The End…

I cannot believe my 5th semester of college is already over… that means I’m officially over halfway done with college…what a scary thought. I’m no where near ready for the real world! Writing and Digital Media has absolutely been my favorite English class I have taken so far. And that is saying something even though I hate english (no offense, I just never learned how to write well). The thing that made this class so special was the interactiveness as well as the variety of it. Each class was different and no class was simply a lecture. Each time we met was either a presentation, group work, peer review, discussion, or some other way to get everyone engaged. It made the material much more entertaining and relevant. I also enjoyed the freedom to explore topics we were interested in in a method that we were intrigued by. Thank you for a wonderful semester Dr. Warnick!

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Merry Christmas!


Minus the cold of course. I hate that part. But the Christmas music (the Christmas Pandora station is on point if anyone was wondering) egg nogg, the stockings all hung by the chimney with care, the fresh sent of the Christmas tree, it really is the most wonderful time of the year! Except for the cold.

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Project 4

Project 4 was quite a ride. I had  a much harder time creating the video and ended up needing a lot more time than I allowed myself to complete it to my standards. I do like that the final project was so open ended. I think with everything that we had learn and experimented with throughout the semester, this was a good way to put those principles into action in a way that we would enjoy and get the most out of. However, time management is clearly something I need to work on.

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Honestly the only thing I used my iPad for was to play Candy Crush Saga. I’m on level 377 no big deal. But I do miss having the iPad. Whenever I ran out of lives on my iPhone or laptop I could just go on it and have full lives! I’m not sure why they didn’t transfer. It was a cool experience to have the iPad for a semester however I would say if anything it inhibited my productiveness in this class because there were too many fun things to do on it.

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Job Security?

Maybe security is a stretch… but I really appreciate this article because it confirms something I’ve been hoping for a while now. People are starting to realize the importance of design and visual harmony. With our increasingly visual world it’s no surprise that people are beginning to focus more on the way things look and are presented, which is great for me, it means I have a chance at getting a job! Visual aesthetics are what draw people into a product or brand or whatever it may be. I would consider presentations a product. Presenters are trying to sell their information, make it believable, make it stick, so that the consumers (the audience) believe and understand it.

The internet is a great example of why graphics are necessary. It is a relatively new thing and is ENTIRELY visual and based on systems.

The fact that people are beginning to see how important it is more and more is very encouraging  :)

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I realize this is unrelated to anything Writing and Digital Media but may I just say how jealous I am of people who are studying abroad? Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Blacksburg, and until now, I have never had any inkling of desire to study abroad. The thought of living somewhere that I could not speak the language, no transportation besides public, and no free public bathrooms… sounded like a nightmare. I’ve never even been out of the country! We’ll except Canada…does that even count? But here’s the problem: all my friends are abroad and now I’m green with envy (and I miss them terribly. Especially you, Eric :*). How did I get jealous? BECAUSE OF SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE INTERNET that’s why. If we didn’t have any of that I wouldn’t have pictures of Paris and beaches and snow-covered Alps each featuring different types of wine cluttering up my news feed and I would still be stuck in my ignorant bliss. Alas, that is not the case. I gotta figure out a way to Europe!

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This is my favorite Ignite presentation that I have seen so far.

Things I like:

-       humor: This guy is actually really funny! He’s not simply up there telling jokes, he is just a good storyteller. The way he presents his information is extremely conversational and natural. This makes it easy to follow and keeps the audience engaged.

-       good story: Not only is the presenter a good storyteller, but he also has a good story. The story is very relevant to this day in age with hundreds of new applications and mobile devices coming out each day and the story is about his life so he knows it very well. He did a really good job of going into detail when necessary and when it was time to move on to the next point.

-       Powerpoint: Another strong point of this presentation is the powerpoint itself. The presenter does a good job of keeping the powerpoint as an aid rather than the presentation itself. The images are simple and are timed well with his speech. There is limited text, making it easier to focus on what he is actually saying rather than trying to read off of the screen. There is also slim to no animation, which also prevents distraction.

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After working with Storybird for a while I must say I am NOT a fan. The app is so limiting with customization. The app is used to create storybooks whether that be in PDF form or as a hard covered book, but partially because I don’t want to pay to unlock all of the features, the free version hardly lets me do anything… I can’t download my own work, I can’t even upload my own pictures for my book nor can I change any aspect of the text. I have no purpose for this app and even with the upgraded membership it doesn’t seem to be worth it. I really am surprised this is a popular app.

Moving on from here, the next step of my Writing and Digital Media project is the presentation. Our class is experimenting with a unique presentation style called Ignite. Each presentation consists of 20 slides which progress automatically every 15 seconds. I like this style because the presenter is forced to get right to the point, short and sweet. Here are some examples of the type of presentation:

My favorite presentations are the ones that include a hint of comedy. The people on this website have such a way with words! I admire that! I would love to incorporate some comedy but #1 I’m not funny and #2 Storybird is not a very humorous app…. This is going to be a challenge. Another challenge I’ve ran into is making my presentation look pretty. As a graphic designer, I things get under my skin if they don’t look a certain way. This is really tough because I want to include lots of screenshots so that my audience gets the idea of the site but it is difficult to get the screenshots to look just right on the slides.

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New Project!

I am very excited to be starting on a new project in my Writing and Digital Media class! The assignment, labeled: Interrogating the Interface is a look into different applications, how they are designed, their features, and why some are successful and others are not.  Each member of our class is assigned a different application. I have an app called Storybird. I have not researched it very in depth but from what I can tell it seems to be a neat site! Using the website you can create storybook pages with illustrations as well as text. The site is very well designed visually but I guess we will find out how user friendly it is once I master the navigation.

I think I am most excited for this because it relates back to one of the other courses I am taking this semester called Intro to Web Design. A big part of the class is actually learning how to code a website using HTML and CSS but another big factor is navigation and making the site user friendly. Perhaps exploring what makes Storybird successful or unsuccessful will help give me a better understanding so that I can carry those things into designing my own web pages!

Here is a link to my application, Storybird!

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