I know I’ve really blogged in almost a week. There really wasn’t much for me to update on, as the situation with my NGO was pretty much static. I did have a positive conference call with Rose, Theresa (Rose’s boss in Cape Town), and OSI. I was able to formally address my concerns about the current work and lack of direction.
As a resolution, it was decided that I need to take initiative and spear head a rebranding proposal. I had always assumed that this would be the type of work that I would be doing here, but until this call there was no mention of it. The BLECH offices are extremely busy preparing for their upcoming advocacy conferences and the AIDS conference in Vienna, so I was told that there isn’t much support I could get from the team. In other words, I need to do this solo and then share it with everyone. I’m sure that most of the information about the mission and intent of the NGO is available on their site, so I will use what I can to try to create an accurate representation of them for their new branding. In addition, I need to suggest a plan of action for redesigning and reorganizing their website. This is all coming a little late in the game, but I think it will all work out.
In terms of the workshops in Mozambique and Zimbabwe, I have decided that I will still attend these with Rose. I realized that it is a good opportunity to see the kind of work that BLECH does, as it might help me in my branding initiative. I’ve also begun working on a new media for advocacy presentation…so if anyone has any suggestions/ideas of things I should include, let me know. I’m also looking for several case studies of highly effective uses of new media for advocacy regarding access to treatment (ie: the stop stock outs from last years fellows).
In reading The 12 Principles of Animation it seemed that all of these animation techniques seemed so obvious. Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas talked about how a lot of these methods were not very obvious during the early days of animation. Through experimentation and time, eventually these principles were developed.
When reading through them, they all seemed so self-explanatory. I wonder if background in dance and choreography has something to do with this. It could be that dance is almost like live action animation.The principles that I think relate the most were staging, follow through, and timing. It could be that dance is almost like live action animation.
Response to the following reading:
1. Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud: Chapters 4 (Time) and 5 (Line)
2. The Cambridge Introduction to Narrative by H. Porter Abbott: Chapter 1
The readings stress importance of time and emotion in how they relate to narrative. Specifically in a 2-dimensional medium, such as graphic design, these elements are crucial to the success of the work. Most of my design work has been in interactive and print design, and even though this type of content doesn’t have such obvious narrative, it still uses a similar structure. I attempt to tell stories in my work, and the images, colors, and composition helps to do this. In Chapter 4 of Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud, he talks about how the eye scans over a single static image, dividing each segment into its own period of time. This intuitive behavior, works to the designers advantage, has they can construct their designs with this in mind. This is usually done by placing important elements from left to right, top to bottom.
In addition to the placement of elements to create sequence in design, emotions can be generated. This can be done by juxtaposing elements. This conflict of images, colors, etc. creates tension within a design that helps to convey a specific emotion. Another example given in the reading is the way that icons effect emotions of the viewer. Icons are contextualized by social context and our experiences, enabling the designer to express a deeper message with the use of one symbol.
In response to “Interaction Relabelling and Extreme Characters: Methods for Exploring Aesthetic Interactions”:
I found this particular article really interesting. In brings in mind the importance of thinking outside of the box when generating potential design solutions. I know for me, I find it so much easier to return to a solution that I am both familiar and comfortable with, but this limits any chance of innovation. The concept of interaction relabeling, generating a new physical understanding of how an audience can interact with an item opens up so many possibilities. It allows us to use things in ways in which they were never meant to be, thus discovering counter-intuitive solutions which can be developed into useful applications.
In response to “What do prototypes prototype?”:
The most important idea that I really related to in this reading, was the emphasis on integration in order for a prototype to develop into a successful product. I think that each specific type of prototype (look and feel, role, and implementation) needs to be fully explored for any given concept before the integration is able to happen. When working with a team of designers, each with specific specialties, a collaborative environment can help this process immensely. I think it is so important to share your ideas with a team. Everyone sees things differently, and has their own perspective on design solutions. Their work will inform your work, and help you create things you never would have thought of.
For the beginning steps of creating an “identity” for ourselves, I did 100 rough sketches of possible logos. Out of these 100 sketches, my classmates helped me narrow it down to 3.
Dance and Design
This sketch uses the union of a lower case “d” and an upper case “D” to emphasize both of my passions. The design is simple, and with the use of a clever tag line, can convey my interests and my work.
This particular sketch captures more of my personality than my specific interests. It is silly and unique, and in a very peculiar way, memorable. A logo like this could lead to some very creative branding elements that carry through many different mediums.
This sketch captures the essence of my work. There are many parts, yet they all fit fluidly together creating a lot of movement. This figure almost has a sense of fearlessness to it, which is how I approach many things in my life.
Above are four different layout ideas that I have for my Documentation site. Each has a different approach to the navigational elements and where the content will be displayed.
Response to Don Norman’s TED Talk
I found the Don Norman TED talk to be very inspiring. I think it is really important to consider our intention behind what we are designing, only to augment the emotional reactions to our work. I do believe, that regardless of what we are seeing, we have an instinctual emotional response. Capitalizing on this, designers have to power to manipulate us into feeling what it is they want to convey/teach/share/sell/.
I must say that my wii makes me very happy. In addition to the fun it provides me, the design aesthetics make me want to play it. It is sleek and clean, and the way the wii-motes rest in your hand really make you feel in control. As Don Norman spoke about in his talk, the user feeling in control over the design is an important aspect of a product, and I know that when I am flailing around while playing “Punch Out”, I feel in control (well kind of).
Sites I like:
This designer’s portfolio site is one of my favorites. It’s design is very simple and clean without too much pizazz. Most importantly it makes sense, I intuitively know where I can find all the information I might be looking for.
Now this site has been a favorite of mine for a long time, mostly because I just like the concept. I will admit that the navigation is not so intuitive, but I love the interactive that this site has to offer. In addition, the movement component is just so cool.
Sites I don’t like:
Found this site after I googled, “bad site design”. It is pretty self explanatory. Make sure your sound is on!
Here is another doozy.