Graphic Design and Animation Graduates 2012

Online portfolio and print on demand catalogs for Graphic Design and Animation graduates from the Department of Design 2012. On this page you will find our conference presentations, and by hovering over the menu groups on the left you can read contextual documents. You are welcome to attend our Grad Show, opening on 29 November 2012 at 6pm, and daily from 30 November to 6 December 9.30am – 4pm.

Eric Borgueta

Contextual Document 

 Name: Eric Christopher Joseph T. Borgueta (Bachelor of Graphic Design and Animation-Third Year)

Title: Interactive Culture Auckland (Live Project)

Group Name: Rest Interactive

Aim: To design a mobile application for the Auckland Cultural Institutions: Art Gallery, Museum, Motat and the Auckland Zoo. – (Focus on conceptualizing universal icon design that incorporate the institutions into one interface and improving the marketing of each Institution and a new way of approaching UX and User Centred Design)

Context Discussion: 

In my final year, I joined the Hybrid Practice Group (Rest Interactive Group) tasked with creating a mobile application for the Auckland Cultural Institutions. I am using a User Centred Design (UCD)(designing for the user’s needs). My aim is to focus on conceptualizing graphic design elements that will appeal not just to my targeted audience (elderly/late adults, 50 and above) but to create a universal design. The challenge is to keep the shapes, layout, texts and colours simple, considering the complexities of the design elements and its impact towards the market and users.

My goal is to create a successfully appealing and user-friendly mobile application design that will stand out in the market. A design that communicates to users, sums up all the graphic elements and principles to achieve a much richer and solid user interface content/context.

1. Key Contextual references  

The key contextual reference of my concepts is designing meaningful icons through undergoing process decisions. The icons reflect the existing site elements and influenced by successful symbols, pictograms, and way finding of smart phones. My development involves reiterating existing icons that are suitable for its intended purpose. By saying so, I need to adjust its scale, size, shape, form, and improve its aesthetics. The final icons that I will be creating will easily communicate,  be understandable, and will provide and meet a quality User Experience(UX).

Re-occurring Themes 

“User experience and User Centred Design” are reoccurring concepts of my work as the aim is to create icons for an application that meet the needs of the targeted audience and provides a quality experience through merging graphic, interface, marketing and industrial design. Another theme is “User-friendly design” which is an important concept in the process of my work. Creating straightforward designs enable the audience to easily understand concepts. No matter what the size/ scale of my icons are it should consistently be readable and visible to anyone (this achieves a user-friendly and universal design).

Important Quotes:

“UX is a broad term used to explain all aspects of a person’s experience with the system including the interface, graphics, industrial design, physical interaction, and the manual. It also refers to the application of user-centered design practices to generate cohesive, predictive and desirable designs based on holistic consideration of users’ experience.” “User Experience Design.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 18 Oct. 2012. Web. 19 Oct. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_experience_design&gt;.

It is important to understand what User Centred Design is as well. “It is a type of user interface design and a process in which the needs, wants, and limitations of end users of a product are given extensive attention at each stage of the design process. User-centred design can be characterized as a multi-stage problem solving process that not only requires designers to analyse and foresee how users are likely to use a product, but also to test the validity of their assumptions with regards to user behaviour in real world tests with actual users.”  “User-centered Design.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 17 Oct. 2012. Web.19 Oct. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User-centered_design&gt;.

UX or User Experience is really important especially in designing a mobile application for the Auckland Cultural Institutions as the clients want to market this idea for their customers and to give a new way of branding and advertising themselves. Therefore, the group perfectly understood what it is about and what it can do for us designers, the clients and the intended market/customers/ audience/age group.

Keeping in mind the User Interface Principles (UX and User Centred Design), included in my process was undertaking various surveys and user testing on different age groups. I utilised survey and User Testing as my research tool every time I move on to the next phase and process of the project.

“ The elements a designer uses to create a quickly understood symbol are the basic graphic shapes: circles, squares, diamonds and so forth. Each comes with its own meanings, when put together with each other in different configurations, the shapes can become very patent.” Deneve, Rose. “The Symbol and Its Elements.” Designing Pictorial Symbols. By Nigel Holmes. 1515 Broadway New York: Watson-GuptillPublications, n.d. N. pag. Print.

This quote gave me inspiration to create icons that will communicate and achieve an aesthetically appealing design impact towards the market. In my process of creating and conceptualizing icons, I have taken into consideration the Principles of a User Interface Design.  I have undergone the process of sketching out different possibilities, by reiterating ideas to polish and make the icon much clearer and understandable. Size and Scale are really important especially when it was informed to the group that we are designing for a smart phone as it will be suitable for market purposes as well as visual appeal. At first, I have tried to reiterate my concepts and explore various possibilities on how I can achieve a robust and balanced design, keeping in mind the unity of the icons between each other.  I have decided to focus on simple and appealing icons that would emphasize the quality of its shape and form through a silhouette perspective. Therefore, this is an important process I have undertaken to achieve a successful and universal icon design in one interface for the Auckland Cultural Institutions in this Live Project.

“It is important to cover a full array of ideas, even the extreme ones, so the client is exposed to the full range of creative possibilities.” Fishel, Cathy. “Portraits.” Logo Lounge. By Bill Gardner. Vol. 3. Massachusetts USA: Rockport, 2006. N. pag. Print.

As a collaborative team, this quote perfectly explains what we are. Every possible concept has been made, to maximise the full potential of meeting the needs of the client. Since we are creating a design for a mobile application, as I have mentioned before, project management played an essential role to achieve a unified quality and effective user interface design for our targeted audience to market this final output. Therefore, ideas haven’t been limited or restricted to cater our clients. On my icons I have been exploring diverse possibilities to broaden the concept but still aiming to create a cohesive design.

Process Decisions/Decision Making:  

Collaboration is a vital process to come up with decisions as this is a group project. My decision-making process is based on an ongoing negotiation between various people. This involved meetings with the group members (REST Interactive), the Sub Clients (which are Amie, Ben and Cris), church groups, sports groups, family, friends, Clients (Art Gallery, Museum, Motat and Zoo) of various age groups who are our targeted audience. Project Management played an important role for each of the group member of the Rest Interactive Team, since we had an ongoing negotiation with real clients, ongoing negotiation of preferences, suggestions, comments and visualizing their thoughts. This became our motivation to create a successful cohesive design output.

Collaborative Process was quite challenging at first but as time went by, the designs became unified, more communication was involved as well as critique of ideas that can potentially be developed further at a later stage. Collaboration is an ongoing negotiation throughout the year, which is really helpful, because ideas and concepts can be thought and made faster and each individual is therefore assigned to specific task to focus on.

Based on my knowledge and experience of working in a group, I have understood that it is important to take critiques positively, accept suggestions and comments. Working in a group is really an extra source for gaining knowledge, comments, and can lead to highly achieve a much better result than working as an individual. Listening to what other people are saying comes out to be the best possible solution to the problem rather than assuming to what I think is best for them.

The process of meeting-up with various people is time-consuming. However, I could say that these meetings have given me much better concepts and helpful results, especially interacting with real people who are identified as our targeted audience for the proposed project.

In doing so, these are my method when conceptualizing my designs:  Research (book, web and survey), Sketching (hand and digital drawing), Producing Concepts, Decision Making, Re-iterating Ideas and back to Research.

Icon Sketches

Throughout my ongoing process, I have used a variety of programs which are: Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator and After Effects. I was able to utilise interesting programs as well that I have learned during my previous years which are Solidworks 3d and Maya.

Adopting the Grid System (by Joseph Muller Brockmann) onto my Designs really influence me to always bear in mind that Space is a very important Principle in Design, as it gives the eye a visual rest and gives focus to the important elements involved.  Allowing space to be part of my designs is a must since it gives more breathing aspect within the context. This concept of the Grid System was one of the earliest research results I was able to integrate into my design process.

User testing is another main highlight of this project for me as part of my research method. It involves the Principles of User Interface Design (UX and User Centred Design).There were various user-testing that I brought to the group. These were: Testing Readability (Typeface and Icons), Visibility (Size and Scale), Icon Functions, Wireframe (Layout design for the screen) and Drawing Icon Preferences.

The First survey that I have done was to test out the suitable and readable typeface, preferred colour palettes, identification of icons, size and scale. The respondents involved were mainly 50 to 77 year olds. Aside from book and website research, the first survey helped me out with getting a grip on understanding the aim of designing and creating a successful mobile application for this Live Project. Moving on, I have also done another survey which involves Wireframe User Testing. It was basically observing the behaviour, actions of people, where they place buttons, and giving them situations that they might encounter throughout their experience with the Mobile Application. After the survey I found out that the respondents (which are the targeted audience) preferred to have an easy navigation through a clickable icon/button to make access easier and less time-consuming. Most of the respondents also suggested that buttons and icons should be combined with text to make it understandable and have a visual appeal.

User Testing 1

User Testing 2

My last User Research was focused on Icons which is mainly my task and contribution to the group. This survey involved the respondents drawing their preferred icons that are common and understandable to their point of view.  This has been done to give me a background on how to approach into creating and designing the final icons that will appear on the screen of the smart phone.  This has helped me/ will help me in refining and deciding the scale, shapes, sizes, forms and colour palette of my icons in a faster pace.

User Testing 3

As the icon person in the group, it is my task and duty to ensure that the final decisions will be made/called by me. It is my responsibility to ensure that every information that I found during my user testing and research be reflected onto my final icon concepts.

Outcomes/Final Output: 

The final outcome is a “Mobile Application Design” for the Auckland Cultural Institutions to be used preferably On-site experience. The mobile application will be working as a unified interface for the Institutions.

We have been working on this live project for less than a year. I chose to do icons as I have a lot of background experience on Illustrations, and my design aesthetic reflects on a mix of contemporary and classic/ vintage style which is suitable for my task on this live project. The outcomes will be icons designed to be universal and incorporating one interface for all the Auckland Cultural Institutions.

My final icons will be integrated into the final output which is a working prototype. This will be placed on a computer. The program to be used is Flash Catalyst or an Interactive Pdf.  People will have the freedom of navigating through the mobile application. There will be two Mac Computers displayed during the Grad Show. One of them shows an Interactive pdf. of a working smartphone mobile application prototype which is the main and final collaborative group project output. While the other, will be the new project (a game) that will support and will add as an appeal and an icing on top of our main project.

In conclusion, throughout this live project, it has been an adventurous experience for me and I guess included in the outcomes is the learning experience. I have learned how to adapt to certain situations, solving problems, by creating various solutions to improve an idea which meets the needs of the client.

This year, it was all about learning, developing and improving a new set of knowledge (Designing Icons for a Smartphone Application).  User Testing and Survey are also critical in the process of decision making. Having an ongoing negotiation with various age groups broaden my knowledge and up skilled my ideas/concepts, into a new way of making. It is always about understanding the given brief, brainstorming ideas and producing quality work. Collaboration played a huge part in this live project, as it gave each individual a chance to conceptualize our ideas and interrelate it as one to achieve a solid user interface design for the Auckland Cultural Institutions.

Posters Conceptualizing Universal Icon Design

Please download my portfolio PDF from the link below:

Bibliography: 

“User Experience Design.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 18 Oct. 2012. Web. 19 Oct. 2012 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_experience_design&gt;.

“User-centered Design.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 17 Oct. 2012. Web. 19 Oct. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User-centered_design&gt;.

Deneve, Rose. “The Symbol and Its Elements.” Designing Pictorial Symbols. By Nigel Holmes. 1515 Broadway New York: Watson-Guptill Publications, n.d. N. pag. Print.

Fishel, Cathy. “Portraits.” Logo Lounge. By Bill Gardner. Vol. 3. Massachusetts USA: Rockport, 2006. N. pag. Print.

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