Universal Design & Visual Literacy

Google Classroom Graphic


When I was tasked with this assignment, I immediately had a visual in mind that I had used with my students to take the guesswork out of Google Classroom and how it works.  The graphic was created by Alice Keeler.  The principle of universal design as it pertains to visual literacy combines words and visuals in such a way that regardless of prior experience with the content the learner is able to ascertain the meaning of the visual, according to Linda Lohr.


Given the K-12 examples in the text, I felt that a visual with numbers, text, and images was a good representation of this visual learning theory.  The clearly numbered parts let the user know what needs to be done 1st, 2nd, and so on in order to set up a Google Classroom account and navigate the various features.  By placing the numbers that correspond with directions on a screenshot of Google Classroom, there is no confusion about where to enter information or what to select first.  This allows the end user to have a clear sense of the sequence of events (page 18).


However, this element does not transcend to all other languages as it is a mixture of both visual and textual representations.  In order to be truly universal, there would need to be strictly graphic in nature.  Numeric systems for the vast majority of the globe are universally understood, however, there are those in Asia that have different characters which they rely upon as their primary numberic representation.

Lohr, L. (2003). Creating graphics for learning and performance: Lessons in visual literacy. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.


Introductory Image Assignment

506 Intro Image.fw


To create my introductory image I use Adobe Fireworks.  In designing my image, my first step was to select a color scheme.  To do this, I used Adobe Color CC to locate a color scheme that was visually pleasing.  My favorite time of year is the summer because I can spend lots of time outside wearing my favorite foot attire, flip flops.  The color scheme I selected from the gallery was called Vintage Pastel 2.  Once the color scheme was chosen, I used the RGB # to create a solid background color on which I began building my image.  I then used the rounded rectangle shape to create a mat for the text box that would include my name.  I used the fill effects of the wave in this box to give it movement and to tie in with the summer colors theme.  I used a font style that I felt was refined with a whimsical element called Apple Chancery.  To have the words stand out, I used a line color to contrast and the filters of raised emboss and inner glow.
Next I brought in the logo of the school I work at and my job title along with an OER image of a computer that I located on the website Icon Finder.  Also, from this site, I found a graphic of flip flops.  For my personal images, I used the polyline tool in Fireworks to cut around them on a separate canvas and copied them into my project file.  I selected these images to represent myself and family life outside of school.  The last image was originally from Vector Portal.  I didn’t like the color scheme in the graphic, so I used Adobe Illustrator to edit the gradient scale using the colors I selected from Adobe Color CC.  I figured out how to do this using a tutorial on Lynda.com to modify the star image.  I layered this with the phrase “Shooting for the Stars” because I am always setting new goals to work on both personally and professionally.  To finish everything off, I added several drop shadows to various elements to give the image more depth.