Week 01

Week 01 – Topics

Course Intro
What is Interaction Design?
Do You Have Your Own Website?
Domain Name Registration
Web hosting
Design Process
Gathering Information: Defining the Problem
Assignment: Client Survey


1) Sign up for a WordPress site at wordpress.com. (If you already have a WordPress class site, you can continue to use the one you already have). For this class, you’ll post your work and track your weekly design process to your class blog. Please post the URL for your class blog to the comment section below.

If you want to learn more about WordPress, check out wordpress.tv.

2) Working in teams of 2 or 3, discuss and complete the client survey for the Design Technology Website Design project we discussed in class. Complete all the sections (except for the General information section). Normally you’d work with the client on completing this survey but in this assignment you’ll take on the role of the client and the audience. This will require you getting “inside the head” of the audience (sometimes referred to as the “user”) to answer several of the client survey questions. Since you ARE the audience for the website, this wil be a good exercise. Think about what you’d like the future website to be. Note, that some of your answers will only be a “best guess” at this stage, but that’s okay.

Using the Client Survey PDF below, copy and paste the questions to another document. I’d recommend creating the document in Word and then saving it out as a PDF. Each team member will post the document to a folder (named lastname_firstname) on the class server and bring the document with you to our next class.

Deliverable: Client Survey

3) Assigned Reading
Building and Managing a Successful Design Team

From our Web Redesign 2.0 textbook:
Chapter 2:  “Core Process Overview”
Chapter 3: “Phase 1: Define the Project” (pg 40-59)

From our textbook: Stylin’ with CSS
Chapter 2: “How CSS Works”

Before our next class, post answers to the following questions on your class blog.
Core Design Process
How many phases are part of the Core Process and what are they?
What is “Scope Creep” and how can you prepare for it?
What are the two ways to combat content delay?
What does the “QA” in QA testing stand for?
What do the authors mean when they refer to “Smart Design?”

Gathering Information
What does the word “Discovery” refer to?
Give me a couple examples of “good client” attributes and “red flag client” warning signs.
Please download the Maintenance Survey and come prepared to discuss.

Understanding your Audience
What is an audience profile? What is another name for it?
Name some of the things you need to analyze when determining an audience’s capabilities?
Download the Expanded Tech-Check and be prepared to discuss in class.

Graphic Design Club

The Graphic Design Club will meet on Thursdays at 12:30pm in Room 104. There are various reasons to join the Graphic Design Club. The first is the sense of community that is built by the club members, a sense of belonging with others who have the same interest. This is especially important for a commuter college like SMC. It is also a chance for students to learn about Graphic Design topics, see exhibits, and hear lectures that are outside the tight frame of class curriculum.

What is Interaction Design?

You know what Web Design is, and you’ve heard of Mobile Design— but what is Interaction Design?
Have you heard of this term?
Do you know what it is?


Interaction design (IxD) is “the practice of designing interactive digital products, environments, systems, and services.” Like many other design fields Interaction Design also has an interest in form but its main focus is on behaviour. What clearly marks Interaction design as a design field as opposed to a science or engineering field is that it is synthesis and imagining things as they might be, moreso than focusing on how things are.

Interaction design is heavily focused on satisfying the needs and desires of the people who will use the product. – Wikipedia

The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Interaction Design

Please read the following: http://www.uxbooth.com/blog/complete-beginners-guide-to-interaction-design/

Do You Have Your Own Website?

If you’re serious about web/mobile/interaction design, It’s really important that you have your own website.

A potential client will expect you to have your own website.  And your own website is a great place to practice improving your design and technical skills. I will support you in this process and am happy to answer any questions you have about creating your own site. Below are the two things you’ll need if you don’t already have them; a domain name and web hosting.

Domain Name Registration



Web Hosting




In this class, we’ll use a Content Management System to create websites for our class blog. A content management system, commonly referred to as a “CMS” is “a computer application used to create, edit, manage, search and publish various kinds of digital media.” For our Process Blogs, we’ll use WordPress but there are many other CMS applications available such as Drupal, Joomla, and Expression Engine.

“WordPress is an open source blog publishing application. WordPress has a templating system, which includes widgets that can be rearranged without editing PHP or HTML code, as well as themes that can be installed and switched between. The PHP and HTML code in themes can also be edited for more advanced customizations. WordPress also features integrated link management; a search engine-friendly, clean permalink structure; the ability to assign nested, multiple categories to articles; multiple author capability; and support for tagging of posts and articles. Automatic filters that provide for proper formatting and styling of text in articles (for example, converting regular quotes to smart quotes) are also included. WordPress also supports the Trackback and Pingback standards for displaying links to other sites that have themselves linked to a post or article. Finally, WordPress has a rich plugin architecture which allows users and developers to extend its functionality beyond the features that come as part of the base install.”


In the design profession, nearly all important projects are too large to be completed by just one person. Because of this, each creative firm strives to develop a culture that fosters effective teamwork.

  • Mutual respect
  • A larger commitment to the project
  • Open communication
  • Monitoring progress daily and weekly

Building and Managing a Successful Design Team
by Shel Perkins

Design Process

Gathering Information: Defining the Problems and Issues

Review the three websites that need to be streamlined into one Design Technology website: What are the current problems and issues with each of the three websites?

Defining the problems and issues is an important step. This step will lead to defining the goals for the site and the project overall. This is not a time to play the critic and to point out to the client all the ways their current site is “bad.” (If the website is successful, they probably don’t need you!) As a designer, you need to be sensitive to the client and develop the skills to effective communicate the current issues/problems and how to move towards a better solution. Your role as the designer is to be a problem solver.

10 Principles Of Effective Web Design

  1. Don’t make users think
  2. Don’t squander users’ patience
  3. Manage to focus users’ attention
  4. Strive for feature exposure
  5. Make use of effective writing
  6. Strive for simplicity
  7. Don’t be afraid of the white space
  8. Communicate effectively with a “visible language”
  9. Conventions are our friends
  10. Test early, test often



  1. Jessica September 2nd

  2. Kristine Norby September 3rd

  3. Channing Chan Chan Hot Damn! Ross September 6th

  4. Casey Sullivan September 6th

  5. Luis September 6th

  6. Maria Nyren September 7th

  7. Leah Bisch September 7th

  8. Jennifer James September 7th

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  9. Jennifer James September 7th

  10. Phil September 7th

  11. Nat Meza September 7th

  12. Bridget Howard September 7th

  13. Eric Oxenberg September 7th

  14. Don Baggett September 7th

  15. Felix Montanez September 8th

  16. max macapagal September 8th

  17. Julian F September 8th

  18. becky neson September 8th

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  19. Tommy Cannon September 8th

  20. Sarah Luna September 8th

  21. Yousef Al Nasef September 15th

  22. Justin Savella September 15th

  23. Ernie Tran September 17th

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Instructor for Graphic Design 67