Main

September 21, 2008

Redesigning usa.gov

Andy Rutledge redesigns usa.gov using the assumption that Obama will win the presidential election. Much hilarity ensues.

Do not fear these changes! Like other similar socialist leaders before him--Marx, Lenin, De Leon, Debs, Trotsky, Chavez, and others--Obama seeks to destroy only the most successful among us. You, as a member of the honorable and patriotic middle-class, will only benefit from these changes so that all Americans can enter the middle-class and all equally receive entitlement from our benevolent Socialist government.

But this is a design exercise! Don't be confused by the politically-charged statements you've read thus far. This sort of language appears in this article only by necessity, so that you, the designer, can fully grasp the scope and context in which we'll be working in this redux exercise. As designers, we need the whole picture in order to do our best work. And since media coverage of this year's election works to obscure the whole picture, it is important that for purposes of our exercise here we look beyond what the network media outlets report.

For example,

Note how past cliches of patriotism are now replaced with far more compelling images. Nothing can inspire as the resplendent likeness of our charismatic leader and the epitome of Socialist solidarity: a single red star. The tagline for the site is also appropriately changed. Yes, a powerful and contextually appropriate beginning to this page.

usa-gov.jpg

[via Andy Rutledge : Design View]

December 19, 2006

Survey (still)

Thanks to everyone who has responded to the Workspace survey. The data so far is fascinating and wide ranging. I'll keep the survey online for the next several weeks in case anyone else wants to participate.

In early January, I'll revise and re-launch the survey to reflect any interesting issues that emerge from early analysis of the data. It struck me that the survey might be a useful start-of-semester exercise for writing/design classes, as a way to get your students to talk about the diversity of ways they structure their work, and about how writing/design might fit into those structures. (I'm planning on including this exercise in the first-year comp textbook I'm currently working on.

Although I'd be glad for more student input on the survey, If you don't want to require your students to participate in the research feel free to download the questions and just distribute/discuss them locally with your class rather than ask them to submit their results to me. I can also email you the questions in a Word or PDF document if you like.

December 09, 2006

Invitation (Favor): Workspace Survey

Update: Hold off on completing the survey for now. I've gathered a handful of responses, and there's what appears to be a minor bug in how one section of the data is written. I'll try to chase the specifics down and fix it in the next day or so. If you've already completed the survey, thanks much. I can still use the data you submitted, but it involves moving cells in Excel around by hand to compensate for the bug, so I want to avoid having too much additional data written until I fix it.

After I address the glitch, I'll re-post the survey and open it to wider participation.

I'm beta testing a survey on workspaces that asks participants to provide me with information about how they interact with and construct the spaces they work within. This isn't ready for broad dissemination yet—so don't post the URL to lists or discussion boards or ask classes full of your students to fill it out—but if you're interested in helping me out and have 15 minutes or so to spare, you can take the survey between now and early next week. (You can spend more than 15 minutes answering the questions if you like, but 15 minutes should be enough to get you through the main survey.)

The survey includes (a) an anonymous three-part section with open-ended and multiple-choice questions about your computer setup and the physical spaces around it as well as (b) a non-anonymous portion that asks you to send me screenshots and/or digital pictures of your workspace (and opportunities for followup questions via email later). You can fill out either section, or both, depending on how much time you have to put into this.

If you have feedback on the survey itself (things you like/hate/etc.), you can either email them to me directly at johndanseven@gmail.com or by posting comments here on the weblog.

Once I've beta-tested the survey, I'll make any adjustments necessary and then post a message here to announce it's wider availability, if you'd like to pass my request for input on to a wider audience.

Thanks.