New Beginnings

By Chris Wong

Design, design, design! Walking into Mandeville B150 on the first day of Summer Session 2 was full of energy! As an upper division Human-Computer Interaction elective course, there was excitement and mystery for what the class would teach through and about Information Architecture.

What is Design?

On the first day, Professor Boyle gave an introduction to design lecture defining Design as a “plan for arranging elements in such a way so as to accomplish a particular purpose” (Eames). Unlike art which deviates from purpose and questions it, design serves a purpose. Art breaks all laws that define design to realize artistic expression which covers a much broader scope than design. We then ventured into the realm of good design versus bad design and how objective is key.

Design can serve a purpose, but to do it well requires careful consideration of C.R.A.P. (Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, Proximity). In order to effectively design, each aspect of C.R.A.P. needs to build upon each other to complement the composition; no more, no less. Bad design fails to take C.R.A.P. into consideration and hinders it in serving its purpose.

After Design 101, we then started a quick speed dating session to find our potential seven teammates and identify our strengths based off the nine pillars of successful web teams. COGS187A is a project-based class that tests students’ design skills through a web/application idea at the end of the course. Thus the formation of a balanced team with a project manager, designers, coders, and content strategists are required to make it successful.

Logo ideation session on white boards

Enter Team Git Rekt, which consists of Andrew Downs, Audrey Lee, Christopher Wong, Eric Liu, Grace Chen, Sky Liang, and Lauren Choy. After getting to know one another we started to ideate upon a potential team logo. From low resolution sketches we gathered our designs together to critique and build upon them. Many of our designs related back to the letters “G and R” for Git Rekt and variations of smashing some form of technology which was pretty interesting to see from seven different perspectives.

For our second lecture, Professor Boyle started talking more about crafting digital portfolios and how to optimize our own by following 5 tips from Hemingway:

  1. Use short sentences
  2. Use short first paragraphs
  3. Use vigorous English
  4. Be positive, not negative
  5. “Write one page of masterpiece to ninety-one pages of S***”

By following these five simple tips we were on our way to creating better portfolios!

Afterwards, we split up into our respective teams to critique our logo sketches to gain constructive feedback and finalize our polished logos and start ideating upon web/app ideas for our project. The critique session was very insightful in improving upon each member’s original designs as fresh eyes and a different perspective helped each of us observe our designs in a different light. Of the many ideas that were brought up, Git Rekt decided to move forward with an app that would help users “budget” their resources more effectively (ex. food in fridge management, recommended trails to hike given certain circumstances, a recipe app, etc.).

Logo prototyping

Ending the first week of COGS187A on a high note, Team Git Rekt all got on the same page to marinate our ideas for a potential application and look forward to seeing everyone’s polished logos and concepts. There is much uncertainty and excitement moving forward as we Shark Tank our way to actualize the fruits of our labor that will surely Git Rekt!

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