Create an Application Icon or Dashboard Widget
We deliver thought-provoking, theoretical and conceptual information each session, but an important part of building your skills involves doing. Every Session you’re invited to take part in a community project, and in so doing build your skills. Regardless of your experience level, it’s a great chance to expand your portfolio, and get feedback from your peers.
Post Your Projects in the Comments Below
Take the knowledge that you gain throughout this session and apply what you learn. Post your project in the comments below. We’ve set up the comments so that image URLs can be added. Be sure to leave your thoughts and insightful critique of the work posted, which will help everyone improve their work.
We’ll be selecting a handful of prominent projects to promote in our final day Session Wrap, so be sure to submit your project before July 20th for consideration, though you’re welcome to submit your project anytime for discussion and to get feedback from peers.
Project Brief – Beginner to Intermediate
This session’s Beginner/Intermediate project the brief is to make an icon for applications. This could be to brand an application, as an icon that sits on your desktop (you could create a fictitious one or rebrand one of your favorite apps). Or you could create an icon used in an interface, or it could be a whole set of icons that would make up the user interface of an application.
There is a great article on the difference between icons within applications and application icons (either is acceptable for this project). The first are those icons that you interact with inside the application and the later is the application brand. Read up on Realism in UI Design on UX Magazine.
This project will build your skills with creating application icons. There are quite a few icon design tutorials on Vectortuts+, Psdtuts+, and across the web, which can help you with this project. There is also an introduction to icon design article on Psdtuts+. Get some practice with building your GUI skills by first jumping in and designing an icon for this project.
Project Brief – Advanced
For this session’s Advanced project the brief is to design a Dashboard Widget. This could be for the operating system of your choice. It’s fine to work on redesigning an existing Widget, especially one you feel you could improve on. Or feel free to invent a widget. It could be something theoretical that you have pin-balling through your mind.
We’ll have an inspirational post in this session to help you get some creative widget ideas flowing. We also have a two part Photoshop tutorials series coming on Designing Realistic Interfaces, which will help you with techniques to give your widget a high level of realism. We also have quite a few interface design tutorials on Psdtuts+, which will help with putting a widget interface together.
Style and Format
There is no limit in style. In general though, the style should fit the application or widget you’re designing for. We look forward to seeing a wide mix of approaches. Final format for this project is fairly open. Ideally upload the work as a JPG at the size it would be used at. Also, include a description of your work.
Feedback and Positive Criticism
It’s just as important to leave helpful tips, suggestions, and positive feedback for your peers’ work, as it is to complete the assigned project. We’re looking to create something much like in illustration or design class, where you post your work up on a board (in this case, the comments are the board) and everyone can critique the work.
Keep in mind that professional decorum, insightful opinions, and positive suggestions will be appreciated by all. Now let’s get to work on illustrating alphabet, and post some work for review below.