Dorset Independence Project – Observations and Findings – The importance of analysing the space your presenting in..

So now that we have created our final poster which promotes the independence of Dorset our next task is to present them in a public space and observe how the audience react to them. The method we would use to track our findings for use later when presenting our own interactive projects was people shadowing (not stalking), in short this involved watching people as they made their way through the ground floor foyer of Weymouth House, the Media School at Bournemouth University.

My findings regarding how people travelled through and interacted with the space was that people often rush straight through the foyer, this usually being in a rush to exit the building or to get to a lecture or workshop inside the building. Despite the ground floor being an incredibly busy and in my mind ‘intelligent’ space to put up some sort of campaign it seemed most people walked through the foyer glancing only at one of the many screens positioned around the foyer showing various news channels or ‘Media School news’ updates or alternatively staring at their mobile devices, a rather depressing analogy in my opinion. Other activities which gave us some hope and ideas as to where to place our posters was the seating areas and coffee shop located in the foyer, these were the only spaces students would go to purposefully and sit to either work or socialise. In these areas I did notice students look around regularly for visual stimulation for a break from a screen or during lapses in conversation, this opened up a good opportunity to think about using this space more to advertise our campaign rather than in spaces where people would simply walk straight past them and not notice them, such as in the foyer entrance corridorAs well as this it was clear from the coffee shop queue (which averaged 4 people during our hour spell in the building) that those waiting to order coffee would either look at the shop menu, look at their mobile phone, engage in conversation with others in the queue or look around at the various current installations inside the foyer, therefore on the various walls and pillars near this area it may be a good idea to position posters here to attract the eye of these people.

This an example of somewhere we found not to be a good place to put the poster. This is because people walk through here fast and usually without looking around to notice any decoration.
This an example of somewhere we found not to be a good place to put the poster. This is because people walk through here fast and usually without looking around to notice any decoration.

As depressing as it may be I know that this was very important research into the consumers of our poster campaign, it is important that as designers what we design is actually fit for purpose and can therefore perform as intended rather than clearly not be tailored for the consumer and therefore doomed to fail by a simple lack of research.

To comment on the way we observed the space I would say there is a few possible improvements that could be made to make our observations more accurate, the one being that it would be a good idea to monitor the activity in the building at a number of different times during the day, if not throughout the day. By extending the time we observed how people used the space we would be able to get a better grasp of their activity and leave less of our final outcome to guesswork as during the day not only the number of people but the pace of activity changes, for instance it would be more likely to see students spending more time using seating areas and moving at a slower pace in the evening as lectures often end at 5pm therefore students still in the building would be there under their own accord and therefore not have to be at a place at a certain time, as well as this due to the decreased number of people in the building in an evening it would be easier for a person to see any posters or publicity around the foyer.

Here shown is a panorama of the ground floor of Weymouth house.
Here shown is a panorama of the ground floor of Weymouth house.
FullSizeRender
This is an example of an effective place to place posters, this is because students will have coffee here due to its proximity to the shop (directly behind this area) as well as work and socialise meaning they will take more time to interact with the various visual stimuli around them
Weymouth House sofas
This is another example of a good place to put posters, this is because students sit here to work and socialise and they are here long enough to take more notice of what is around them.

Dorset Independence Project – Iteration 3 – ‘So, thoughts?’

This is to be the last chance we’ll have to repeat the iterative design process for this project, after taking on the feedback of our last iteration which was that it was ‘too complicated’, ‘hard to read and take in at a glance’ and ‘not colourful enough to gain the attention of the audience over other advertising’ we decided it was appropriate to scrap the crest idea we thought may work for this project. Over the week we researched a number of ideas, a few of which are shown below, the new ideation process involved taking the form of Dorset as a county and making the campaign about creating Dorset as a separate country. Below are some other examples of how this has been effective in advertising for american states, I like the way it defines the state and shows the audience the clearly recognisable shape of the state and makes it relevant by describing the state in this visual way, reminding audiences why it is so great.

Los Angeles Typography Art
This typography based art on Los-Angeles provided inspiration for us when considering Dorset.
Seattle Typography Art
This typography based art on the state of Seattle provided further inspiration for us to create something similar to advertise the county of Dorset.

Following on from this inspiration we began experimenting with the possibility of doing something similar to the designs shown above  but using the shape of the county and filling it in with appropriate words to describe the county, as shown we used key words such as ‘courage’ ‘backbone’ and  ‘unity’ to try and encourage those viewing the poster to take on the idea of Dorset being independent and support it.

The second poster on the right is another iteration during this process where we used the words ‘England’ and ‘Dorset’. England is shown to be fuzzy, this could mean a number of things but our idea was to show the word ‘England’ like we have to show the audience that the country is not clear cut like Dorset and how loose and even weak England comparatively.

One idea we had
One idea we had
A further iteration to the idea
A further iteration to the idea

Although this idea has positives we liked, we decided to improve it further due to the fact that unlike states in America which may have received more publicity meaning people would recognise it more by shape, this was not the case with Dorset, it is not often we view our county’s by shape individually and therefore by only using the above left image of an iteration of the Dorset independence project we felt it would not convey the message clearly enough while providing a solid argument for independent Dorset.

At this point we were happy with the idea with using emotive language however the execution wasn’t right, this was when we moved from using the shape of the county to using ‘Dorset’ as a headline which would be filled with emotive language, this would directly link Dorset with the language we were using to encourage people to support its independence. Examples of the initial designs are below.

Dorset Independence poster draft
This is the initial design of what would be the final iteration of our Dorset Independence poster

Finally, we took this initial idea and created the final design of our Dorset Independence poster campaign, in my opinion when viewed in the right conditions I believe the poster works well, it uses green and dark green to signify the landscape of Dorset and the extensive green spaces in the county, the colours used and the gradient between light green and dark green is meant to show how Dorset is full of public areas which many people enjoy and travel to every year. Green as a colour can also be associated with a green traffic light, this signifies ‘go’ or ‘move’ which not only shows the viewer that this is a positive thing to do but that they should ‘go’ and vote for independence for Dorset, this is key in our campaign as it relies on convincing the public that this is the correct choice to make.

Using the persuasive technique emotive language to create the ‘Dorset’ we have taken a positive approach to promoting this campaign, this approach is designed to encourage people who live in Dorset to think positively about the county they live in to encourage them to think about voting for an independent Dorset which can sustain itself despite being cut off from other parts of England, as well as this by using a filler alternative to block text this creates interest in the name and should draw the audience in to look at the poster.

Here is the final iteration of our poster for this project, of course in reality iterative design could simply keep going round the cycle forever however due to time constraints this is the final design of our poster. In the future or should we have had more time as a group to complete this project we would no doubt have simply taken on more feedback on this iteration of the design and improved it further to be a more effective advertisement for the independence of Dorset.

Dorset Independence Project – Oh it’s so easy to miss the simple things!

Our project on completing an advertising campaign for Dorset Independence and “what it might look like” the quote my lecturer. Our final rendition of the campaign is shown below, in my opinion when viewed in the right conditions I believe the poster works well, it uses green and dark green to signify the landscape of Dorset and the extensive green spaces in the county, the colours used and the gradient between light green and dark green is meant to show how Dorset is full of public areas which many people enjoy and travel to every year. Green as a colour can also be associated with a green traffic light, this signifies ‘go’ or ‘move’ which not only shows the viewer that this is a positive thing to do but that they should ‘go’ and vote for independence for Dorset, this is key in our campaign as it relies on convincing the public that this is the correct choice to make.

Using the persuasive technique emotive language to create the ‘Dorset’ we have taken a positive approach to promoting this campaign, this approach is designed to encourage people who live in Dorset to think positively about the county they live in to encourage them to think about voting for an independent Dorset which can sustain itself despite being cut off from other parts of England, as well as this by using a filler alternative to block text this creates interest in the name and should draw the audience in to look at the poster.

Here is the final iteration of our poster for this project, of course in reality iterative design could simply keep going round the cycle forever however due to time constraints this is the final design of our poster. In the future or should we have had more time as a group to complete this project we would no doubt have simply taken on more feedback on this iteration of the design and improved it further to be a more effective advertisement for the independence of Dorset.

Dorset Independence Final Iteration

Dorset Independence Project – Iteration 2 Feedback – Rather glad this is an iterative process!

So we’ve had a week to meet as a group and discuss how to improve our first iteration of our campaign to make Dorset independent. Following on from last week we decided to take only a few details such as the squirrel and hill fort (which we researched further to discover, embarrassingly that our idea of a hill fort last week was in fact a castle and hill forts are designed not to be obvious but to be built into a hill rather than stand on top of it). To try and address last week’s comments of the poster looking too much like a ‘cartoon’ as well as the poster not being appropriate for the whole of Dorset we decided to take more of an approach towards addressing four key cornerstones of what we think makes Dorset, Dorset. After researching the area and looking at photos of Dorset we decided on four main themes which we think addresses the county well.

The themes are:

Water – shown by the boat, Dorset is a coastal county and therefore many of its inhabitants either visit the coast or live near the coast and know it to be a large part of the county, the jurassic coast with it’s popular white cliffs as well as Weymouth’s known heritage for Watersports makes water a key trait of Dorset and shows those who would vote on the independence of Dorset why Dorset would be able to support itself economically.

Nature – Dorset has a large quantity of green spaces due to it being a rural county, places like Corfe Castle define Dorset’s medieval, natural landscape and this is a major draw of the county to visitors and those looking to live in Dorset, therefore this was an essential part of the independence poster as the idea would be to convince people that the county would be better off should it be independent.

Animals (Squirrels) – The famous Dorset red squirrel being almost exclusive to Brownsea island is another thing to add to people’s interpretation of Dorset being a ‘haven’ for animals.

Hill Forts – Hill forts are common in Dorset and are associated with Dorset and show power, this is an important thing to do as it will help convince people that Dorset is able to be independent.

Inspiration for the second Iteration of the Dorset Independence logo
This is one crest I found while researching crests, I like the style and symbols used here and I feel its modern take on an old fashioned crest works well and is suitable for our Independence Project.
Iteration Two - Dorset Independence Poster
The second iteration of our Dorset Independence Poster.

Though it can be said that the inspirational crest seen above was perhaps beyond me to create something so similar in the time we had I feel this iteration of the design process does a far better job of addressing a more complete Dorset and successfully concentrates on positive things about the county to encourage people to vote for Dorset’s independence. To ensure the design actually got the message of Dorset’s independence across we used the slogan ‘navigate your own future’ to fit in with the navigation of seas to tie in with the boat as well as general nature themes such as map reading to fit in with the outdoor lifestyle many adopt when living out in the country. The colour brown was used along with a rugged design to show the ruggedness and hard-wearing nature of Dorset to help get across the message of power and independence to those viewing the poster. A slight colour gradient was used with the symbols to make them look more three-dimensional and professional as audiences typically respond better to more professional looking campaigns as it gives the impression it has more backing and power which makes it immediately more trustworthy for the audience.

Dorset Independence Project – Week 1 Ideas and Feedback – ‘So not everyone likes squirrels wearing crowns!?’ (TO BE FINISHED)

As a response to the first lecture we had on the the Dorset Independence project we were given just 15 minutes to come up with an idea, as stated in the last post the poster we were making to encourage people to vote for an Independent Dorset should try and define ‘Dorsetness’.

From this we began searching as fast as possible for various visual clues as to what was specific to Dorset which would aid us in producing a poster to effectively market the county as a strong, independent part of England capable of being independent from the country and benefitting its occupants by doing so.

Our research involved quickly looking through google images by searching relevant terms such as ‘Dorset’ ‘Dorset landscape’ ‘Dorset villages’ ‘Dorset cities’ ‘Dorset county view’ and ‘Dorset aerial view’ as well as google searching terms like ‘Dorset history’ and ‘Defining features of Dorset’ to try and narrow down our ideas to form an idea. Due to the lack of time we had to do so we worked as a group to take notes and share better ideas with the group.

The idea we formulated involved creating a hill representing the landscape of Dorset, upon which stood a castle (which we in our naivety thought was the same thing as a hill fort) upon which a red squirrel stood (red squirrels being almost extinct apart from on Brownsea Island which lies in the county of Dorset) wearing a crown (this was meant to be an element connoting power and authority however in our feedback we learnt it just looked strange and peculiar to see an animal seemingly being all powerful ruling over Dorset).

Here is our initial idea, drawn as fast as possible!

IMG_2995

Dorset Independence Project – An Introduction (You read that right, Dorset, not Scotland!)

Today we were introduced to a new group project which would run up until the third week of October. The brief specifies we are to ‘define Dorsetness’ and explore what independence would mean for the county if it were to be separate from the United Kingdom, it is worth noting that due to our course not focussing so much on the history of Bournemouth and Dorset in any sense we immediately were faced with the challenge of working out what represented Dorset to give us a starting point for our first iteration of our idea. This involved studying the geographical layout of Dorset and researching the people of Dorset. Upon finding mined results to this in the 15 minute window we were given to assemble an idea we were left to make up for ourselves what ‘Dorsetness’ is.

The project is designed to allow us to use an iterative process. An iterative design process (diagram seen below) is one which works through the stages of a design which allows the designer to use feedback and improve upon the design (prototyping) and create a better design as a result therefore this is a commonly used design process. We will be using this process during the project to gather feedback from peers and lecturers which will enable us to make a more successful advertising campaign for the independence of Dorset.

The Iterative Design Process
A Diagram of the Iterative Design Process
Waterfall Design Method
The Waterfall Design Method

Another design process we learnt about today was the waterfall approach (diagram seen below), the waterfall approach is a sequential development method which takes a slightly simpler view on the design process. It is usually adopted by industries who work on strict time constraints where each process is carefully structured to ensure all work is completed on the process without coming back to a process as this would usually cause expensive delays for companies wishing to bring out products by a certain time or for a certain day or when companies assemble a product in different locations which would require excellent logistics and sound planning in order to do so as cost-efficiently as possible.

Designers typically prefer the iterative design process as it allows them to experiment with an idea in order to achieve their goal allowing them to develop an idea through client based feedback which is extremely important in our field.