Graphic Space + Free-form Web Curation(09/22/2016)

Philip B. Meggs, Type and image: The language of graphic design, John Wiley & Sons, 1992, 69–73, 80–89, 92.

Lupfer, N., Linder, R., Kerne, A., Qu, Y., Webb, A., Hill, C., Keith, K., Free-form Web Curation for Design Ideation: Processes and Pedagogy, ACM Designing Interactive Systems 2016, in submission.

Interface Ecology Lab, IdeaMache, 2013–2016.

Graphic Space

Graphic Space is a very interesting concept. When we design or place our pictures and words, we always hope that our page looks clean and orderly or artistic and picturesque. However, we should understand that when we order our pictures and words, we also assign different implications for them. For example, if three patterns are put in a page optionally, people will look them individually. What if we put them together? Well, they will be regarded as a whole picture and sometimes it will make a completely different sense. Philip Meggs uses “Proximity” to define this phenomenon.

Actually, because design is a people-oriented project, the human factor is the key of composition. Philip showed us an easy way to place our contents. Due to the strong horizontal and vertical orientation of people, we can divide our page into several areas by horizontal and vertical lines. By doing this, we can a tidy page. However, if our goal is an artistic composition, there will be a lot of rules about how to arrange different kinds of pictures and words. And the charm of art is that rules teach you how to make a good picture, but if you want to be great, you have to break the rules. So after introduction of rules, Philip showed us some artistic works which break limitations and discipline to create a cohesive and intriguing cover.

Philip Meggs used many examples and concepts to present different aspects of designing cover. However, these philosophies are not limited in designing cover.

Photography is a very similar field. When we take pictures, we should take many things into consideration, such as main point, background, people, light and so on. One of the most important factor is composition of picture. In the beginning, grid line is also a good method to help design picture. That will make it easy for you to locate where you should place the people or main object. Then if you want to make it more artistic, you will need the “Fibonacci spiral”. Even if this terminology looks very intricate, it is very common in our daily life. If you don’t understand what is Fibonacci spiral, what if I say the “Golden Ratio”? Yes, the Fibonacci spiral is an application of Golden Ratio. When we put our “protagonist” on the golden section point, people will intend to focus on it first and the whole picture will look very harmonious and comfortable.

Free-form Web Curation

Free form web curation is a different kind of web curation in our daily life. Interface. Team of the Ecology Lab study how students use this approach to perform ideation assignments. Over the study of lots of data, they identified five processes of free form web curation: Gather, Assemble, Shift Perspective, Annotate and Exhibit. By this research, we can improve our pedagogy.

In spite of a lot of number data, this team takes visual data into consideration. There are many things can’t be showed in qualitative data but very important. For example, based on visual data, they found that users utilized the free-form web curation as a digital “big wall” and synthesized diverse extensive content.

Except for research and pedagogy, free-form web curation can be used as an “idea incubator”. By organizing different kinds of activities and competitions by this approach, we can help students create more design ideation. And then they communicate and exchange ideas with each other. So their ideation will become another resource of web curation. Then good ideas can be filtered and chosen by senior students or master students to implements them into real products. That will make ideas realize their value.