FMP – Inspiration – New Balance NB1 Customiser

I found this really interesting shoe customiser on the New Balance Website. I love how the shoes really pop from the background, and the use of shadow underneath gives a realistic feel to the design.

I also like how the user is able to have complete control over each element of the shoe, and has a variety of different views and materials to choose from. I also like the option to share the design with your friends, showing everyone your identity through shoes.

Another feature I like is the users ability to start from scratch on a blank canvas shoe, or adapt a featured design. As the user scrolls down the page, they are able to view more details about the product and materials. The site also suggests other shoes they may like based on what they’ve been looking at on the site.

Reflections

This has given me loads of inspiration for my app. Although this is a desktop design, there are tonnes of elements that I can take away from this, and adapt and strip back for a nice mobile design.

 

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FMP – App Mood Board – Inspiration

I made the age old mistake of getting so excited and jumping straight into the digital design, without really doing much research for inspiration or experimenting with ideas. I quickly became frustrated, and one afternoon, nearly threw my macbook out the window. I took myself off and sat in the garden at a pub, flicking through Pinterest, Behance, and Dribbble to gather inspiration, and dissect design, identifying what I did and didn’t like.

The link below shows the mood board produced in this process.

https://projects.invisionapp.com/boards/PQ3N6AIWR4K/

This helped me massively, and was an important part of my development phase. I often become frustrated and quickly look to doubt my own ability, when actually its because I’ve missed a crucial part of my design process that leads me to hit dead ends.

Project X – Display Day

Today was the day our display would be showcased to the college in the canteen. Looking at how everybody had presented their information on their chosen topic, I found it interesting how everyone had collaborated and generated different ideas to entice the audience in and engage them in debate. I think it’s important to reflect not only on our own design piece, but everyone elses too, as there were some interesting styles and techniques used that I found interesting, and also felt quite jealous that they were able to execute them so well!

Other Groups

One particular display I think everyone enjoyed was “Say no to recycling”. The group adopted a Andy Warhol pop art style, which didn’t necessarily link to the topic, but did entice the intended audience with bright, vibrant colours and interesting visuals. They created leaflets that were handed out to from the stall, and also created a bin to illustrate the problem. I thought the halftone effect was very eye catching, and married well with the pink and yellow type, and the blue background. The colour palette was well thought out and is something that I will remember and use in future projects!26295306_1920207174962072_385637008904552448_n.jpg

Another display that was quite under appreciated (in my view) was the eco building, showing how plants could cleanse the air in built up cities. The interesting element of the display was the 3D model created by Dan. I know how much time and effort goes into 3D modelling, and it’s by no means easy. I think because it has become expected in modern design, it often gets overlooked and under appreciated. However, I think he did a fantastic job and has a lot of talent! I asked him what software he used, and it was Cinema 4D, a program that I had previously encountered from tutorials on youtube. Its certainly an area I want to explore and feel inspired by his design. The display its self was clear and easy to understand, and I thought it was a nice touch that the feedback was handed out on clouds, which were later tied to the table to further strengthen the purpose of the design.

Our Group

Overall, I think the design was well received. The issue itself has been quite prominent in the media recently, yet I don’t think people understood where and how plastic waste ends up in the ocean. People were shocked with the amount of time it took for a nappy to biodegrade in the ocean, and this shock factor could have been exploited further. It was a good exercise to gain initial feedback, and one key point was that we only focused on the negative aspects of the issue. Many people wanted to know how they themselves could make a difference, and this is something we had missed.

Also, it was clear that other groups had focused on what the audience could take away from the design to remember the issue, in the form of leaflets and cards. Again, this could have been added to our display with more appealing visuals that could have encouraged a positive reaction.

Our idea was to “fish for fish”. Initially, I pushed the idea of fishing for facts, which was overlooked by the group. However, feedback suggests that the plastic fish were distracting from the overall purpose of the design, and perhaps I should have been more forceful in pushing my idea if it was to benefit the group design.

In term of the group dynamics, I’ll admit i’ve found it difficult to communicate with them effectively. I’ve found that a lot of the time, someone may suggest an idea and it is too quickly adopted and the ideal solution, without exploring all possible angle, despite how ridiculous or unachievable they might be. I think it’s important to always push the boundaries, especially in the development stage, and consider the intended audiences needs. It was clear to see other groups had worked well together in collaborating ideas and working to each others strengths.

Many times during this project, I’ve looked looked around the room and noticed every group conversing and generating fresh ideas. Nothing was dismissed straight away. I don’t want to seem like I’m moaning about my group, however I do want to get a better grasp in the final week of this task and try and lead the group to achieve the best possible outcome possible. A lot of negativity seems to be in the air at the moment about the overall purpose of the subject, but that’s just design. Often as designers, we won’t be able to pick and choose who and what we work on or with. So I think this is an exercise of perseverance, and I think the group attitude needs to change in order to achieve a good outcome.

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APP – Testing Ideas

Following my ideas and sketches, I started to implement ideas in a digital design, testing ideas visually. At this stage, I’m not worried about producing the finished product first time, but simply having fun and creative, implementing intelligent fast failure. This will give me the chance to discard redundant ideas quickly, and move forward with ideas that may work.

My intended theme is to create a link between smoking and mortality. My research has lead me to use signifiers such as skulls, bullet holes, guns and other symbols of death. Composition is something that I struggle with on projects like this, so trial and error is always a massive part of the development stage in my design process.

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Using what I had learnt during my work experience, I started to look at blending techniques to merge smoke to signifiers, such as images of skulls and a guns. Also, I’ve been fearful of working on multiple layers on previous projects, however, I’ve understood the importance of layering to create a complex image. Using images of textures and paint-over techniques, I aim to create an exaggerated illusion of the negative impact of smoking in the form of shock advertising.

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G.F Smith

It was great to have G.F Smith come in as a guest speaker to talk about all things paper! It’s a fundamental part of design, and something I have great interest in.

They handed us loads of different samples explaining how and why they were designed as sheets, and what reaction each material has with ink. They also supplied small printed books which illustrated different printing techniques and finishes, with a key on each page telling you exactly what has been used in the makeup of the design.

One of the most interesting sheets of paper he spoke about in my opinion, was “heaven 42”, a ultra white sheet of paper. To demonstrate, the paper consultant held up a standard sheet of a4 plain paper. The difference was quite dramatic. The consultant outlined the history, mentioning it was originally produced for a well known luxury car brand. They wanted a white sheet that had a very slight tint of blue. They thought that this would make metallic and shiny images to pop right out of the page. I have to agree, the printed results were incredible! The carmaker however didn’t retain the license for long, so the printed advantage wasn’t for very long as other producers began to print their catalogues on Heaven 42.

I also learnt the difference between coated and uncoated papers, and how the ink reacts to different fibres and weights of paper. G.F Smith are the luxury end of the market, and a lot of their sheets are very adaptable in terms of the printer used. However it was still great to hear local knowledge of printers around, and having dialogue about what type of printer will deliver the best results, for example digital vs litho.

Siva Cycle

I looked at alternative methods of power generation in order to better understand how my design would work. Siva cycle generates power through kinetic energy. A fan is attached to the back wheel that spins when the wheel is in motion. This in turn spins a motor that produces electricity, and then is stored in a small black box. This black box can then be detached and plugged in to your phone in order to charge it.

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Soccket

My initial idea is based around the generation of kinetic energy. I wanted to find out what other products are out there and being developed that are along similar lines to what i’m proposing.

I came across this football that is kicked around, and within the ball is a pendulum that moved to rotate a motor, that in turns generates the electricity. Kicking the football around for half an hour can produce enough energy to light a LED bulb for three hours. This design is a simple solution to the production of energy. A lot of energy is wasted with everyday activities that we should be utilising. The whole idea of the football has been re-thought in order to solve a problem, which is darkness in third world countries, and poverty as they cant afford the electricity to power lightbulbs. This also ties in with gamification, where the user has fun with the product without necessarily noticing the underlying purpose.

For my own project I can draw inspiration from the design of the generator that produces the electricity. It stems from a pendulum placed in the centre of the ball. As the ball is kicked the pendulum swings, giving the movement that is required to turn the motor and produce the energy.

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