Posts Tagged ‘design’

Project Reflection

How was the process?

To start with we realised we had to get into Dundee and Lochee specifically. This was a key step in our journey through the project and by acting quickly it allowed us to get deep into the heart of the project area. This was a positive note about out approach and one I will look to continue in future projects. As they say – the early bird catches the worm.

The one big block which I think it took a while to do was to get rid of our preconceptions as group with mixed knowledge of Dundee and the topic it was interesting to see how we all had notions of the situation before we started. Some of these seemed to be true and some were false but I think it caused a small effect on how we spoke to people and maybe resulted in us leading a few interviewees and stakeholders in the conversations. In future I think it would help to each write a hypothesis about the project area, the people and the context this way we can see what every person is thinking and use the team dynamic to counteract these assumptions and make sure we get a better overview of knowledge.

In terms of actually gaining the knowledge I think we made a smart move by targeting local businesses and the café. This offered us a rich insight into the people who are key to the community. However after reflecting on other groups approach we realise that there were other avenues such as the pub which would offer more information. Next time it would be better to map out the local services and key social areas so we can target the area with a plan of attack, then move on from there.

Reflecting on the production of our output I think we may have been a tad naive with the making process, despite story boarding and planning our video, it was the little things such as pre-editting and making the little content which cause the biggest delay. I think the way round this would be to try and include buffer zones to cover any delays or confusion which may occur.

How did the team perform?

As a team I think we performed well – we managed to divide up the tasks well, with each member using his and her skills best effect for their part in the process. The only thing we lacked as a team was a leader, the team dynamic was very democratic and that was a good thing for moral but resulted in delays when decisions were needed. This would maybe have been better solved if there was a project manager role to help the team in difficult areas and quicken the work pace.

Personal Reflection?

As stated earlier the team worked well as a democracy but sometimes I had to try and step in as a leader when needed. This is something I am unaccustomed to and meant I was a little hesitant when called upon. It is however all part of the learning curve and it is better to get experience of this little and often as in this project than be thrown in at the deep end. As mentioned above I think the biggest thing to take from this project was to try and create a better action plan which incorporates buffer zones for any time delays.

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12

02 2012

Bupa Healthcare

This is the latest Bupa advert with the key piece of information being to tell the users about the services that Bupa offer. I saw this and thought it was an interesting but subtle change of direction from their previous adverts (below). Although I’d say the idea and story framework are the same the way they are presented shows a different level of importance around the key messages.

It’s clear that Bupa want to present themselves as a people company and the new version shows this, I mean how much more human and personal can you get than having an senior citizen recalling his life and telling you about the impact Bupa has on that now. Both are very people centred and both are about a persons life and how Bupa can fit into that. However as stated there is a difference between them.

The first story is told by the user and presented from a personal and human point of view, the use of an actor allows you to connect with the person and see this company as all about individual people. The visual illustrations allow you to again connect with the person’s story but also because they are vague and open it allows the user to imagine themselves in these situation and see how these stories can link to them. Which in turns shows how Bupa and their services can link to them. The order of  the message presented  in this advert seems to be that, First – Bupa are about people and then Bupa are about quality services.

The older version is presented in a different format with the story being told through a basic shape styled animation. This format allows the viewer to focus on the story and not the images which helps the message but detracts from the human element of the story. It is also told through a narrator which further detaches the story from the viewer resulting in different perception being presented about Bupa. In this version of the advert it seems to be all about the services and their quality, the story is just there to help ad some realism to the services. It’s not a big difference but in my opinion it shows how a change or presentation format even slightly can change what message get priority.

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10

02 2012

Gay Marriage

Some infographics can be used not just to show data but as ways to show an opinion and in some cases show what isn’t there. This infographic about Gay marriage caught my attention and I thought was great way to show statistics and graphs can be used to back up more than just solid facts. The image itself is as simplistic as they come but the message is far more detailed.

The key image shows the main point but the interesting thing is that because the other factors are not shown it emphasizes that they aren’t important and don’t have any association with this story. I thought this was really eye opening, as it shows how you can change the story your telling through what you show and what you don’t show.

It is probably the best example so far of saying one thing and saying it well. Which is something I think most infographics forget and in a lot of cases designers too.

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09

02 2012

The Scale of the Universe

The Scale of the Universe infographic is an interactive diagram which does exactly what it says on the tin. It allows the user to view the different scale of object in the known universe. This idea has stripped down the a hugely complex system like the universe and managed to present a wealth of knowledge in a simple and effective manner.  By just focusing on size and placing them in order it makes for a story that everyone can understand. The creators have focused on one thing and done it to a very high quality.

The aspect which makes this infographic memorable is the fact it is interactive, allowing the user to have a degree of control over the way they use the graphic makes it easier to understand and lets the viewer engage with the data in their own way. This way get the story of the scale of the universe but specifically they get detailed stories (e.g. how big a Human is to a Japanese Spider Crab) The biggest problem is that your only limit is what objects the creators chose and that you are limited to the scope of your screen.

Have a play and see what you think.

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09

02 2012

Growing Up!

Here a wonderful video all about “growing up” and helping to tell kids about the issue they may be sacred of. The short film shifts more to the storytelling side on graphic allowing a format where information can be communicated but it feels like you are enjoying a story tale.

The video draws the audience in with some lovely visuals, the animated stories allow them to seem real but keep them just out of reality. This allows the viewers to relate with the stories but not get too involved. The narration in this video is the best bit for me though the fat that it is narrated by a young child again allows for a degree of re-pore with their audience but also helps reduce the seriousness of the topics included. The fact that the narration is from a child helps near the end to emphasize the positivity and the fact that they can be happy and it isn’t the end of the world.

The animated style which is very colourful and energetic allows the audience to subtly keep hold of the fact that there is always a chance of a happy ending. This video reaches a wide audience with grown-ups and kids being able to relate to the visual stores and narration.

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09

02 2012

In Caffeine We Trust

Found this via Dougie Kinnear - “In Caffeine we Trust” is a DIY style infographic designed by PR company Column Five Media which allows the user to fill in their own coffee consumption so they can see their caffeine intake marked out in a visual form. This way of gathering information and visualising it is extremely engaging for the user and in some ways links to the 2.0 design ideas, where the subjects get to be involved in the whole process. Allowing the user freedom to create the graphic it offers a sense of control and an interaction which makes the process fun. Much better than just asking the user questions.

The layout is rather appealing but could put off a lot of users as it looks complicated to fill in. As mentioned before allowing the user to fill the graphic in themselves offers a sense of control but also an element of chaos. You are relying on the user to fill it in properly and most importantly not to spill coffee all over it . That could ruin the results.

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08

02 2012

A World Without Facebook….*GASP*

A World Without Facebook is a short video by oBizMedia which seems to be about showng the impact facebook has had on our lives, how big it is and generally all the stats to explain where facebook sits in our society today. As I’ve mentioned previously the fact the infographic is a video is very engaging for the reader adn allows them to fit a huge amount of information into a few minutes.

The downside to this video is I don’t actuallt think it fits the title, it spends 2/3rds of  the time giving you a very visual overview of statisics about facebook (such as age groups, business and country usage) but ultimatly it then rushes through a comparison of situations which show how facebook makes these task simpler. But if this is the key message the video wants to promote why the suden change for a very visual and engaging intro to a text heavy conclusion which has little impact. It is a shame cause the theme of the video and the data it represents is a very interesting topic but the key message is lost due to loss of focus.

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08

02 2012

People Make a Stand

Congress can you hear us …? infographic was used to show the growing support against the change in legislation but also to recruit new signatures. The graphic works on a few level of information but makes great use of the hierarchy system, making the growth in numbers the key factor.

Setting a context and tone is essential to a good infographic and this one does that, it makes the point of asking a question to emphasize the statement they are trying to make. By showing people shouting it adds to the idea of groups trying to be heard and by showing a computer with a lock shows they are trying to voice their opinion over this issue. However as mentioned visualisation of growth is the selling point they are trying to make, this is achieved by showing sound waves expanding which reads as the message expanding. The big numbers reiterate this as the increase with the size of the wave, however the details to explain the numbers are small so they don’t detract from the main message but are there as additional information for those who are interested.

This graphic presents a story in an extremely effective manner however it could be seems as a very biased opinion towards an argument and is in fact a tool to recruit and convert people rather than present all the facts. So rather than allow the reader to make their own mind up the graphic is trying to tell them what to think.

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06

02 2012

Social Network Island

Here is an infographic I found a year or so ago which I thought was awesome. The 2010 Social Network Map is rather similar to the billion dollar gram graphic it tries to reduce the information down to a simple size comparison mission. However due to the obscure shapes and of the different social media “nations” this is made a much harder task for the reader to distinguish between similar sized nations. The scale system is also quite vague in term of gathering numerical data from this but it offers a quick insight into the general outlook of the social networking world.

Aesthetically I think the poster is very appealing as soon as you see it you can understand what it is trying to say and that is because it uses concrete information to tell a story. A key feature of this map is that it has a sense of light-hearted humour around it to make the information easier to absorb while also trying to make it easier to remember. The fact that certain network areas are grouped makes navigating the map easier however it is still confusing to navigate your way though it. A colour coding system similar to the billion dollar gram could have help to make this easier and allow big areas to stand out. I still love this graphic but now I’ve reviewed it I must admit you start to notice how your view can change when you start to compare styles.

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05

02 2012

iPhone History Video

The History of an iPhone, where to begin? This is a fantastic animated infographic video which manages to squeeze the breakdown and evolution of the iPhone, not just who create it but what inspired it and who laid the foundation for it. I think you’ll agree, that is a lot of information. However this is the wonder of video you can cram so much information into a short space of time but not only that, it allows the reader to just focus on one spot rather than have to fight their way through a huge poster filled with information. On the other hand, a video reduces the freedom of the reader to pick out and read the points they are interested in while ignoring the rest.

Granted it’s not all positive, as stated the video is still rather full of information so much so that it is easy to miss something. It could be stripped down to the core message but I suppose the extra information is for people who want to know more. The visual style of the animation reduces the seriousness of the message which makes viewing the information easier and more enjoyable than having someone ramble on about it. This brings me to my next point that again this information is all presented without any explanation, which emphasizes how well visualized the story is.

Great watch, fantastic to see years of product development and evolution, explained and  presented in under 4 minutes.

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03

02 2012