QuickRef Template, GH5


Note: If you want to ask questions or suggest changes to the template, you should be able to add a Comment to this post (if you’re logged in).

I’ve created a very basic template for the QuickRef sheets in a folder on the shared Google Drive. Be sure to use the Paragraph Styles palette in InDesign to select the correct style for the content. I uploaded an .indd file that you can just edit, a template (which will open an unnamed new file that you can edit—not really much different), and a CS4+ compatible template file.

The design is sort of a hack; I didn’t have time to work out how to get textwrap to work around the images correctly, so images will need to be manually placed and then moved around. Because textwrap is turned off on the images, you’ll need to pad out the text on the right by inserting blank lines. Also, the large numbers on the steps are just a nested style drop cap.

Remember—this is just for a draft of a QuickRef due Tuesday. We can tweak things, make corrections, revise the template, etc. in class.

Finally, I’m using frames for the images, but they’re a little awkward to work with and I’m not sure they’re much better than just placing images directly on the page. If you need to learn how to work with images in frames, Adobe has online help.

Finally++, I left my GH5 (and a spare battery) with Lorraine. You can borrow it if you want to work with the actual camera while I’m out of town. Don’t break it.

1.24 (Thursday)



Who Do Designers Really Work For?


Also Discuss

React vs Angular vs Vue (multiple ways to look at data)


Be sure to put images into a Google Docs file (so I can comment).


Discuss options, settle on design. Figure out development schedule, responsibilities.

What app to use for development? (InDesign?)

What specific things to document (see inventory page)?

  • Video basics (GH5)
  • Photo basics (GH5)
  • Premiere basics
  • Audition basics
  • Recording basics (levels, isolation, mic placement)

Ethics in Design

ind.ie CC BY 4.0 License

ind.ie’s Ethical Design Manifesto.

Ruben Pater, The Politics of Design, Amsterdam: BIS Publishers. 2017.

Deceptive Information Graphics

Planned Parenthood Services

Linear vs. Quadratic Change (see Fast Food Sales Chart)

For Tuesday

First draft of QuickRef. Can use some placeholder text/images, but main structure and some content should be there.

1.17 (Thursday)




You are not a storyteller – Stefan Sagmeister @ FITC from FITC on Vimeo.

See also, Natasha Jen’s “Design Thinking is Bullshit” talk.

Natasha Jen: Design Thinking is Bullsh*t from 99U on Vimeo.

QuickRef Project

Review examples

Decide on overall strategy: Each student produce alternative version? Or class work on one as a team?

Develop a schedule (Gantt chart in Excel)

InDesign Tutorial

  • Document setup
  • Frames
  • Text Tool
  • Character
  • Paragraph + Paragraph Styles
  • Graphical Object Tool
  • Place Object

Journal for 1.17 (Thursday)


For Thursday, locate two quick reference sheets (do a web search) that seem like useful models for the ones we’re designing for the Ignite media production/editing rooms. Take screenshots of each and insert them into a Google Doc file titled “Journal January 17 QuickRef Examples YourLastName”. Be sure to list the URL for each under the screenshot.

How to Take a Screenshot

Instructions for Windows.

Instructions for MacOS.

1.15 Tuesday



Lupton 9 – 13


Share and discuss


From Dan Saffer, Designing for Interaction.
Jesse James Garret, Elements of User Experience

Brief Excel Tutorial

Download the data table (.xlsx).

See additional images in Google Drive Shared Excel Basics folder.

QuickRef Project

For the QuickRef Project, we’re going to create very brief documentation for users of the audio/video/photo production and editing rooms in the Ignite Center. At this point, we’re just doing the first part of the project: Thinking about usability, deciding on media types and formats, wireframing layouts, and creating sample content.

After this initial work, you’ll pass off the project to COMM395 (Writing for Media) students, who will generate additional content for QuickRef modules. You’ll edit that content and produce the final QuickRef materials.

I’ve posted a list of the tech in the rooms on the Resources page. As you’ll see, there’s a lot available so we’ll need to decide what to focus on.

Some samples

1.10 Thursday



Goals, policies, projects, schedule

Information Design

What is information?
What is design?

Examples for Discussion

History of the periodic table of elements

History of the New York Subway map

Vignelli’s Subway map

Beck’s London Underground map

Some misleading charts, with discussion

In-Class Exercise: The Schedule Page

Who uses this page?

What specific pieces of information are they trying to get?

What other ways are there to organize this information?

Will people use it differently at different points in the semester? At midterms? Near the end of the semester? When a major project is due?

Google Drive Setup

Go to the Google Drive COMM345 Shared folder. Inside that folder, create another folder titled “Journals YourLastName”. This is where you’ll put your journal entries. Title each individual entry with Journal DateDue YourLastName. So the first journal entry (due next Tuesday) will be a document titled “January 15 Bad Info Design YourLastName”.

Course Weblog Signup

Click the + on the bottom of the page and scroll down to see the link to the registration page. I’ll use this for periodic course announcements and reminders; it’ll also allow you to comment on posts during the semester if we use the weblog for class discussion.

For Tuesday

Read Lupton 9 – 13

Journal 1: Analyze the graphic below and create an alternate version (in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. or even sketch by hand and upload a picture of the sketch—not looking for polished work, just the basic idea). Title the file “Journal January 15 Bad Info Design YourLastName” and put it in your Google Drive Journal folder.