Applying principles of design to instructional design

What have been the most exciting AND frustrating parts of this experience thus far? How does developing the lessons relate to your learning objectives?

The most exciting part of the the project is making stuff the students can use. Although called the development stage, it is really another design stage- graphic and information design. Similar to instructional design, there are some principles that should be followed.

Here are the six principles of graphic design:

Balance– there should be visual balance between the heavy and light elements of the design. For example, a picture would have heavy weight, while text beside it would be lighter. In our design the picture is next to the title, so we used a larger, bolder font to achieve balance.


Proximity/unity– how close or apart elements on the page are. We worked for a while adjusting the line spacing and spacing around the lines to find a comfortable balance. The text needed to be tight to hold together and look like one thing, but these blocks of text are more comfortable to look at because they are divided by lines with space around, so they don’t look crowded.

proximity unity-bmp

Alignment– how the pieces fit on the page comfortably. For example, someone with a crooked nose immediately draws our attention. Well we wanted things aligned, yet not perfectly symmetrical, because that would just be a boring list. So we did put some elements out of alignment using columns.


Repetition/Consistency– how often elements repeat and if they look the same. We were careful in two ways, first that each individual recipe had the same elements as the others, so it would look like one thing. Also within each recipe, we repeated colors, had consistent fonts and picture sizes.

repeated color-bmp

Contrast– big and small, black and white, circles and squares are all things that are significantly different. No contrast is boring, while high contrast is exciting. We fell in a safer middle area- so there are subtly contrasting colors and sizes.

White space– too much and it is sparse, too little and the design looks crowded. We actually use a lot of white space because it makes the recipe clear, easy to follow and looks comfortable on the page.

Here is an image of the completed recipe card.

complete recipe card-bmp

We also applied similar design principles in the second document we created. Of course the authoring tool was different so the product looks different. You can see it here:

Another exciting thing was teamwork. It was nice to have Mikey on the team so we could divide up the work.

The frustrating part is also teamwork. One of our team members is not carrying their weight of work on the project. But guess what, teamwork doesn’t just mean work teaming- it means sharing the life force. I have already received life wisdom from this person, and my life is better because they are in it, and for that I am grateful. Besides, when my life delivers the baby in 2 months other people will be wining about me!


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