Categories
briefs

People as pixels

An experiment carried out by John Maeda at MIT (Computational Media Design Course) in 1996. Described in his book Creative Code (p.216):

As a continuation of the collaborative coding process, we attempted an experiment to better understand visual design on the computer. In the atrium of the Media Lab, we rigged up a camera on the fourth floor pointing downward; in the lower lobby, we projected the image seen from above so that the students (as pixels) could see themselves. The idea was that each student took charge and “programmed” the pixels, whether by script or direct commands.

Maeda mentions the source of this idea:

My inspiration for this experiment was a Bauhaus story of an old Master taking his students to the gymnasium to walk on the paths of large circles to graps the form’s essence.

Categories
briefs

One-line-at-a-time collaborative programming experiment

An experiment carried out by John Maeda at MIT (Computational Media Design Course) in 1996. Description from his book Creative Code (2004):

One day I brought a computer and projector to class. I opened up an empty Java program skeleton, and asked the class to edit the program as a collaborative process, whereby one line of code was entered by each person.

Categories
briefs

design tools survey

An assignment by Manuel Schmalstieg at EAA La Chaux-de-Fonds. The students had to produce a survey of tools and methods used in a professional field.

A class of Interactive Design students created a “2018 survey” of design tools used by digital agencies, in Switzerland and France.

The tasks involved:

  • Defining the questions of the survey.
  • Selecting an online survey tool (we chose Typeform)
  • Building a contact list to mail out the survey.
  • Creating a Mailchimp newsletter to send out the survey and allow for follow-up.
  • Designing a visual concept for the presentation of the survey results (we used Figma).
  • Coding the website.

Time available: 28 hours (in 7 sessions).

The initial brief: https://github.com/eaa-imd/designtools

The resulting website: https://eaa-imd.github.io/designtools/

Categories
briefs workshops

8 hour UX workshop

An assignment by Meylin Bayryamali, for a UX workshop at ISCOM Paris, a prestigious business school.

I divided the 62 students into groups of 4 (2 groups of 5). Every group had to deliver a prototype of either an online shop or dog sitting website.

The students had to deliver: personas, user flows and 5 pages prototype of a desktop website.

Source: https://uxdesign.cc/figma-in-the-classroom-439814cd9e6d

Categories
briefs

Typeset a classic novel

Typeset a classic novel in HTML/CSS. A proposal from Robin Rendle’s newsletter, Adventures in Typography:

If I could go back in time to teach my younger self about typesetting then I reckon that this is where I’d start: “Take your favorite book,” I’d say “and design the absolute heck out of it.”

Let’s say you want to learn how to set type on the web, for example. Then I would argue that it’s more important that you get the fundamentals of typography down first before you go and learn about React or some giant-framework-to-do-app-thing. And the easiest way to learn the fundamentals is copying all the text from To the Lighthouse or Moby Dick or whatever your favorite book happens to be, and throwing it into Codepen. Then you can try and make it all easier to read, slowly, bit by bit.

Categories
briefs

Weather Apps / applications météo

A project by Javier Lopez with students at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), presented in Ellen Lupton’s book Type on Screen (2014). In French:

Ce projet (…) a permis aux étudiants de concevoir des prototypes d’application météo. Outre la création d’une famille d’icônes représentant les différentes conditions météorologiques, les étudiants ont produit des mises en page pour la journée ou la semaine.

Categories
briefs

HTML posters

A project by Kristian Bjørnard with students at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), presented in Ellen Lupton’s book Type on Screen (2014). In French:

Bjørnard a demandé aux étudiants de créer une affiche uniquement en langage HTML, CSS, avec un peu de JavaScript. (…) Certains étudiants ont choisi de rendre hommage à l’histoire du design, en recréant des compositions célèves de l’histoire des médias imprimés dans le cadre limité du web.

Categories
briefs

Worst of the Web

An assignment in User Interface Design, by Prof. Claudia Jacques, at Bronx Community College.

Identify what is bad interface design, navigation, functionality, interactivity, content distribution in a website or app and find a positive solution to that site.

Source: http://bccart87.claudiajacques.com/project-1-worst-of-the-web/

Categories
briefs

user empathy challenge

A brief created at Automattic, for members of the design team:

“Our task was to pick one of our fellow designers’ blog posts and come up with a plan to get it over 1,000 views on a financial budget of $20 and a time budget of two hours.”

Read more on the Automattic Design Blog.

Categories
briefs

retype five pages of content

An assignment by Kenneth Goldsmith, at University of Pennsylvania:

One class assignment asks students to retype five pages of content of their choice. Students who type out everything from restaurant menus to presidential speeches often find the assignment relaxing, Goldsmith said. It’s the first time they can just focus on the act of typing, instead of struggling to argue a thesis or create an original piece of work, he added.

The Daily Pensylvanian, 2011

Goldsmith writes about it:

Others say that it was the most intense reading experience they ever had, with many actually embodying the characters they were retyping. Several students become aware that the act of typing or writing is actually an act of performance, involving their whole body in a physically durational act (even down to noticing the cramps in their hands). Some of the students become intensely aware of the text’s formal properties and for the first time in their lives began to think of texts not only as transparent, but as opaque objects to be moved around a white space.