Blog #18 Ted Talks Review

Both of the Ted Talks are meaningful, especially for us, who will need to to present our ideas to clients in our future career. 

Chris Anderson

In Chris Anderson’s speech, he explained to us what made a good speech. I strongly agreed with his speech that one of the most important things we wanted to do was to connect with our audience. Curiosity is what makes our audience want to stay focused on a talk. Once the audience finds that the topics are related to them, then it means they are connected to the speaker so the speaker can start building ideas to the audience. Another thing Anderson pointed out was we should focus on one major idea in the entire speech. To focus on one idea does not mean we just repeat one topic over and over again. In order to focus on one idea, we should make examples that are vivid. This idea should be a theme throughout the talk. I was also impressed by the last point he mentioned in the speech, which was making the idea worth sharing. In this case, we have to understand our audience because if the topic was not beneficial to our audience they would lose interest in our speech.

Ms. Cuddy’s Presentation

In Amy Cuddy’s speech, “Your Body Language May Shape Who You are,” she explained how important our body language is. We are always so fascinated by human body language, because body language helps us to express ideas, emotion and also give others a sense of who we are. However, Ms. Cuddy’s speech was more than that. Ms. Cuddy used different examples and experiment results to prove that body language could also shape our personality. She also stated at the end of the speech that “Fake it until you become it.” I agree with the whole speech she gave, and I think I learned a lot from the speech. I remember when I was taking the public speaking class, our instructor kept asking us to stand straight while we were giving a speech. From the moment that she tapped my back to remind me to stand straight, I immediately felt more confident than a second before. During Ms. Cuddy’s speech, there were a lot of scenes that appeared in my brain which I related to the topic that she focused on. When I started my college life, I always sat in the back and listened to my instructor, but I never raised my hand or asked questions during the lecture. At that time, attending classes was boring to me. I talked to my life coach(also my elder sister) and she told me that I have to try to participate in class, by this way, I could get engaged with the class topic. So I started to push myself during classes, I pretended I didn’t care about how other students thought about me, I also pretended I was not nervous. It was a hard time for me to adapt to this way of acting, but this actually worked. Now, I always ask questions during class to make sure I understand the content and the requirements which also increase my grade. All I did was force myself to ask questions one or two times in the class and now I adapted this way and I also get more confidence when showing my own work to the class.

Blog #16 Webinar

The webinar I chose is “2021 Website Trends – What You Need to Know,” presented by TopSpot Internet Marketing. The speakers were Jordan Peddicord and Josh Blankenship. This webinar covered the Google Algorithm update and the trending of web design in 2021. 

2021 Website Trends – What You Need to Know

I learned a lot of knowledge after listening to this webinar. Most things I learned from school about web design were coding and using wordpress to create a website. In this webinar I learned that it’s important to get the information up to date. In 2020, most of us had to quarantine at home to prevent the spread of the virus. By the meantime, there is a significant increase of the population choosing digital self service and will continue doing this because it is safer and flexible on schedule. One of the Google algorithm updates is “Mobile First Index,” which pointed out the importance of responsive design(mobile-friendly design). Peddicord also mentioned that 50% of searches everyday are from mobile devices, and this showed how mobile friendly design can impact on a business. From the design aspect, I also learned that we should keep the website easy to use, and the information should be easy to find.

Example of a Mega Menu

One of the design trends that Blankenship mentioned was the Mega Menu, the case he showed was interesting. There is a web banner image and the mega menu is placed above the web banner image, once the user hovers the button, another image appears on top of the web banner image, and the banner image becomes darker which drives the user’s eyes to the image in the mega menu.

I think this webinar brought a lot of useful information to me, the speakers were professional and explained their point of views very well and organized. I also learned a lot of professional phrases in the industry which I should adapt soon for my future career. One of the most important things I learned from this webinar is, besides making the website appealing, we also need to think of how we can make a website that is easy to use and help the user to engage the digital experience.

Blog #15 Virtual Trip to Gordon Parks Exhibition

This week, I visited the Gordon Parks virtual exhibition, the Atmosphere of Crime. The Atmosphere of Crime is a book that was published in 1957 by Gordon Parks. Gordon Parks and a reporter, Robert Wallace traveled around in the US using his angle of perspective to capture crimes and trying to discover what is crime.

Gordon Parks, Crime Suspect with Gun, Chicago, Illinois, 1957.
Medium:Inkjet print, printed 2019

Dimensions: 17 15/16 × 11 7/8″ (45.6 × 30.1 cm)

The first piece of artwork that impressed me the most is “Crime Suspect with Gun.” In this photo, there is a silhouette of a person holding a gun walking toward the camera against the light source. The reason I am so impressed by this piece is because of the unknown situation of this photo. At first glance, I was thinking this might be a man holding a gun and he might hurt someone. However, I realized this is a stereotype. It might be a woman holding a gun and trying to protect her kids. Instead of showing the criminals in a clear way, he chose to only show the silhouette, and this approach really impressed me because we never know who is the criminal by just looking at their color, outfit and action. 

Gordon Parks, Drug Search, Chicago, Illinois, 1957
Medium: Inkjet print, printed 2019
Dimensions: 11 7/8 × 17 15/16″ (30.1 × 45.6 cm)

The second piece that I would like to talk about is the “Drug Search.” In this photo, we can see that there is a black man wearing a suit and a hat with his hands raised, and he was frisked by someone. In this piece, Parks still didn’t capture the whole face of the person, however, we can clearly see the skin color of the man. We knew the police were searching for drugs from this man by reading the title of the photo. Even though we knew the police were searching for drugs, we don’t know the result of the searching. In fact, we do not even know why he was frisked. We don’t know if the police have evidence or if the police were judging his skin color.

Gordon Parks, Raiding Detectives, Chicago, Illinois, 1957
Medium: Inkjet print, printed 2019
Dimensions: 11 7/8 × 17 15/16″ (30.1 × 45.6 cm)

The third piece that interested me the most is “Raiding Detectives.” Unlike the two photos that I discussed above, this photo is clear enough to see the main characters. By reading the title, we know that these two men are detectives. We can see there were two detectives in suits in a lobby of a building, and they were trying to break the door, one of them holding something in his hand, likely a gun. I am assuming there might be a crime scene behind the door. The interesting thing is they don’t look nervous, one of them was smiling while kicking the door. 

The virtual trip to Gordon Parks exhibition is a meaningful experience to me. Although there are populations still facing these issues, more and more people accept the diversity in race and culture. I believe the Gordon Parks’ contribution is meaningful and the works he done helped us to make a big step to stop stereotype and discrimination.

Blog #14 App Review #2 Adobe XD

The app that I chose to test today is Adobe XD. Adobe XD is a vector based user experience design tool developed by Adobe Inc. As the semester is coming to the end, we are required to build wireframes, and we also started exploring prototyping in my web design and ux/ui class. Adobe XD and Figma are the most famous tools for prototyping web and mobile projects. Since I’ve been using Adobe applications for most of my academic projects, I chose to use Adobe XD to explore the prototyping process.

Once I open Adobe XD, I will need to choose a file size. The sizes XD provided are the most common devices’ screen size, and I can also customize the size of my project. In the design panel, the navigation is neat and the functions are similar to other adobe applications which makes adobe users adapt to the XD quickly. The repeat grid feature is one of the most convenient features in this application, it allows users to create repeated items and users have the ability to adjust the distance between each item. This feature is best for creating a gallery or list in a website or mobile application. Once the designer finished one page of the website/application, the designer can switch to the artboard tool and create another artboard next to the previous one then the designer can start work on the next page of the project. Once the designer finishes with the design or wireframe of the project, he/she can switch to the prototype panel. In the prototype panel, XD allows users to create interaction between the artboards. For instance, if the designer created a sign up interface, he/she could click the button that he/she created, there will be a blue frame and an arrow around the button, he/she will have to drag the arrow to the design that is followed by the sign up button. Now, the designer can view this action by clicking the play button on the top-right corner. Here is a demo that I created for my ui/ux project.

Wireflow Prototyping

Blog #12 Networking event#2 Adobe MAX Keynote: Create Tomorrow Together

Adobe MAX Keynote: Create Tomorrow Together

Today I attended the Adobe Max networking event. This event is basically introducing what’s new about the Adobe applications. We all had struggled in different levels of difficulty because of the pandemic. Most of us have to stay home to keep safe from the virus. We had a hard time adapting to this whole virtual thing, including virtual learning, meeting and even virtual dating. Now, Adobe is developing their web platform to encourage more and more users to express their ideas and thoughts. For example, now we can access Adobe Acrobat on a web browser without installing the application on our device. Another exciting update is that users can comment on the file and chat in the file live which means the user does not need to export the file and send it to the team or client to get feedback. This is really a good feature because once this feature becomes popular, it will be more convenient for the creative team to communicate and collaborate. Another major change I noticed is the adobe library, which is a feature that I also use a lot. This feature allows users to put artwork into the library and once the artwork is uploaded into the library, the user can use this artwork in any adobe application without going through the old process. 

It’s very exciting to see so many new features in adobe applications. I could see they are trying to develop a better collaboration experience for creative workers. The step that they are making is really opening up more possibilities in the industry.

Blog #11 Response on Fairey Copyright Hope Poster case & Ethical issues of Retouching Imagery

The topic for this week is really interesting to me. The first time that I learned about citation was in high school English class. At that time, I was only 15 years old and I just immigrated here. I didn’t know why I had to cite the article and images but I did it because I want to pass the class. Now, I had a couple years of experience studying in the design field and I started to get why we need to cite the artist/author. After reading the articles, I am more convinced that crediting the author/artist is necessary.

In the past, when I used images online no matter if they are from free stock images or google, I will just use them. Especially a lot of free stock images that do not require attribution. Now, I am very careful when looking for images. I always check if they require attribution before I download the images. Sometimes I will also save the attribution quote in case my instructor wants me to cite the image. Before I cite the articles and images, I always search for the best way to cite them, and I will also use a citation generator to create the citation. 

Steven McCurry photo of Sharbat Gula in 1985 and in 2002

In the case of McCurry, I think it is his freedom to edit his artwork as long as the photograph is not used for journalism articles. Nowaday, even people who do not study design know the basics of editing photos because they want to show the beauty of the world. A lot of social influencers used photoshop or instagram filters before they post the image. If the photos are for journalism purposes, then I think the photojournalist should not add things or subtract things in the images in order to make sure everybody can see the truth.

Shepard Fairey, the Hope Poster, 2008

In the Hope Poster Study case, I think the photographer should be credited because even though the Hope Poster is an appropriation art, the ordinary piece is still an Obama photo that was taken by the photographer. Even though the artist has his own unique style, this famous piece was still built from the original photograph.

After reading the articles from this week’s assignment, I think it’s important to follow design ethics because as a designer, I should express my ideas and thoughts in an appropriate way. During the design process, I should be careful about collecting resources and respect other’s works.

Blog #10 Design Business and Ethics by AIGA

AIGA Design and Business Ethics Handbook

This week’s reading “Design Business and Ethics” by AIGA is very informative. This reading covered a lot of issues, principles and practices to adapt as a professional designer.

At my internship at Faculty Commons, I was told in the beginning of the training program that we should not use outside sources that we don’t have licensed to use. When we create deliverables for the project, we always make sure that we have the correct logo. For instance, I was assigned to create two flyers recently, and I needed to place three different logos at the bottom.  One of the logos was too dark which did not work well with the background. The other two logos have both black and white versions, However, I knew that I could not change the color of the logo because it is illegal. At first, I contacted my team and my client, I was informed that they have a red color logo which might work well with the background. Once I placed the red logo in the flyer, I realized the red logo was too strong compared to the other two. Meanwhile, my supervisor suggested adding a white color bar at the bottom as a container for the logos. This idea worked well and the clients were very happy with the solution.

Blog #8 App Review#1 Trello

The app I chose to test is Trello. Trello is a collaboration tool that helps us to manage our projects into boards. This is a web based, kanban -tyle application which allows team members to check the project progress and update the progress in the same board. My UI/UX instructor, Professor Whysel recommended this application to us. I found this application is beneficial and convenient for both individual and group projects. Users could download this application in their devices using the same account, the data will be synced once users edited any card in the board. It also allows users to create a checklist in each card, so once users finish a step they can cross out the step and move on to another step. Users can also add different details in the card such as due day, description, and label colors.

Overall, this application helps us to organize our project well. In addition, once the user finishes a task, users can drag the card to the “Done” list, and there will be fireworks popping up which will motivate users. Currently, I am using Trello to organize to assignments and the project for my internship. My board looks a little messy right now because I was not familiar enough before, but now I will start to clean up it a little bit and keep using it since I am getting use to it now.

Kanban-style Board
Functions that help us organize each project or assignment.

Blog #7 Networking: Design Thinking 101

Today I attended a virtual networking event, Design Thinking 101 which was an event for people who were interested in UI/UX design. The speakers were Christine Chiang and Joshua Davis. Christine Chiang is an expert in UX design, Joshua Davis was a web designer and now he is also a UX designer. Their conversation was very inspiring. During the event, they talked about what design thinking is. Design thinking is actually problem solving, which starts with empathy. Overall, there are 5 stages of design thinking: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test. During their conversation, I gained a deeper understanding about design thinking, as designers we have to develop human centric solutions so that the user will come back to our product.

After they talked about the 5 stages of the design thinking, they brought up two interesting topics, sketching and testing often. Sketching is important, even though now a lot of people use Adobe xd and other digital tools, sketching is a fast and easy way to develop ideas. During the sketching, designers visualize their idea instead of just thinking in their mind which helps the team and client to see how the idea came from. To test often is also important because once we have the idea and prototype, we have to test and we get the results. The results can reflect the weakness of the prototype and we can go back to our idea and then make a difference so we can test again. This semester, I also have the UI/UX course because I am interested in UI/UX design. This event brought a lot of information to me and the experience of meeting these expert taught me that it’s essential to understand and actually do the 5 stages of the design thinking, because all the steps are connected together. 

Story board/empathy map sketching
Speed Sketching Practice for COMD3562 (UI/UX)
Speed Sketching Practice for COMD3562 (UI/UX)