Thursday, May 28, 2015

Infographics and Context

Some interesting thoughts on choosing the right image format to present your data.

Creating Accurate Infographics

A great article on the importance of accurate visual data in infographic design.
False Visualizations: Sizing Circles in Infographics Revised

Elements of Design

Here is a beautiful motion graphic animation to help you brush up on design terminology.

Elements of Design from matt greenwood on Vimeo.

Redesigning the Parking Sign
An interesting blog about a designer's crusade to visually streamline and simplify the confusing parking schedules you find in cities.
It's a wonderful example of how to communicate a message faster and with more clarity using effective design.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Free and Helpful Mobile Apps

While working at our annual event, Celebrate (save the date for May 11, 2016!), the Adobe representatives taught me something new – and very exciting – that I just had to pass along! Along with all of their desktop programs and applications, did you know that there is a host of mobile applications that you can download from Adobe? The best part is, they’re all free!

With a mix of iOS and iPad applications, Adobe has an app for everything, so you can create beautiful work on the go, and pick it up on your desktop computer at any time, thanks to their Creative Cloud software.

Some of the apps include: Adobe Illustrator Draw, that allows you to create vector designs on your phone or tablet, and sync them to your desktop. Check out this video to see the in’s and out’s of this awesome app! 

Or how about Adobe Sketch? You can sketch just like you would with a paper and pencil, so you can sketch whenever the mood strikes, as long as you have your tablet with you!

Here is a complete list of Adobe mobile applications! There are options for everyone, making it easier to tap into your creative side at any moment! Some are available on iOS or iPad, and sometimes both platforms. Take a look!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Smart Pens & More Note Taking Tools

For professors, staff, and students alike, taking notes and sitting through meetings is a regular part of the day. Having the ability to record those notes and be able to play them back could be very beneficial to all of those in academia. Maybe you write too slow and didn’t catch all of what was said, or maybe you just learn better when you can hear the information repeated.

Whatever it is, there are several products on the market that make this possible. Each product has different capabilities and functionalities, depending on what best suits your needs.

One of those items is the LiveScribe Echo Smartpen. Equipped with a USB-connection for easy data transfer and charging, a microphone to capture audio, and up to 200 hours of audio storage, this may be a great option for members of academia.

I highly encourage you to take a look at some of the LiveScribe smartpens. Depending on what model you want, it could get a little pricey, but faculty and staff should explore the ability to purchase these through their department.

You can visit this webpage for a comparison of all LiveScribe pens, and this website to look at prices.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Note Taking Tool for Video Lectures

As one who has participated heavily in MOOCs & Flipped Classrooms, I felt this tool was worth sharing. is an open source tool that you can use to take notes with your video lectures.
This tool integrates easily with Google drive so you can share your notes with other colleagues. For those who like Evernote, let's you export to Evernote as well.

 Last of all, your notes are synchronized to the video with a time stamp.  So if you want to play the video from a part you felt was interesting, just click on the time stamp in the yellow column and the video jumps to that time frame. 

This tool works with the top three MOOC providers: Coursera, EdX, & Udacity.  But it also works perfectly fine with YouTube, Khan Academy, and Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Haas Unica - The Legendary Redesign of Helvetica

"After 30 years cooling its heels in the bottom of a storage box, the fabled commercial follow-up to Helvetica, Haas Unica, has been rediscovered and relaunched by Monotype. Redrawn from scratch for the digital age, if you love the elemental nature of Helvetica, but loath the quirks that make it unsuitable for screens, then Neue Haas Unica could be your next favorite sans-serif."

Haas Unica - The Legendary Redesign of Helvetica

Unsplash - High Quality Stock Photos for Free

"Unsplash offers up ten new stock photos you can use on your website, every ten days. The current set is a collection of work environments, surrounding a MacBook Air and other Apple products. They're released under the CC0 license, which means that all copyrights and related rights have been waived entirely."

Unsplash - Click Here

Responsive Logos

"Responsive design is essential for brands, but how many clients allow designers to tweak logos for different screen sizes? Jeremy Frank presents a convincing case in this must-read article. If you work with brand assets, Frank’s logical take on responsive logos will give you all the ammunition you need to present clients with a persuasive argument."

Click here for the article.

Real or Photoshop?

We've all seen those over the top photos enhanced with Photoshop. Whether it be people, landscapes, or animals sometimes its easy to spot the fake or in some cases, not so easy. 

This website, created by Adobe, gives you a little quiz with 25 images to see if you can spot which ones are Photoshop and which are real. 

Sharpen your observation skills and see how many you can get right. Click the link below.


Collaborative Classroom Named for National Award Finalist

A new approach to classroom design has been named a finalist in the AMX by HARMAN Innovation awards. The collaborative classroom in Percival Hall (room 335) is designed for students to access the technology with their own devices for collaborative work. It features moveable seating, a ceiling mounted projector, four large screen flat-panel displays around the room and many input panels for students to connect phones, tables or laptops. As part of the WVU Celebrate week of events, the campus is invited to experience this innovative classroom - designed by Academic Innovation and Facilities Management - at an open house on Thursday (May 14) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The winners of the innovation award will be announced on June 15.