Wednesday, December 7, 2011

User-centered design: What are major features of workplace documents that display user-centered design? Offer an example of a workplace document.

User Center Design, or UCD, is a process by which a design in which is sensible to all the people who will use the product. Designers make sure they are aware that the audience is their number one importance. The design process goes through different steps in order to meet the audience’s requirements: Analysis Phase, Design Phase, Implementation Phase and Deployment Phase. In the Analysis Phase, the designer investigates what this document must include, such as important information and the message it’s trying to convey. In this phase, the designer looks at different user scenarios. In the Design Phase, the ideas come into play. Design concepts are thought of and prototypes are tested. In the Implementation Phase, usability test are performed and the design is implemented. In the Deployment Phase, the designer receives feedback from the user.

The document above is a based on a user-centered design. It is an airline safety card. This safety card shows what you should do in care of an emergency. Since many people travel from all different places, there are no words on this document. The pictures serve as a universal language. If this card was given to different people who speak different languages, the message would still get across. This is a successful UCD document.

Document Design: Find a government document that is intended to present information but has such poor design

Tax return forms are important forms to fill out for people in many countries. Taxes are given to the government, however, many people qualify for tax returns. A tax return is a document indicating the annual income and circumstance of a family that is used by the government in order to give citizens back money they could use. There are often many people who do not understand how to fill out a tax return form. There are instructions but the instructions may be a bit confusing to many people.

The image above is the cover of a packet that explains to a person how to fill out a tax return form. This is a government document that is read by many people. This particular instructions manual is for filling out a Tax Return form in New Delhi. This document is a boring document. There are no colors or images in order to make reading this easy. It is straight to the point. This text is word-heavy which does not appeal to people. Although this is a government document, there is no need for this to be dull and borings. Many people have to read this document and understand it in order to fill out their tax return forms. Why make it hard on people? If people do not read this document and do not fill out the f but are eligible for a tax return, they let the government keep the money they could have gotten back. This government document does a good job at not keeping the attention of readers and making this text hard and difficult to read by being text heavy and not appealing to the eye.

Color Theory: Choose a fast-food logo that conforms to the idea about primary colors and explain

The primary colors are Red, Yellow and Blue. These colors are said to give off a sense of urgency or quickness. Many fast food joints have logos that contain the primary colors. The image above is the logo of a famous fast food joint called Burger King. This logo contains all three primary colors in the logo. This logo looks like a burger itself. The two yellow portions of this logo symbolize the bread while the words in bold red, “BURGER KING,” takes the place of the insides of a burger, namely the meat, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles mayonnaise, ketchup and whatever else this burger may contain. The blue semi-circle is there to show that the burger is contained and secure. The blue semi-circle is thicker at the bottom then fades out as it reaches the top of the logo.

Fast food joints are found on major streets in cities in which many passersby are able to see and access with ease. The logos contain bright, well known colors which catch the eye of many. The primary colors are bright and fit well together, as this logo for Burger King shows. The sense of urgency is given off my these colors with represent the “fast” aspect in the fast food joint. When attempting to find some place to eat something fast, driving down a main street in a town or city and looking at the logos on the site of the street is a good way to see various fast food joints. The logos are fun-looking and because of their colors, they are easy to point out.

Remediation: Choose a “new media” form of today and, with an image, reveal how it “refashion(s) older media”

Music is an art form that has been around through the centuries. From the beginning, live music was the only way to access new music. Later on, the record player was invented in order to play vinyl records. A record player, also known as a phonograph, was used in the early 20th century in order to record and replay music. The records could hold about 25 minutes of music but could be flipped over and hold more music. Back when record players were used, this was a great amount of music.

Today, music is everywhere. As phonographs were used back in the day, iPods are the new trend. An iPod is a device that plays music as well as other features. IPods, unlike record albums, are able to hold thousands of songs. With the increased amount of technology today, iPods have the capacity of holding music more music than was ever thought possible back in the day of records. There are different types of iPods. On an iPod Touch, for example, you are able to play music, take pictures, read books and play games. This device is taking the place of many other forms of media such as a phonograph and a hard copy book. As years progress, technology finds new ways of replacing old media with new media.

Website Ethos: Using a website that is widely accepted as credible, point on the site design or citation flaws that cause it to have poor ethos

The internet has a variety of uses. People can search what things are, how to do a certain thing as well as countless other questions. If a search engine, like Google or Yahoo, is used, the first “hits” are the most credible websites. One of this sites that often appears is called This site offers various pages on just about anything you could imagine. From “Setting Up a Creative Party Table” to “How to Run on a Treadmill,” the list is endless. This website is thought of as being credible. Many people get their information off of, but is all of the information that is posted true?

When you read an article on, it all seems credible. One thing most people fail to question is where is the presented information coming from? is a site where writers can express their knowledge on a certain topic. None of the articles are cited, however. All the information that is presented seems to simply be coming from the author’s heads. Do all of the authors know everything about the topic they are writing about? is a credible website that contains articles that are not properly cited. This displays poor ethos.

Photographic portrayals of violence: Investigate the ethical transgression or ethical reserve that a particular photo displays

Images containing violence are not ones that are appropriate for all viewers. This image was taken in Egypt during the 2011 protests. This image depicts 3 civilians attempting to avoid getting hit by sticks held by government officials. Other civilians attempt to avoid confrontation with the officers as seen in the upper left hand corner of the image where it seems that civilians are attempting to get away from the officers.

Government officials, including police officers and soldiers from the army are supposed to represent people of good, ethical standing in society. This image does the opposite for the officials shown in this image. The badges, uniforms and equipment are signs that these people are government officials. This image puts them in a bad light. Although the story behind this image is unclear, it is unknown who are the “bad guys.” In the image, the officers raising their sticks, getting ready to strike the civilians, seem like the ones that are in the wrong. On the other hand, since Egyptian society is different, these officers may simply be showing discipline to these civilians; the act of violence in this form may be accepted. From an American view, however, there is an ethical transgression by the officers pictured in this image.

Your favorite animated TV show: Provide screenshots and explain its particular appeal to you as well as its social commentary.

One of my favorite television shows from my childhood is the Rugrats. This show is about a friendship of babies and toddlers. The main characters are Tommy Pickles (front center), Chuckie Finster, Lil Deville, Phil Deville and Angelica Pickles(from left to right in back). These friends always find some sort of adventure. From walking through a hot desert with no water and seeing a mirage to being grown up in a business setting, their imaginations are bigger than any babies their age. Each baby has their own different personality. Tommy is the adventurous one, Chuckie is the “scaredy cat,” Phil and Lil are always willing to try anything new and Angelica is the bossy one. This show is one for children and older kids alike.

On a social aspect, one big issue that is dealt with here is a sort of dictatorship. Angelica, Tommy’s older cousin, is a toddler and believes she is better than the babies. She often pushes the babies around and tells them what to do. Since Angelica is older, the babies look up to her and do whatever she tells them. There are, however, instances where the babies go against what Angelica says and overrule her. This type of behavior is found in children every day. Power roles are played every day in society. Seniority is found everywhere: from the Rugrats to people in everyday life.

Informational graphics: Find a graphic from that you think is too complicated and obfuscates the data rather than clarifies it.

This image above is an infographic about money. The title of this infographic is “Money: A chart of almost all of it, where it is, and what it can do.” This image is very dense with information. A small scale version of this infographic is seen above. The website that this was obtained from (see hyperlink below image) contains a zoom feature in order to fully view the infographic at a readable size.

This infographic is split into five different seconds: dollars, thousands, millions, billions and trillions. Within these sections, there are smaller seconds with individual infographics. Each of the large seconds is sized down and pictured on the next biggest section in order to show the magnitude of each section and how it compares to the next section. Much of the information in this infographic runs together due to the lack of whitespace. Although the sections are color coordinated, the graphics are still difficult to read.

Infographics are supposed to use images in order to present heavy information in a clear and concise way. This particular infographic does the opposite. There is a lot of information displayed on this image which makes things cluttered and hard to read and comprehend. Although money can be complicated, this infographic is complex as well.

Film title/credits: Offer a screenshot(or more) of titles/credits from a film that you think suit the film well. Explain.

(photos taken by Christina Nevarez)

The closing credits of the Pixar movie, Monsters Inc., give insight to the company within the movie, Monsters Incorporated. This movie is about a company named Monsters Incorporated that is located in the city of Monstropolis. Monsters Incorporated is the city’s power company. The screams of human children are what give power to the city of Monstropolis. In this movie, monsters are hired and trained to sneak into human children’s rooms through their closet doors and frighten the children in order to produce scream power. The photographs above are screenshots of the ending credits. In the upper right hand picture, it shows a normal child’s closet while the other images show the monsters in the closet. These images are what Monsters Incorporated is based on.

In the movie, the monsters come in all different shapes and sizes. All the monsters are different. This is portrayed in the closing credits of the movie. Because every door leads to a different child’s room in the movie, every door is different. This can also be seen in the credits. This movie is a children’s movie and the font that is used in the closing credits gives a playful feel to it. The titles of the directors and produces are in a more serious sans serif font while their actual names are in a more fun sans serif. This gives the credits a professional yet fun feel to them.

Typography: Choose a computer font that you like. With an example, explain it carefully and analyze its strengths.

Arial Narrow



Arial Narrow is a font that appeals to me. My handwriting is similar to this. I write narrow and long, or tall, letters. Arial Narrow is a sans serif font that has very minimal tracking, or spacing between the letters. The font, as the name indicates, seems narrow due to the minimal kerning. This font, unlike many sans serifs, is more professional than others. It provides high readability but does not give off a “boring” look. Arial Narrow does not put strain on the eyes. It does not have “swirly” or “curly” letters that many serifs have. This font is concise.

When the point sizes of this font are decreased, the readability decreases. This is the one main weakness. This font is legible and at bigger point sizes which is why it is used for captions or headings on websites. Many other sans serifs are used for these as well as for titles of movies or titles on books. Many street signs and warning signs use sans serif fonts, like Arial Narrow, so the viewer does not get distracted with the serif’s (Lester).

Lester, Paul Martin. Visual Communication: Images with Messages. Belmont: Thompson Wadsworth, 2005. 144.