Group Project!

Group projects are great as an experience and I do understand the need to do them because there are things one cannot learn by working alone. I can say that through this group project I learned a lot as far as having to work with different personalities and understanding that everyone is different when it comes to how they work. I will say I’m a very fast passed worker and I’m always trying to get things done super fast, but by working in a group I learned that sometimes working fast might not work and that there will always be things to change and adjust. It is more about the process and I think that something that one really needs to take into consideration when working in a group is the fact that every member needs to be on the same page in order for the entire campaign or project to look cohesive. Also, something I really like about group projects that you don’t get to experience so much when working alone, is the input and feedback. I think it is great to see how an initial thought from a member can become a very strong asset to the project when shared and discussed with the rest of the group. I think that working in groups does make a concept stronger because by having multiple people thinking and sharing their ideas, then more questions arise and different points of view come to float. I’m not going to say that working in groups is easy, because it is not. There is a lot of challenges to face and there is a lot of personality clashes. However, if one is able to pass over that and if everyone is willing to put the effort and work, then group projects can be very successful. I really enjoyed working in a group and I believe that I got to learn a lot from the experience as well as from my classmates. I think it really helps because it allows me to see how I work with others and it challenges me to stay calm, be patient, and understand other people to make things work out while enjoying the process of making it as well. I really enjoyed working with each and everyone of you and I think we did a pretty good job!

The power of introverts

While listening to Susan Crain, there were many things that stood out to me as far as this idea of introverts and how our society has in a way pushed them away and just sees them as shy people. I think it was very interesting how she talked about introverts when it comes to creativity and leadership and the fact that they are needed in these fields as well, even though society might think that extroverts are better for such things. Also, something that really stood out to me is the idea that our society needs to understand that not everyone can reach their maximum potential or be at their best under the same conditions and that what makes introverts and extroverts different is the way they are stimulated. I do have to say that I agree with her when she says that school and workspaces are designed for extroverts mainly  (at least in the US), however when looking at this and thinking about my personal experiences, back home schools are more balanced in that way but they still believe that the ideal student is an extrovert even though as she explains during her talk, introverts get higher grades and are proven to be better at leadership because not only are they more careful but also have better outcomes than extroverts since they let other people’s ideals bubble up to the surface.
Another thing that called my attention was her idea that culturally we need a  better balance between the two types, mainly when it comes to creativity and productivity. I agree with her that it is  good to share ideas and that group projects are needed because thoughts need to be share, but I also agree with the fact solitude is as important as group work. I think that her point on 20th century society is something very important to look at. It is interesting to see that our society is now based on the culture of personality and that people need to prove themselves to others. I think this has to do a lot with the technology and this idea of being a “social” society. However, as she says, solitude matters and it is only recently that we forgot about it. Western societies as she says have always preferred the man of action rather than the one of contemplation but we need to realize that both are as important and both have an equal impact on society. The more freedom for introverts the more likely they are to come up with their own unique solutions and I believe that the problem with society right now is the fact that we want to put everyone under the same conditions without realizing that we are all different and therefore do not work the same way. We are stimulated differently and trying to make a group fit into another is not going to help the society develop.

Scarecrow Chipotle

This is one of my favorite campaigns from last year. I think that they were able to communicate a message that might seem boring in a very effective way. When thinking about sustainable farming, it is not a very interesting topic, but I think the campaign was very successful and they were able to make people interested by making an emotional connection through branded entertainment. I think this campaign is a perfect example of the power that branded entertainment has and how thorough interactive platforms (in this case a video and app game), advertising is now a days able to connect to people in a more personal level and therefore bring more attention. The campaign really focuses on showing what is happening around the world when it comes to food production and how we the consumers are not completely aware of what we are actually eating. I really liked this campaign not only because of how the brand made such a boring topic interesting, but also because they are trying to leave a message while seamlessly showing the core values of the company. This I believe is a more effective way to get consumers into a brand, rather than been bombarded with straight forward ads.

Innovators under 35: Where technology is going and how it is shaping our world.

It is crazy to think how fast the world is changing and how much technology has to do with the advances that are taking place. In this site, there are a great variety of different ideas, and projects that show how technology is affecting us and challenging all the different areas. From health, to social, and learning advantages, this site has a lot of articles about new exciting work by people under the age of 35 that I found interesting. Also, the fact that the inventors, entrepreneurs, visionaries, etc. are under this age was an incredible eye opener to me and really showed me that our generation has a lot to offer. While navigating the website, there were multiple articles that called my attention, but there are two that stood out the most to me: “A novel approach to learning languages is making the Web more accessible”, and “Heart on a chip paves the way for personalized cardiac medicines.”

For the first article, what I found interesting is the idea of solving an existing issue by making it a game and allowing people to interact with it. This really showed me the idea that in today’s society people want to be entertain no matter what they are doing and that the only way to engage them is to make them a part of the experience. This is exactly why this article talks about how it is hard to translate websites to other languages because using Google translate does not seem to be the answer, and there are not enough people out there that actually want to sit through and translate them (plus the fact that it is a lot of information and a lot of translators will be needed). So how can this problem be solved? Well, this is where Hacker and Von Ahn come in. They have made a game out of the issue and have called it “Duolingo”. This game not only teaches foreign languages to anyone who has access to a smartphone or internet connection (for free), but as people reach the highest levels, it complies your work and the one of other students, which produce accurate translations. Isn’t it a smart idea? People get to learn new languages while companies like CNN and Buzzfeed pay Duolingo to have foreign translations of their websites.

Another article that really called my attention was the “Heart on a chip paves the way for personalized cardiac medicines” because it shows how technology will allow us solve medical issues in ways that seem impossible. An example of this what the article takes about, which is basically a chip that will allow doctors to “predict how an individual’s heart will respond to a drug than, say, tests using lab animals.” I think this is a great advancement because first of all it will end the moral issues that come with testing animals, and at the same time it means that the doctors will be able to have an even more exact prediction on how a medicine will affect a specific patient. It is basically allowing doctors to predict whether or not something will work on a patient or not without having any risks and at the same time without the need to test it on a living thing. I really think that technology is solving issues in ways none of us thought could be possible and that even though it has a negative side to it as well, projects like this show that it is something that opens up a lot of doors for humanity and for bettering the world that we live in.

Links:

http://www.technologyreview.com/lists/innovators-under-35/2014/visionary/severin-hacker/

http://www.technologyreview.com/lists/innovators-under-35/2014/entrepreneur/ayah-bdeir/

Take a look at Adobe Muse

I watched multiple videos about Muse and how to use it to create a website. One of the things that really called my attention was the fact that before you even begin making the website you have to really understand what your business goals are because these dictate the type of content and visuals that you will be showcasing on the site. Also it talks about how we need to look at competition to see what everyone else is doing as well as to make the website as easy to use as possible.

As far as Muse as a tool, after looking at the videos I’m in love with the program! I think the fact that one can export the layers from Photoshop and use them is a great tool. It makes it so much easier to work than Dreamweaver for people who are not into coding. Also, after looking at the videos, it seems as if the program is more friendly and easier to use as far as incorporating the elements. For me it is easier to build up the visuals of the site on Photoshop and then be able to use that as my reference and have the page exactly the way I planned on Muse, which sometimes doesn’t happen when using Dreamweaver. I think Muse is a great tool for designers since it is very visual oriented and does not seem to use things like div files. Also, I think that the program really makes it easier for designers since once they have the visuals built in Photoshop and save them as images, all they have to do is go back to them and drag those elements into the program. Also, the fact that one can move the images and text around is very helpful and it makes it feel as if the program is more flexible than Dreamweaver. The program is faster and simpler which in my opinion makes it more user friendly. I really recommend looking at the videos to get a better understanding of this great program!

http://www.lynda.com/Muse-tutorials/Adding-scroll-effects/167920/359545-4.html

 

Organization is the key to building a site

It might seem overwhelming when you don’t know how to start on your site, however, there are multiple steps that help make the process simpler and faster. In order to make a site one has to create an organizational process to get to the final product. In this process, each step works as a puzzle piece that ties to another and as continue developing the steps you get closer to getting the final piece together. It is true that each site is different in purpose and performance, but to get to a final design for both imagery, and content a set of steps need to take place. The first step on the system is called a sitemap, followed by schematic, wireframes and style tiles. Once you start and continue with this process, you will be able to see how much simpler and faster one is able not only to make the site, but also communicate your vision to others.

The first step of the process of making a site is the sitemap. One can describe it as the map of navigation. The sitemap allows you to show how a person would navigate through the site. It gives a clear sense of how to get from page to page and it does this through hierarchy. It could be described as a summary of the site or a table of content. A sitemap is the first step that happens when creating a site because it allows you to look at how you are going to organize and divide your site. It helps you create the different sections and categories of how later content would be added.

sitemap

Once you have your sitemap figured out, it is time to step into making a schematic and wireframes. It is a little hard to distinguish between a wireframe and a schematic since like smallbusiness.chron.com states they both “present the nuts and bolts of page functionality without incorporating the design elements, color schemes, type styles or interactive elements themselves.” These two things according to the website are like the floor plan and the finished page is the furnished room. “Rather than repaint walls and rearrange or replace furniture to change how your pages come together, you can plan your online space using boxes and placeholders that establish how your site pages function.” So when looking at schematics and wireframes, one is basically looking at how each web page is going to be structure as well as where text and images are going to be placed. Wireframes and schematics give you a visual sense of your page without getting into too much detail. In this part of the process, if two or more of your pages are going to have the same structure, there is no need to create multiple wireframes, but just one. Even though you don’t need to specify which images you will be using or what you will be writing in each section, there are general things that should be stated or put down on the wireframes so it is more clear. These things include: the logo section, site navigation, maybe even the sitebar areas and footers. This would make it even easier to understand when looking at the wireframes.

wireframes

Now that the sitemap, the schematics, and the wireframes are done, the last step is to work on the style tiles. Style tiles are essentially like mood boards or style boards. They allow the person to get a sense of the website as far as color palettes, typefaces, and the style in general. They can be seen as a substitute for designing full compositions. Style tiles also bring a sense of cohesiveness to the page as it lays down the design elements and choices that will be consistent through the entire site. Style tiles give the site its personality.

style tile

It can be said that the process of making a site starts from a type of brainstorming and figuring out how the website is going to function, followed by creating a more detailed structure of each page on the site, which allows the person to get a sense of the functionality as well as composition of each of the pages. Finally once the structure is created is when the last step comes in, bringing the design and harmony to the entire page. However, even though the last step seems to bring the cohesiveness to the site, it is important to know that there most be some cohesiveness on the structure of the site as well so that the structure along with the style allows the user to know where they are on the site.