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Defining Good Design – TSL WK 1 – Visual Design

By January 17, 2013Design, Education

Entering the design classroom of The Starter League for the Visual Design Class was a joy as we were greeted by instructor and designer Mig Reyes, designer at 37 Signals. With a wealth of knowledge, experience and design expertise, this course seems to be far more than simply selecting colors and fonts. This posting will be my opportunity to interpret the events of learning that will take place.

After a quick overview of his experience and passion for design, the class was given the opportunity of introduction by sharing backgrounds, occupations and expectations about the course. The range of diversity was amazing, linking local account executives to programmers from around the globe with a desire to learn design. The discussion was an excellent icebreaker and created more anticipation on how the diversity would shape shift activities and learning as a whole.

Following intros, Mig shared insight on what good design is where he highlighted several areas that included descriptive examples and video representation. Here are some points:

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Expressing how complimenting an object can make a message clear

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Acknowledging how it can motivate people to take action

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Depicting how much relative worth that it can bring to someone

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Touched on how a perception of quality can add to a body of work

After the brief overview, we were instructed to break up into teams and discover good and bad websites. This was a chance to collectively decide and share thoughts on how we viewed the sites and the reason why.
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Vimeo– An example of good web design

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LingsCars – An example of bad web design

Upon discovery each team was asked to communicate decisions based on their selections as a role playing activity. Mig challenged design decisions and posed questions to drive thought behind the development choices, while engaging students to share. Following this excersize and a bit of reflection, a twist was added allowing teams of previous good/bad design choices make adjustments to the site that they would like to see. One by one each team justified their submissions by communicating why.
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– Revised – LingsCar revised edition

Considerations/Takeaways:
The highlight of the activities was the ability to communicate clearly about the how, why and reasoning behind design choices. In addition, it exposed students on how to work with a team, make decisions as a team and communicate it all. Understanding that people have different backgrounds and reflect different perspectives could add to the difficulty of being able to talk about it. This all leads to accepting the following defining statement…

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Until then,

Design with LIFE in MIND…

A. Duke

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