Blog 001 // Returning to Uni // 2nd Year

It only felt like yesterday I was handing in my first year summative projects. Looking back, I definitely learnt a lot of new skills in terms of my design ability. Comparing my work today as apposed to one year ago, it is safe to say I have developed in all areas massively.

Over the summer I was working in a hospitality job for the majority of the time, but I did keep myself busy with various freelance work. I rebranded a new personal training network for a close friend. Creating their brand identity and various different logos. (Can find on my instagram). I also branded a professional photographer out in Malaysia. I met with him out in Malaysia for breakfast and was in a conversation about his business and the work he has been up too, When looking through his photography work I spotted he did not have an identity or logo. This in my opinion being a huge element as any creative for people within the industry aswell as the general public to recognise you from the others. So on the 13 hour plane journey home I used my time wisely and began sketching and mocking up a wide range of options. My other summer related design work I produced was my 'Malaysia 17' Series. whilst I  was out there I used the natural lighting and lifestyle out there to capture first hand street photography, amongst the markets, 'makan' courts ( makan translating to dinner in Malay). I thoroughly enjoyed this self initiated project picking a camera up again myself, as I never really do so! The results I was extrememly happy with in terms of the lighting and shots. (Featured on my design instagram).

But here we are, on the back end of summer, 2nd Year has begun. It feels weird being back at Rave and in London in general but at the same time its a good feeling and I am extremely excited to crack on with my 2nd Year on my course. We begun by being introduced to our new course leader Derek Yates. He ran us through himself and a bit about him, What is coming up for us over the next few months. We have a project involving interaction design in association with the Science Museum. Our second project is working alongside the Charity Shelter.


The Principles of Interaction Design

The phrase ‘Interaction Design’ simply defines the behaviour and structure of an interactive system, it is the link between the user and the product and the service they use.

The whole interaction design should serve a simple and effective user experience. To work, it needs to understand the basic principles of interaction design. It is about designing as a whole for the whole interconnected system.

The main principles of interaction design involve The User, The Needs, The Technology and The Design.

The needs are very important to understand when designing an interactive system. As client goals are obviously all going to be different. So having the ability to adapt to each client is key. The needs is all about cracking the problem and solving it. An example of this would be the V & A museum london wanted a way to engage with the public at a British fayre type of event. The clients vision was to have traditional stalls and a general British Fairground vibe. icoEX the company on this job had the idea of putting technology in this space to encourage competition. The execution was a chicken game. Where two people would face towards a webcam which motion tracked their movement. the faster the user moved the faster the chicken model would run down the home straight. This was a huge success and attracted people to compete against each other. 

The users element of the principles is to do with finding out about the people you are trying to target. Homing in on their attitudes and what will attract them. An example of this was icoEX again were given the brief to promote ACDC's new album to their fans. So they figured who their audience were and established that the majority were middle aged 50 year old men who work in accounts\office jobs. The execution of this was to actually code the new ACDC album into an excel document. So that the audience could play - watch - listen cleverly whilst in the office! This also displays how simple but clever an execution can be by thinking how to engage directly with the audience. 

Technology is the third principle out of the ones I have listed and its such a developing influence on the design world. As new technologies are being discovered so frequently in the twenty first century. This involves devices, different platforms, softwares and hardwares. Snog Yoghurt was one of icoEX's most successful case studies. They wanted to see how they could make a Photo Booth experience more on brand for the client and fun for users. It relates to the brand in my opinion as Snog yoghurt is a customisable food, being able to add whatever toppings you lie. To execute this, the key was to find out what Snog's audience use? What technology is available and what is unexpected. This once again deemed to be a huge success with customers using the photobooth and sharing their customised pictures on their various social media platforms i.e instagram snapchat. This in turn generating a lot of attention, increasing the chances of their name getting out their and encouraging people to come and give it a try.

The final principle is to do with Design. What does the system look like, is it clean? is it simple? How does it behave? You must always think about your Audience. Finally always test your design to see if it works before launching. I personally think when designing anything, never ever over complicate it, simplicity is much more effective than a cluttered design. Users have very little attention spans when using systems or apps for example. People want quick and simple functions available. An example of this would be Instagrams new function within their stories. They have added a Poll option to put in your story. Allowing users to post up on their stories fast quick polls with two buttons to tap, yes or no, then these outputs turn into a percentage depending on what your followers have clicked on.