CCA Extended Education Answers Call for College's First-Ever iPhone App Design Course

Hey, there's a CCA app for that! [Photo: Jim Norrena]

CCA Graphic Design lecturer Nathan Manousos recently taught the "iPhone App UI Design" course within the college's fall Extended Education program. It is the college's first-ever iPhone app–focused course, and the successful student projects reveal a wealth of effective iPhone design as well as prove user-interface technological skills are plentiful here within the college's own community.

(And as the college moves toward developing its own unique community app for the iPhone, the timing of this course is spot on. What better way to promote a CCA-specific app than asking CCA students to design it?)

About iPhone App UI Design

Each participant was challenged to develop an app idea, create a set of mock-ups, and turn it into an iPhone-compatible prototype. According to Manousos, the course had three goals, each of which was accomplished through in-class lectures, sharing and critiquing existing apps, and working on the app designs in class:

  • Learn about the iPhone, its capabilities, and UI conventions and philosophy
  • Discover the qualities of great apps
  • Learn through practicing and from one another

"I am thrilled that CCA chose to offer such a cutting-edge class," Manousos asserted. "It's easy for a college to stick to what's familiar, and I commend CCA for constantly venturing into new territory. The students who took this course were amazing, and many were seeking to add these skills to their professional offerings. I believe these types of courses are invaluable to working professionals and enthusiasts alike."

Calling All Developers

Designers for each of the following prototypes are eager to share their ideas with potential developers. If you or someone you know is seeking development opportunities, contact Nathan Manousos, who will connect developers to the appropriate designer for further consideration.

  • MeetMe by Ofri Afek
  • Brainstorm by Danica Barnes
  • Art Underneath by Charlene Charles-Will
  • Tap in Golf by Michael Duskus
  • Frmrs Mrkts by Tara Feener
  • Potluck 1.0 by Anne Nguyen
  • Lil' One by Aaron James Pou
  • Easter Egg Hunt by Steve Sieler
  • Meetions by May Seow
  • Haiku You by Gretchen Wustrack

Manousos also developed a unique prototyping system for the course that consists of a web UI for uploading app screens and creating links between them. The user then visits a special URL on their iPhone to install the prototype as an installable web app. "It is a system I am continuing to work on and hope to commercialize," he shared. "This is the system all the students used to share their apps at the reception." (Sign up to receive an announcement when the system goes live.)

The Celebration Reception

A reception to mark the successful completion of the course took place on Saturday, December 11, from 1 to 2 p.m. in the Nave on the San Francisco campus, where student projects were put on display and participants could log in and try out the applications, mingle with other UI aficionados, and basically test-drive their iPhones—something that's not too difficult to encourage iPhone fans to do! Visit the Flickr slideshow to learn additional information about each app.

Other CCA Curricular Opportunities

"Interactive 2" will be offered this spring as part of CCA's Graphic Design curriculum. Here's an excerpt taken from the course description:

"The best web designers know their medium well. In this course we review basic HTML and CSS before progressing to the advanced techniques used by professional web developers. The focus is on building bulletproof, standards-based websites. Technologies covered include HTML, CSS, Javascript, and PHP. We'll wrangle web type, discuss UI design for web applications, learn wireframing and prototyping techniques, design and build blog templates, and students create their own portfolio website."

About CCA's Extended Education Program
CCA is pleased to offer a wide range of Extended Education courses throughout the year that enhance personal or professional development. Courses are offered on the San Francisco and Oakland campuses at times intended to accommodate even the busiest schedule. See the complete list of winter/spring 2011 Extended Education courses.