The Use of Shape


The users of my final project will be students from grades 4-12 and adult instructors.  The majority of the students are advanced readers.  Both students and instructors will be familiar with the Engineering Design Process and use it regularly in our robotics program.  This is intended to be a reminder of the steps in the process and that they can go forward in steps, but also backwards when needed.

I think the message of the Engineering Design Process will work because I used curved line segments to form a circle to tie the different steps together. According to Lohr (2008), “Circles and ovals are used to show unity, imply harmony, show processes, focus attention, and show elements of systems or subsystems” (p. 250).  In addition to that, Lohr explains that lines can be used to show motion and direction (p. 250).  In addition to the use of shapes to develop and instructional message, I selected the Georgia typeface for the steps in the process to make it easy to read online (Lohr, p. 220).

I had a friend look at my instructional message.  We discussed the use of arrows to show direction in addition to the circular line, but I feel that not having arrows allows for a flow in both directions.  I added the word “start” because it’s the only direction that is needed to get the process going.  I tried the use of arrows facing both directions, but thought it looked too crowded.  That may be a concept to continue to play with if the process is difficult for some to understand.

Lohr, L. (2008). Creating graphics for learning and performance (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.


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