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MID & UArts Finance Office

Language Fraser Marshall Yu-Ching Hung Justin Witman


Language

We were approached by Bill Mea, the Chief Finance Officer, to help him communicate important financial information to the larger school community. Our target was to create a presentation style for the “State of the Union� finance address to the school. The aim was to begin creating information that was transparent and encouraged conversation between the Finance Office and the larger school campus.


Intro-2

It was clear from our first meeting with the CFO that we were dealing with an issue of communication and language styles. As an accountant, the CFO was accustomed to talking in numbers. However, he was presenting to an audience of artists, designers and musicians. What type of language would be best for this audience to understand?


Understanding Intro-3

LEFT BRAIN LANGUAGE As we knew, the CFO used numbers to communicate information. This is a very left brain centric method, which may not be effective at communicating to right brain biased artists, designers and musician. Research has shown that right brained professions communicate more effectively using images, visuals, emotions and patterns. Therefore we began investigating the potential of infographics.

RIGHT BRAIN LANGUAGE


Deciphering language

From collaborating with the CFO, we began to decipher the information he wanted to communicate to the school during his upcoming presentation.


Creating a new language Infographics were created using the following criteria: The use of iconography to indicate money. A visual affordance of green signifying positive and red signifying negative money. Sequential slides that build on previous slides to allow audience understanding.

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Annual Budget

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Annual Actual

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Extra Surplus

+212K


Infographic prototype

+19K Net tuition and fees for credit +79K Auxiliary enterprises

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-461K Annual fund

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-166K Other investment income

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-207K Net tuition and fees for Cont. Studies

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Operating Revenue

-804K


Infographic prototype

+19K Net tuition and fees for credit

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+79K Auxiliary enterprises

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+405K Hiring freeze

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+200K Reserved funds from Operations/IT

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+84K Continuing Studies savings

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-166K Other investment income

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+475K No Jan 1st salary increase

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Saved Expenses

+1016K

-135K Grad assistants/ student employment


Infographic prototype

+19K Net tuition and fees for credit

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+79K Auxiliary enterprises

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+200K Reserved funds from Operations/IT

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Operating Revenue

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-166K Other investment income

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+475K No Jan 1st salary increase

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-461K Annual fund

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-207K Net tuition and fees for Cont. Studies

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Saved Expenses

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=

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Extra Revenue

+212K


Presentation

The CFO used these infographics to present information on the financial predictions for the end of 2009 and the upcoming 2010 school year.


Presentation

An audience consisting of school faculty and staff still had major questions regarding the financial information they were being presented with.


The Process Phase II

Phase 1 developing language

Bill

Phase 2 The first stage of this project was completed. refining language and developing the story

We had created a new language for the CFO to communicate financial information to the school.

“I need the right language”

Bill

CLIENTS

DESIGNERS

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studioNEXT

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Infographics

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Prototype 1

Presentation

sabaticals?

However,“graphics although the “we want needthe CFO was happy with Faculty Graphic more story” work” infographics, it was clear from his presentation Design Council that the audience still had some concerns.

benefits?

School Community

Co-design

Prototype 2


Process Phase 1 developing language

Bill

Phase 2 refining language and developing the story

“I need the right language”

Bill

Graphic Design

“graphics need work”

Faculty Council

“we want more story”

CLIENTS

DESIGNERS

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Infographics

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Prototype 1

Presentation

For the next phase of the project to succeed we would have to engage with not only the CFO, but sabaticals? also the faculty and staff. What issues and concerns did the faculty and staff have? In order to find out, we had engage with them and bring their voice and opinion into the design process?

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benefits?

School Community

Co-design

Prototype 2


Co-design

In every group there are always complex internal issues that make everyday life a struggle. By co-designing with the faculty and staff we hoped discover their concerns and questions regarding financial information communication in the school. By engaging them in this process we hoped to promote autonomy in order to create a more unified solution.


Autonomy

Autonomy means being in control of your own life. We hoped that by getting the faculty and staff to help co-design a group solution, it would not only creates a better informed solution but, also one that everyone collectively owned.


Collective action

Autonomy helps groups become invested, because everyone feels like the own the solution. This helps boost the collective action of problem solving.


Interviewing

With our foundation rooted in Human-centered design, we believe that the key to helping groups design solutions, starts with interviewing. This is where you can gather the most rich and true information about a group. Therefore, we began a series of interviews with members of the staff and faculty council.


Collaborative refinement The more often the our team actively engaged the faculty in the process, the more excited and invested they became in helping us develop the solutions. We revisted some of the faculty to collaborate on an iterative process of refining the infographic style. We continually redeveloped and adjusted to get it just right for the most impact.


Collaborative refinement


Collaborative refinement


Interviewing


Interviewing


Interviewing


Interviewing Story Development


Story development Great storytellers not only know the right words to say, but also the right way to say them. it’s not simply adequate to deliver the dry facts, and this project is no different. In the case of this project we discovered after further interviewing that the goal was not to graphic design a better presentation. Our goal was to help the presentation tell a story of finances and of staff concerns. It became a visual story as well as a verbal story.


Story development “Speak about restoration, not gifts” “It would be great to use the Faculty Council as a sounding board” “We need a more clear distillation method for financial information” “More of a dialogue, even if we cant change the reality of the numbers” “It would be great to have a full picture of the options”


Anxieties and needs

Finance

Faculty

Bill

Larry

Faculty Council

Anna Jack

Mary Peter Amy

Staff Council

Sara

Themes Accountancy Delivery Methodology Clarity

Design Delivery Methodology Aesthetics

Liberal Arts Details Clarity Sensitivity Acknowledgement Prioritizing Awareness

Media Delivery Methodology Details

Administration Delivery Methodology Clarity


Story development FINANCIAL DATA

VISUAL DATA

VERBAL DATA

EXPANDED STORY


Story development Facilitation Phase I Pragmatic

an incomplete story

(visual language)

infographics

questions about the story

Phase 2 Pragmatic

(visual language)

infographics refinement

Psychology

(verbal language)

content priority tone awareness sensitivity acknowledgement

+

conversation about the story

a more complete story


Design as facilitation Our role initially places us between the Finance Office and the Faculty. It is our role to act as a facilitator between the two group.

Finance

Designers

Faculty


Future model We can’t stay forever. We have begun identifying a future facilitator and owner within the group, to carry on the project after we leave. Designing solution is great, but when we can get the group to design it’s own solutions it is much stronger solution and it lasts much longer.

Finance

Faculty

owner

Facilitator


Process summary Future

1

Pragmatic Psychological

Phase 1

Research Single client Infographic prototype


Process summary Future

2 1

Pragmatic Psychological

Phase 1

Research Single client Infographic prototype

Phase 2

Research Increased clients Infographic iteration Story development Co-design Ownership


Process summary Future

2 1

Phase 3 - future Research Increased clients Infographic iteration Story telling Conversation Co-design Increased ownership Learning

Pragmatic Psychological

3

Phase 1

Research Single client Infographic prototype

Phase 2

Research Increased clients Infographic iteration Story development Co-design Ownership


Process summary Future

2 1

Phase 3 - future Research Increased clients Infographic iteration Story telling Conversation Co-design Increased ownership Learning

3

Phase 4 - future

Pragmatic Psychological

Research Infographic iteration Story iteration Conversation Co-design Facilitator Increased ownership Learning

4

Phase 1

Research Single client Infographic prototype

Phase 2

Research Increased clients Infographic iteration Story development Co-design Ownership


Process summary Future

2 1

Phase 3 - future Research Increased clients Infographic iteration Story telling Conversation Co-design Increased ownership Learning

3

Phase 1

Research Single client Infographic prototype

Phase 2

Research Increased clients Infographic iteration Story development Co-design Ownership

5

Phase 4 - future

Pragmatic Psychological

Research Infographic iteration Story iteration Conversation Co-design Facilitator Increased ownership Learning

4

Phase 5 - future Research Infographic iteration Story telling iteration Conversation Co-design Increased ownership Learning Handover


Acknowledgements Thanks to: Finance Office: Bill Mea and Staff

Faculty

Larry Bach

Faculty Council Anna Beresin Mary Martin Amy Feinberg Peter Rose Jack DeWitt

Staff Council Sara Olsen


MID UArts Language Presentation