Yeah… yeah… I’m THAT teacher. It’s kind of unavoidable in a once per week class, I’m afraid
This week’s homework is actually a bundle o’ mini-assignments. Although most can be done quickly, give each one at least a little lovin’ attention. Plan to spend a few hours on the homework total. Everything is expected to be complete at the beginning of class on Thursday, September 15. No late work will be accepted.
- If you haven’t already, join Del’s Digital Classroom via the invite sent to your SCC e-mail account. Step-by-step instructions on joining are located here. If you did not get the invitation, let me know a.s.a.p. and I will resend.
- Read the course syllabus for CGA140: Web Design.
- Fill out and sign the syllabus questionnaire.
- Buy your textbook. You will need it shortly.
- Arrange a means for storing your work for CGA140. This can be on a flash drive or through an online storage provider like Dropbox.
- Complete the required reading:
- Go through this website on the basics of visual analysis for design (a site with good written information, even if the design doesn’t practice what it preaches). Read all the links under “Elements and Principles” (pictured). There are 13 pages total to visit. You will notice that the principles of design listed on the site are not precisely the same as the ones we discussed in class. That is fairly typical, since there is no widespread agreement on what constitutes core principles. Even so, the general ideas are the same.
- Read this page on the different parts of a website. (optional, since we didn’t get to it in class).
- Read the short selection from Design for Hackers, by David Kadavy.
Add a comment to this post with a brief 2-4 paragraph visual analysis of one good and one bad website. Visual analysis involves critiquing the appearance of a design according to the the elements and principles of design. As Kadavy points out in the selection you read from Design for Hackers, functionality cannot ultimately be separated from appearance in web design. However, visual analysis is a good place to start, so, for this assignment, we are going to narrow our focus as much as possible to consider straight up aesthetics. Sorry ugly websites…today it doesn’t matter whether you have a good personality… it’s all about looks! Hey… this assignment is kind of like Tinder. 😛
Begin this process by spending some time looking around the web at different types of sites. Take some time to think about their visual design. What’s looks good? What doesn’t look good? Lines, shapes, textures, spaces, values, colors? Why do or don’t these elements look good? Do they affect the balance, proportion, emphasis, rhythm, movement, unity or variety? Breaking the design down into the elements and principles an help you figure why you are reacting the way you are to the appearance. Performing a visual analysis for two websites of a similar type can also help. For example, if you find a really beautiful website for an online clothing retailer, see if you can discover another retailer whose site is correspondingly terrible. That way you can directly compare.
As you research sites, take note of the good and the bad. Select the #1 best and the #1 worst of the bunch and paste them as two links in a comment on this homework post. Instructions on making a comment are available here. Then, write your comparison telling us why the good site looks good and the bad site looks bad according to the elements and principles of visual design.