of the strategy team. When I started in the industry, we were held off in the background, brought in at the end to make whatever had been decided upon pretty. This usually resulted in a lot of lipstick on pigs: the sites were poorly structured and terribly conceived from a usability standpoint. Now, we get to help at every stage, and this is a very good thing for you if you are willing to be articulate and proactive. You can rise much faster in a company structure than before. Of course, we will talk about priorities and such because not everyone is gunning for a corner office. Success is defined many, many different ways.

When you present your idea, you will need to have the following details covered:

  1. Your elevator pitch: the one sentence wrap up of what your idea/site/product can do and for whom. I always start with this, just to make sure everyone knows where we are going
  2. Your conclusion from your competitive analysis: remember the initial research you did? Have some key examples ready to back up your claims. Show why your idea will solve a problem better than what is out there, prove it.
  3. Illustrate your knowledge of the target audience: tell a little bit about what you know about who you are trying to serve. Show respect and compassion.
  4. Walk through your sketches, being sure to highlight features or moments where you really serve the audience/user group well. You can talk about any surprises or challenges you encountered here.
  5. Wrap up: tell us how your solution solves the issue at hand. Once again, remind us of the elevator pitch and tie the whole presentation up as a lovely, resolved narrative.

 

Class 9

Classwork:

We are going to quickly look at the tablet sketches in class as a group.

Assets you may find useful:

Cursors  | Samples of Web Form Assets

Animated Gifs

We will be doing a quick demo that will show you exactly how much fun these are. Awesome!

Download this file and prepare to have a blast!

Contact Forms

We need to discuss the best practices for developing these.

Some articles: 1  |  2  |  3

Interactive PDFs

I have some tips and such for you, but honestly, there are so many tutorials available it is absurd!

Adding Video to Demos

Adding videos to pdfs is really simple:


Homework

Send me all of your screens that you have done so far by class time next week. We will be moving on to the phone screens the week after next.

Reminder!

Next week, I will be in Virginia for some family business. I will have all materials for the class up here, but there will be no session on campus. Ther ewill be work you have to complete on your own and send back to me, but mostly, I want you to work on your sketches. For those of you who need time with me, I can meet up Wednesday afternoon or possibly Thursday morning this week. Specifics to come.

Class 8

Hello!

Welcome back!

Classwork

Today we will go over some considerations for tablet-based website designs.

Here is a template you can use to present your idea formally (The initial screen size is 768 x 1024)
This is for the pre-retina days just to get you acclimated. We will talk more about image resolution once you get underway, but right now it would just be frustrating.

Homework

Begin work on translating your site to tablet size. You need only translate your home page, although if you are doing a one pager, you will need to do the whole thing. Have it roughed out for next week, and be ready to discuss the transitions you would like to animate.

Some Resources

A free guide to tablet design

Class 7

Classwork:

This class marks the middle of our time together! I will be meeting with each of you for extended work and to give you a verbal check in on your progress. I will also be jumping up and giving demos as needed on various topics.

We also have some people who need to present their sketches.

Here are some working files I found to share with you. Please note: you need to install Lato to see them working properly.

Homework:

Finish out the third page of your design. If you are doing a one-pager, try to work out the whole sequence. We will have another quick crit of these as needed.