Travis Smith: my resume, bio and photos back to the main blog page

Hi folks.

I’m so darn proud of my class this semester that I couldn’t contain it, so I’m sending you a selected list of the Web sites. A number of them are going to continue building out the sites after the class ends.

Here are the Top Five final projects:

1. Janine Trejo created a site for the Native American Student Association. It draws from the themes and designs of native culture, and has an earthy, organic feel. She also produced the best co-ordinated animations using GIF technology that I’ve seen, and made it look easy (it isn’t!).

2. Natalie Blacker redesigned the Web site for the publisher she works for, Girl Press. The design she developed will replace the current Web site for this company whose goal it is to empower young women.

3. Esther Kim drew on her own experience as an Asian-American and created a site that offers a glimpse into the multi-faceted psyche of Asian in America. She used Web-centric ways of presenting information, and developed a site that tells a story in a way that would be impossible in print. Her minimalist design is striking.

4. Greer Rabiega immerses the visitor to his Web site in Mangalanet, an immersive information appliance dedicated to a sci-fi role playing game. He has plans to incorporate sounds and video in his interface design. Interestingly, the site requires no scrolling and uses an alternative set of navigation widgets that would be ideally suited for touch-screen kiosks.

5. Jesse Crowder and Matt Van Buren went one step further than a Web site—they made up an entire sport for USC and founded the USC Curling team. They used flash and some great art to make a truly funny look at an underappreciated sport.

6. Khristine Miranda. OK, I can’t pick just 5. Plain, simple and fresh: This information-packed site offers an easily navigated guide to Sushi etiquette, preparation, history and a glossary. The content is delivered in bite-sized pieces, and as with the food, presentation goes far here.

7. Alex Ulmanu, a visiting scholar from Romania, sat in on the class and built a news web that focuses on Romanian media. His first feature story is on the Romanian presidential race, which is similar to the U.S. race but a little more orderly.

The other students should not be overlooked:



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“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?




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