Bringing the design together

“Designing is a way of thinking that needs to be acknowledged as second nature for educators” (Designthinkingforeducators.com2016)

As the time draws nearer to completing this design, it is time to reflect on the principles and practices that have been learnt and implemented into this newsletter. The principles that have been used in the newsletter design focus primarily on size, colour, layout and font although when looking deeper many principles where used without concise thought. Accessibility, consistently, framing, and readability come to mind as examples that are used on a sub-consciences level. Designers will reduce complex thought processes into simple principles that are incorporated as second nature into their work (Lawson, 2006). This has become true as the design progresses I have found myself looking at the newsletter differently, with a more critical design eye.

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The above newsletters are a fortnightly newsletter released for early childhood, educators. These newsletter work very well in their simplicity. They focus on usability and consistency, delivering useful information in a reliable and familiar format, engages the readers to take time to read and understand the information presented.

Designing needs to be separated from creativity for educators who seem to have a deep sense of suspension and unease when it comes to the creative arts (Literat & Reilly, 2012). Once educators can understand that design is something that they already do in their daily lives it should be a simple matter to begin to embrace and extend this into a more thorough and productive practice.

Newsletter progress

The current incarnation of my newsletter. It is still missing some information and I think the background needs to be changed to a simple block colour as it is too busy. I haven’t settled on a font yet and will continue to experiment until I find something that will conceive my message and retain a simplicity and effectiveness to capture and entice viewers.

References:

Designthinkingforeducators.com,. (2016). Design Thinking for Educators. Retrieved 29 January 2016, from http://www.designthinkingforeducators.com/

Lawson, B. (2006). How designers think: the design process demystified. Routledge.

Literat, I., & Reilly, E. (2012). Designing with Teachers: Participatory Approaches to Professional Development in Education (1st ed.). Retrieved from http://dmlhub.net/publications/designing-with-teachers-participatory-approaches-to-professional-development-in-education/

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Designing for communication and usability

When designing a newsletter a key point that is seems to be ignored is font. Font is often neglected and undervalued which can drastically alter the perception of the design. When choosing a font, the following principles must be considered, size, typeface, contract, spacing and text blocks (Lidwell, Holden, & Butler, 2010). If the wrong font is chosen or formatted poorly the design is at risk of losing much of it communication power, with the content becoming hard to read and confusing. The legibility of the design goes hand in hand with the readability, no matter the level of skill when considering the formatting of the font, if the text is overly complex and badly written for the intended audience the message will not have the desired impact (Lidwell, Holden, & Butler, 2010). When producing and writing this newsletter the above factors need to be in the forefront on the thought process to ensure that it appeals and communicates to the intended audience above all others.

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The above newsletter, shows a clever use of font layout and design, incorporated with the images to create a usable piece of communication that is directly targeted to its intended audience.

When considering the usability of the newsletter, a key point has become apparent. The Information presented must be able to stand alone and be understood and accessed by as many people as possible. The following link provides many examples of newsletter designs that are accessible and usable to people of all ages, levels and interests, https://www.pinterest.com/explore/newsletter-design/. Instead of an ongoing series of newsletters that builds upon the information provided previously, each newsletter will contain information that will be useful to educators contemplating their design needs.

The following list is a summary of the current books and websites that the newsletters content is be sourced from.

https://dschool.stanford.edu/sandbox/groups/k12/wiki/14340/attachments/e55cd/teacher%20takeaway.pdf?sessionID=8a1e74f8bb3ba42c03074c699312098f74be7bb3

http://www.teachthought.com/uncategorized/45-design-thinking-resources-for-educators/

https://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/why-design-thinking-doesnt-work-in-education/

https://www.ideo.com/work/toolkit-for-educators

McKenney, S. (2005). Technology for curriculum and teacher development: Software to help educators learn while designing teacher guides. Journal of Research on Technology in Education38(2), 167-190.

Bennett, A. (2006). Design studies: theory and research in graphic design. Princeton Architectural Press.

Stone, T. L., Adams, S., & Morioka, N. (2008). Color Design Workbook: A Real World Guide to Using Color in Graphic Design. Rockport Pub.

Feisner, E. A. (2006). Colour: how to use colour in art and design. Laurence King Publishing.

Reference:

Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2010). Universal Principles of Design: 125 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, and Teach Through Design. Beverly, MA.: Rockport Publishers.