GRDS 702: Unit 5, Blog 1 – Exploration A

Working on this last part of project A has been one of my favorite in design and process. I like that I did not know exactly where the project was going at the start of the process. This allowed me to do a lot of thinking about the message. the final solution was definitely an “ah-ha” moment. Once I had the subject of music I knew I wanted to do something that would promote change and bring about awareness to music education. I understood the feedback from my peers but initially did not agree with it all. Color is one of my favorite area of the design process – it is what I use to capture the attention of the audience. I was told the colors should be toned down in the initial round. I thought having too much white would cause the design to get lost in its environment but the point was the color was distracting to the legibility. I also needed to make some adjustments to my logo to ensure the words are read in the intended order. I think the feedback really helped me see how things I think look good may not be the most effective for my intended audiences.



GRDS 701: Unit 5, Blog Entry 2: Project A Self-Assessment

For Project A overall I was pleased about the feedback from my initial post and its layout content. After making the suggested edits I had to face one of my biggest fears – vocal presentation. I think I did better that I usually do since I did not have to present in person, but I  really need to work on voice control and the authority of my voice, especially if I want to teach one day. I used the my outline from part 1 to form the structure of the video – that really helped my make sure I touched on the areas that are important to the topic. When it came to time the video I was certain I would not be able to fulfill the 5-7minutes, but once I mapped out my script I actually had to go back and remove some information. This helped me really narrow down what was key to the subjects and ideas. Overall this was an positive learning experience and great way to present and share what I am working on in my research.

GRDS 701: Unit 5, Blog Entry 1: Graphic Design Definition Revisited

Over the past few weeks I have encountered many new experience that are part of the graphic design process. In the past, and even at my current job my essential priority is just the design – aesthetics, composition – that’s it. Through our projects I have encountered collaboration, literature reviews, research, copy writing/editing and more. I knew about this elements, but they are usually handle by another group and handed over to me for design. Working through the entire process from the beginning gives me a deeper understanding of the message I am working to communicate. One area I have really expanding on is design thinking. In Standford’s d.School bootcamp bootleg we are given a working guide to understand the different areas of thinking. The breakdown of the mindsets was the section I enjoyed the most – I liked the ideas each offered, but was excited to apply them to my process. I have always heard and been aware of Design thinking and research in design but because I have to work so fast on projects outside of school I never thought about integrating them into my process. Now that I have a better idea of all the different components and mindsets I have a better starting point and direction. I think this foundation with help guide my process, giving me access to deeper thoughts and messages I can then translate and communicate these messages to my audience.

GRDS 702: Unit 4, Blog 1: Exploration A, part 6

Last week’s collaboration with my partner lead to some great word expansions and associations for me to build ideas for my project. Although I was able to make associations between all three words I was a little lost on the type of project I would propose. After seeing an example I had a better idea of the direction I needed to take. The overall subject I decided to work with is music education programs in grade school. All three of my words had a connection to music in addition to  themes of freedom, opportunity and coming together. Once I had a base I began to think about how to visually represent the message and a collective name. I decide on “More than Melody” which speaks to music education’s impact on student’s academic performances outside the music room. I found research and stats on how music has contributed to the success of student math,  reading and even social development. I idea is to visually communicate that with music students can enhance their academic experience. For the visual representation I will highlight the stats found with fusion graphics to show how musics impacts more than sound, but a greater foundation in academics.

GRDS 701: Unit 4, Blog 2: Journey

After the first post and learning more about journey mapping I thought about how this method could not only be used for me to understand others situations and how people live, but I could use it to explain what I do. There are a lot of misconceptions about what we do and the work we put in to bring ideas and solutions to life. Creating a journey map would be a great way to explain to those outside of design, especially clients, how our creative process works from start to finish. I can imaging that if clients saw the average amount of emails, calls, texts and other forms of communication paired with the stages of a project I think (and hope) they would begin to understand the process and what we do. The video below is a humorous, yet fairly accurate, interpretation of what we deal with on a daily basis.

GRDS 701:Unit 4, Blog Entry 1

The discusses a number of design thinking methods in its Bootcamp Bootleg. I found

Interview preparation and journey map. I have had the opportunity to use some of these methods on assignments and they really helped develop my solutions.

Interview preparation is exactly what it suggests. When conducting an interview the goal is to have questions answered that will aid in your project development. Preparing these questions also saves time and helps keep the interview moving forward. The suggests grouping questions into themes, which prevents scattering during the interview. I think this method would be best applied to answer questions surrounding problems and issues we as want to apply to others – especially if we are attempting to solve the problem as an outsider looking in. When I conducted my research paper on the importance of design education, I interview 3 sets of people – a senior design student, a recent grad, and 2 hiring managers/directors. The goal was to find out what aspects of design education was most important to each group and how their values compared.

The journey map method reminded me of the interview preparation but with a more interactive aspect. It takes the questions answered to a more personal level and shows how the answers are reached. I did not use this method for my design education paper, but if I had I know what approach I would take, particularly for the student responses. I could map out the student journey from first year to graduation or more specifically first internship to first professional job in the field. I could use the collected information to develop a guide for other students to use to prepare for a transition from the classroom to the office.

Right now I do not use and particular methodology, just working my way through the different ones to understand how to better reach my audience and solve the problems of the world. I am particularly interested in the journey map as it will give the chance to experience and “walk in the shoes” of my audience.

GRDS 701:Unit 3, Blog Entry 2

This semester is really testing my time management. I knew as I prepared to apply I knew having a grasp on how to manage my time at work, home, and school was critical to my success…and sanity. As I approach having a year of grad school under my belt and a little over a year to go I am at a vital point in my education. I know it is not impossible to work full time and go to school full time – I just need to plan ahead. That is it key. In order to help me get ideas on how to better manage my time I like to check out the  articles on The last article I read was about how we can be our biggest barrier, self-sabotaging our tasks. I could definitely relate. One point I am going to try was about priorities:

De-prioritize results and acknowledge progress

When you start to notice yourself worrying about what people will think about your finished product, you can tell yourself these truths:

  • Doing something is better than doing nothing.
  • This is only a draft—I can always come back and edit it.
  • I can’t know whether or not people will be happy, but I can focus on doing what I know how to do well.

By focusing on the process instead of the results, you’ll create a safe environment for gradual progress toward your ultimate goal.

I have been doing things just to get them done – be it office work, freelance and even school. Hopefully by applying some of these I will have a more productive (and less stressful) quarter.