Week 14 — Gestalt

April 20, 2011 at 3:00 am (ED TECH 506) (, , , )

Okay, I will admit it, I was really not looking forward to this week when I saw we were being introduced to Gestalt. It just sounds intimidating. In the end, it was funny to read the chapter and notice how gestalt basically is integration of much of the other chapters we read this semester, which, of course, explains the name of the lesson on the course site. The piece that jumped out to me the most, and which I tried to address in my deliverable for the assignment, was the idea of having clear sections on a Web page for certain types of information. There is something common sensical about user interface and Web design; however, at the same time, it is easy to over do things. Smart, consistent placement is a clear advantage to all learners/users of a Web page. As our final projects are to be built using Web pages, and since I was focusing on creating lessons for teachers, targeting that design this week made sense.

In terms of my Twitter posting for gestalt, I focused on much the same aspect, but with a printed page spread from a guitar and piano chord practice/instructional book. The design includes locator tabs to tell what key is being viewed, guitar figner placement on the left-hand page, and piano placement on the right-hand page. The consistent, repetitive format did the trick and also made it easy to know where to look each time.

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Week 13 — White Space

April 13, 2011 at 1:33 am (ED TECH 506) (, , , , )

As I mentioned in my assignment posting this week, the concept of white space is very challenging for me. I tend to prefer words and packing space pretty tightly. The built in spacing off ends of sentences, paragraphs, and indents are the only white space that I feel I need in writing. I am not intimidated by dense pages, but completely understand that this makes me an anomaly. Many others¬†will be put off by dense text blocks, and dense images are no different. You wouldn’t want to lose your learner simply because the image was so confusing that they just couldnn’t understand what they were looking at.

My treatment of white space focused on my student journal pages cover sheet. This is a page that is used to identify the type of content the students are developing, but, also, hopefully, my approach added a little interest in the way the page is set up. Obviously, the cover will not, by itself, make students want to journal, but maybe it will make it a little less like work. It definitely was a challenge for me to approach the white space project, but I feel happy with my final composition.

As for my twitter post this week, I chose a card given to us by our dealership when we recently purchased a new vehicle. There are a couple different uses of white space within one document, and they clearly took asymmetry to heart in adding images and text to create balance and draw the eye to the right areas. I can even see some of the gestalt concepts in place that I have been reading about for Week 14’s assignment.

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Week 12 — Organization

April 7, 2011 at 3:44 am (ED TECH 506) (, , , )

Organization as a principle is interesting, as it is really a focus of any good image, but wasn’t introduced until later in the course. Organization does not mean plain, but this principle really has a great deal of “less is more” quality to it. At the same time, we have to continue to ensure that we are using colors, shapes, depths, and all our other learnings in each image. That, of course, is the major challenge!

As for my work this week, I completed a very simple blackline master/printable worksheet to support my unit. So, my choice was really a very simple, segmented worksheet that conveyed the questions in a reasonable, workable manner. I tried to keep group content, create headings, number questions, and so on to keep the page clean and child friendly. Since I focused on organization using a black and white page, I wanted to incorporate something a little more interesting, so I created a grayscale version of my word art for inclined planes and included that in the activity sheet header; not to distract, but to create that link to the other materials.

My Twitter posting intentionally included a simple image, but one with a little color to help organize. This rule sheet for my pre-reading son needed to have clear demarcation between rules, and numbers, so we could practice and learn. Above all, though, we needed him to stop hitting all the time, so that rule appeared with a large, red star and red text with underlines to draw the focus at the end of the list to an important addition.

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