Real World

As this is our final year, the tutors (for this project at least) are trying to get us more used to the real world. This project is all about working in a group/design team, for a real client.

We were going to be working for Healthy University, who’s aim is to improve the staff and student’s experience at/of the uni. They do this is 4 main areas: Environmental Management, Health and Wellbeing, Welsh Culture and Equality and Diversity.

Each group/team were allocated one of these 4 areas and would be targeting either students or staff. My team was initially 4 of us, me, Dan C, Katerina and Laura, with Connor joining us later. We were given the task of finding a way to better inform the staff members of the work that the Environmental Management team (EM team from now on) do. I was kinda disappointed when we got this one because, from the presentations they gave, the Environmental Management task seemed like one of the least interesting to me.

The project started with a lot of mind maps! It seemed like it was all we were doing for a while. (I didn’t get images of them all, so here’s a selection of them).

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After these mind maps and thinking about the problem for a while, our team felt that the issue was that it’s always the university that gets praised for solving/helping with the environmental issues, but the staff aren’t receiving any thanks or praise, meaning they’re probably not feeling that interested in the information or interested in helping. We thought it could be good to do something that said “Because of you, we can do this.”

We agreed that, after some research, we would all go away and try to generate some ideas to come back to the group with.

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It took forever to come up with/settle on an idea! I really hated the idea generation stage of this project. It seemed that no matter what the idea was, how good it was or how many of us agreed on it, there were always a couple of people that would pick fault with it and sometimes almost refuse to go with it. This meant that we wasted the majority of our project on trying to get an idea and, until Matt B saved us, a few of us were arguing about whether we should just pick an idea and go with it or whether we needed to pick out certain things that the EM team do. Matt got us to try to look at the list a different way and we ended us realising that most of them could be spun to be a ‘free [something]’.

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This was it, we had an idea and we weren’t going to turn back!

We worked on an idea of an activist group that were trying to tell the staff about the ‘things that were happening without them knowing’ and about the ‘free’ things they could be taking advantage of. I thought this could be done through a guerrilla style advertising campaign that would have “Free [Something]” plastered around the campus, not trying to give the staff the information, but make them interested enough to go a find things out for themselves. I quickly did a bit of research to show the others the kind of things I was thinking.

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The team seemed to like the idea, but thought it should have a partnering website that would house the information, so that the adverts a subtly nudging people to the website.

As we were very short on time at this point, we split up tasks. Connor and Katerina would be working on the adverts, Laura and Dan C would work on an animation for the site that would explain what the EM team do and I would be working on the website.

Some of my initial designs were trying to make it seem like a group of ‘hacktivists’, but the client thought this was too sinister, so I scrapped them and tried to design something lighter and cleaner.

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Presentation/Final outcomes

The adverts, that would direct people to the website, were worked on by Connor and Katerina. The images to the right are of some of the adverts Connor worked on.

I really like that way these have turned out. I like the hand rendered type style, although I think it could maybe be a little bolder? Some of the feedback from our presentation as said that we didn’t need the QR code because we already have a URL there, and nobody uses QR codes anyway.

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The final designs for the website have a big banner image of one advert, which would scroll though, showing each advert. It also has a small piece of text, slightly explaining each advert, which would change with each image.

The information page takes the existing wibsite that explains everything the Environmental Management team do (below), but seperates up the big block of text into more managable chunks, each viewable with the filter.

Both pages of the site were animated, to show how they would work.

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At the end of the project, along with a presentation, we had to present our work for the project on two boards, so that people could walk around each group, asking us question and giving up some tips.

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I’m very happy to be done with this project! I don’t know whether it was the collection of people or whether it was the sometimes very dull, dry task, but I don’t think that our team worked very well together. There was an awful lot of disagreement, and there seemed to be a lot of miscommunication as well. That being said, I think we’ve managed to somehow pull together in the end and produce some interesting work.

I wouldn’t mind working as part of a team for another project, but I think that I only do it if we got to choose who we worked with, because I feel like I know a few people that I would work well with, and got a more stimulating brief.

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