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What I Learnt This Week – Week 6 (mfer5686)

Michele Fernandez

My list for this week goes:

  • Grids come from Bauhaus.
  • Design trends come and go and then come back again, but if we are aware of principles we can create timeless work anyway.
  • When in doubt go with black and white.
  • Gradients feel natural because that´s the way color works in real life.
  • We should be careful when using color scheme tools because “design evokes emotion, no computer can give you that” nik
  • Yellow and black are the highest contrast combination ever.
  • I still love Dieter Rams 🙂

Image source: pinterest


Week 06 – What I Learnt This Week – mlai2112

Summary of this week

This is a brief summary on what I learnt this week.

Constructivism: is about how human able to learn or interpret information based on their knowledge and experience. ie we can use visual to express a message

lect 6

–> The lines and shapes that coming from her mouth, look like a loud speaker to me. I can imagine she is speaking with a loud voice.

In tradition, many people dislike clean geometry presentation of information.
We come down to moderation, we like simple, clean, rational and honesty feeling of presentation and structure.

Example of a good presentation:

lect 6 -02

Here is what I learn from this example above:
– we can see movement by the up and down rectangles.
– Yellow is a very strong colour that can draw out attention -> “caution”
– Alignment created invisible lines, continuation and group things together
– very basic form
– used and arranged surnames to create a smooth curvy line
– grab attention

Common Errors

I also found out the common errors that we might make in our assignment, such as the use of colour.

  • limit the number of colour used, 1 is good, 2 are adventure, more are dangerous. This is because we might not able to use it well. if we used lot of colour, then we have higher chance to use it badly and make it out of place.
  • use colour theory to show why you chose these colour (ie contrast & supplement colours)
  • choose a dominant colour
  • may be use colour palette (provide similar feeling & not too contrasting)v
  • Colour Volume (think carefully about use a certain colour in a large scale because user might get pissed off at it).
  • could try to go off from main colour
  • neighbours (use neighbour colour to create a gradient for a easing feeling)
    ie red fade into orange colour is good. red fade into green is bad.

  • Group & cluster
    • easy to look for information
    • use colour line to group thing together
    • don’t use “border” everywhere (ie too confusing, too confronting and too messy)
  • Layout – don’t try to impress another designer, and consider about what the majority of people think when they interact with an interface design
  • DON’T USE “TIMES NEW ROMAN” – because it is the default and it is not impressive at all.
  • good use of negative space – in the end, we look at what you can drop to create more empty space. I think if we do not have enough negative space, we might lose the impression of being a ‘clean’ design

– Vicky

Week 05 – What I Learnt This Week – mlai2112

I learnt about different structures of site map and its use for various purposes. Site map is similar to flow chat but we can use it to organise the navigation of each information, such as where does the link fall into, is it a link from a submenu, how many steps/clicks user need to find this information.

For example, a straight linear structure is more suitable for installation, where it takes one step at a time to lead user to complete the process.
[a] -> [b] -> [c] -> [d]

I learnt about what structure is too shallow or too deep. If we have all links under homepage, then it is too shallow. If we need user to go through 5 pages to find the information then probably too deep. User could not remember or presented with 4+ information at the same time, and it used to be 7+.

I also find out that it is very important to understand the eye tracking psychology. Eyetracking evaluate how user see a interface design, such as where they look at or what area they would skip. For example, the advertisements always on the right, so we might ignore the right session of content pages unconsciously as to avoid advertisement. The usual eye tracking pattern is ‘F’.

I also pick up the card sort methods. There are two types, one is close card sort and another is open card sort. Close card sort is about someone provide you with all the title for each content page, and you just need to arrange it. Open card sort give you flexibility of what and how you want to group the information together by put into different title that you think of. The one we did in class was close card sort method, where Nik provided all the titles for us.



Week 4 – Pitch Presentations & Branding

It was a lot of fun with the pitch presentations this week. Lots of different ways of approaching the brief and idea. Michele’s method of telling the story of how she organised collections of marbles as a kid was particularly memorable.

Then it was time for branding. I know brands are extremely valuable, but some of the statistics in the lecture were still astonishing. And staying on the topic of branding, Google announced a new logo and updated identity today (umm, perks of doing this a bit late I think? *sheepish*), and I found it to be a very interesting read. The logo was also imagined to be something fluid, that communicates to the user even when search terms are being processed. It was an interesting departure from the traditional static form.

Staying on the topic of logos, Abduzeedo usually does posts on logo design where they pick a particular item or theme – such as cursive lettering, pandas or teeth. I think their selections are usually very fascinating, and it goes to how much room there is to get really creative on common themes.



Then it was the illustrator tutorial. Now I know how non-programmers might feel like in a programming class. It looks like a good grasp of the pen tool is very useful skill to have. I’ll definitely need more practice to get better at this. If anyone else also needs help with some of this, I came across this the other day –  “Games for designers“, which had some simple games for pen tool and illustrator newbies like me. 🙂

What I Learnt This Week – Week 5 (mfer5686)

Michele Fernandez

I learnt that  most people remember 4 items for 30 seconds so there’s scientific research to excuse myself for my bad memory. If i have to choose one thing i don’t want forget from this class is this fact. It should be useful not just to impress people with my vast knowledge of interface do’s and don’ts but to improve myself as a communicator in general. I already knew people have bad memory, but it turns out we are much worse than i thought.

I liked to find out about the F pattern and the golden triangle too. I knew that most websites place their logo and important content in the left top corner but i didn’t know there was such a clear pattern illustrating why this is common practice.

Also It was fun to see how each team organized their sections for a website, every group followed a different logic to do so and we got to sit on the floor 😀

Week 5 – What I learnt this week! – (aabi0651)

We started off with a lecture on Information Architecture. We were given insights as to what exactly is the job of an Information Architect and how much of it intersects with the domain of Interface Design. All the relational and UML diagrams shown in the class were not new to me as I have been familiar with them in my software engineering undergrad. Thus it was easy for me to get the grip of what was being explained in class under this topic.

Next Nik showed us different examples of sitemaps, which ranged from too cluttered, complex and unorganized to simpler and more efficient ones. I got introduced to Wurmann’s 5 hat racks of Information organization and Lynch & Hortons Site Paradigms. They proved really helpful to understand how to plan the navigation of your site so that it is both optimal and fits the need of the product as well.

By the end of the lecture I had a sound understanding of what is expected of an Interface Designer in terms of Information Architecture and what are the things I need to keep in consideration while making my designs.

Week 4 – What I learnt this week! – (aabi0651)

This week we had to present our pitch decks for our proposed bookmarking product. I was amazed to see the quality of presentations that came up from classmates, both in content design and delivery. It really inspired me and t be honest, provoked a sense of competition as well.

Later, there was lecture on Branding this week. Even though, I previously had an idea that a value of a brand can be stupendous as compared to all its other assets, but the examples Nik showed us in the class even exceeded my expectations.

We were then shown a couple of amazing logo examples. I learnt how a thing as simple as just a logo can be so much detailed and deliver so much information. It was clear in all the examples that a lot of thought process and hard work has been put to design each one of them. I later came back and found a couple of good examples myself such as:




In the end, Nik gave us a tutorial on how to use Adobe Illustrator. Since I have never used Illustrator before, it seemed pretty complex at first, but as the tutorial went on I started to get the hang of it. But I think I need a lot of practice to catch up with my class mates as most of them come from a design background and Illustrator is probably one of the tools which is on their fingertips.

What I learned this week (Week 5 rnoo6951)

This week was a little bit information heavy (pun intended). I got a glimpse into the world of Information Architecture. While I am familiar with its existence, I perhaps may have been avoiding it purely for its daunting appearance.


All text and no graphics makes Rez a dull boy.

But I’ll be lying if I didn’t mention how crucial they are to an organization. There’s only so much a graphic designer can do before the all the link arrangements simply don’t make any sense anymore. I have encountered this before when trying to make websites and trying to organize which links go where – they’re not as simple as I thought. Now if I had read up on Richard Saul Wurman earlier on, then I would have realized that there should be someone else planning the site. This is an interesting area of study because it seems to fall heavily on psychology. How does one quantify the importance of one set of information compared to another?

The Information Architecture checklist also seems a little bit ridiculous. That is a lot of considerations to take into account. Also FACCUCCALD isn’t an acronym that quite rolls off the tongue either. Information Architecture from what I’ve seen seems to be a job for the meticulous and detail oriented. I’m interested to find out in where this process fits into the workflow? If the Info Architect decides to change something do all the programmers/designers  gather to lynch him?

Another question I have is that what is the future of the Information Architect? This seems like an extremely important position yet there aren’t many university programs or career paths that lead to this. Will this job be merged with the User Experience designer? I’ve searched on and it seems that this job pays very well. Again though, I personally am not sure if I can handle this lack of colours and pretty objects.

What I learnt last week (week 4 rnoo6951 coz I was late to post this)

I really should get these reflections back on schedule. Perhaps it was the convergence of all assessments due around about the same time that threw me off track. But I digress.

In week 4, we actually all presented our early concepts for what we want to achieve in bookmarking. I learned that a lot of my classmates have a very good design sense. Their presentations looked very nice overall. I also realized that 3 minutes really isn’t much time so it was better to focus on the product pitch rather than too much user research. While I’m not discounting the importance of user research, spending too much time on that will really force you to compress the part where you’re actually pitching your product idea.

The class afterwards was focused on branding, something I’ve studied on and off over the course of the past 10 years. The ideas of the brand being worth perhaps more than the assets of the company was not really surprising, but rather inspiring. I guess a true brand is only built through time and history. This is the reason I personally feel why Apple is destroying their competitors. They have a brand. In fact they’re closer to a fashion label than they are a tech company. They never talk about specs, they talk about how wonderful their products are to use. Furthermore almost all celebrities use iPhones now. Android phones, while remarkable, are so concerned about specs and features – but their names just don’t bear any weight. HTC, Samsung, LG, Motorola, Lenovo, Asus, Oppo, Huawei – these are tech companies or appliance companies – they’re not brands that excite the public.

Having said that – it’s not impossible to create a brand now. OnePlus and Xiaomi in China have moved away from the spec battle and created phones that resonate with the people. They’re not the most powerful beasts, but they are relatively well built (and cheap). However, if you look at their marketing strategies – Xiaomi is focused mainly on fun while OnePlus is focused on exclusivity. There’s something about the products that a company makes over time that creates an affinity towards them. Companies such as Dyson – phenomenal engineering with industrial designs over many, many years put them high above the rest in terms of desirability for home appliances. We must also consider consistency because you can ruin a brand just as quickly as you’ve built one. Sony is the biggest culprit here. They used to be the market leader making the most desirable electronic products. Somewhere along the line, however, they’ve lost their way and are contented in sitting on the bylines creating decent products but not products that affect the zeitgeist.

I’m also struggling to remember which logos I like best. There’s a game on the app store called “guess the logo” and they just show you logos and you have to guess what company they belong to. You’ll be surprised how many logos have been burned into your brain. Unfortunately, there seems to be a disconnect between the best brands and the best logos. There are plenty of wonderful logos out there, but they’re not connected to any super brand.  Anyways here’s my take on logos.


This one is really popular on the design blogs. The Spartan helmet. Unfortunately, I’ve never heard of the Spartan Golf Club.


Pepsi’s logo is funny because it looks like a fat man’s belly sticking out from under his shirt.

chupa-chups-logo-dali Chupa-chups.svg

Now this one is a personal favourite not because of how it’s designed, but rather because it was designed by Salvador Dali. The logo was revised to the one on the right in 1988. Dali was adamant that the logo be placed on the top of the candy so it would remain whole.

Also I found this blog that shows the hidden meaning behind some logos. I didn’t know Toblerone’s logo had a bear in it!

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