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Week 5: Visual Motifs, Finding Images, and Information Architecture

I think our in-class workshop on Thursday showed us two things: 1) The CSS Zen Garden Redesign assignment has the potential to yield some incredibly creative website designs. 2) It’s going to take a lot of work to create compelling designs from scratch. I hope week 5 will provide you with the tools and the time to develop a solid draft of your Zen Garden project.

On Tuesday, we will discuss the process of turning a vague theme into a concrete visual motif, then we’ll start hunting for free, public-domain, and/or Creative Commons-licensed images to use in your new designs. Before you come to class, you should select a theme for your Zen Garden project, then email Quinn with a short proposal/description of what you plan to do. You should also read the four articles linked under the “Design Report” section on the CSS Zen Garden Redesign assignment page.

On Thursday we will take a slight detour and begin exploring the art and science of information architecture. You’ll need to read a few pages from Krug and the two articles linked on the Calendar. Although we won’t be working on the Zen Garden assignment in class on Thursday, you should continue working on your individual designs outside of class throughout Week 5. By Tuesday of Week 6, you will need to have a complete draft of your design to share with your classmates during our in-class critique exercise.

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to email me, add a comment to this post, or stop by my office during office hours (T/Th 11-noon and 1-2 in 435 Ross Hall).

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