Week 2 – Down to Business

Alright, week 2! This week kicked off with a surprise change to the schedule. Due to the London design trip only returning to Dundee at 8pm on Sunday night, our inspiration moodboard exercise was moved to the Tuesday afternoon, which left Monday an independent studio work day. So with my upcoming trip to Glasgow for the Converge Challenge awards, I turned my focus to tightening up my website and producing some business cards for the occasion.

Business cards are an interesting lens to view identity through. I was initially stuck juggling the fact that this particular card was to represent who I was only specifically in relation to Open Ears. This was difficult as I haven’t actually produced a business card for myself as an Interaction Designer, or even as a person, and the desire would be to do that one first. I attempted it briefly but realised that there was a lot of thinking and planning to do before I could be happy with that one, and I couldn’t spend that much time on that at the moment. I decided to focus solely on the requirements that the card had to meet: display my business’s name, my name, and my role, drive people to my website, and allow people to contact me. This simple card achieves all those points for the moment but, I want to refine it a little bit more and print out some iterations before sending it away to VistaPrint for final printing.

So between filling in the initial posts on my blog and creating a business card, that was Monday all used up. Tuesday was a more structured day with Ewan’s inspiration exercise, which required us to use the mood boards we had been busy making from inspiration week. I was in a group of three: myself, Jon and Connor. We each chose one image from each of our boards: a prosthetic leg, a colourful phone box, and ‘Solo’, a facial recognition radio. Using these three objects as a starting point, we defined their features and then categorised them. We ended up with three main categories: Human Element, Aesthetic, and Purpose, or as I saw it, People, Design, and Technology (haha). We used this information to write a brief and then a concept that would meet that brief.

The brief we generated was ‘something that created a space where users can express themselves in an empathetic way‘. Our concept was ‘True self expression is often taboo in our society, ProductX creates a space where the user is encouraged to express themselves and explore their identity in a safe environment‘. It was nice to see just how quickly we were able to travel from three images to a project brief that is able to be worked upon and developed further. I hope to be able to get going with my project with similar levels of speed.

The rest of the week was spent meeting with Christine to talk about my dissertation and Louise to discuss how to integrate Open Ears into the launch of the Global Health Challenge 2017. We also launched the Dundee University Motorsport Society (read more about that here). I managed to be second fastest in the club, which I’m very proud of; the physical changes I’ve been going through require me to drive the kart in a very different way than I used to, and it’s encouraging to be capable of keeping up such a fast pace. I have high hopes for some more wins in the Scottish Student Karting Championship and the British Universities Karting Championship this year! I’ve been spending the rest of my time at the gym and adding some more content to my blog; at the moment I’ve published 6,600 words with many more to come. This makes me more confident about the amount of writing I have to do for my dissertation. I also purchased a smart phone, which is both amazing and terrible for my productivity and life.