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Interface final

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About the class

This is definitely the highlight of my semester. I enjoyed the lecture as well as (though hard to believe) the working process and the long hours in the lab, playing with the adobe softwares. Before I started the class, I’ve heard a lot of “warnings” telling me how hard it is and how time-consuming, and how the professors are impossible to please. Well, it is very time-consuming and challenging, but I love it.

In the lectures, I’m so glad that I’ve learned the theories of design and what works (and not word) visually. I am a visual person, and the things we learned in class make so much sense to me and help me better understand the things I see. Of course, the gestalt, the hierarchy, and Helvetica. Since I love photography too, I think the knowledge I learned in this design class helps me shoot better pictures as well. And I absolutely appreciate the skills we learned in the lab session, so that I know how to use Indesign and Illustrator and Photoshop, which I would definitely use in the future. As a magazine major, graphic design is crucial to my future career, and it is surely a valuable addition to my quality. I want to start my own magazine in the future, and now, I can actually design my own magazine:).

I think the only thing that really frustrated me is the last part, which we have to use Photoshop to design the website. I think we didn’t have enough time to learn about PS in the lab since it is a more complicated software. I like InDesign the best. And ever since I learned graphics, people keep coming to me and ask me to help design posters and magazine. I would like to take further class in graphic design if I need time.

I enjoy this class a lot! and I think Renee is a great teacher, informative, helpful, and above all, very understanding.

good website

The CNN website is where I visit almost everyday to get news. It might not be my personal favorite website, but compared to other news agency, I do like CNN’s website more, so I get my news information from its website everyday. The layout of the website is very simple and clean. The recognizable logo of CNN on the top center is the first thing you see. Right below it is the main navigation bar that tells you the different topics of news, so that the viewer can go right into the area he or she want to get information. The main content is divided into three larger columns, on the left are the latest news that got updated momently. If the viewer want the most recent news, that’s the place to go. And in the center, the wider column is the most important news, featured a large photo in on the top that attract the most attention. Under the big news are the thumbnails of different videos. It is further divided into three columns and arranged by the most recent. Then on the right, it’s advertisement, social media stuffs, and recent comments.

I think the website has a strong and clear hierarchy that guides the reader to better navigate the site. And the design is very clear and easy to read. There are not a lot of heavy texts on the main page. And it only uses dominant colors of red and white and black. Especially compared to the website of New York Times, which I think it’s a nightmare, CNN’s website is successfully designed.

web design


The website for National Geographic is really well-designed, it carries the same sophisticated style of the prestigious magazine and uses the same dominant colors of black and yellow, which people would recognize immediately. Its branding header, which is the logo of the magazine, is on the top left corner, with a search box on the right. The main navigation bar is right below the header and the secondary navigation bar is below the main navigation, in a smaller size. The main content of the website is basically divided into three columns. and the top of the page is always a big photo slideshow, since NG is known for its fine photography. The images really add to the quality of the look. The main page is very organized and doesn’t contain tons of information, so it makes it much easier to navigate. If click on a secondary page, it follows similar layout, and every section has an editor picks section and specific news on the right. All in all, the website is nicely designed–simple, organized, classic, and also easy to look through and look for information.

This is a website for a famous agency called VII. It provides excellent photography to newspapers and magazines, and it has some most well-known photographer of the time. First, the gray color tone of the site has a serious feeling to it that indicate the significance of the images. Since the nature of the website is a photo gallery and stories, the design can be really simple and effective. It has a logo on the top left corner, and a main navigation bar on the top. On the left is a sidebar of the VII magazine and below are the current news. The website is really straightforward and easy to explore. It has a strong visual impact that emphasizes the photos the most, and also very informative.

The bad example I picked, unfortunately, is the New York Times. Though I read the newspaper everyday, on paper, I rarely go to its website. I think there are just too many information on the main page and confusing to navigate. The header is in the center, and the main navigation is a long row on the left. There are too many titles of different sections too. Although there’s a dominant photo slide at the center, the website still seems pretty messy. It has 5 rows, which is way too much. Also, the main page is really long, and there’s a lot to scroll down. I don’t think anyone would have the patience to look at them all. In a word, even though its slogan is “all the news that fit to print,” it squeezes in too much information on its website! cause on a website, you should not fit in everything. Just because you can, you should put the most important thing on the main page, and give the view more space to navigate, and also more space for a eye.

magazine final

sidebar

I think this is a beautifully designed magazine spread with three columns on each page. The article is about the designer Irma Boom and the design of the spread mimics the design style of the featured designer, using the same colors. There are two sidebars on this spread, one is actually the images of the books he designed in the middle, the other is his biography on the right. Since the article talks about his book designs, the images of the book pages or covers that he has designed effectively show his design works, and the design of the spread fits well with the images of his design. The sidebar of the designer’s biography use the pink color to correlate with the pink in the headline and in his design. It is a brief outline of the key years of the designer’s career life. Both sidebars provide quick information to the readers that compensate with the content of the main article.

magazine covers