Day one as an interaction designer in training! We were given our laptop’s today. I was a bit disappointed that we got 4-year-old Powerbooks, but they’ve promised us brand-spankin’ new ones in the fall. Beyond that, I’m blogging from my new Mac right now, so it can’t be all bad. Getting used to OS-X is clearly going to be a challenge, but I think I’ll be up to par withing a couple of weeks at most.
We were introduced to the first of the six professors who will be guiding us over the summer today. Karen Moyer is (from what I’m told) a very well respected designer, and she is clearly a wonderful teacher – brimming with what I can only call sprightly energy.
We played wonderful game/exercise where Karen put several hundred hand-tools of various sorts on the floor and had us work to organize them on the floor in a way that was visually meaningful and communicative. The point of the exercise was to elucidate the basic design process: familiarization, development, and refinement. This played out by getting to know the tools (i.e. figuring out what the heck a lot of them were/did), developing a strategy (sorting the tools into domains such as kitchen gadgets, art tools, etc.), and finally laying them all out in a manner that communicated the tools’ use (where possible).
I also picked up some quotes that sounded like design truisms, so I copied them down and will immortalize them here:
- Form carries meaning, space carries meaning. – I think this means that we must be aware of both the form of an artifact, and it’s placement in relation to other artifacts (thus space can give meaning). This is easily seen in much graphic design work, but is just as important to other areas of design.
- How will micro decisions affect the macro? Don’t let little things overtake the big picture. – I believe that this refers to the fact that the devil in the details can obscure the meaning of the larger picture. It is easy to imagine an overly ornate piece of text drawing attention away from the rest of a typographic design piece.
- Discover what the content wants to be. Discover rather then invent. – I think this means that we must be careful not to give our own meaning to artifacts, but should try to find an artifact’s inherent meaning/use/purpose and clarify that.
The afternoon was spent with a short review of Dreamweaver (not so necessary for me) and my first look at Adobe inDesign. inDesign looks like a formidable piece of software to learn, but my previous experience with other (similar) Adobe interfaces should help me along.