12 Forbes Terrace
Pittsburgh, PA 15217












Tuesday, August 26, 2003

So it begins II

Today I started two more classes: Computing in Design and Interaction and Visual Interface.

Computing in Design used to be Intro to Programming for Designers, where they taught the design students the basics of Java. So many students complained about it that this year instead the focus is on Actionscript, the coding language used by Flash. Of course, the day we start class is the day after Macromedia announces a new version of Flash. Oh well. And I just bought my copy like two months ago too. Grrr...

In any case, the class uses Actionscript as a basis to teach us the basics of object-oriented programming while providing us with a tool we'll actually use in other classes and in professional practice. It's being taught by Ian Hargraves, a second-year interaction design student and TAed by Jeff Howard, one of the first-year ID students.

Chances are, I won't be writing overmuch about this class, since, while useful, probably a good portion of what I'm learning about can be learned elsewhere.

My other class was Interaction and Visual Interface Design, taught by professor Jodi Forlizzi. This class is going to be very project-based, with four longer projects and several one-day ones thrown in as "quizzes."

We talked about three trends in design over the last 50 years: a systematic way of breaking down design problems (human factors and HCI), then having users design (participatory design), and the most recent, a combination of user and a designer's knowledge.

What is interface design? Interfaces are the "skin between the product and the world it exists in." The skin can be a digital image or it can be an environment, like the inside of Starbuck's, or a physical set of controls like the dashboard of a car. Interfaces offer the user a "story of use." That is: here's how to experience/use me.

We then launched right into our first project: Expression and Physical Interaction. We're going to be looking at physical objects (like, say, an egg beater) and create from them a list of rich interactions that could be applied to a digital context. Then we're going to apply them to a simple scheduling application.

First, though, we're creating mood boards made of images based around various words: vision, hearing, touch, place, pose, movement, and facial expression. We'll use these throughout the course as a sort of pallete to refer to.

Homework tonight: working on my Studio and Seminar homeworks for class tomorrow. So it begins. My life isn't my own any more.

posted at 10:26 PM in big ideas, classes, classmates, faculty, interface design, projects, software | comments (1) | trackback (0)


‹‹ preceding entries




3D (2)
alumni (6)
assistantships (3)
big ideas (28)
classes (20)
classmates (21)
cmu (22)
cognition (1)
cpid program (3)
design 101 (30)
design theory (21)
extracurricular (15)
faculty (11)
field trips (5)
hci program (4)
info design (3)
interface design (6)
meta (8)
money (5)
papers (5)
photography (5)
preparation (6)
projects (49)
readings (33)
software (8)
special guest stars (15)
student life (19)
teaching (2)
techniques (12)
thesis paper (10)
thesis project (5)
typography (9)
visualization (8)


Week of Jun 6, 2004
Week of May 30, 2004
Week of May 23, 2004
Week of May 9, 2004
Week of May 2, 2004
Week of Apr 25, 2004
Week of Apr 18, 2004
Week of Apr 11, 2004
Week of Apr 4, 2004
Week of Mar 28, 2004
Week of Mar 21, 2004
Week of Mar 14, 2004
Week of Feb 29, 2004
Week of Feb 22, 2004
Week of Feb 15, 2004
Week of Feb 8, 2004
Week of Feb 1, 2004
Week of Jan 25, 2004
Week of Jan 18, 2004
Week of Jan 11, 2004
Week of Jan 4, 2004
Week of Dec 7, 2003
Week of Nov 30, 2003
Week of Nov 23, 2003
Week of Nov 16, 2003
Week of Nov 9, 2003
Week of Nov 2, 2003
Week of Oct 26, 2003
Week of Oct 19, 2003
Week of Oct 12, 2003
Week of Oct 5, 2003
Week of Sep 28, 2003
Week of Sep 21, 2003
Week of Sep 14, 2003
Week of Sep 7, 2003
Week of Aug 31, 2003
Week of Aug 24, 2003
Week of Aug 17, 2003
Week of Aug 3, 2003
Week of Jul 27, 2003
Week of Jul 20, 2003
Week of Jul 13, 2003
Week of Jul 6, 2003
Week of Jun 29, 2003
Week of Jun 22, 2003
Week of Jun 8, 2003
Week of Jun 1, 2003
Week of May 25, 2003
Week of May 18, 2003
Week of May 11, 2003


Full Entries


Want more spam? Sign up to receive this blog via email:


All straight lines circle sometime. - The Weakerthans