Design for Real Life: Final Updates

Outcome updates:

After re-listening to my formative feedback from Wendy, I have created a to do list of any revisions I need to make to my Design for Real Life project Behind Closed Doors. Below is my notes from the feedback voice recording and next is my to do list for the changes to make:

The first things I revised were my animations. Wendy had suggested that I altered the size of the text in order to leave more space to draw the audience in to reading the text clearly. Thankfully all of my After Effects links were intact and it was so much less stressful editing the compositions using my new computer, because my screen is bigger and also because the computer can handle the complexity of After Effects software.

Below is a snapshot of the text in the original animation:

Snapshot from original animation

And here is the updated, reduced text size which more room to breath and entice the viewers in:

Snapshot from updated animation with reduced text size

This revision may seem very simple and unimportant but I think it makes a huge difference to the outcome’s legibility and clarity. It looks so much more professional and is now much more easy to read. I also did the same with animation #2.

Before:

Snapshot from original animation

After:

Snapshot from updated animation with reduced text size

The second thing I altered was within the Design Document itself. Wendy mentioned that there was some repetition within the document which needed to be altered. I knew exactly what she was referring to straight away, as the particular slide being misunderstood as a repetition was a worry of mine when creating the document. These were the two slides in question:

In my head, page 5 showcased the brand’s visual identity in more detail (as I felt that page 4 didn’t showcase it clearly enough). However, because page 5 comes directly after page 4, it makes it seem like an unintended repetition. Because of this, I have decided to remove page 5 completely, and just add the title “Visual identity” into page 4, as it does clearly show and talk about the visual identity there:

I think that this looks much more compact and to the point, whereas before it was almost being dragged out. I’m really pleased with this revision.

The last revision which I made was an addition to my outcomes. In my formative feedback, Wendy mentioned that it would be nice to have some informative outcome which could help policymakers understand and most importantly – take action. I decided that a web page would be perfect for this, as it could hold lots of information on Frame’s website, and also provide an opportunity for policymakers, researchers and practitioners to take action on helping combat the problem of alcohol misuse. I designed the webpage cohesively with the rest of the project, maintaining the muted, pastel colours which convey a calming yet playful message. I also illustrated some megaphones to help show the fact that policymakers are needed to help create change within this demographic of people:

Blog updates:

In my formative feedback, Wendy praised me for regularly updating my blog throughout the project, but also noted that my blogs were mostly descriptive and that they needed to be a little more reflective on some of the wider elements of the project. I had inserted the updated blogs here so that it’s clear that these are revisions and weren’t in the original blog posts:

RELATIONSHIP WITH CLIENT:

I found that throughout the project, I really took the lead in the Teams meetings with the clients, Rosa and Ellie. I’m not naturally a very confident person, but felt a responsibility to make sure our clients could communicate with our group professionally and make them feel like they were working with a design team rather than a group of students. I have a bit of previous experience with client meetings from last year’s Persuasion project which really helped me with my confidence. I tried to introduce everyone from out group and prompted questions, rather than waiting for others to do so. I was really pleased with how I acted in the meetings and felt that it really helped my confidence and also helped other members of my group’s confidence.

Both Rosa and Ellie were such lovely clients to work with. They were open to lots of different ideas and didn’t limit my or any other members of the group’s ideas – they really wanted to see our potential. Rosa stood out as the more interactive person as Ellie couldn’t always attend meetings, so I felt I had formed a stronger bond with Rosa in terms of asking questions and understanding what she meant in her feedback. Throughout the project I felt that the clients were happy with my level of work and also my level of communication. I regularly emailed Rosa from our group and made sure that she and Ellie were never “left on read”. I feel that my relationship with the client was strong throughout the project, and following the project I have connected with Rosa on Instagram and LinkedIn, which could definitely lead to more work with Frame collective in the future, which is a really positive action in my opinion.

RELATIONSHIP WITH AND INFLUENCE OF MENTOR:

Melin Edomwonyi was my mentor throughout the Design for Real Life project. Melin was extremely helpful and I learnt such a lot from her in this short space of time. I know Melin from Creative Mornings which I used to attend before the pandemic so it was lovely to have someone who I was familiar with as my mentor. I felt very comfortable around Melin during our meetings and felt that I asked her lots of questions (maybe too many!) but she always answered in detail and offered to call me separately to the group call in order to explain things further. Melin is so kind and I feel very lucky to have worked with her as my mentor. I have also connected with Melin on Instagram, along with her business ME Design Instagram which will again definitely open opportunities in the future.

KEY FINDINGS DURING DESIGN FOR REAL LIFE:

During this project I have learnt so much around the topic of Alcoholism and how severe parental alcohol misuse is. I was so shocked to find out how common this issue arises, and it really gave me a different outlook on children who suffer. Through my research surrounding the project, I found out some really shocking first hand stories about parental alcohol misuse, which I have highlighted in a previous blog post. This project has definitely opened my eyes to the issues regarding this topic and has made me think more sensitively about it for sure. I will apply this more soft thinking in future when taking on sensitive topics such as parental alcohol misuse, and consider how serious the issues are by carrying out in depth research on the specific topics.

APPLYING SKILLS IN THE FUTURE

I think that the most valuable skill which I’ve developed throughout this project is definitely my communication and leadership skills. My confidence has grown significantly after having lead most meetings by encouraging questions and prompting my group members. This is such an essential skill for people in most industries, but especially in the design industry. Graphic design is all about communication so being confident and communicating clearly is a key skill to have as a graphic designer. I will definitely be applying this skill set in the future – such as in meetings, team/group projects, and even in everyday life.

DfRL: M4 – Pitch to clients

Today my group presented/pitched to out clients (Rosa & Ellie), our lecturer (Wendy, who hadn’t seen our work up until now) and Melin (our mentor).

PREPARATION:

I was nominated as the person to put together the presentation for our group. I was happy with this although a little overwhelmed as I had a lot of work to get through as well as putting this together. However, Shannon helped with putting it together so that took a bit of the pressure off. Each member of the group sent me their outcomes (which was a waste of time really, in hindsight, I should have just let everyone add their outcomes to the Google Slides presentation), which took a long time and everyone sent things in different formats and sizes so it took a while to sort out the presentation in terms of it looking professional and consistent.

As a group, we practiced the presentation 3 times in total – and timed ourselves to make sure that we had plenty of time as the presentation Zoom call is limited to just 40 minutes. I was really pleased with how my group’s practices went and everyone was really consistent with their talking times.

THE PITCH

Our group’s pitch was at 10am, which was nice as we could get it out of the way early and not have that lead up to it!

Here’s the link to our presentation:

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1E3leaK8qaS_oCd2_jg8LcpQ70h-O9MveFrXuL7uO4fg/edit#slide=id.p

Overall, I was really pleased with how the presentation/pitch went. Everyone presented really professionally and clearly, nobody was late and everybody was happy.

FEEDBACK:

Rosa, Ellie, Wendy and Melin were all really pleased with the pitch. They all gave such positive feedback about our ideas, visuals, presentation skills and our communication in general. I will link the recording of our meeting when we have consent from everyone to post it.

DfRL: M5 – Design Document

This year, the research and development document has been eliminated, and in its place is the “design document”. This just takes out the “research” element, as this is all documented here on our WordPress blogs. I’m so pleased about this as I always thought it was so daunting having to repeat everything I’d already written on my blog.

I used InDesign to create my design document, and made sure to maintain a consistent and interesting pace throughout the document. I used the project colour palette and typeface in order to maintain visual consistency.

I found it quite hard to keep my document more visual than text based, but I really wanted to keep it clean and not so heavy with text that it’s a chore to read, if that makes sense?

Here’s the document:

DfrL: Practice presentation and final mentor & lecturer feedback

PRACTICE RUN

Today, Shannon, Siwan and I practiced our presentation with Abbie, Meg and Daisy (from a separate group). We thought that this would be really helpful to get a fresh pair (or three pairs!) of eyes just to check for any issues or things that’d missed. It was also really helpful and motivating to see other group’s work!

MENTOR – MELIN

Today we had our final meeting with Mein to discuss our final outcomes in preparation for the pitch to the client tomorrow.

Melin suggested that I changed the colouring slightly on my social posts so that the text was easier to read. She suggested that I fade the background a little o that the black text was more readable. This is how they turned out:

I also asked Melin if she thought I should alter anything else, and she said that I should probably fill out the rest of the Instagram “feed” or “grid” in the mockup (shown above).

LECTURER – PAUL

After my meeting with Melin, I had a 15 minute 1 to 1 feedback session with Paul. HEre I presented my part of the group presentation as if Paul was the client. He was happy with my presentation/talking skills, but said I should probably add in a final slide at the end to conclude my work and say thanks to the clients for listening etc. I thought this was such an important aspect that I had missed so was really grateful Paul picked up on this. He also suggested that I swapped some of my animations around so that the strongest one was shown first. He told me that I shouldn’t fill out the Instagram grid as it leaves the client some imagination for content themselves. This contradicted Melin’s feedback, but I think that I will take on Paul’s advice as I feel that imagination is important for brand visions for clients.

DfRL: Outcome developments

Based on the feedback I had from both Paul and Rosa, I have made some pretty major changes to my animations in particular.

ANIMATIONS

Although I tried my very best to avoid it… I finally had to take the plunge, and take to Adobe After Effects (RIP to my laptop’s fan, and my sanity 😂).

As I said in a previous blog post, my to do list included making my transition a lot smoother, adding sound and manipulating the shapes to form other shapes within the negative space.

I did this by creating each shape using Adobe Illustrator, then importing these into After Effects. I watched a lot of YouTube tutorials as I’m really unfamiliar with After Effects. This took a really long time and was really NOT time efficient at all! However, I persisted with it and eventually I was happy with my outcome:

I was really pleased with how this turned out and I was actually really proud of myself for persisting with After Effects as I was so close to giving up, so many times!

I showed Melin & my group the animation and they all gave me positive feedback about it. Melin suggested that I played around with the colours a bit more to show the negative space shape a bit more clearly. This is how I changed the colours around:

/After this, I decided to go ahead and develop the other two animations straight away while After Effects was fresh in my brain.

This is what I came up with:

SOCIAL MEDIA

I didn’t change much to the social media design I’d already done, but I did add to the GIFs and stickers. In a previous blog post, I mentioned that I needed to add more statistics into my work. I decided to do this through GIFs (along with the third animation):

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1qBZK1iC_vHHAb_ekzFuOZo9Yova1YuzVFDhQOulsgcU/edit#slide=id.p

DfRL: Client Presentation & Feedback

On Wednesday afternoon, we presented our ideas to Rosa from Frame Collective (our client). This was my presentation that I showed (including transcript on slide 2).

Yesterday Rosa & Ellie sent us over their feedback, as they needed some more time to go back over our presentations and develop their opinions for each idea. This is what they said abouut the group in general:

Overall, you did a great job – I was impressed by how much thought you’d put into each concept and it was great to see a wide range of distinct styles. A few of you wandered away from the project scope a little and so it’s worth reminding everyone that our campaign is not about:
Encouraging people to drink less or more responsibly
Helping people who have an alcohol problem
Giving direct support to people experiencing parental alcohol misuse
Our campaign is about:
Highlighting that parental alcoholism is often hidden and causes hidden harms
Campaigning for policy changes that can help children and young people access the help and support they need. 

This feedback was really motivating and also really helpful in terms of the fact some of us had strayed away from the project’s main aims. They also gave us individual feedback which was really helpful too – for my ideas they wrote:

I think the use of bright, cheerful colours is great because it makes the written information jar slightly, and that’s a good way of making people connect with the issue–e.g. everythings looks all fun and playful but just because you can’t see the problem, it doesn’t mean it’s not there…parental alcohol is a hidden issue
I think the stickers and instagram frames are really nice
The messaging needs a bit of adjustment so that we don’t come across as an organisation that can offer direct support to people living with parental alcoholism–we’re campaigning for change and highlighting the research not providing support–but that’s a small issue to correct.
I feel like you really listened to what we said about wanting the campaign to have energy and that’s come across brilliantly!

Overall I was really pleased with the feedback. I think that the clients were happy with my ideas and I now have a clear idea of what I need to do to refine and develop my idea going forward.

DfRL: M3 – The Strongest Concept

Today we all presented our strongest concept to out group and to Paul. For me, the presentation content was almost exactly the same as what I presented to Rosa yesterday. I made some very subtle changes but nothing major. Paul hadn’t seen my work up until now so it was really nice to get another opinion on it.

Paul said that he liked my idea and that my visuals were working so far. He said that the visuals weren’t too personal or too stereotypical, but were still optimistic enough to be motivating and “we can do this” kind of attitude. He suggested I work on making the animations longer, make the transitions smoother and make the overall animation feel a bit more “human”. He also highlighted the fact that this project is based on information design, so maybe I should ass in some statistics or facts. He also suggested adding in sound to try to convey a message and to create a bit more of an atmosphere.

Going forward, my to do list for the weekend is:

  • Lengthen animations
  • Smoother transitions
  • More obvious shapes
  • Added sound
  • Add statistics & facts

DfRL: Choosing and developing a concept

After my mentor meeting with Melin, I decided to jump straight into developing my visuals while the advice was fresh in my brain.

I started by manipulating the abstract “blob” shapes to form shapes within the negative space in the background:

I then started to think that I could make an animation where the bottle shape was slowly revealed as the animation went on. This is what I came up with:

I sent this to my group (we now have a WhatsApp group which also includes Melin, our mentor, which is really useful!). They all gave good feedback, but Melin said that she thought I didn’t need to include the bottle shape and to try to focus more on the negative space instead. She suggested making the abstract blobs move to form the shape within the negative space.

This was my development:

This is a very simple animation, but I think that it will communicate the idea well enough for the client to visualise. If they like the idea, I will work on the piece in more detail to refine the movements and make the transitions much smoother.

Overall, I’m much happier within myself after today, as I feel that I now have a clear direction in which I’m moving forward with my design. I’m excited to present my idea to the client tomorrow and hope they like it so that I can develop and refine it even further!

DfRL: Mentor meeting with Melin

Today we had another Mentor meeting with Melin. This is our 3rd time speaking with her. We each presented our idea development so far. I loved seeing how everybody else’s projects were developing and seeing their thought process. I think it helps so much in terms of inspiration, seeing other people’s work just refreshes my brain and makes me feel motivated to develop my own work even further.

Before the meeting, I was a bit stressed out that I hadn’t yet decided on a concept to take forward. Melin was so helpful with this, and advised me on what she would do. She then also created a poll within out meeting, so everyone in the group could vote on which idea they thought I should take forward. This was super helpful because I was being so indecisive!!!

We came to a collective decision that I should take forward my initial concept 1 idea of the coloured blobs. Melin suggested that I play with the use of negative space in order to make the campaign show a hidden meaning. Maybe the blobs could change opacity to reveal an alcoholic beverage, or maybe the blobs themselves could move and manipulate to form alcoholic drink shapes out of the negative space. This is something I’ll look into today before presenting to the client tomorrow afternoon.

DfRL: Further development of 3 concepts

I sent my revised 3 initial concepts to my mentor, Melin, who gave me some some really useful feedback which made me feel more confident about the project in general. She said that she was more drawn to concept 1, mainly because it was the most developed, but also because the approach wasn’t too “clicé”. However, she also thought that there was potential for my more illustrative work and said that I should try to develop that more in order to decide which idea to take forward.

I started by creating some illustrations using my iPad in order to bring the idea to life a bit more and help visualise my initial sketches:

This illustration is supposed to show how neglected, replaced and jealous the child feels towards their father’s alcohol addiction. The father and the bottle of wine both look happy and content, whereas the child is left behind and has a sad, scared expression. This shows their emotions without the use of any type or annotation.

This illustration shows a mother playing with a bottle of wine, in place of a child. This is supposed to illustrate the obliviousness of the arent to the fact that they are replacing their child with alcohol.

This illustration is supposed to represent a “maze” of problems and how overwhelming is it for both the parent and child to overcome the issue of parental alcohol misuse. However, I don’t think this idea shows how hidden the problem is. I thought I could possible hide some typography within the maze somewhere? But I will show this idea to my peers and mentor before taking it any further.