Posts Tagged ‘post-it’

A Deep Dive Into Structure & Content

November 18th, 2011 by Carmen Dukes | 1 Comment | Filed in Teaching

Great to Be Back

This was my first class since the start of this semester of Project: Interaction. It was great to see some of our students from last year as well as meeting all the new students. Equally awesome was being back at UAI and teaching in tandem with Katie. We were jetlagged from our trip, but excited about another week with our students.

You Went Where!?!?

Katie and I opened the class talking about our trip to Hong Kong. The girls were curious, asking questions about why we went and what sightseeing we did.

Deeper Dive

We started the class revisiting the sitemap the girls had architected last week. We talked through each section and determined the different types of goals users of the site would have. We identified a good set of goals from “Applying to Project: Grow” (Student), to “Checking Attendance” (Parent), to “Updating Class Information” (Teacher).

From there, we challenged the girls to create user stories for how a teacher, student or parent might use the website to accomplish one of the goals we identified. We encouraged them to sketch out all parts of the experience – how the user found out about the site, how they navigated the site and the steps they took to achieve their goal. Katie gladly gave a demonstration of a quick storyboard before letting the girls go off to create their own.

We wanted the girls to sketch quickly, but it didn’t work out that way. They spent more time on the aesthetics of the storyboard, then the story itself. I think this is partially because they have few opportunities to get creative with markers, crayons and colored pencils and such.

The girls presented their storyboards and we were really impressed. Most had great narratives of how a user would navigate the site. One even included the offline interaction that would lead to finding out about the Project: Grow website. A great teacher moment for us.

In a future class, I would like to revisit creative stories and narratives. While some girls got it right away, others simply drew storyboards of one screen to another, leaving out the most important part: the user. Maybe I’ll share some of my favorite comics and an excerpt from Scott McCloud’s book, Understanding Comics, in the next few weeks.

We finished up the class, asking the girls to create a paper prototype of one page from the site. In teams of two, the students used different colored post-it notes to represent the various content types. They were more excited to share these than the storyboards; maybe because this activity was more tangible than the previous one.

While the girls were working, Katie and I revisited the original “brief” we received from the after school program directors. While the girls had nailed most of the work, we realized we may need to include more content just for the girls, as one directive we received was that the site needed to be “girl-friendly.” To that point, we are also missing the social part of a web experience so we will need to talk to the girls about how that can be incorporated into the site. I’m not sure how social they are online, although one of our students mentioned the need for comments on the web.

No Sitting…Or Very Little of It

The girls sat at their desks most of the class and it definitely affected the energy level in the class. We have to remind ourselves that our students have been sitting all day and incorporate “think on your feet” activities to keep them engaged.

We Need More Sketchbook Volunteers

I would really like to see all the girls jumping out of their seats to share their sketchbooks. And I hope to experiment in the next few weeks with some creative ways to motivate them to sketch and share. I’m thinking some kind of game or competition. More thoughts on this to come…

More Surprise

Katie and I are thinking of creating a set of five or so buttons specific to this project. At the end of class, the girls who participated last year asked if we had any new buttons. So we think it would be a nice to include a special set for this class as well.

Next Week…

We are still planning next week’s class, and hope to include some activities that give the girls an understanding of how web pages work. We also hope to come up with a few activities to make the overall project seem more tangible. Briefly we’ve been thinking about making their efforts appear more 3 dimensional and tangible by representing the building of a website and related interactions with blocks, food, or people.

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Our Second First Class

October 25th, 2011 by Katie Koch | No Comments | Filed in Programming, Teaching

This fall we’ve teamed up again with the Urban Assembly Institute for Math & Science for Young Women in Downtown Brooklyn. They were such an incredible partner school last fall we’ve decided to continue our relationship with them.

This time around we’re making a website! The girls all participate in an after-school program through Girls Inc. of New York City. Girls Inc is a nonprofit organization that inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. At UAI the students participate in a specific division called Project GROW. Having been around for two years, it’s time  for this small but mighty organization to have a web presence.

Before our class began we vetted the project by speaking with Odette Nemes, Director of Project GROW to make sure we’d have enough work for the girls. From Odette:

I would like to see them make a website that’s more girl friendly, not something for the parents or teachers, but for the girls to use.

In our first week we asked the girls to introduce ourselves to us through a short video interview. (Unfortunately they’re all a little Vimeo-shy so we’ll just keep those to ourselves!) We asked them to share the most beautiful thing they’ve seen recently, a great way to break the ice into talking about design.

For the rest of class we talked about what design is, and dissected what interaction design is. We made a HUGE list of the things we use the internet for and talked together about how and why design might be important to those tasks.

Then, we dove into the meaning of words. We did an iteration of Graphic Jammin’ around some words that we think are important to website designers: community, emotion, social, and communication.

We ended the class by handing out new sketchbooks to the girls, encouraging them to decorate and take ownership of their thoughts and drawings there.

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New Friends & Post-Its

October 12th, 2010 by Katie Koch | No Comments | Filed in Inspirations, Programming, Sketching

Over the weekend we set up space at Re:Form School in SoHo, joining them in their three day gallery show to promote arts education in schools. We had a blast!! We were there for three hours and had a steady flow of folks coming to our room. We were excited to share our project with them and they were very happy to share some sketches with us.

We asked everyone who came by to help us by contributing a sketch or an idea to our wall of Post-It art, focusing each mini-drawing on the words invent, design or change. Everyone jumped in to help out and add their voice to the wall.

Sitting, thinking, sketching

By the end of the day we had a huge collection of art, a full email sign up sheet and no business cards left. We talked to countless inspiring teachers and enthusiastic artists and designers. We are so happy that our program is a catalyst to connect all of these thinkers.

Wall of Post-Its

DESIGN detail

Over the weekend we surpassed our Kickstarter fundraising goal of $7500!  We still have a couple of days left to complete our project. If you’re interested in helping, please donate to our project!

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