End of Field 4 Evaluation

What went well?

Design as Activism – Man Up? Man Down. 

The group worked really well as a team during our Man Up? Man Down. project. We grew as friends and colleagues, which helped us become more comfortable when working as a team. We communicated really well throughout the project, meeting up regularly and then communicating daily over the Christmas holiday while we were at home. I felt that our outcomes were very innovative, unique and creative. For example, no other group created a Snapchat Lens. We thought outside the box to create these outcomes, and although the research work took up a lot of time, it was worth it. (Snapchat Lens work: https://ellie4545.wordpress.com/2019/01/14/design-as-activism-my-final-outcome/). As a group, we took a well organised approach to the project. We started by assigning roles, setting deadlines and sharing our work regularly in order to understand what point everyone was at within the project. We also divided the workload equally between us, which made it fair. We had overall positive feedback from both our peers and lecturers on ur final outcomes.

Protest! – See Me Speak

As a result of the Protest! project, we had a lot of final placard outcomes which was really good. We worked hard and consistently throughout the project, and eventually had a clear branding idea and outcome. Our overall feedback was positive, although we had some issues along the way.

What did I learn?

Design as Activism – Man Up? Man Down. 

During the Design as Activism project, I learnt that communication is an essential part to any collaboration project. Although Shannon, Emily and I communicated relly regularly and clearly, some other members didn’t contribute as much, which made the tasks quite confusing and we just didn’t know if they had done anything or not. I also learnt that some people just don’t turn up to meetings and you just have to deal with it. In reality, this is going to happen a lot, so it’s preparing me for the world of work, even if it is frustrating. Dividing roles equally is really important, some people suit some roles better than others, some people are going to want to the same roles, so compromises are needed. I also learnt the importance of brand consistency throughout the project. I felt that Emily’s, Shannon’s and my own work had clear consistency, however Connor’s sometimes didn’t seem to fit – if the work was shown separately, I don’t think you would tell it was the same brand if not for the logo.

Protest! – See Me Speak

During the Protest! project, I learnt that having a clear pathway in terms of ideas and work is absolutely essential. We started off with a lot of ideas and had no clear pathway which initially lead us off track. As a result of this, I learnt how to adapt quickly in terms of ideas and decision making. I also learnt to speak up within the group when things weren’t going too smoothly. I could tell that our group had far too many ideas, therefore Georgia and I had to take control and try to determine a ‘set in stone’ idea to focus on. I also learnt that not everybody agrees but ‘that’s life’ if the ratio is a 3:1. For example, some group members wanted to focus on making creative signs using real children, but weren’t focusing enough on the actual tasks that had deadlines in a short timescale (we were already a week behind because of not deciding on an idea!).

What didn’t go as expected?

Design as Activism – Man Up? Man Down. 

One thing that we didn’t expect was for James to not turn up for the whole project. We had assigned him a role, but weren’t too worried as we knew we were being marked individually. Although James didn’t turn up, he did contact us to let us know he wasn’t going to be part of the project. This cleared things up, and we could now concentrate fully on the jobs that needed to be done in his absence. Another thing that I didn’t expect was the inconsistency of some group members in terms of meetings. We found it hard to communicate with them wheat we discussed and were then worried that they wouldn’t fully understand how we wanted to develop work or progress with designs. I didn’t expect making a Snapchat Lens to be so complicated. I imagined that I could design something in illustrator and then convert it and it would just work – but no! I was surprised with the amount of programming that Snapchat have developed for Lens creators and was really impressed with how well the software worked. It took a lot of YouTube tutorials and research to create the lenses.

Protest! – See Me Speak

Firstly, our Manifesto didn’t go to plan. We had misunderstood the brief and thought that we had to create a visual metaphor when in reality most other groups created Posters / Digital outcomes, and we had constructed a bird out of paper… Secondly, our group had so many ideas, that nobody could agree on what to focus on. This indecisive nature continued throughout the first half of the project, which set us back a fair way compared to other groups. However, we did take action from this by making clear decisions from week three onwards. Because of this, we decided to change our campaign subject in the middle of week 2. Although this seems late to be changing the content, it was the only was of us completing the task. Another unexpected event was that Uni shut because of the snow on Friday. This disrupted our placard making a lot, as some people had other commitments over the weekend. Thankfully we had a bit of extra time on Monday because of this.

What would I do differently next time?

Design as Activism – Man Up? Man Down. 

Next time, I would assign job roles along with deadlines as to when certain tasks need to be done, and if deadlines are not met, somebody else would take over from the original person that was assigned the role. I would also have a clearer time management for myself, as I felt I put off the work a lot over the holidays because I was at home. I would also make more effort to get the group to communicate more frequently and share work more consistently so we can give each other constructive feedback throughout the project.

Protest! – See Me Speak

I would definitely ask more detailed questions about briefs that I don’t fully understand, for example the Manifesto task. I will also express my opinion more confidently in terms of others’ ideas, because having too many contrasting ideas can sometimes be a negative thing and cause a negative atmosphere within the group. I would also try and take more control of the group rather than everyone ‘doing their own thing’. Sometimes I find that groups work together really well, and other times nobody seems to communicate well or agree on anything. In addition, I would set a clear idea from the start, and not change half way through a project. There just isn’t enough time for that. Finally, I would plan more meetings and try and encourage every group member to attend so that communication is easier.

How did I use my skills to contribute?

Design as Activism – Man Up? Man Down. 

I used innovative and adaptive skills by using new software to create an up to date, functioning Snapchat Lens. I adapted quickly to the new environment and software, researching different methods and techniques which best fitted my studies. I used good communication skills to stay in contact with my team throughout the Christmas holidays and kept them up to date with my work, as did they for me. I also created a OneDrive sharing folder where we could upload high quality versions of our work and access them from anywhere.

Protest! – See Me Speak

As a graphic designer, I used my Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign skills to build the brand for See Me Speak. This was a joint effort from Georgia and I. I also used these skills with the digital placard making, along with my knowledge on typography and its theory. I used my communication skills to stay in contact with the group and share my work consistently.

Did I attend, engage and commit fully to my project?

Design as Activism – Man Up? Man Down. 

I attended every session and made a big effort to stay in contact via social media over the holidays. I fully committed to the Design as Activism project by sharing my work consistently throughout the project with Emily and Shannon to ensure a consistent brand was kept between us all.

Protest! – See Me Speak

I attended almost every session except for the manifesto making, which I really regret (I was unwell) because I think this was the point in which our project got really confused. I tried to keep everybody in contact via social media, and attempted to arrange regular meetings for everyone to attend, however not everybody attended most times.

How has this process helped me to develop as a Graphic Designer?

Design as Activism – Man Up? Man Down. 

I have experienced the reality of teamwork, and that not everybody works as hard as yourself. I also learnt the importance of time management and organisation during collaboration projects. In addition, I learnt the importance of regular feedback and tutorials, this really helps when it comes to refining your work. I also used new software to create working real time animation filters which I can use in the future.

Protest! – See Me Speak

I experienced working with people from other practices, and learnt how they think and create differently to me, which was really interesting. I learnt new ‘placard making skills’. I completed a live protest which was a good experience in itself.

How did I consider the audience, tone and communication of the project? Did it change or evolve during the project?

Design as Activism – Man Up? Man Down. 

The audience was male dominated so we used masculine colours (greens, greys, blacks). The communication and delivery of the campaign was fully on social media, so we made Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter related and compatible content.

Protest! – See Me Speak

Originally, our audience was the state school system, we then realised that it was too broad, and narrowed down to new audience: deaf people & the government. The tone was more to guilt trip and provoke the audience, in contrast to the ‘WE WANT THIS AND WE WANT IT NOW!’ type of protest. Our placards are engaging and need to be looked at closely in order to be understood.

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