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.
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.
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).
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.
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for aesthetic purposes as I feel that the white font looks fresh, as opposed to the black font which seems somewhat outdated and harsh on the eyes.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.
In contrast, you can see below the reverse effect of colour used here in a 2016 campaign for Harley Davidson.
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.
I decided it needed a little more warmth and more of a friendly, peer-to-peer vibe.
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.
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!
Gallo, C 2014, Three Basic Secrets to Successful Presentations in the Workplace, Forbes, viewed 3 January 2017
Harley Davidson 2016, ‘2016 Print Ad‘[image], Forty-Eight Motorcycles, viewed 4 January 2017
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
WGSN Insider 2016, ‘Topman This is Denim’ [image], Topman launch new denim collection, WGSN, viewed 3 January 2017