Author Archive

Stephanie Spina – Final Project

May 6, 2013 |  by  |  unfathomable  |  Comments Off on Stephanie Spina – Final Project

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Design Strategy: This project was definitely a challenge for me, since coming into this I really didn’t know much about Malaria at all. I did have a little experience with DPS, so my strategy was focusing on how I could improve my skills in DPS while also using the Edge animations. Animation was the hardest part for me to come up with for this part, so I spent the most time on that for sure. I wanted to photos to do their job, so I didn’t use a lot of text, which I am happy with. My design strategy is always just seeing where something takes me. I can create a lot better when I let my mind run free and try new things, which is what I did with this project.

Choice of Typefaces: For typefaces, I waned to keep them simple but interesting at the same time. I chose a serif and a sans-serif that I think went together really well. Futura and Georgia. These two fonts are very classic and easy to read which was my first priority.

Visuals: Most of my visuals were simply the photos given to us by Jon Lowenstein. They definitely did their job in taking the attention of the publication, and I believe I did well presenting them without taking away from them at all. The only other visuals I used were the mosquitoes flying across the screen, and my infographic, which I think definitely added to the project.

Infographic Design: I had the hardest time coming up with an infographic. I wanted to keep it pretty simple but cool at the same time. After discussing with Prof. Harper about a flow chart kind of infographic, I decided to go with that and base it around donating and why they should be donating.

Colors: My color choices were black, white, and the blue from the Massachusetts General Hospital logo. At first I wanted to use red with the black and white, to express urgency, but now that I used the blue I am happy with that choice. It’s much quieter and nice to look at. I didn’t want to add in any other colors since the photos are black and white.

Tutorials Used: The only other tutorials I used besides those given in class, were the ones in the two ipad books I have, Edge Classroom in a book, and InDesign DPS.

Weekly Site Critique – Stephanie Spina

April 3, 2013 |  by  |  Inspiration  |  Comments Off on Weekly Site Critique – Stephanie Spina

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This is a freelance web designer’s (surprise surprise) own website, featuring his work and resume and contact information. I chose this site because it has really cool animation. Everything on it is simple, yet effective. It adds a nice touch to the site and keeps you interested in what else he can create.

User Profile

The user for this would be any potential employer looking to hire a web designer, or could be anyone in general, like friends or family. I think it works for all age groups. It’s easy to understand and very unique. It’s super fun to look at. Immediately when seeing the animation on this site, I am inclined to check out his other work!

User Interface

The site is very organic, unique, and detailed. Each time I went to a new page I found myself seeing something else I hadn’t noticed before.  The color scheme works really well, as the background color doesn’t take away from any of the animation. My favorite page is the about page, because it has the most animation and it’s really fun to watch. The idea behind it is clever. I love how even though the site has some animation, the information doesn’t get lost. It is still very straightforward and easy to navigate.


Like I said above, this site is really simple to use. I mean, it is only a portfolio website and has 3 pages, but sometimes when a lot of animation is added to a site, it becomes hard to navigate to different pages and you end up missing important information. Everything is straightforward and to the point. The animation isn’t really all that interactive, it just sort of keeps the background interesting. It would be cool to see some other features added in to make the animation a little more interactive.

Stephanie Spina- iPad App critique

March 27, 2013 |  by  |  Inspiration  |  Comments Off on Stephanie Spina- iPad App critique

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Disneyland Explorer (iPad App)


This iPad app is called Disneyland Explorer. I picked this app because of the awesome graphics and interactive features. The purpose of this site is to show someone a virtual map of Disneyland, featuring videos, games, and photos about the attractions there.

User Profile

I feel like the user for this app would be mostly younger children/teens who want to learn more about Disneyland or Disney in general. The age group would probably be about 5 or 6 to 13 or 14. Interests would obviously include Disney movies or attractions. The user would have to know simple technical skills in order to use this app.

User Interface

This app is basically an HD quality virtual look at Disneyland. The graphics are absolutely amazing and make you feel like you are right there with the characters. As you swipe the page, you move around Disneyland’s different sections where you can see the different attractions and rides they have to offer. It is interactive in that you can click on many of the characters/rides and up will pop a video, photos, or even a game involving that attraction. This brings the user more into the app instead of just being able to swipe through the graphics. It plays catchy music, and the graphics are also moving to make it look a little more realistic. All of these things mentioned are really working for the app. It’s colorful and fun to use. I would like to see a little more interactivity, but other than that it is a great app, especially for kids.


One of my favorite features of this app is the tiny Mickey symbol in the right corner. This brings you to an interactive menu where you can click on any of the different attractions by list, rather than just continuously swiping through to find what you may be looking for. There are different categories as well, such as hotels, Disneyland, Disney Califonia Adventure, and Downtown Disney. This is something that is really easy to use especially for those who are trying to find something specific. I wish that the app would open up with this menu though, because unless someone is playing around and exploring what the app has to offer, you wouldn’t necessarily know what it’s for or that it even does anything. Other than that this app is extremely easy to use, especially for kids.

Stephanie Spina – Design Research

March 20, 2013 |  by  |  Inspiration, Student Work  |  Comments Off on Stephanie Spina – Design Research

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I picked this site because when I came across it, it caught my eye as being really interesting. Websites that have really nice animation and graphics really pull you in, and this site definitely did that. What’s ironic is that I learned that this site’s purpose is to help businesses with latest technology web based solutions. They do consulting work with clients and help them with tools for things like advertising and selling for their business. They help with general merchandise portals, niche verticals, job portals, and community portals, also Search Engine Optimalization. I think it’s really cool that their site is so interactive and interesting because it shows that they know what they are doing!

User Profile:

I think the user would be any smaller business needing help with finding new ways to enhance their websites. I would guess that the user would be someone who is struggling setting their business apart and is looking for a way to make it unique, through use of the services offered by SensiSoft. I would guess the user’s age would be somewhere between early 20s-40ish. Occupation would include any smaller business, perhaps a personally owned business that doesn’t have an IT department. Any cultural background would be using this site I believe. I also believe they would have to have some sort of technical knowledge/ability if they want to make this happen for their business, and I’m sure they would have access to broadband as well.

User Interface:

My favorite thing about this site is the face that with each “page,” you enter a new time period/location. Starting with the About Us tab, you move through time to the future to the Contact Us page. The center holds all the information for the page you are on, and the background is a 3D image of a certain place around the world in a specific time period. This is a really unique feature that I was really impressed with. I love the background image in each page. I love how animated they are to make it seem like an actual moving place. It’s an interesting touch. I also like the navigation tabs and how you are able to click on the arrows to take you to the next page, or you can choose one from the tabs. One thing I might have changed would be the small area holding all of the information. If they needed to add more info, they most likely wouldn’t have room because the info is so cramped in that small space.


This site is pretty simple to use, especially because all of the information is in one place on the screen. The arrows moving to the next page make it really easy to navigate. I love how when you click on an image in the center, a box pops up allowing you to see the additional information. This is a nice touch that makes it easy to use. The site is pretty self explanatory which makes it more appealing. Like I said above though, I wish the information was a little more spread out since it’s feeling a little cramped, but I understand why it is that way in relation to the design and animation.

Design Research – RIA Site – Stephanie Spina

March 6, 2013 |  by  |  unfathomable  |   |  Comments Off on Design Research – RIA Site – Stephanie Spina

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I picked this site because I was introduced to it last year in my Graphics class and I was really impressed by it. To this day, when I show this site to people, everyone is always wowed by the graphics. It’s really interesting to look at and really fun in my opinion. The purpose of the site is to showcase Jim Carrey as the unique actor that he is, using a creative way that isn’t a boring list of the things he’s done.

 User Profile

The user would be anyone interested in learning more about Jim Carrey in an interactive way. I would say the age would range from maybe young teens to adults, with interests in acting or movies that Jim Carrey has been a part of. I would say average occupations and all cultural backgrounds, since movies is a part of almost anyone’s lives. The user would have to have some working knowledge of technology and interactive websites, or they would be extremely lost.

 User Interface

What works at first glance is the wide range of everything to look at. The quality of the graphics is strong, and his photo in the center really works for me, since I’m very well aware that that is the man we are talking about here. I also am a fan of the navigation bar at the bottom, especially because I’m glad that it doesn’t take away from the graphics on the page, yet they are still visible. I do wish that his name was a bit bigger on the screen, however, if you are going to I would assume you know who he is or what his name is. I love how when you click on one of the different pages, it takes you almost on a journey to the next place. The graphics are incredible. It’s awesome how there are so many different things to click on, because it really involves the user and they are able to connect with it.

What I don’t like about it, is the fact that it may be confusing to those not interested in extreme graphics. I know some people who like things simple, who want to be able to just click one thing and know what they need to know. This may be confusing at first glance, which may turn some people away. The home page has a lot going on, and you wouldn’t necessarily know that there are a lot of things to click on unless you move your mouse around and start playing with it. Some people might consider the site too “out there” or too intimidating for them to use.


I think this goes back to the user interface, in that for me, a person who is pretty good with technology, is able to use this site with no problems. But take my mom, who can hardly use her cell phone, and put her in front of this site. I’m positive she would find this cool, but at the same time hard to understand where to go and what to look at. For me, I don’t mind sitting and playing around with the different features, but I think that varies across all ages. Jim Carrey is a really unique and crazy guy so this site really fits his personality well. The navigation bar is really easy to use, and I really like how almost everything on each page is interactive, but it may be overwhelming for some people.

Research- Stephanie Spina

January 23, 2013 |  by  |  unfathomable  |  Comments Off on Research- Stephanie Spina

In simplest terms, malaria is defined as a mosquito-borne infectious disease that is most common in tropical climates. When malaria turns into cerebral malaria, it means that the disease has become more severe and has infected the brain. Although malaria effects millions of people, only about 20-50% of those effected develop cerebral malaria.

Malaria is first caused by a parasite infected female mosquito, which then transfers to the blood flow of the human or other animal. Cerebral malaria occurs when the infected red blood cels adhere to the cerebral microvasculature. This results in a blocking of the path that the blood needs to pass through. It stops the blood flow, and the brain isn’t able to receive the correct amount of oxygen and nutrients that it needs.

Sadly, a common cause of death for those with cerebral malaria is acute respiratory arrest, however, a survivor of the disease most times does not have resulting neurologic problems.

There are several symptoms of cerebral malaria, such as a fever, seizures, coma, altered state of consciousness, as well as neurological symptoms. Treatment is available for malaria, however, the type of treatment is prescribed based on the severity of the disease. The most common treatment is something called a artemisinin-combination theory. This treatment tends to reduce the ability of the infection to resist a type of drug. This form of treatment is about 90% effective for normal cases of malaria.

When cerebral malaria is developed, a different action is required. Parenteral administration is needed of antimalarial drugs. Many times, someone with cerebral malaria is treated in a critical care unit. In this unit, the patient’s fevers are managed,  and their seizures are monitored, as well as their respiratory issues. When treated properly, malaria can expect a full recovery with no brain damage. But in a worse case of severe malaria (cerebral), death can occur within days or even hours.

According to documented sources, there were 219 million cases of malaria in 2010, which resulted in 660,000 deaths. About 65% of cases of malaria occur in children that are under 15 years old.  Pregnant women are also very vulnerable to the disease.

For children, the disease is a much more serious issue since it is effecting a young body. Many sources say that children should be treated with intravenous or intramuscular quinine. According to scientists, cerebral malaria is associated with long-term cognitive impairments in 1 out of 4 children who survive it. The odds of this depend on things such as age, gender, nutrition, and home life/environment. Most of the time cerebral malaria increases cognitive impairment about 6 months after the first infection.

Impaired consciousness in children is caused by this disease. Obviously, malaria occurs in most tropical areas, including much of the sub-Saharan Africa.


Infographic I found:

I think this infographic has nice illustrations but could use some additional information. There are many ways to make this interactive to provide more facts/info.

Infographic with map:

Although it’s important to know the number of lives saved, the viewer should see additional information with the shocking numbers of how terrible the disease really is and how many people it effects.