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Question: what’s this site for?

Answer: to communicate the importance and unique character of the work done by the students of Iuav’s Interaction Design programme – to the class, visitors, people we know, and eventually, after the end of the course, the public.

Through this site the programme will become known for being serious, active, inventive (maybe witty too). This will attract interesting students and teachers to participate in the programme. It will closed career doors to the programme’s current members and alumni. And it will stimulate others to build on what you have done, just as you are stimulated by projects you see on the Web (Davide and Luca’s YouTube video, for instance, prompted enquiries from Belarus about how they achieved gesture recognition).

So when you post, think not just about your own post, but also how it works with the others on the ‘NEW’ page. How can you help make this page communicate clearly, and look vibrant and exciting? When readers click on your project in the sidebar, what impression will they receive? People surfing the Web have short attention spans: can they get an accurate first picture of your project within three seconds? Enough to make them continue looking? Think like graphic communication designers as well as interaction designers.

On the ‘NEW’ page, please use the ‘[more]‘ tag and a small summary (probably maximum 12 lines) that will make clicking on ‘[more]‘ irresistible. Use thumbnails, and make the text wrap round them to give a more varied and vigorous layout. If you include a file, give readers an idea of what they will find if they click to download it. Include a few ‘teaser’ thumbnails which will stimulate curiosity. Tell readers the size of downloadable files. If you include an application, tell readers what they must do to run it.

You are lucky to be in an exciting and fast-changing field. The disadvantage is that few people understand it, so it requires special effort to communicate it. Your future success as interaction designers depends on the quality of your designs – but only if this quality is communicated in a clear and lively way. You are doing good work: the site must reflect this quality.