Improving the Online Experience

After reading chapters from Don't Make Me Think, it really got me thinking about how I can improve how people view the Travel section of the USA Today online site. The first thing that catches my eye is all the text and how it's organized. There really isn't much difference in hierarchy, which is something hopefully I can fix. There's also a ton of articles on there so maybe lessening the amount of articles on the front page so that people won't be overwhelmed. The use of color would be nice as well since right now its mainly clouds and "tropical" colors. There's also not really a distinct way that the articles are categorized. There is a little bit of a system happening but it's not very noticeable so I hope to categorize things more so that the viewers can easily navigate to what they were looking for.

Don't Make Me Think

There are 5 important things when creating a website to keep in mind: creating a visual hierarchy, taking advantage of conventions, breaking the page up into clearly defined areas, make clickable things obvious, and minimize noise. Each thing had their own sub thoughts like sticking to conventions of webpages and people are used to certain looks so stick with that if you can. It also doesn't matter how many clicks viewers has to make to get to where they want, its how much thought should be put into finding those clicks. The structure of the webpage is also important because the user will spend as much time on the lower level pages as they do at the top so as a designer, we have to think about every aspect of the webpage for it to work as we please.


Analyzing News

USA Presentation

I was assigned the travel section of the newspaper and it didn't exist in print so I annotated the home page of the newspaper and my travel section. Most are said in the keynote, which is posted above. I didn't mind navigating the section. Some of the articles went into a slideshow layout and some read as a regular article. It really depended on the content because some were lists of places or news articles about a place.



"We are what we read." Information architect is, in a sense, an organization of information that is pleasing aesthetically. There are five ways according to the reading, to organize the information: LATCH - location, alphabet, time, category, and hierarchy. The deciding factor is how we want the organized things to be found. It seems as if this article was written in 1996 when there isn't as much information as there is now. This makes me wonder if his thinking then and now are the same. I understand that the way information is organize plays a huge part but now that there is too much information, can we still employ the same theories?


Design Research Readings

Section One Introduction: "Qualitative design research enjoys a controversial existence." This was interesting to read since it came from a first person's point of view. Christopher Ireland did a really nice job explaining what works and what doesn't when he went and researched people. Qualitative design research is learning about the people by listening to them, watching them, or experiencing their lives first hand. It was also nice to read about his experience with researching for Disney and how much positive feedback he got back from it.

Ethnology and Critical Design Practice: Ethnography, a research technique thats rooted in anthropology, is important when designing for people. It tells about the people through various factors and it's important to involve those findings into your design. Adding field studies to your design makes it more successful because you have a better understanding of the target audience and you're aiming the design at them. This whole section was mainly about the background of ethnography and how it can benefit us as designers.

Peachpit: Design research is investigating a product's or service's potential or existing users and the context of use. It uses many methods drawn from anthropology, scientific and sociological research, theatre, and design itself. It's more of a qualitative research that focuses on how and why questions more than quantitative research, which focuses more on numbers and what questions. Design research has three "rules" for conducting it: you go to them, you talk to them, and you write stuff down. There's things to not do as well as some other stuff to follow like getting consent and telling them what you are doing. There were also tips on patterns and when to detect it. A lot of the research, it seems, is about reading people and understand them through getting to know them.

Typographic Symposium Concept Map

My concept map for the type symposium. It's quite general mainly because I wasn't really sure how specific I could get. I also didn't list the 4 categories that was said. Instead, I incorporated them. At first, it looks quite simple and not that complex but upon closer inspection, I differentiate change with a different font or a different style. I wanted to keep it as simple as possible so that people could understand. I started out by making a list but then split that list up and decided on verbs to use as the connector. I feel like I could've added more specific stuff but I wasn't sure how specific is too specific.