Monday, November 22, 2010

" Final Blog Post"

1. Of all the assigned readings, I found the readings from Norman to be the most interesting and rewarding. Norman's readings focused on the aspects and principles of design which made his readings more interesting because he was able to touch on topics that as a user you realize but never really express your thoughts in words. During the weeks of reading the chapters from Norman's book, I found myself paying close attention to a product's design and if  it didn't function properly I would shake my head and say " bad design". I continue to do it to this very day.

2. The most important things I learned from seminar were the guidelines to a good presentation and ways of communicating. These are things I can use throughout my school year and throughtout life. I learned that a presentation shoud be clear and concise because the audience has to be able to follow along and understand the presentation. The audience shouldn't get confused.I also learned what not to put on a Powerpoint presentation. The idea was learned through experience and from seeing these Powerpoint presentation "DONTS" I am able to create a powerpoint that has the audience in mind. I also learned through dily class discussion, ways to communicate ideas to a group of people.

3. I can use what I learned in seminar to help me with Presentations in other classes or also presentation I'll be doing in the near future. I can use the communication techniques to help with group discussions or in any enviornment  that I may have to commnicate my ideas.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

"The Secret to Turning Consumers Green"

1.The author's main point is about how peer pressure can convince people to change their bad habits.Our behavior often boils down to that old mantra: Monkey see, monkey do.

2. I think a advertisement using peer pressure to make me change my bad habits  will influence me just as much as a advertisement promoting green. I am motivated to go green  by listening to statistics on the enviornment as well as my friends telling me to recycle.

3. I brought a pair of jeans that was made out of  100% recycled  material. These jeans weren't better than a normal pair of jeans, they just had a different look.  I wanted them because I thought the whole idea was pretty cool.

4.Some products that are becoming enviornmentally friendly are water bottles that use less plastic, clothing companies using recycled material, and light bulbs that use less energy.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Specialty clothing retailers this fall want to let shoppers know that they, too, are a brand"

1.''Today brands are built emotionally,'' Ms. Lastrina said. ''You have to get a message across and show what the brand ideology means to her life.''The above quote relates to clothing advertising and brand identity in that it explains how companies appeal to emotions when dealing with the image of their brand because people today relate brands with an emotion to the advertised image.

2.Clothing companies that have iconic advertisements are Nike, Ralph Lauren , and Gap. This ads implies that the brand, Nike, can be wore by even the most "girly-girl" type of females.Nike markets to mainly sportsmen. This is so because of the utility that comes with the products. An athlete is more likely to go a sports shoe designed and marketed by Nike more than a person who detests sporting and exercises.Nike sells sports apparel and athletic shoes.Nike is involved in the production of goods for a wide variety of sports, competing with every sports fashion brand in existence. Nike also sells the brands image through the swoosh logo and "Just Do it " motto.The swoosh simultaneously represents athleticism, competition and victory.Just Do It" means don’t think, don’t ask, don’t talk about it, don't regret it, just do it. The visual displays alongside this motto coincide with this notion.

3.Brand images sometimes influence my purchasing decisions.I am really influenced when I am going shopping  for a certain style or look.I believe that the clothes defined the people or the image the person is trying to portray.Most of the people  who wear expensive clothing do so because they want to be associated with people who are wealthy.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

"Cookie Cutter Housing: Wrong Mix For Subdivisions"

1. Harrison's main point was that Consultants are afraid to put their reputation on the line to challenge the ordiances of subdivisions.He felt that if every engineer thought more about the quality of life of those living in the developments that they engineer, this would be a much better world.He also added that the planning industry needs a massive overhaul to replace our obsolete system with one that results in sustainable development. Minimum-based regulations are recipes that guarantee that only minimal cities will be built. Cities are the foundation of our society.

2.This article changed my views on the concepts of "subdivisions".Before, I thought subdivisions were a good development to our society. Now, I feel that because so many subdivisions being built in an area look so similar that it takes away from the the feel of subdivisions.Subdivisions are a positive addition to city layouts in that they give a different look from apartments style buildings in the city. Urban sprawl is not a negative henomenon because it give people opportunity to have homes on bigger lots for lower prices and less noise and pollution from the city.

3.Based on the area of subdivisions where I reside, I feel the author's viewpoints were true.Mainly because the subdivision developments are similiar with the structures of the homes, designs, and layout(spacing form street to house and between houses). It seems as though the consultants were designing based on ordiances.When I look down the street on which people live, both Subdivision and Master Planned Community have the exact same feel.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Biggest Mistakes in Web Design 1995-2015

1. The reading relates to the concept of user-focused design that we have discussed in class. Vincent Flanders focuses on the design flaws  and how these flaws have negative impacts on the user when it comes to websites.He used real examples to help emphasize his point that some websites are deisgned without the user in mind.

2.The point I felt was the most important was that you should be able to look at the home page of any site and figure out what the site is about within four seconds. If you can't, the site is a failure.This is the most important because identifying a website is the first thing that has to happen for a user to continue looking at the site.If a site doesn't give any clues as to what it is or what its about the user will more than likely exit the website and move into a more user-friendly website.

3.Design factors I feel are important  for a webpage are of the following:
Easy to Understand and Use
Clear and Readable
Helps visitors
Simple and consistent navigation

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Future of Retail

1. Negroponte does not explicitly state his thesis in his well developed article. However, if there were a thesis for his article, it would probably sound like the following:
The internet ,with online shopping options, is systematically sidesteping retailers by dealing directly with manufacturers and online wholesalers.

2.This reading is related to Norman's concepts of user-focused design. Negroponte and Norman both consider the consumers when dealing with store design and it effects on consumers.They also, focused on the aspects on design that create a easy experience for consumers.
For example, Negroponte focused on the ease of internet shopping and the diffuculty of a store design.

3.Negroponte ideas are relevent to today.Possibly because his predictions may have been made a couple of years  too early.Before, consumer complained about stores and prices but still continued to purchase those items. Now that the internet is beginning to become more easy and convienent with internet shopping websites, less people are continuing to buy items from stores they get frustrated with.

4. The retailers who create the best customer experiences across all channels will more than likely thrive in the future.The retailers who get customers the right information in the right way at the right time and with the best overall customer experience will garner the most loyalty among customers.The retailers who fail to meet the consumers needs will more than likely fail in the future.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Downtown Kalamazoo

1.The downtown area of Kalamazoo gave me a feeling of  a small town atmoshpere, which differs tremendously from large cities like Atlanta.Downtown Kalamazoo is car-friendly, in that the traffic signs are located on each block to inform the drivers of one way streets and it also provides parrallel parking and parking lots/garages(parking is limited). The area is also pedestrian friendly, with sidewalks on every street, cross walks and cross signals. However,like most urban areas,there were streets that gave off a sense that there was little to no security. Burdick Street is the "Main Street" of downtown Kalamazoo.The area had a good mix of retail stores,some of them were clothing and shoes store, restaurants,art galleries, and furniture stores. Burdick Street's design was overwhelming but effective. There was lots of plants, landscaping and decorative patterned sidewalks. The sidewalks and landscaping were both distracting but the landscape actually served a good purpose. The sidewalks were big so the city used plants took up space and pushed the pedestrians close to the window displays.The area was also filled with benches and tables which served its purpose and also took up space like the plants.The boutique style shops were attractive and they gave off a sense of a small town atmosphere.Also, there were generators like the movie theatre called  The Rave and a rock climbing place called Climb Kalamazoo that attract people to the area.

2.To make the Downtown area of Kalamazoo better, I would recommend the city buy more simple items. For example, the lamp post could be a little less decorative.Also, I would recommend the city add more attractions to the area to draw more people. Lastly, I would recommend the city revamp some of the areas that look older.

3."One of the virtues of street trees is the way they channel the walkway and moderate the scale of the right-of-way. A very wide sidewalk without treee is not a comfortable space. This proved the case walks with Chicago's North Michigan Avenue. Along one stretch  the sidewalks were made thirty feet wide. This proved such a surfeit of space that it was decided to fill it up a bit.They put in trees and grassy plots with chain around them.They did this so expansively that the walkway width was narrow to about ten feet."

The above passage is from William H. Whyte's  "City" .In the downtown area of Kalamazoo, they basically used the same method on Burdick Street as Chicago's North Michigan Avenue. Burdick Street has the large sidewalks so they used grassy plots with tree and plants to cover most of the walkway as well as tables and benches to make the sidewalks narrow.