Week 3 – Context

Whew, week 3 already (technically week 4). Time flies when you don’t feel like you have anywhere near enough of it. I wouldn’t say that I’m stressed yet, I’m stressed somewhere deep inside myself; it’ll come and get me soon. I know what I’m doing and I know how to do it, I’m just scared that it won’t move me forward in any meaningful or useful way. I think this is due to me not having a clear end goal in mind at the moment, I think I need to focus on sub goals so I can feel like I have direction and also have the security of progress. I like to think my project looks a bit like this moment:

This week started off with one-on-one tutorials with Chris and Ewan. We spoke about how my contextual research around identity could be made into something actually useful to me. This was using the same method that I was taught by Ewan last week with insights instead of objects. I would gather this large swathe of contextual, broad insights, then pick three at random and see what pops out the other side after a bit of brain work. This excites me because it forces me to move forward, almost at random, but random in a nice way, in a way that has grounding in research and in my area of interest. The responsibility of immediate success is taken off my shoulders. After this discussion my project is a bit like this, which is movement in a direction (that isn’t around in circles, I hope. We’ll see.)

For the upcoming Converge Challenge awards ceremony on this Thursday I also got my Open Ears business cards printed at the print unit in the University. I was amazed by how good it was. It’s the first time that I’ve used their service, and it was cheaper than buying them online, highly recommended. I’m happy with the way they turned out. It took me a while to realise that my ‘business card’ for Open Ears is a different object to my personal business card as an Interaction Designer. Once I managed to separate those two ideas in my head it became much easier to realise their true purpose: to drive people to my website and to provide a method of contact, in this case my e-mail address. Read more about my business cards here.

We also had our first-ever, brand-spanking-new weekly class meeting! We were discussing the visual brand image for Social Digital (SD18). The visual team presented their ideas for branding and as a class we voted on our favourite colour scheme and our favourite typography. It was fairly straightforward with stand out winners. Now the visual team are to work on taking that information and turning it into our final SD18 brand in the near future.

Things are getting tough in our fourth year, between doing our actual project, writing our dissertation, fundraising a silly amount of money in a short space of time, and all of this on top of living our actual day to day lives. As a result of this added stress we are trying to become closer as a group of people in order to support each other; the first way we are trying is to have a ‘tea in the studio’. People are to bring along their own food or order a takeaway so we can just spend some time together outside of work time. Most of the time the whole cohort is in the studio is within working time and we don’t actually get to socialise much despite spending so much time together. Hopefully by taking some time out we’ll form a stronger support network to make it through the next year together successfully.

After Monday and Tuesday were wrapped up I turned my attention towards Thursday, the Converge Challenge awards event. This was the culmination of a process I started in April 2017 and was held in Glasgow Science centre. I had achieved top 5 in the Social Enterprise category with my business ‘Open Ears‘. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was in attendance along with 200 other prominent figures in Scottish enterprise, read more about the event here in this post. In the end I actually did not win a prize, but I did gain valuable experience and knowledge from the people I met and the connections I had the opportunity to make there.

Towards the end of the week I made a quick plan on how I was to complete the Project Identification Brief due on Monday 9th October. This involved writing questions for both survey and interview purposes. I’m preparing myself to myself to use the inspiration method Ewan taught me (once again) and considering the design of the visual presentation. Looks like next week is going to be really busy!