Recent Interviews

I have recently been for two interviews for Design related jobs, the first one was for a marketing company with the job title being a junior designer, and the second for a cosmetics company again as a graphic designer. Both interviews went really well, and I can’t quite believe how much more confident I am talking about my portfolio work compared to when I had my teacher training interview. I think it just go’s to show that this is the best route for me to take right now and that although I do still want to be a teacher in the future I am currently a lot more excited about pursuing this type of career. Although I got offered a second interview with the marketing company the job wasn’t really for me and I felt that I would have been bored as there seemed to be a lack of variation and it wasn’t a subject matter that I was partially interested in so I declined the offer. That being said this has given me a confidence boost about the work that I have in my portfolio and means that I am obviously interviewing well and saying/doing the right things. I was quite wary about turning down job offers or not applying for things based on personal preference because I remember Joe Stone saying that you may have to do things that you don’t necessarily want to do in order to get to where you want however after weighing up the pros and cons of the job it wasn’t in my interests to pursue it any further.

The second interview I had again went really well and I had a much better feeling about the company when I left. I was asked to do a few tasks and although this seemed quite daunting at first I picked it up really easily which just go’s to prove I should be more confident about the things I have learnt over the years doing my degree. Its also about a subject which I have a great interest in (cosmetics) and I feel the job would open up a lot of opportunities to develop skills further and get insights in to things I haven’t done or seen before.

Scrapping gym Infographics

Upon experimenting and reflecting on how I could possibly exhibit some example infographics that would effectively show the data which in theory would be collected by the app I have decided to scrap the idea of exhibiting a series of them. On their own they were not looking as strong or as engaging as I had hoped. The idea of the infographics showing progression and results is still included within my app so I have therefor decided to scrap the idea of having a series of them on the wall. Instead of these infographics I am going to include my diet infographic which was part of my FMP development as part of my final show. This infographic is always something that I thought was really effective and because of this I want to refine it even further, make a few changes and submit it as part of my FMP. I also want to include images of my coffee packaging as part of my final show because this is again something that I’m really proud of.

The following are things that I need to address:
– Maybe include a description of what each diet is
– Think about changing the typeface, Futura is too obvious.
– Give it some space, things are a little cramped.
– Refine all kerning on headings, sub headings and larger type.

Collecting Data for Gym Routine Infographics

I have recently been collecting data from various people who workout at least once a week in order to create some example infographics and determine how well they may look once they are on the wall as a series of graphic imagery. I have made sure to ask a wide demographic of people include both men and women because I want to be able to see how they will change from person to person. Below is a sample of 4 peoples workout data represented in black and white using the ben day dot style chart that I created. From looking at these I feel that you can clearly see how different people have trained different areas of the body and where one person has had an increased focus on the leg area of the body because of the intensity of the black. I think that this proves that the scale I have created would work in showing different amounts of reps and sets visually rather than using actual numbers.

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Above I am experimenting with different colour ways and styles of showing the infographics. I have been heavily influenced by the pop art movement and I think that these convey a sense of this. Using the coloured versions would help tie together the context of the app and way finding system with showing the data that would have effectively been ‘collected’ when the app was used. I think that the ones using just dots and without outlines work better because you would get blank spaces where people hadn’t trained a certain muscle group and this could look quite effective.

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Above I have been experimenting with how I want to show and exhibit these graphic visualisations on the wall. I feel that they do not necessarily need to have the information about whose workout data it is as one of my main intentions with the project was to keep it as gender neutral as possible and show that both men and women can work out the same. I think by saying whether it was male and female this would counteract this and people could unintentionally compare the workouts of men and women.

Way finding ideas and experiments

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The above images show initial sketches of how I can translate my idea of the app in to a way finding system of a gym floor. I quite like the idea that the system would show a route throughout the gym that would lead off in different directions to show people where certain machines are, this idea came from looking at the way finding system used at the University of Technology, Sydney which is on my previous blog post. I believe that a user looking at the app would gradually get to know what each of the colours represented and from this would be able to navigate around the gym by looking for a particular colour. My current gym and leisure centre that I attend is actually in the process of being re designed and the site moved slightly so I have been able to download the concept plans and use these as a basis to create mock up drawings for my concept. Although I think that having smaller circles on the floor with each corresponding gym machine placed on top would look effective in the long run I think this could become expensive and quite tricky to implement. I believe that the idea of having a larger circle which infers the idea of areas in the gym is a lot more effective and would in the long run be a lot easier to implement into an environment. It would also be more cost effective and would allow its self to be changed and modified if machines and layouts needed to be moved. thumb_IMG_5481_1024thumb_IMG_5482_1024

The above images show a digital version of my sketches. Here I am experimenting with showing a route around the gym using concept drawings and small vector images of gym machines to help describe and show my idea. The idea is that there would be a multi colour route around the gym floor but that it would branch out into sections that indicate different areas for the machines, the idea being that it would not only help the users navigate their way around (especially new ones) but that it visually make the gym appear more interesting. A lot of the time gyms can be quite dull in their colour palette and a lot use grey, black and blue tones which can be quite intimidating, I think by adding this colour in it could soften the look of gyms and using a multitude of colours especially some feminine ones make it a more gender neutral environment.

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Above is the more refined version of the floor plan, I feel that this really communicates the idea that I’m trying to show and would easily correspond with the app. I have decided to include a more curvier style as i think this better reflects the way people would walk and the routes they may take around a gym.

Way finding Systems

One of the main objectives for my FMP was to show a correlation between the environments of gyms and the apps and systems of fitness tracking that are used within them. One way that I feel this would be possible is to devise a wayfinding system that correlates to the colours used within the app.

The Westerdals Communication School branding  and wayfinding system is one which caught my attention. Im really drawn to the idea that the colours correspond from the building and signage right through to the website, as well as the fact they have utilised the walls and stairs that are already there and painted directly on them. They have effectively assigned a colour to every area of the school which has then become a way of showing visitors the different areas of the school. I think that I could apply this way of thinking to a gym environment using the colours as a way of directing users to specific equipment and areas.

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In the image below I feel the way the designer has drawn the artwork to help demonstrate the system in place is really effective. I think that to show my idea of implementing a signage system in a gym I could create a rough sketch of an imaginary gym or base it on the one I use regularly and then add in my designed signage/ system.

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I also like the idea of showing a floor plan with the coloured wayfinding system like the images below. This piece caught my attention because of the way it is a route starting at the door with a circle and trailing off around the building in lines. The design has been done for a technology college and this is reflected in the design because it feels like a giant circuit board. I think that the colours and ideas I have used for the app will translate well into gym signage and routes and could work well being painted on to the floor to encourage a route around the gym that branches off in certain places according to what areas of the body you are wanting to train.

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Comparing the Gym Environment

From my research it was made clear that there is little correlation from the apps and systems used in gyms and the layout and design of the gyms they are used in. Below are images of gyms that I have both been to with the one at the bottom two being the one I currently have a membership at and attend frequently. The problem I have with them is that they are quite difficult to navigate in the terms of wayfinding. Everything is everywhere, looks the same colour and there isn’t signage that tells you where to go for what exercise, the only major signage in both environments is to indicate studios and changing rooms. It is a case of trial and error and looking to find what you want. I think this in itself could be quite daunting to new members and people who are trying to become acquainted with the gym. I believe that my idea of using colour to indicate muscle groups could be converted to a signage or a wayfinding system that helps navigate members around the gym.

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In the gym that I go to the image below shows the only information and signage used to show a user what to do. These are present on all machines and are quite small. In order to see them you have to be quite close and this doesn’t necesserily help new gym members in knowing where a specific machine is. I believe that my idea of an app design and colour coding each of the muscle groups could easily been translated into a set of way finding signs or directions that help news users navigate the gym and make the gym itself more visually interesting.

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App Design Research

As I have decided to produce the visual concepts of an app as part of my project I wanted to research around app design to identify some current trends and best practices when designing for user interfaces and phones. One of the first things I read when researching app design was an E-Book from UX Pin titled, Mobile Design Book Of Trend 2015 & 2016. This E-Book was very interesting and gave me a great overview of the different things that are trending in design at the moment as well as the best designing practices when working with screens.

The following are a few things which I thought were most appropriate to my project and needed to be kept in mind when designing:

Gestures- Think about how people interact with the design, how the use it and the way in which they use their hands to navigate the app. Buttons should be large enough to activate with a thumb. Because the whole project is more than just the app I am not going to make it animated instead I am just going to show the concept visually because of this I don’t necessarily have to think about how people would work it but I will bare this in mind when it comes to the size of elements such as buttons and text and areas that would be tapped for example.

Typography- Body copy is easily readable when it is a sans serif typeface (this is also a big trend at the moment) however is can be serif depending on the size and style. Black, grey and white type usually works best. Give type space around it to aid legibility. Centre placement is best for most alerts and call to actions and anything designed to be read is best aligned left.

Flat Design- Extremely popular at the moment, due to its modern and easy feel. Usually no embellishment, with a distinct colour palette and simple icons and elements.

I have also been looking for design and layout inspiration and have come across a few app designs which I think are really effective

Taasky App

This app caught my attention because it was using a flat design whilst incorporating a similar colour palette to the one I have been using for all my experimental visuals. The colours are however more pastel toned which I think is working effectively on the navy/grey background used. I also like the simplistic typeface and the icons which aid navigation without using words. You can also easily see where a task has been completed and this is something I need to incorporate to show when an exercise has been completed.

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Blitz 

This app design stood out to me because of its simplistic design and colour palette. I especially like the fact the menu is at the bottom with the key button highlighted in colour and made bigger. This aids the user in knowing what to press without the need to specifically tell them.

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Peek Calendar

This page from Peek Calendar caught my attention because of its infographic style of showing how many tasks there are on a calendar. It has used a bar chart style to indicate how many tasks there are on particular days. This is something I could try using to show how many workouts someone has done over the course of a month.

I also wanted to look at a few apps which I have used recently, so I chose to look at TripAdvisor and UBER which are both ones which I’ve used recently on a trip to London.

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I particularly like Trip Advisors use of icons under the search bar which allow you to specify what you are looking for. They are easy to understand and get rid of the need to use words. I do however feel that on some pages such as the one listing all the restaurants it is quite text heavy and that this information should have more room making it less cluttered. Trip Advisor also uses a lot of colour and I think that this could be reduced to make it more simple a effective.

UBER (own screen shots)

Uber is extremely easy to use, and I think this is aided by its user friendly interface. It is clutter free and has lots of space especially on the map screen. There is also a simple colour palette which makes for a easy to look at screen that is not confused by colour.