Implementing Project-Based Learning in the 21st Century

This post is by Jeff Robin, founding staff member and art teacher at High Tech High.

People learn using three domains: Cognitive, Affective, and Psychomotor, or Head, Heart, and Hand. Everyone needs to think, feel/connect, and do to truly learn.

This knowledge about how people learn is the foundation of Project Based Learning (PBL).

If you Google PBL, the first 40 or so articles, opinions, and ideas are absolutely correct. The teacher creates experiences in, and hopefully out of, the classroom. The students act as co-designers who learn by doing, changing, and making.

One might say, “There. We are done. Problem solved!” Continue reading “Implementing Project-Based Learning in the 21st Century”

6 New UX Prototyping Tools for Designers


The UX prototyping space is booming. Dozens of solutions are now available for a practice that was done largely with paper and flat deliverables less than a decade ago. Designers can now start building experiences earlier in a product’s lifecycle and get real results around decisions through testing these prototypes. These tools help bridge the gap between designers and developers, allowing for ideas to be communicated and realized.

Lean UX delivery process

A catalyst for these new tools is Lean UX — the process of quickly framing your ideas and solving fundamental design challenges without relying on style and pixel perfection. Even if you are not sold on Lean UX, you may want a quick and easy way to explore concepts and interaction. You’re in luck. The number of applications available for UX prototyping is staggering. The real challenge will be finding one that is best suited for you. Here are six designer-friendly tools for UX prototyping. Continue reading “6 New UX Prototyping Tools for Designers”


Toluwalase Rufai and Khai Grubbs are two recent architecture graduates who joined together to form Toki, an art collective based in the Washington, D.C. area. The duo creates installations that aim to temporarily modify the perception you feel when standing in a public space via rhythm, movement, transparency, and ephemerality. The three-dimensional works engage viewers letting them experience the work on their own. The Synth Series begins with a colorful creation, made from yarn, that represents the sounds of music in a physical form.


The importance of evidence-based design

Article From:  DCA website

Dr Dan Jenkins leads the human factors and research team at DCA Design International, working on a range of projects in domains including medical, transport, consumer goods and industrial products. Lisa Baker is a Chartered Ergonomist of the CIEHF and senior human factors researcher at DCA Design International. Here, in advance of an interactive workshop they will present at Design Council, they discuss the necessity of designing from a strong evidence base.

Design is rarely a solitary exercise. Despite perceptions brought about and perpetuated by celebrity designers, most products are developed by teams. The reason is that many products, like planes, trains or automobiles, are simply too complex to be designed by one person alone. Continue reading “The importance of evidence-based design”

Think You’re Multitasking? Think Again



Don’t believe the multitasking hype, scientists say. New research shows that we humans aren’t as good as we think we are at doing several things at once. But it also highlights a human skill that gave us an evolutionary edge.

As technology allows people to do more tasks at the same time, the myth that we can multitask has never been stronger. But researchers say it’s still a myth — and they have the data to prove it.

Humans, they say, don’t do lots of things simultaneously. Instead, we switch our attention from task to task extremely quickly.

A case example, researchers say, is a group of people who focus not on a BlackBerry but on a blueberry — as in pancakes.
Continue reading “Think You’re Multitasking? Think Again”

10 Unsung Graphic Design Visionaries You Should Know

“Visionary graphic designers will always be less visible than visionary architects or product designers because of the ephemeral nature of what they produce,” writer Caroline Roberts says. Her new book Graphic Design Visionaries (Laurence King, 2015) covers 75 influential practitioners spanning the well-known—Otl Aicher, Saul BassStefan Sagmeister—and those not typically celebrated outside of the graphic design profession.

It’s the latter who have shaped the world around us in some profound and unexpected ways, from how we visualize data to the look of women’s magazines. “It’s unlikely that many of the designers featured in the book woke up one day and decided that they would try and change the world through graphic design,” Roberts says. “What links them all is a desire to break new ground, combined with a need to push standards higher.” Below and in the slide show above, she shares 10 of the lesser-known designers featured in the book.

  Continue reading “10 Unsung Graphic Design Visionaries You Should Know”

The Complex Emotions of “Inside Out” in One Infographic

Pixar’s new film, Inside Out, is all about the interplay of feelings within a person. (We don’t want to spoil anything, so we’ll just leave it at that. But go see it ASAP.) The film’s main characters— joy, sadness, disgust, fear, and anger—are their own specific emotions. But when they work together, they can create entirely new emotions. 

  Continue reading “The Complex Emotions of “Inside Out” in One Infographic”

Why Good Designs Starts in a Word Processor

Scope creep is something that plagues many industries, but creative work takes the cake for being the most ambiguous when it comes to expectations. In the design phase, client feedback (you know, words like “clean” or “modern” and phrases like “make it pop more” or “that is not at all what I explained to you”) can turn a great contract into a money pit for your firm. Managing expectations is tough when you start in the wrong place.

Consider this: You have your first meeting with a client to discuss scope, goals, and needs for what you envision being a simple brochure website. You are planning to go over all of the big-picture ins and outs, the overall style, graphic elements that need to be produced, videos for social media, etc. Your client shows up to the meeting with a sketch of the website layout, a color palette, and a couple of links to their favorite YouTube videos, telling you they have it all planned out in their head.

Continue reading “Why Good Designs Starts in a Word Processor”

How Has Design Changed Since 1980?


So, how has design—and especially “award-winning design”—changed over the last three-and-a-half decades?

With Print’s Regional Design Annual turning 35 this year, we decided to break out the very first RDA and find out. (And if you’re wondering how design annuals crawled out of the primordial ooze in the first place, Steven Heller explains here.) Continue reading “How Has Design Changed Since 1980?”

What Do We Really Mean When We Say ‘Personalized Learning’?

Naomi Chung/Flickr
Naomi Chung/Flickr

The idea of personalized learning is seductive – it implies moving away from the industrialized form of education that pumps out cookie-cutter students with the same knowledge and skills. After decades of this approach, it is clear that all children don’t learn the same way and personalization seems to honor those differences. However, that term has taken on several different meanings.

Continue reading “What Do We Really Mean When We Say ‘Personalized Learning’?”

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