ASSESSMENT 1: PART 4

ASSIGNMENT REVIEW: Getting everything together.

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Overview of assignment

My initial plan for this design was to create a video presentation. However, after encountering functionality bumps in the road, I opted for a Prezi presentation.  Since then I have still been on the hunt for an appropriate way to integrate a short video into my presentation. A few weeks back, I read Alumnify CEO, AJ Agrawal, recommend that video web content within presentations gets creative juices flowing, gives your audience a break from reading text and helps create checkpoints and memorable moments for your audience (Agrawal, 2015).
I managed to source a video online that is brief, introductory and sets the perfect inquisitive tone. I inserted it by utilising the top links across the top of the presentation.

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Media links above assignment content

Progressing forward, I plan to include interactive videos/graphics/images within each of these top links that correlate to the corresponding text blocks. Keeping the presentation as interactive as possible.

Week 10 learning materials touches on the importance of Good Design and offers a great miniature scaffold as a point of reference:

  • Functionality
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • User friendly
  • Ground breaking

I feel as though my presentation is slowly moving towards checking off all of these key points.
Functionality, my Prezi is a successful communication platform.
Aesthetically, I aim to keep information clutter free, readable and the use of simple colours to make it aesthetically pleasing.
User friendly, a Prezi presentation is clear and very simple to use.
The final point, ground breaking, a Prezi isn’t exactly ‘ground breaking’, but I do think it is a great design option for communication.

In creating a ‘Good Design’, it should help to not only lessen errors, but be forgiving if errors do happen to occur (Butler, Holden Lidwell 2010).
My Prezi presentation is designed to be straight forward and forgiving. The design is sent as a link via email, includes good affordances such as a triangle ‘play’ button to begin the presentation and is controlled by the viewer by clicking a ‘next’ or ‘previous’ arrow at their own leisure.
These good affordances offer clear instructions and create an interactive presentation. Interaction by the audience during presentations is thought to boost enthusiasm post-presentation and ensures participation and a fuller understanding of what is being communicated (Stubbles 2014).
I also think a Prezi presentation is a great point of reference. Audience members are able to click the link in their email at any point, to review the presentation in their own time if they need clarity or reminding.

A major emphasis of my presentation will be ‘WHO NEEDS TO DO IT’ section which will speak about the necessity of teamwork in PR to breed a creative design influence in the industry. Design teams and PR teams share similar responsibilities in their team environments. Including mixed values and cultures that inspire different creative perceptions and ideas (PRNewser 2016). As well as the responsibility of problem solving within a group and holding members accountable. Forbes magazine (2016) releasing that teamwork in both creative and non-creative organisations is the super-trend for the future of business (Bersin 2015).
In some cases in many companies, both PR and Design teams actually work together!

As I continue to progress in preparing my Prezi presentation, each week I come across a new idea that could benefit my final product. I find myself writing, re-writing, creating graphics, searching for videos, colour schemes and images to help the design  communicate my message!

Fingers crossed for a completed publication design!!

References:

Agrawal, AJ 2015, One Trick To Make Better Presentations, Inc, viewed 25 January 2017
http://www.inc.com/aj-agrawal/one-trick-to-help-make-better-powerpoint-presentations.html

Bersin, J 2015, New Research Shows Why Focus On Teams, Not Just Leaders, Is Key To Business Performance, Forbes, viewed 26 January 2017
http://www.forbes.com/sites/joshbersin/2016/03/03/why-a-focus-on-teams-not-just-leaders-is-the-secret-to-business-performance/#22e4d1e433f6

Bulter, J Holden, K Lidwell, W 2010, Universal principles of design: 125 ways to enhance usability, influence perception, increase appeal, make better design decisions, and teach through design, Rockport Publishers, Beverly, MA.

PRNewser 2016, Here’s How to Build a Strong PR Team, PRNewser, viewed 26 January 2017
http://www.adweek.com/prnewser/how-to-build-a-strong-pr-team/123738

Stubbles, M 2014, Advantages of Interactive Learning with the Use of Technology, Lerablog, viewed 25 January 2017
http://lerablog.org/business/it/advantages-of-interactive-learning-with-the-use-of-technology/

ASSESSMENT 1: PART 3

ASSIGNMENT REVIEW: Finally coming together! The last few weeks have been used sourcing accurate and reliable information, diving into the purpose of communicating the value of design in the PR industry and how to accurately present that.

I brainstormed rough ideas and general information a few weeks ago that I intend to include in the final product. I then began researching accurate sources that support my ideas. image1-2

Once I found the information I then organised the sources into the specific paragraphs they belong to and started to roughly piece together wording for the assignment. I usually type out my entire assignment into a word document before copying and pasting it into my Prezi Presentation. This method helps me keep an eye on my word count and is also easier for me to edit and alter.
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The current stage of my assignment, now that I have found accurate sources of reliable information, is to complete the body of writing and insert it into my Prezi Presentation.

In order to successfully communicate the message of my assignment, legibility becomes a strong priority so as not to confuse or make it difficult for readers to understand the content (Butler, Holden, Lidwell 2010).

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Contrasting large block-letters in black successfully communicate the goal and title clearly on the white background.
However, for the different coloured blocks of information, I have decided to change the font to white.

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Above  you can see the comparison of both the black and white text on the coloured blocks. Changing the font colour is purely for aesthetic purposes as I feel that the white font looks fresh, as opposed to the black font which seems somewhat outdated and harsh on the eyes. The white font change was directly inspired by the most recent campaign by Topman. Here, Topman have used white block-lettering over a coloured background which looks really clean, on-trend and is easy to read.

https://www.wgsn.com/blogs/topman-launch-new-denim-collection-denim/

In contrast, you can see below the reverse effect of colour used here in a 2016 campaign for Harley Davidson.
4e908e796fc4529c00daf0b99a7633b4
https://www.google.co.uk/searchq=image+and+writing+ads&biw=1183&bih=542&espv=2&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwixyrmby63RAhWD0xoKHbbvBPYQ_AUIBigB#tbm=isch&q=2016+print+advertisements&imgrc=8-GZCCZU-Vm05M%3A

This design team has placed black lettering on a densely coloured background, as it does still look great, the lettering and the message doesn’t seem to stand out to me as much as the effect of the white lettering on a similar background. I personally feel that the wording fades and loses power over the motorbike in the foreground.

Aside from the text colour of my document, another point of legibility is the amount of text and spacing used. The set-up of my Prezi Presentation has the potential to look cramped and difficult to read. While adding information into these coloured boxes, I will have to ensure I am spacing everything correctly and using the correct length in text blocks while still getting an adequate amount of information across.
Over the next few weeks, once the body of information has been written, I will have to play around with content, spacing, videos, the use of dot points and possibly extra information squares to make sure my document is as easy to read as possible.

Hand-in-hand with legibility, is readability. Is my document content written in a manner that is understandable by my target audience?
The brief of Assessment 3 states that my job is to ‘develop a document that demonstrates (through form), and communicates (through content), the value of design to professionals in your field’ to improve the design practises of members within my major industry association. This means that the content of my document is not only being presented to an informed audience, but also has inspirational intentions. To me, that means that professionalism is valued, but too much of a dry and report-like document may translate into a lecture as opposed to igniting creativity.

After re-reading the assignment brief and writing the first attempt at my introduction, I decided it sounded a little too stale, as if I was presenting a report to an uninformed audience.

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I decided it needed a little more warmth and more of a friendly, peer-to-peer vibe.
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I made some slight changes to make it seem more inclusive and friendly, however, I am still not sure if I am 100%  happy with the introduction. I will be keeping an eye on it as I am putting together the final document and will most probably be making slight tweaks as I go along!

Carmine Gallo (2014) writes about the three basic secrets to successful presentations in the workplace (Forbes 2014). Number one on the list is understandability and readability. He emphasises that to design and create a successful presentation, it must be free of jargon, complexity and confusion. This is something I aim to focus on in my final presentation. The combination or readable content and simplified sentences.
Gallo also refers back to the importance of legibility. Mentioning Steve Jobs’ “Twitter-friendly Headline”, the theory that addressing your audience in a simplified 140 character sections or less helps them to process and make sense of your point clearly and without switching off (Forbes 2014).
While creating my final presentation, I aim to remember that this task isn’t a simple platform loaded with information, instead it is a platform of communication and a transaction of knowledge into inspired action.

As my final presentation starts to slowly come together, I am trying to make an effort to consistently be checking in with the Hierarchy of Needs and ensuring that my presentation is functional, reliable, proficient, creative and usable (Butler, Holden, Lidwell 2010). There is a large amount of information to be communicated, so checking in ensures that I am still focussing on the functionality and form of my presentation, as opposed to just getting carried away with a mound of information.

Aside from my assignment task, as I am diving further into research and information for this assignment, I am really starting to recognise the effects of design in my area of specialisation. From a general perspective, completely separate from the work on this assessment task, I have begun to understand campaigns on a whole new level and appreciate when there has been a lot of thought and careful design put into something.
For example, the campaign for UK Parkinson’s Disease Awareness.

public-drum_basic_article-99417-main_images-p2_0-2x1-940
http://www.thedrum.com/news/2012/12/07/parkinsons-uk-launches-new-campaign-created-assembly

I was so impressed when I came across this campaign, it is rule-breaking, meaningful and the design concept is something I have never seen before. I thought I’d include it in my blog post, just for creativity’s sake!

I am looking forward to putting the last pieces of the puzzle together for the final product!

References:
Gallo, C 2014, Three Basic Secrets to Successful Presentations in the Workplace, Forbes, viewed 3 January 2017
http://www.forbes.com/sites/carminegallo/2013/02/22/the-three-basic-secrets-of-all-successful-presentations/#76d909e32138

Harley Davidson 2016, ‘2016 Print Ad‘[image], Forty-Eight Motorcycles, viewed 4 January 2017
https://www.google.co.uk/searchq=image+and+writing+ads&biw=1183&bih=542&espv=2&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwixyrmby63RAhWD0xoKHbbvBPYQ_AUIBigB#tbm=isch&q=2016+print+advertisements&imgrc=8-GZCCZU-Vm05M%3A

Lidwell, W Holden, K & Butler, J 2010, Universal principles of design: 125 ways to enhance usability, influence perception, increase appeal, make better design decisions, and teach through design, Rockport Publishers, Beverly, MA.

West 2012, ‘Parkinson’s UK launches new campaign created by the assembly’ [image], The Drum News, viewed 5 January 2017
http://www.thedrum.com/news/2012/12/07/parkinsons-uk-launches-new-campaign-created-assembly

WGSN Insider 2016, ‘Topman This is Denim’ [image], Topman launch new denim collection, WGSN, viewed 3 January 2017
https://www.wgsn.com/blogs/topman-launch-new-denim-collection-denim/

ASSESSMENT 1: PART 2

ASSIGNMENT REVIEW: After understanding the hierarchy of needs and prioritising the function of my document, I researched numerous presentation options and their functions. This was so I could decide on the correct avenue to successfully communicate the assignment’s intended message.
I decided against a video presentation due to functionality. Internet and loading speeds could hinder delivering my intended message. Also, a video is less adaptable to the always-evolving PR industry. If information needed to be altered, it wouldn’t be possible without having to start from scratch and remake the video.
Instead, I decided on a Prezi Presentation.

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I have chosen consistent colours and a functionally consistent program to ensure my message is easily shared. It is also adaptable at any point and can be altered with new information.

WEEK THREE AND FOUR LEARNING MATERIALS AND CONCEPTS.
The expectation effect may inspire my viewers to act and behave to a new standard and works hand-in-hand with the effects of positive reinforcement in the workplace.
The aim of this document is to communicate the importance of design in the PR industry, when adapted correctly, the expectation effect highlights a correlation between expectation and the improvement of perceptions and behaviour (Butler, Holden Lidwell).
Arun Sudhaman (2016) writes for the Holmes report and speaks about how PR’s lack in creativity comes from mediocre expectations and industry’s fears of stepping out of their comfort zones.
This poll, taken in November 2016, by the Holmes Report demonstrates the numerous reasons that creativity is not a priority or an expectation in the PR industry.

screen-shot-2016-12-11-at-18-03-51http://www.holmesreport.com/long-reads/article/creativity-in-pr-2016-winning-the-war-for-ideas

In fact, TrendKite (also the PR representation for Pinterest, Tesla and Nike), a professional PR analytic blog for Public Relation professionals, named ‘Playing it safe’ as the number one bad habit of PR professionals to break in the new year, saying that this habit and low expectation is directly influenced by management (Bergen 2015).

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http://www.holmesreport.com/long-reads/article/creativity-in-pr-2016-winning-the-war-for-ideas

The Holmes Report also surveyed that the lack of creative expectation not only hinders creative production, but that it also may not be keeping clients happy. Directly effecting the industry, sales and profit.

By using the expectation effect and the right positive reinforcement, I aim to redefine creative expectation in the PR workplace with the creation of my Prezi presentation. These higher creative expectations can ignite creative flares, create new and positive habits and attract a more creative work rate and all-round higher standard (Nguyen 2011).

WEEK FIVE LEARNING MATERIALS AND CONCEPTS
Accessibility is one of the most important functions of the design of my Prezi presentation. This was one of the major reasons I opted for a Prezi, as opposed to another document. As PR is audience-focussed, designing my presentation using the four characteristics of accessible designs will help to ensure audience interaction and the understanding of the presentation runs smoothly (Butler, Holden, Lidwell). Concepts are as follows:

  • Perceptibility: Is my presentation design perceived and presented clearly to everyone? Is the message and function easily perceived?
  • Operability: Is the design of my presentation easily used and operable by everyone? Are the functions to skip a slide and zoom in all clear and easily operable?
  • Simplicity: Is the design of my presentation easily understandable? Am I using bold headings, consistent colours and spatial awareness to avoid clutter and confusion?
  • Forgiveness: Is there margin for error? Technologically friendly? Are there reversible actions if viewers accidentally skip ahead or need to revise a previous slide?

With the foundation design of function, colour, and accessibility ideas locked down for my Prezi presentation, moving forward is the combination of these techniques with the content of my presentation. Continuing to design this in a creative, informative and easily understandable direction.

REFERENCES |

Bergen, M 2015, 6 Bad Habits of PR Professionals and How to Break Them, TRENDKITE, viewed 6 December 2016

< http://www.trendkite.com/blog/6-bad-habits-of-pr-professionals-and-how-to-break-them&gt;

Butler, J, Holden, K, Lidwell, W 2010, Universal Principals of Design, Revised and Updated [ebook], pp. 16, 84, viewed 8 December 2016,
<http://ebookcentral.proquest.com.ezproxy.lib.swin.edu.au/lib/SWIN/reader.action?docID=3399678&gt;

Nguyen, S PH.D. 2011, What Happens When Leaders Set High Expectations, Workplace Psychology, viewed 6 December 2016,
< https://workplacepsychology.net/2011/02/05/what-happens-when-leaders-set-high-expectations/&gt;

Sudhaman, A 2016, Creativity in PR 2016: Winning The War For Ideas?, Holmes Report, viewed 8 December 2016,
< http://www.holmesreport.com/long-reads/article/creativity-in-pr-2016-winning-the-war-for-ideas&gt;

Assessment 1: Part 1

GOAL: TO COMMUNICATE THE VALUE OF DESIGN IN THE PR INDUSTRY 
AVENUE: Video presentation, “Keeping Culture Creative”
For the design success, the video must be designed in reference to Hierarchy of Needs. Rough thoughts and assignment progress:

screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-12-15-58

WEEK ONE LEARNING MATERIALS AND CONCEPTS.
The Holmes Group is an internationally recognised organisation designed to help grow and drive the Public Relations industry (Holmes Group 2013). Paul Holmes, the founder, publisher and CEO of the Holmes group writes an important article referencing the functionality of the present-day PR industry, and the cry out for a new design edge and avenue to assist the PR in staying relevant alongside the digital technology advances (Holmes 2013).

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IMAGE 2: http://www.holmesreport.com/long-reads/article/10-ways-to-design-the-pr-agency-of-the-future

The content of my assignment will communicate the importance and value of design in the Public Relations industry. I recognised the value of this article in referencing the entire PR industry to the learning materials in week one, Hierarchy of Needs (Butler, Holden, Lidwell 2010).
In a broader context, I was able to see faults in the design of the industry as a result of technological advances, social media, etc.
The PR industry is functional, as is it reliable. Clients are confident they are paying for a service that will be delivered. The industry and services are very accessible; it is a service-providing industry. Therefore, from a client’s perspective, usability can be reflected in its accessibility.
Proficiency and creativity is where PR needs to be redesigned. A design to nurture and broaden the abilities and services to help the professional PR industry not only offer more, but become more creative and interactive with their services. Difficulties arise with social media sites such as Pinterest and Blogs who offer free how-to tutorials for the public to manage their PR needs themselves (American Press Institute 2015).
The Hierarchy of Needs mind map seemed like a a great starting point for the beginning processes of this assessment, as I feel it is such an important foundation –  checklist, if you will – to solidify a design idea from.

WEEK TWO LEARNING MATERIALS AND CONCEPTS.
Paul Holmes speaks about how success in PR is knowing more than just the current visual trends of the market, it is successfully executing campaigns consistent with these trends (Holmes 2013). Design and visuals will play a very important part of the success of my end result of this assignment, in particular, aesthetic consistency.
I view my assessment goal and the successful design of this video presentation, as a mini PR campaign in itself. It is simple to create a video presentation with visuals, audios and texts that, when not aesthetically or functionally consistent, become hard to use and confusing for the viewer.
Huffington Post published an article discussing the difficulty in design when online campaigns are created, in regards to successfully viewing the campaign on all receivers. Every monitor, smart phone, sizes of screen etc. are all unique, leaving a gap in the ability to successfully design an online campaign that is consistent on all gadgets (Odgis 2015).
Lack of design and consistency in this scenario would then minimise functionality and hinder the ability to successfully deliver the message, the sole purpose and function of the video.
Understanding the importance of colour and functional consistency in design is an extremely important factor to focus on early. Throughout this design process and as I move forward with visuals and colours in the design process, understanding what will deter viewers and cause failure in communicating the videos message is imperative. This ensures the upcoming weeks will assist my design process and my final project, as opposed to hinder it.

References |

American Press 2015, How Millennials use and control social media, American Press Institute, 15 November 2016,
< https://www.americanpressinstitute.org/publications/reports/survey-research/millennials-social-media/&gt;

Holmes Group 2013, Paul Holmes, Holmes Report, 14 November 2016
< http://www.holmesreport.com/authors/paul-holmes&gt;

Holmes, P 2013, 10 ways to design the PR Agency of the Future, Holmes Report, viewed 14 November 2016,
< http://www.holmesreport.com/long-reads/article/10-ways-to-design-the-pr-agency-of-the-future&gt;

Lidwell, W Holden, K & Butler, J 2010, Universal principles of design: 125 ways to enhance usability, influence perception, increase appeal, make better design decisions, and teach through design, Rockport Publishers, Beverly, MA.

Odgis J 2015, Keeping Color Consistent Is a Vital Element of Branding, Huffington Post, viewed 17th November 2016,
< http://www.huffingtonpost.com/janet-odgis/keeping-color-consistent-_b_8749334.html&gt;

Image
Holmes 2013, ‘Tomorrow’s Campaigns, creative and innovation bravery’[image], 10 ways to design the PR Agency of the Future, Holmes Report, viewed 14 November 2016,
< http://www.holmesreport.com/long-reads/article/10-ways-to-design-the-pr-agency-of-the-future&gt;