Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Module OUGD103 Evaluation

During this module I have felt the most engaged with my work. I feel it has been very varied in relation to briefs and the outcomes I have produced. For example, entering a live brief, working in groups and working using my own experiences as a backbone for a brief. I feel these have really challenged my design skills and pushed my potential.

Working in a group I feel is a great learning curve because you have to be flexible yet decisive, listening to everybody's inputs, yet not getting held up with extravagant ideas. Previous to the 'Communication is a Virus' brief I would have said that working in a group is hard work and sometimes the results aren't as you'd first hoped, however now I feel I have come to understand and appreciate the benefits. Firstly ideas can be generated a lot quicker, I see it as an on going crit between each other. If someone suggests and idea you can instantly get feedback on it without having to go with instinct. Also people's brains work in different ways, so they may be able to come up with a solution to an issue that you just can't figure out yourself. I feel our group worked like this, we all had our own input into the design and eventually it all pieced together like a jigsaw. I feel if I had this brief set on my own I wouldn't have come out with as much work or to as higher standard in the time available.

Being that this module was the final module of the year and everything seemed to be winding down, be it that other friends were finishing their courses before or that the weather was getting nicer. This made it quite hard to keep focused. Keeping a timetable made this a little easier however it was still tempting to break the work cycle and get into bad habits. I feel that working along other students who are in the same situation has encouraged me to keep working hard. Working in the college studio's with driven students made me feel more inclined that I should be doing the same.

I feel that I have learnt a lot this module. I have learnt that experimenting is the key to success. Since the type and grid sessions I have been doing a lot more initial ideas and layouts of idea generation. By wasting two days in the screen printing rooms, in some ironic way it has taught me to be patient. Although it didn't deliver the results that I wanted without trying the method out in the first place I wouldn't have the same outcome in the end. Keeping on top of work and doing a little bit every day helps so much when it comes to submitting work, there is not as much stress and everything seems to be a lot more organised.

If I had to re-take this module I don't think I would change a lot, I now know to keep focused all of the time to avoid a back log of work. I feel satisfied and please with the work I have produced and feel I have been pushed to my full potential.

Time management sheet

This is sheet that I designed to help me keep track of time during this module. It is quite generalised because weeks varied task wise. Keeping the same sleep and wake up times helped me keep structure to my work and lifestyle. I pinned this timetable to my pin board to refer to on a daily basis. Because this course provides that you are quite flexible day to day having a basic structure to refer back to has helped me greatly. Having a timetable to rely give me an incentive to do more work because I don't want to disappoint myself at the end of the day when I have completely gone off track.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Evaluation - Don't Panic: Vogue

Don't Panic was a week long brief which required a fast paced thought and decision process.

Strenghts of the project...
My three final posters were all different styles, which I think gave me a better choice of which to chose to submit online. I like the fact I have used all of my own images for the posters, as I feel it gives it more personality. I researched into different aspects of Vogue: fashion, music, definitions, but obviously put my own style into each final outcome. At the start, coming up with 30 ideas and words helped me greatly. It helped me to think of a bigger picture, and more in depth, as to what 'vogue' could mean and not just one aspect. Being a short brief, I had to find inspiration quick and experiment with different styles, so researching styles and ways to portray the word 'vogue' aided me in finding the right directions to take my designs. I don't like the idea of everything being digitalised, so I hand rendered one of my posters using brown parcel paper and black ink. I think it had a nice gentle feel yet still portrayed a meaningful message.

What could be improved about the project?
Instead of just creating three final posters, I could have experimented more with visual variations within the three different styles. Looking at different images and positioning within the posters to find the most effective. If I had more time on this project I think I would look deeper into the meaning of 'vogue' to create a poster with a more hidden meaning. I would possibly only very loosely relate it to fashion, because I feel focusing on fashion is the most obvious root to take and I like to create designs which aren't 'everyday' things.

Overall outcome...
Overall I am pleased with the final posters I created. It would be nice to see them all printed up on the correct type of paper for a poster as they would look more professional, however this was not possible due to funds. I feel that all of the posters answer the brief and experiment well with styles.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Speaking From Experience... Self Evaluation

What problem did you identify?
First year graphic design students spending their loan too fast and not knowing how to economise money spending.

What evidence did you find to support your decisions?

80% of students questioned said that they found it hard to manage their money.
74% spent their money on food, alcohol and entertainment... all things which are easy to splurge on.
64% don't earn any money currently.

I felt from this questionnaire students need an aire of guidance regarding money. For most students coming to university they will be living away from home for the first time and therefore have never really had to deal with money and budgeting on their own before. Expenses such as food, clothing, entertainment - general living expenses may come to a shock as to how much is spent on them without the guidance and financial support of their parents. For the exceptional students I'm sure that in such current economic situations money is a priority.

Looking through magazines there are many articles regarding money such as this one article 'CASH AND CAREERS CLINIC' which tells of the 5 reasons your money 'just disappears'... 1. Being too generous, 2. You're too busy to take notice of what you spend, 3. Making snap decisions, 4. Bailing poor friends out, 5. Shopping essentials and brands.

A day/week in the life of a student looking at expenses, I expected that I would only spend around £50-70, whereas I actually spent £150.79, averaging out at £21.40 per day and £1112.80 per year. This is a clear indication to me that it is very hard to keep track of where your money is going and there needed to be some way of organising money day by day. I USED to think I was fairly good with money until I conducted this survey on myself, it is quite an eye opening thing to do.

Some banks will give an overdraft of up to £1200, but expenses would be over £1112 for each of the three years while I am on the course mounting up to £3336 of living expenses.

What methods did you use to gather your evidence and what forms did it take? (categorise your research using terms primary, secondary, quantitative and qualitative).

Primary: I conduced surveys to gather new information. The surveys showed up to date information that gave me an idea of how this problem is affecting the students I surveyed.

Secondary: I looked at internet research and book research to find similar studies and what they found. The book and internet research gave me an overview on how the problem is affecting a more general audience. Having existing articles and information about student money issues means this has already been defined as a problem.

Quantitative: The survey I conducted with students gave me a broad generalisation of how money affects people when they are studying. Most people questioned are living away from home for the first time and money becomes more of an issue as students have to think more about what they are spending living on tight student loan budgets.

Qualitative: I selected a proportion of the surveyed students to ask further questions and get a more thorough view of money spending and weather they were money conscious. I looked at their spending habits over a day to day basis and calculated the projected annual money spent.

What methods of research did you find useful and why?

Conducting surveys on the specific target audience gave a reliable and up to date representation of the problem. Collecting people's experiences and thoughts on money issues also helped me to analyse the best way to solve the problem because I could get a deeper insight into where money is spent and relate it back to student loan allowances.

Looking at magazine articles and student advice websites gave me a good knowledge for a starting point on existing ways used to help students with their money. Having, a year ago, been the target audience I could relate to these ways of helping students save money and weather they worked with myself. On a general scale I found that the advice was very valid, however the form of the information isn't very appealing to read and doesn't help in making a serious issue more enjoyable to tackle.

How did these inform your response to your problem?

Knowing existing ways used to help students economise with their money spending helped me to analyse which were successful and which weren't and for what reasons. Telling someone where their money is 'disappearing' to may well be enlightening and interesting, but it doesn't solve the problem itself. So, to give students an alternative to splurging all their money in one go I came up with the concept of wallet sized tips and vouchers cards. They helped to budget day by day for planned tasks and for those days where there is nothing to do 'tip's' cards would give information of free things to do in and around Leeds.

The questionnaire taken by 50 students informed me further that this was in fact a very prominent problem shared amongst students. It also helped inform me in which areas to help mostly with money spending (food, alcohol, entertainment). These areas were addressed in the 'tips' cards.

Having a more in depth questionnaire looking at money spending habits helped me see further into how people can be ill-informed as to what they are spending their money on. By now people are into the routine of college life and perhaps have developed some not so helpful habits. Focusing on the problem from the beginning of the academic year would nip all potential bad habits in the bud.

What research could you have carried out that would have proved more useful?

Asking more students in and around Leeds would have created more valid and reliable research because the problem, although it will be aimed at Leeds art college graphic design first years, is no more related to these people as it would be to the rest of the UK's students.

Looking at more existing projects aiming to help students with their money eg. bank accounts, student unions, student discounts etc. would have given me a more wide spread idea of what is already out there. And being a student myself, I would have been able to look and analyse weather I was aware of these services in the first place and weather they appeal to me and why/why not?

Rather than finding out that 'organisation' on a whole would help students with their money issues, I could have looked deeper into this with another survey asking 'What would help you economise your money spending?' and 'Have you tried to economise your money spending previously and if so what did you do?'

5 things I have learnt about the design process over the last five weeks:
  1. Looking at existing products is key to helping find an effective final product because you can determine what had worked and what hasn't and improve on this.
  2. Ideas change and develop at a fast pace to create the best possible outcome, so defining a few set rules about the final product helped to focus me on the final outcome without loosing sight of what the initial task was.
  3. The more design ideas you create the easier it is to see what direction to take.
  4. The more initial ideas you take further, the better the final product because you have explored more avenues.
  5. Flexibility and patience is key. Having a final idea doesn't mean that nothing can go wrong and that it still won't develop further because of problems that arise.

5 things I would do differently next time:
  1. Collect research on a wider scale to get a better idea of how it was affecting people so I could better solve the problem.
  2. Research and experiment with materials more instead of going with instinct.
  3. Looked at more packaging ideas to create a better overall professional finish.
  4. If I had more time I would test drive my products to see how effective they are.
  5. If I had more time I would create a wider range of products eg. wallet, online webpage to download and create tips, a box to hold all items together as a set, etc.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Self and Work Evaluation

Description of me as an individual:

My approach to life is...
Laid back

I want to be...

Qualities I look for in others...

10 things I have learnt:
1. Further knowledge in design techniques
2. Further knowledge in the design industry.
3. Timekeeping skills.
4. To have designed in areas out of my comfort zone.
5. Become more grown up and able to adapt to situations better.
6. A Better idea of who I am as a designer and my individual style.
7. A good body of work that I'm proud of.
8. More skills with working alone and in collaboration.
9. A good balance between work and leisure.
10. It is better to try and fail than not to try at all.

10 things I want to learn:
1. Better presentation skills.
2. Gain confidence speaking to large groups.
3. Advertising fashion design.
4. Better photography skills to produce high quality images.
5. Drawing techniques.
6. More techniques in concept building.
7. Professional methods, creating high quality finishes and low cost.
8. Better eye for layout design.
9. Look at more existing work for inspiration.
10. More digital design skills.

Description of my ambitions as a designer:

I want my work to...

Words associated with my work:

I have developed skills in areas such as:
Concept building
Idea generation

I need to develop skills in areas such as:

I am interested in developing skills in...
Interactive design
Book design
Information graphics.