Warning: This is an archived course website that is part of my teaching portfolio, so some links may no longer work. Please contact me with any questions about this site.

Posted by Quinn Warnick February 11, 2011 Comments Off

Several of you missed class on Thursday (is everyone OK?!), but for those of you who were there, I had fun watching you complete our visual instructions activity. I read through them last night, and given your time constraints (and my intentionally vague instructions), I was very impressed with what you produced. We’ll conduct a short debriefing exercise about this activity on Tuesday, and I would love to hear more about your successes (and your frustrations) with this activity.

If you have not submitted a proposal for your Instructables project, please complete that task right now. I have responded to everyone who has submitted a proposal, so if you submitted a proposal and haven’t received my feedback, please let me know. Generally speaking, your proposals sound great, and I’m excited to see what you come up with as this assignment moves along. Once I have approved your topic, you can begin drafting the text for your instructable. When you have a rough draft, perform your instructions, taking lots of pictures as you do so. We will spend some time in the lab next Thursday editing photographs and uploading them to the Instructables.com website, so make sure you have photographed your tutorial by then.

An important note about taking photos for your Instructable: In order to avoid re-shooting all of your photographs, be very careful about setting up your photo shoot. Use the best camera you can find (translation: don’t use your cell phone) and set the camera at the highest possible resolution. Make sure your lighting is good. Eliminate background “noise” (dirty counters, unsupervised roommates, etc.) before you start. Shoot double or triple the number of images you think you’ll need. Take shots from multiple angles. Before you begin in earnest, take one or two shots and import them onto your computer to see how they look. In short, I don’t expect you to be professional photographers, but I can’t stress enough how important it is to have clear, bright photographs for this assignment.

During Week 5, we’ll continue our exploration of visual instructions and turn our attention more squarely to producing (not just analyzing) visual instructions.

On Tuesday, we’ll talk about using illustrations in technical communication. Before you come to class, please read Chapter 6 in the textbook and Tom Johnson’s Minimalistic Callouts Heighten Visual Appeal (you don’t need to print that one out, but read it carefully).

On Thursday, we’ll focus on editing images for use in printed and online documents. By this point, you should have taken the photographs for your Instructable. Please bring these files to class, where we will spend most of the day in workshop mode.

Comments are closed.