This was this week’s assignment:
This was one of the few assignments that I felt like I had a really good idea that meshed really well with what was required of me. I decided to utilize some good shape-usage, too, to make a clear and easy-to-understand Venn diagram:
Who are my users and what assumptions do I make about them?
Just like the last few weeks, I would be presenting this resource to my own students, so it’s a group that I am intimately familiar with. My students in this class would be sophomores, between the ages of 13 and 17, with medium-low to medium English writing, reading & grammar skills. They should have a basic understanding of the parts of speech in English, as they would have been taught parts of speech at least once, in their freshman year, but most likely, they’ve forgotten the names and roles of the different parts of speech and are “due” for a reminder.
Why do you think your solution will work?
So I actually had a lot more example sentences that I wanted to use to show transitive and intransitive sentences, but I took the advice from Lohr on page 126 that said “Increasing the white space makes the elements seem more distinct. Decreasing the white space makes the elements seem more similar. White space is an important tool for creating the appropriate distance (proximity) between information elements.” I tried to space the example sentences in a way that they had ample x-and-y space to associate them with the other example sentences of their category, while giving them the space necessary to show that they were different categorically. I hope that came through.
Secondly, starting on page 133-143, Lohr explains how Tables, Charts, and Graphs can be used to make information more clear, and while my Venn diagram isn’t exactly one of those, it’s still an image that organizes data, so I tried to follow the heuristics that Lohr brought up, like chunking and avoiding extraneous junk. She also brings up focusing the viewers’ attention on the data, not the container (pg 140), and avoiding unnecessary three-dimensional charts.
What did you learn from a “user-test”?
I wish I would have saved my original design to show you what it looked like, but I accidentally overwrote it with Photoshop, but basically, it was very similar to the current design except the verbs weren’t bolded. When I talked to my student/clients, we all agreed that if the point of the image was to convey the difference between transitive and intransitive verbs, I needed to point to the verbs more, so I reworked the image font to make the verb pop more. When I came back later and showed it to them, they agreed it was vastly improved.
Lohr, Linda, L. (2008). Creating Graphics for Learning and Performance, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.