Fall 2016 | ASH 145
Instructor Information
Dr. Tracy Bridgeford
Office: ASH 192D
Office Phone: 402-554-3312
Office Hours:
Mondays 2:00-3:00 and by appointment
Course Syllabus Website

ENGL/JOUR 4850-8856 Information design is concerned with the presentation of print or digital content. This course is designed to help you develop a professional sensibility for making stylistic choices appropriate for particular situations and audiences and the skills to implement those choices.

My perspective of information design is informed by Saul Carliner's Information and Document Design (2006), who says that he defines information design as:

preparing communication products so that they achieve the performance objectives established for them. . . . Information design differs from document design in that information design addresses the issue of whether readers can understand a text, not merely whether they can find information on it. (pp. 2-3)

This definition shows, I think, the complex, problem-solving process involved in the design process. In short, information design is the presentation of content for a specific purpose, situation, and audience.

This course will introduce you to a variety of strategies for designing and integrating visual and textual elements in ways that not only make a document more accessible to readers but also demonstrates the ability to address design problems. Course discussion and readings will focus on analysis of the design problem, principles of effective design, and visual conventions. We will use software from the Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop, Dreamweaver, InDesign, and Acrobat). I will demo some features of this software, but it is your responsibility to take the initiative for your own learning of this software (see Adobe Software in the navigation box).

Course Objectives

In this class, you will learn...

  • to become familiar with and use design language
  • to understand design as a problem-solving process
  • to analyze audience, and purpose as they pertain to the design situation
  • to apply principles of design effectively
  • to develop a design sensibility through standards, style sheets, and practice
  • to develop technical skills with design software

required & recommended books & materials

When trying to decide whether to purchase the recommended texts, consider how you best learn software (see Adobe Software in the navigation box).

Flash Drive (at least 2gbs) You might want to have a backup flash drive as well.
Responsive Web Design with HTML5 and CSS3
Frain, Ben. (2015). Responsive Web Design with HTML5 and CSS3. 1st ed.: Birmingham-Mumbai: Packt Publishing. MAKE SURE YOU PURCHASE THE 1ST EDITION!
White Space is Not Your Enemy
Hagen, Rebecca, & Golombisky, Kim. (2013). White Space is not Your Enemy: A Beginner's Guide to Communicationg Visually Through Graphic, Web & Multimedia Design. 2nd ed. New York: Focal Press.
Photoshop CC Visual Quick Start Guide
Weinmann, Elaine, & Lourekas, Peter. (2016). Photoshop CC Visual Quick Start Guide. Peachpit Press
Dreamweaver CC Visual Quick Start Guide
Nebrino, Tom, & smith, Dori. (2014). Dreamweaver CC Visual Quick Start Guide. Peachpit Press.
InDesign CC Visual Quick Start Guide
Cohen, Sandee. (2014). InDesign CC: Visual QuickStart Guide (2014 release). Peachpit Press/Pearson.
Castro, Elizabeth, & Hyslop, Bruce. (2014). HTML & CSS. Peachpit Press/Pearson.

Some documents associated with the class and all assignments will be submitted through Dropbox is a document repository that I use for course materials and student files and documents. You will need to create an account at in order to submit your assignments. This account is free. In dropbox, I created a course folder called Information Design Fall 2016, which contains course documents and student files. You will receive an invitation from dropbox to join this folder. Once you've accepted the invitation, you will be able to see and access this folder.

I created a folder for each of you within the course folder. Each of these folders will contain other folders for each assignment with a "Ready for Grading" folder within each. I will assume that any documents placed into the Ready for Grading folder are ready for grading. You are welcome to save any other documents in this space. Please do NOT delete any documents in the course folder or the Ready for Grading folders.

In order to ensure that all students have access to the course documents in dropbox, I will have to share the entire course folder with everyone, which means that everyone will have access to everyone else’s folder. We will work on the honor system, which says that no one will go into anyone else’s folder without permission.

Students with Disabilities

Accommodations are provided for students with registered disabilities.

For more information contact Services for Students with disabilities:

Kate Clark, Disability Services Coordinator
UNO Disability Services
6001 Dodge Street, EAB 117
Omaha, NE 68182
Phone (402) 554-2872, TTY (402) 554-3799, Fax (402) 554-6015
©2016 Tracy Bridgeford