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Issue 6   |   December 1999 
         Leaving AOL | EDUCATORS only | TELL a friend | SEARCH me

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What I know about you... Teaching computer-based media... NY Minute wins Best of Show... Nudes in Parma
(Nov. 1999)

Graffiti & hip-hop... More student involvement = better critiques... Photoshop 5.5 vs. Fireworks 2
(Oct. 1999)

Swiss Design Quiz... Barcelona... AIGA / NASAD briefing paper... Response to Upgrade Junkies, Pt. 1
(Sept. 1999)

Upgrade junkies,
Part 1.

(Aug. 1999)

Report from International Design Conference at Aspen
(July 1999)

"Interactive Design" or "New Media?"
(July 1999)

If no author name is show, article is written by Al Wasco, author of this website.

Join in the conversation! Please send your comments on any article and/or suggestions for future articles by clicking on the [Email] link on any page.





...does a pretty face turn your head?
It works for magazines: it's no coincidence that most feature a pretty woman (usually) on the cover. Sales are better that way. That's a little bit of what's behind our new look.

If you're a regular visitor, you'll have noticed that this month's Interactive Design Forum features a photographic banner on the splash screen and as the "Home" icon on each page. I hope that the images, which will change monthly, make your visit a bit more enjoyable by being more interesting and pleasing to the eye.

This was prompted in part by comments from some of my Media Design students, whom I asked to review the site. Their gently phrased remarks:

"...easy to read, but it was a little plain."
"...I was hoping for more images."
"...the look could be improved."

made me think that perhaps, in my desire to create a website that downloads as quickly as possible, I'd made it too dull. I hope that when you read the articles our point of view and personality DOES come across, but maybe a prettier face will make some people more likely to stick around and read.

The emphasis will remain on offering you information, resources and the opportunity for discussion about interactive design and new media with other artists, designers, educators and students. Please let me know how you think we're doing.

Goodbye, AOL
Another milestone marked with this issue is the move to our own web domain, AWDsgn.com (that's AW Design, without the vowels). You no longer have to remember that long "members.aol.com, etc." URL. And I know that there are at least a few of you reading this who as a matter of pride never, EVER, visit an AOL members website. Glad to see you.

For the record, though, I was fairly happy with AOL and the price was right (free website for members). For anyone who wants to get their feet wet on the web and already is an AOL subscriber, it's a good way to go.

Our new web host is HiSpeed.net, which I chose after a several days of research. Their prices are reasonable, their website helpful, and I've been very happy with their technical support. I called even before I became a subscriber, and after a few rings(!) a real person(!!) answered the phone and courteously and clearly answered my questions(!!!). They also have a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you have any technical problems accessing this site, please let me know.

For design educators:
You've voted with your mouse-clicks: last month's feature on teaching computer-based media (based on the College Art Assn. report), and October's article by Bruce Cline, Evaluating Student Work, were among the most popular we've run, attracting nearly as many clicks as the always-popular links [BEST OF] section.

This month you'll find 5 simple things you can do to involve students in critiques, making them more enjoyable and productive for all.

If you're one of the many educators who appreciates articles like this, please join in the conversation by sending your suggestions, comments and reactions. To start off, this month send in ONE idea or technique you've found successful in critiquing student work. We'll collect the best and publish them in a future issue.

Share us with a friend or colleague
It's easy to tell your friends about Interactive Design Forum: send their email address(es) to feedback@awdsgn.com and we'll add them to our email list for a monthly update message. Or just click on the Recommend-It icon at left to generate an automatic email message right now.

More site visitors = more input, more ideas, more interaction.

BTW, over 10% of our new site visitors come from Web Page Design for Designers, a great resource put together by a graphic-designer-turned-web- designer.

Finding the needle in the haystack
After only six issues Interactive Design Forum already has about 40 interlinked pages (not counting links to external sites). This means it may be hard to remember exactly where you saw that great article or idea a few months ago. Help is on the way in the form of a "Search" tool that we hope to have in place by next month [added 12/15/99: see top of this page]. You'll be able to type in a keyword or two and find all the references to them on the site.

and until then,
Happy Holidays!

- Al Wasco 12/1/99


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