How to effectively inspire students Final Major Project studying a creative discipline?
Creative Ideas Generation Emma Wilson Creative thinking techniques and idea generation tools
Introduction Outcome Discover Delve Define Develop Deliver Bibliography
Being more of an all round graphic design student I wasnâ€™t sure exactly what I wished to focus my Final Major Project on. However I knew something that I enjoyed doing though, which was looking at various design inspiration online and in print and then collecting my own favourite pieces from these. This lead to me thinking about how important inspiration is to many people. It helps us to get our minds stimulated and our creative juices flowing. Plus by feeling influenced by other
peoples work, it can start to provoke some fresh ideas. Students and graduates studying a creative discipline were the perfect target audience as they always need fresh inspiration to help them feel motivated and to aid the start of some creative movement. Constantly they are needed to generate new ideas for the various projects that they have to complete, so creative inspiration is part of the process that starts to provoke the flow of fresh ideas.
What is inspiration? Why does my target audience need inspiration? Can I create an outcome that competes At what stage of a project is with the most popular resources? my outcome going to attempt to How can I challenge these already inspire the target audience? established inspirational items? What is the purpose of inspiration? At what part of the creative process is inspiration most useful?
Please view the documentation of my projects journey also in the accompanying sketchbook or on the blog below:
Creative Inspiration Blog
Below is the blog that I used to gather the content for my project:
Creative Idea Generation Blog
Please view accompanying PDF for the full outcome. I have attempted to show as effectively as I can how the website would work when live.
“The key to creating a truly original, focused and approproate idea is to start at zero—a completely open mind with no preconceptions.” —Mark Oldach
â€œThe most common problem faced by anyone who is trying to create something whether it be a book, painting, sculpture or marketing plan, is losing that vital creative inspiration, and more importantly how to get that inspiration back.â€? -Noleen Wyatt-Jones
To begin with I proposed to create an outcome that showcased a selection of inspiration. However in my proposal feedback it was suggested to me that I had missed the obvious, as couldn’t I potentially create something that instead aids the target audience in feeling inspired. Clearly this made much more sense and would be a much more purposeful outcome. So at this beginning stage I wanted to mix the two; an outcome that was visually inspiring while providing the target audience with a way of feeling or finding inspiration. I began my initial research by just looking into inspiration and a little into creativity. I
wasn’t really sure what else I could look at that related to the subject of inspiration. It is hard to find relevant books when you don’t know exactly what to type in and look for. Therefore at this stage I was mainly researching into; ways to feel inspired and steps to boost creative ideas. I also had in mind that the outcome would be printed, possibly in the form of postcards or some sort of shapes that fitted together to produce an overall visual. For the target audience to start feeling inspired, I thought that perhaps I could include some sort of actions. Therefore I was looking at different examples of printed cards.
“Inspiration is the life blood that courses through our bodies spurring us on to create and satisfy that need. In part, creativity is about fresh perspective and sometimes the only way to find that fresh perspective is to get away from the blank page and to recharge the batteries.” Noleen Wyatt-Jones
A Game? to decide what inspiration action your are going to complete
Postcard Pack? Activity pack with inspiring tasks
Personal? A personal collection or insight into someones life
At this stage I thought it could be really interesting to explore inspiration through a more personal concept. This is because inspiration can be very personal to each individual, depending on what appeals to their own tastes. Plus, for me and clearly many others, it is interesting when we get to see a glimpse into someone elses
life. For example, through autobiographies, reality TV shows and so on. So at this stage I was thinking about somehow involving my target audience in creating some sort of quick visuals, or by answering a task/action themseleves, so the users of the particular outcome could see what others have already done.
â€œThe truth is that ideas are all around us, in the people you meet, in the things you read and see and hear and experience, in your own childhood and family, in the wilder reaches of your imagination.â€? Kate Pullinge
I completed a number of research methods that I felt were appropriate for this stage, some of them were new ones that I had discovered through research. The main goal was to solve the problem so I started by defining exactly what my problem is. Then I developed this by answering the problem, where you go into more depth about exactly what is causing your problem and why it is a problem. Then I used the Six Thinking Men, as it is one of my favourite techniques to complete at the start of a project. It helps me to think about my project from different angles and to really organise all
of the various aspects that I may need to explore further. After completing some initial ideas I extended on these ideas by completing the Stepping stone challenge to start moving them forward. I also completed a set of digital ethnography myself and through the target audience. This was to see what items and places my target audience visit to feel inspired. Books, magazines and posters were the occuring results which made me wonder if I could create something different but that would still fit in with their set routines.
â€œThe key point is that creativity is a process rather than an event. The nature of this process is personal to the individual, but it often involves waking and sleeping moments or unconscious ruminations as we do other things.â€? Ken Robinson
I finished this discovery stage by thinking that perhaps the outcome could be some sort of inspiration map through London or postcards with tasks on that I had created. However I wasn’t really sure how I was going to create interesting, quick tasks that would appeal to my target audience and that didn’t already exist. I was looking more at ways in which to
provoke creative movement rather than to actually inspire someone for a particular project. I wasn’t really sure however that this was where I wanted to be at this stage. I wanted my project to have more purpose and likelihood of the target audience actually wanting to use the outcome as part of their process to feel inspired.
“Being open, is a valuable trait when generating ideas. Openness allows the unusual and the unconventional to intrude on the thought process, for influences to travel to and come from all areas of the globe. Openness allows you to contemplate on a range of choices whilst it gets you to break away from pattern and to embrace all forms of collaboration.” The Cube
Read a book Listen to music Change your environment Draw On the web See what others are doing Go for a walk Go to the bookstore Just get something started Follow your favourite designers on social media Work in a comfortable environment Visit a gallery or museum Sleep/rest Magazines Blogs Tutorial Notes
• Inspiration provokes something to happen / Theres different levels of inspiration. Long term could be more useful. • Positive psychology - Chemical reactions What is the point in positive emotions; no use apart from possibly social wise. • Need to find a way to engage people in something they would actually do or use • People have their set routines - formal repetitive system. • My project will be taking the target audience to the door and helping them to start their project • Playful provokingness. • Limitations - self impossed, produces much more interesting work, provokes you to be more innovative. • To narrow and broaden my project. • More analysis, plus categories of inspiration. Tactonomy: useful/conscious inspiration <———-> subconcious inspiration. • Inspiration is needed for dedication. It motivates you - intrinsic and external motivation. • Perhaps I could make a set of simple, modern day, activities that people can do to inspire themselves, that are my own invention.
The tutorial was really helpful as I wasn’t sure what direction to move in next. I had completed alot of research into how to acquire inspiration but now I needed to complete a selection of secondary research into more indepth topics, such as positive pyschology. I also think by looking into different areas that affect inspiration, such as limitations, it will help me to find something interesting to focus on and to help narrow my project. To do
• Complete a spectrum of inspiration • To research into positive emotions, creative thinking techniques, limitations and similar subjects • To find more purpose for my project, as I don’t wish to just provide my target audience with any sort of creative movement. • To complete more analysis on my research • To look into all resources suggested in the tutorial • Start thinking of some possible activities that are my own invention
Reflection • I felt that my research was way too general at this stage. • I know we shouldn’t find a focus too soon but I definitely should have thought about other relevant areas to research. • I want my project to have much more purpose. • Hopefully I will find a much better focus in the suggested secondary research that I am now going to complete.
I used this next stage of the project to really complete some indepth research into subjects relating to creativity and inspiration. I spent this time researching more than developing ideas, as I really wanted to make sure that I became more knowledgeable about many of the different areas relating to my project. Plus I felt that I was moving in the right direction of producing a more purposeful outcome for my target audience.
What I was looking into: • • • • • • • • • • • •
Edward de Bono Creative Thinking Techniques Positive Emotions Negative Emotions Lateral Thinking Vertical Thinking Flow Broaden and Build Limitations The Mind Creativity Divergent and Convergent
Creative Inspiration Blog
“The term ‘flow’ has been used to describe peak creative performances. These are times when we are immersed in something that completely engages our creative capabilities and draws equally from our knowledge, feelings and intuitive powers.” Ken Robinson
There was alot to research into but everything that I was reading was extremely interesting to find out about. I am quite surprised that after studying design for a number of years that I didnâ€™t know about practically any of it. I did find that I had to look in a number of different resources to be able to research into the numerous related subject areas. Plus alot of the time the information definitely could have been simplified and shortened.
â€œLateral Thinking is a deliberate, systematic creative-thinking process that deliberately looks at challenges from completely different angles. By introducing specific, unconventional thinking techniques, lateral thinking enables thinkers to find novel solutions that would otherwise remain uncovered.â€? Idea Connection
As I was finding learning about the various creative thinking techniques extremely interesting and useful, I wondered if there was a way to visually represent this information. I discovered through looking at various resources that there wasnâ€™t really anything obvious that had already been created. So I began sketching some ideas of possible ways that I could represent the information.
Creative Inspiration Blog
I then followed this by creating ideas for my own inspiration activities and producing a spectrum of inspiration that was all suggested to me in the tutorial. Plus I created a Mind map which really helped me to organise the research that I had completed at this stage of the project and also so that I could see how it all related to one another.
“Inspiration and influence is the way we grow and learn as designers. Imitation is taking an unoriginal shortcut and feeding off someone else’s inspiration.” Stainley Hainsworth
Tutorial Notes • My project is based on breaking out of what you know already. • Changing people from their set ways • It’s about the act of doing something, not just looking at a blank piece of paper. It’s taking a sideways step (lateral thinking). • Creative methods and creative format. • I could work on the spectrum that I created - have empty squares that people fill themselves with their own source of inspiration. • There are few books actually for designers on the thinking process. • It could be a book on divergency how to inspire. • It’s like the Discover and Delve stages of a project. Not interested in defining as now the audience goes away and picks their idea in a reaction to the discover and delve activities. • A way of placing all of the different books, websites and blogs together. • My outcome would be about helping people to suspend judgement for a while and not just settle on one idea. • Look at what is already existing and what people would actually use.
• Perhaps I could talk to studios to see how they acquire inspiration. How do groups inspire themselves? • A random generator. • Gather examples and see where the gaps are between the different resources. Plus find out how the target audience likes to receive information. • Look at recipe books to see how they design instructions. I was at the stage where I had gathered alot of useful information, picked out key subject areas and had really got my head around many of the different creative thinking techniques. So the tutorial then helped me to see what possible direction I could take all this information in next. It also helped me to establish my ideas, reasoning and goals for this project. To do: • Review similar existing resources and find a gap. • Start experimenting and prototyping. • Possibly contact various studios and creatives to find out what methods they use to acquire inspiration and to generate new ideas.
Reflection • I had used this stage of the project to complete much more indepth research. I now felt that I had a more concrete project. • I didn’t want to create an outcome that just attempts to visually inspire creative students but instead aids them in their journey of generating ideas at the beginning of a project that they are working on. • I had now really found a problem, a stage of the creative process to focus the implementation of my outcome on and I was alot more knowledgeable on the subject as a whole.
Similar Existing Items
What is missing from the existing similar resources? • There doesn’t seem to be a resource that both explains different thinking techniques while providing examples of idea generation methods. • A number of them aren’t aimed at designers. • Most of the creative techniques that are listed in the other resources are just to produce some creative movement. Not so that you can actually relate them to a given project.
• Many of the online resources just one or two techniques, not a whole range. • The websites weren’t visually exciting. • Many of the creative methods were predictable and quite boring. • The IDEO cards are the resource that most closely link the user from idea generation technique to their actual project. • Many of them are long winded and could easily be simplified.
Problem with the Target Audience
• They need a constant source of inspiration to provoke fresh ideas and possible influences. • They are always needing to generate ideas for new projects.
• Many are set in their own ways of using only certain resources or techniques to try to generate ideas and inspiration. • Sometimes its hard to carry on producing a number of ideas when in actual fact you think the first one is good enough.
Problem with the Creative Techniques
• There is not one resource that provides information on the different creative thinking processes or idea generation tools.
• Several online resources only provide one or two types of idea generation tools, not a whole mixture.
• Many of the existing resources only provide ideas to provoke some creative movement not ones that you can actually relate to a given project.
• Many books on creative tools are long winded and could easily be simplified.
• Alot of these resources are not aimed at designers.
• Many don’t provide examples of what professional creatives do.
I viewed different â€˜How toâ€™ Books for ideas on how they interestingly present information and instructions.
I looked at different design aesthetics for inspiration on how I may potentially want to design my final outcome. At this stage I thought my outcome would most likely be printed and most probably using the screen printing process.
Stepping Stone Challenge Brainstorming Six Thinking Men Random Word Generator Wishful Thinking Design for Intent Cards Oblique Strategies Talking to Peers IDEO method cards SCAMPER 30 Circles Role Play Escapism Improvisation Random Phrase Generator Talking to Tutors PMI I gathered together many different idea generation techniques that I had found so far while conducting my secondary research. This was to help me organise my research ready for developing.
Quick prototyping for the idea of a loose book that would showcase different creative thinking techniques and idea generation processes.
“If you only look for ideas when you need them,’ he says, ‘you will soon get stuck. However, if you constantly try to generate them and connect things by making juxtapositions of thoughts, alignments, and by embracing coincidences, they will be there in abundance.“ Adrian Shaughnessy
Tutorial Notes • Website: different widgets that open up different creative tools, such as a word simulator and the inspiration chart. • People design the website themselves, where they can all have their own dashboards. • Edward de Bono books are long winded with alot of text, my outcome would explain this simply. • Look at Change by Design. • A digital outcome will mean flexibility but it can also allow you to print out different parts easily. • Combine all the vital tools you need; post-it notes, note pads etc. • All of this info (creative thinking techniques, ideas generation tools) are not compiled in one place. • I could create a temporary blog where people could write up their own techniques. This would be part of my prototyping and also possible content for my outcome.
• Alot of the time, the techniques that professionals use are not known to us. • The website could easily be developed and built onto in the future. • The content defines what the outcome looks like. • People could upload their own photos and outcomes. • Focus group where people could play around with simple visuals to create their own website homepage. To do: • Look into the suggested resources • Set up the blog to gather creative techniques from both my target audience and professional creatives • Start contacting professional creatives about my project • Complete the suggested research method to generate visual ideas for the websites design
I had already completed a survey at the beginning proposal stage to find out different information from my target audience on creative inspiration. Below you can see that websites were the top way in which my target audience liked to find creative inspiration.
‘What about when an idea refuses to emerge? When this happens it is a sign that there’s a handbrake on, and we need to take drastic action to loosen it. This kind of ‘block’ is a common occurence and we shouldn’t punish ourselves for feeling stuck or uninspired, especially if we are under pressure to come up with a great many ideas in a short space of time.’ Adrian Shaughnessy
I created a blog on tumblr so that I could attempt to gather some content for my outcome. I then sent this out to creative students, tutors and a number of professional creatives. Slowly but surely the blog started to build up with posts. I was quite dissapointed that more students didnâ€™t get involved, I know how busy everyone is but it literally takes 2
Idea Generation Methods Blog
minutes. Examples of professional creatives that took part included; Evelin Kasikov, Stefanie Posavec and Luise Vormittag from Container Plus. The blog was a great resource as it provided me with real life content for my outcome and also some examples from professionals.
Group Crit • Go back to your research and pull out what you have found. • I could possibly extend the creative resource to a wider audience (PPD). • Look at what you want to avoid. I could show what would happen if you don’t use idea generation tools. • Find the most appropriate formats. • What stage in the design process would they use the different techniques? • Dan Lockton; process / why he felt the cards were appropriate.
Analysing the Feedback
• Look at existing resources; how they got their audiences involved. • Write down the problems and pin point what might go wrong. • Really address the analysis. • A visit to the Tate Modern. To do: • Complete more research analysis • Look at the possible problems in order to try and address these • Perhaps contact some more professionals who created similar existing items (PPD) • Visit the Tate for inspiration
Reflection • I now really felt like I was on track; my project goals were clear, my problem was defined, I had found a need for my outcome and there was enough evidence for how useful it could potentially be. • I also new now what format my outcome would take, which was a website, as this was the format in which my target audience use most often to find inspiration. • Plus with my outcome being digital it means that it can always expand and develop to keep up with the fast rates of the modern world.
I used this visual research method to gain a rough idea of how the target audience would want the website homepage to look, if they were designing it themselves. So I created various different items that could potentially appear on a homepage, such as; a Twitter feed, navigation bar, showreel and a random spinner, and then asked members of the target audience to create their homepage as they would like it to be.
Marta pointed out how I had already controlled the design in some way by picking out certain shapes for certain items. This was very true but for me I thought less people would want to get involved if they had to spend alot more time creating everything themselves. This was more of a quick and dirty prototyping session, to achieve a rough idea of how the target audience may want their website homepage to be laid out.
I used one of IDEO’s method cards for this idea generation session. Card Sort HOW: On seperate cards, name possible features, functions, or design attributes. Ask people to organise the cards spatially, in ways that make sense to them. WHY: This helps to expose people’s mental models of a device or system. Their organisation reveals expectations and priorities about the intended functions.
Therefore I listed different elements of a website onto different cards, these included: informal, formal, information, visuals, minimalism, sharing, community, social networking… Then I explained to members of the target audience that these cards were all different possible elements of a website and then asked them to lay out these cards however they wished
I asked members of my target audience to send links of websites that appealed to them design wise. This was so that I could complete a visual audit to compare the different elements of the various sites and to also see if there were any reoccuring patterns. Seeing what design aesthetics really appeal to my target audience, will help me to generate a successful design for my outcome.
See visual audit for similar existing
Analysis of Visual Audits
• Alot of the websites used limited colour palettes, generally of three colours. Nearly all of the sites that were sent to me included simple, clean designs and the navigation was always easy to use.
• Most of the websites were interesting due to either a clever use of visuals, a unique feature and a selective colour palette.
• The majority of the sites were linked to social networks.
• I thought I would have seen more websites that were interactive or really unique but it seems that a simple design aesthetic is the most important thing to my target audience.
• When extra colours were brought into the colour palette, they were usually either red, pink or blue.
• Black, white or grey were the colours used for the backgrounds in nearly all of the websites.
â€œCreative thinking is a break with habitual patterns of thought.â€? Ken Robinson
I reviewed some of the most popular sites to see if there were any design elements that could potentially be useful for my own site. All of the analysis that I completed on existing sites provided me with a great base to work from.
Now that I had enough visual information to work with, I started to create prototypes for how my website homepage could potentially look. The visual audits, popular website analysis and visual research methods that I completed with my target audience really paid off, as I
had a great platform to work from and some limitations to work within. This was also great time wise as it meant that I wasnâ€™t wasting valuable time creating prototypes that werenâ€™t to any of my target audiences specifications and preferences design wise.
I then used Facebook as a quick and easy way to start gathering some feedback from my target audience.
“Iterative design is based on a cycle of prototyping, testing, and refining. In interative design, testing the project in some way-whether through focus groups, user tests, personas, or other methods-generates data to compare successive evolutions or ‘iterations’.” -Jenn & Ken Visocky O’Grady
I think this one has the most potential. I dont get the how/why bits , but i think you can include other elements that you have from your other designs too, like the large random generator that looked fun.â€? -Obie Campbell
Having the information probably makes this a bit more user friendly, it's good that you have a "most popular" and "recent" section as it gives more to look at. -Jamie Rostant
I think the warmer colours lookmore exciting - maybe there's something about colours changing thatcould be half an idea? Maybe the website user can decide on how theyput the site together? -Darren Raven
Yea I like this one as well, as kathleen and jamie said, try to make the whole thing a bit more "compact" arranging element differently or maybe using a shallow background. As it is it looks like each element is a bit loose. -JP
I like this one, But I do prefer the 'Unblock' title and maybe a bit less white space? Looks good though -Kathleen Slaney
Do you have any instructions on how to use the site? Maybe when the wheel chooses a tool then some images and a short info could come up on the right, which could make the site a bit more dynamic. If they like what they see they can click to â€˜read moreâ€™. -Daniel Connal
I like how "unblock" works, its more positive than "zero". Strict color scheme of this one contrasts with playful font, it looks nice. -Maria Tamgina
yeah I think "Unblock" is a bit more original than zero as a name. I like the red speech bubble, would it be like quote of the week or something? -Jamie Rostant
I think prototype 3 works best, but keep the same doodling circletechnique throughout, and don't mix it with perfect shapes, such as the boxes. -Joanna Choukeir
I think the doodling 'offline' technique looks really good in theprototypes where you have used that. I don't think the geometricalshaped graphic objects are doing as well though. I like the name zero,but maybe it should be a little clearer, such as 'going from zero' or'zero to a hundred'? -Joanna Choukeir
Why I chose the website size? ‘Accounting for scrollbars, window edges, etc means the real width of a 1024x768 screen is about 960 pixels.’ While researching online I found out that it was recommended to create a design of around 960-980px wide to accommodate most screen dimensions. While reviewing different websites I found that none of these went over 3 folds. 1 fold = 600 pixels in length. The many websites that I reviewed all varied in
length, of anywhere below or on the 3 folds. On all of the folds of these websites, you generally have a navigation bar, sometimes a header, a title or logo and then atleast one predominant visual. I chose to create my website to a fold and a little bit, as this was enough to accomodate all of my needed information and visuals and therefore I didn’t have alot of unneccesary scrolling.
All of the feedback that I gathered was extremely useful in aiding me to move onto the next stage of the project which involved developing on the prototypes. It is always extremely useful to gather feedback from others, as they always see things that you miss or have ideas that you never thought of. So after picking out a number of very relevant points of
criticism and potential ideas, I started to work on the developments. It had been suggested to me a number of times about the user potentially creating their own dashboard and that now seemed like a very relevant point, as everyone was giving their own ideas in the feedback, so why not let the target audience create their own dashboards?
“Although it might seems as though frittering away valuable time on sketches and models and simulations will slow work down, prototyping generates results faster.” “The process peaks when -Tim Brown
the team begins to produce prototypes. Even if they don’t look so good, don’t work properly, or have too many features or too few, they are visible, tangible signs of progress.” -Tim Brown
Maybe text (facebook, twitter, etc) could be black or darker colour? -Sheng Szechan
There should be an option to tag or bookmark methods -Obie Campbell
OOO I like this! Especially the colour. The create your own dashboard idea is great! -Kathleeen Slaney
Reflection • From all of the feedback that I gathered, it seemed as though I was moving in the right direction with my prototypes, so I felt confident to work with what I was producing but to add different elements that either I thought of or the target audience suggested, to help enhance the site. • The ‘create your own dashboard’ definitely was the most appropriate design idea to accomodate alot of my target audiences wishes.
“The 3rd level of the brain, sometimes called the cortex, is involved in thinking, problem-solving, goal-setting, and planning. This part of the brain provides you with foresight, an important ability that allows you to see ahead and consider the consequences of your decisions before acting on them.” Caring Awareness
“Design thinking taps into the capacities we all have but that are overlooked by more conventional problem-solving practices. It is not only human-centered; it is deeply human in and of itself. Design thinking relies on our ability to be intuitive, to recognize patterns, to construct ideas that have emotional meaning, as well as functionality, to express ourselves in media other than words or symbols.” —Tim Brown
I had a chosen design concept and overall aesthetic so at this stage I was designing all of the pages that were included on my website. Along the way I was including new elements that I felt would enhance the site, such as the colour picker which would add to the concept of the user creating their own dashboard. The colour that the user picked would also work all the way through the various pages. So as I had 6 possible colours to pick from,
Minimum links on a page = 15
every page that I designed, I had to then change it into all 6 of the colours. So for my outcome I ended up with 25 pages for each colour and as there were 6 colours, it created a total of 150 pages. Then came all of the links for the navigation. The minimum amount of links on any page was 15. The maximum was 22. 15 links x 150 pages = 2,250 links. So my outcome PDF ended up with over 2,250 links for the navigation!
Maximum links on a page = 22
150 outcome pages overall
15 x 150 = 2,250
25 pages in each colour
6 different colours
Please click here to go back to the beginning outcome section to see more of the website pages. You can also view the whole website, with working navigation in the accompanying PDF.
I tried to make the website more personal my including elements such as the note page below, where the user can write their own thoughts and ideas as they go through the website.
I included many elements throughout that were suggested to me by my target audience. For example, in one of the group tutorials one of my peers said that they would like to have a choice to view the techniques depending on the length of time that they would take to complete.
To begin with I used symbols here for the navigation but unfortunately I couldnâ€™t get the links to work so I changed them to words instead. With more time I would change these to a symbol to help decrese the amoutn of text.
I would have liked the technique pages to have been more visual. However this was hard to achieve as many people submitted just text to my blog. This would definitely be something that I would like to improve on and change.
“Research-driven design can help define an audience, support a concept, advocate for an aesthetic, or measure the effectiveness of a campaign.” -Jenn & Kenn Visocky O’Grady
I brought in alot of what I had learnt from the Strategies for Visual Research Project that we had completed earlier this year, to help benefit and develop this final major project. SVR has had a large impact on my Final Major Project in terms of structure, time management, research methods, testing and target audience participation. Without all of this prior experience, this project would not have developed through the different stages as it has done. The research that I completed has been vital to every stage. The secondary research that I completed allowed me to gain more indepth knowledge about the projects theme as a whole which then led to me finding a more purposeful direction to focus my project on. The primary research that I completed allowed me to engage with my audience and to find out what they want from the outcome. So from all of this, I was really able to find out what was missing from similar existing items and what I needed to produce to fill the gap.
‘The process of visual exploration forces creatives to move beyond initial concepts, often resulting in unique and innovation solutions.’” -Jenn & Kenn Visocky O’Grady
I came to my final design aesthetic through several different research methods and through testing with my target audience. The visual audits and the research method where the target audience created their own homepages, where two of the most useful methods in helping me to move forward with the visual prototypes. This gave me a great base to start from, as I already had some limitations and known specifications to work within. From here the feedback that I received from the target audience and also through the tutors and my own design eye, aided the development and refinement of the prototypes to eventually produce the final design outcome.
“All project work is bound by limits: limits of technology, limits of skill, limits of knowledge. But the calendar is probably the most insistent limit of them all because it brings us back to the bottom line.” -Tim Brown Personally I feel pleased with the results of the outcome and through testing the initial and developed designs with some of the target audience, I can see that they were also mainly pleased and engaged well with the website designs. Even though we have reached the deadline, this can still be a project that develops further over time and more refinements can be made if needed. Next I would like to test the working outcome with my target audience to gather some insightful feedback and improve any thing that they feel isn’t working. I found it hard at times to get the full attention of my target audience while attempting to test the website designs, as many of them were also faced with the limitation of time, to complete their own projects or other full time job roles, now that they have graduated. Perhaps now that many have reached their own study deadlines, I will be able to engage more of my target audience in the testing and evaluation of my intended outcome. Unfortunately I was limited by the fact that I do not have the relevant skills to create a real working website, so I instead used the skills that I do have to try and show the website design and navigation in through the working PDF. I hope users will be able to get a good feel for how the website would .work if it was live.
“The best ideas are usually made better by other people. Allowing someone in an informal conversation or in a more formalized group session, to jump on an idea, to add to it, to remix it, even to trash it, usually means that an idea develops and grows.” -Adrian Shaughnessy One of my favourite ways of developing this project and for generating new ideas, was by talking to my peers. Where I once kept my project ideas and developments mainly to myself, as I was worried that others may think they were weak, now I was always talking to others about my project, as I had grown to realise that no one is judging one another. Not only was I talking to peers and tutors, I was also telling some professional creatives about my project, while asking them if they would be willing to get involved. I received some really encouraging responses, such as Millie Ross, from Jotta, who told me that she thought it was a great idea. Peers can be extremely helpful as they can give their views on your work from an outsiders angle. Some of my fellow classmates were helpful in sending me appropriate links, suggesting books or photocopying the odd page from a resource that they felt would be helpful. I also found the tutorials extremely helpful, as after the beginning stages of my project, I always felt stuck on what direction I should move in next, or what I could possible do with all the information I have acquired from my research.
‘Though the power of design may not always be easily measured, there are many steps that practitioners can undertake to ensure that they are making informed communication choices, rather than producing artifacts rooted soley in aesthetics. Research findings can help the designer in a variety of ways. From supporting great concepts to measuring the effectiveness of finished projects, a research-driven approach can help define the way problems are solved and illustrate the value of those solutions.’ -Jenn & Kenn Visocky O’Grady
“In many ways, designers have to become mini-experts in all that they deal with to really understand the subject matter and the audience to whom they are speaking. Research in this respect is essential in getting designers to understand worlds they may not inhabit: worlds that present the designer with unfamiliar environments, scenarios, people, industries, languages, and traditions.” -Jenn & Ken Visocky O’Grady
Reflection â€˘ I was really happy with the overall design aesthetic of my outcome. I felt like it was unique, welcoming, engaging and friendly. My next move will be to test the outcome with my target audience, when they all have a bit more time on their hands. â€˘ I built myself quite a big hole of navigation madness but I am glad that I included all the pages that would appear on the website and I am happy that I did decide to include them all in the 6 colours from the colour picker.
11 Ways to get Inspired
34 Places to get design inspiration
60 Places to get Design Inspiration
IDEO; Method Cards
Are you creatively inspired?
Broaden and Build
Consider Everything an Experiment
Physical Effects of Emotion
Creativity Techniques Qwiki
Design with Intent
Edward de Bono
Solutioneer; Lateral Thinking
Edward de Bono on Creative Thinking
TED: Issac Mizrahi on fashion and creativity
Edward de Bono discusses Lateral Thinking
Edward de Bono on Simplicity
The Eureka Hunt
The Fear of Failure
Freedom or Limitation in Graphic Design
The Good in Bad Emotions
How Limitations Improve Design
The Secret to Creativity
How to get creatively inspired
Tim Brown: The powerful link between creativity & play
The Six Universal Questions
A Designers Research Manual by J. & K. Visocky O’Grady
Change by Design by Tim Brown
We are what we do
Creativity for Graphic Designers by Mark Oldach
What is Creativity?
Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihaly
Where do ideas come from?
Graphic Design: A User’s Manual by Adrian Shaughnessy
Workspaces that Stimulate Creativity
How to be an Explorer of the World by Keri Smith
How to have kick-ass ideas by Chris Barez-Brown
Your Thinking Brain
Idea+ology by Stanley Hainsworth IDEO: Master of Innovation by Jeremy Myerson
Exhibitions Influences by Anja Lutz and Anna Gerber Pick me Up Inspiration = Ideas by Petrula Vrontikis The Tate Modern Lateral Thinking by Edward de Bono Learning To Love You More by Miranda J. & H. Fletcher Made You Look by Stefan Sagmeister Out of Our Minds by Ken Robinson Simply Pattern by Victionary The Art of Looking Sideways by Alan Fletcher The Mechanosm of Mind by Edward de Bono The Mind Map Book by Tony and Barry Buzan Things I have learned in my life so far by S. Sagmeister Wreck this Journal by Keri Smith
“Inspiration is unique to each person, just as DNA is unique to each individual.” -Stanley Hainsworth
Published on Jun 16, 2011
Research document showcasing the development of my final major project. My aim was to find a way to effectively inspire students studying a...