With Phase 1 of the project completed and handed in on February 15th 2019, we had a week off to recharge our batteries and now we are back at university and working with BA (Hons) Graphic Communication students from NUA to complete the second half of the Broads Authority project, known as ‘Phase 2’ – or BSc2b.

Phase 2 builds on Phase 1 by collaborating with the graphic communication students to help design, develop and hopefully eventually deliver a prototype of a digital service that encourages people living in the Waveney valley (towns such as Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Beccles) to visit the Broads and specifically do walks on the Angles Way.

Recap of Phase 1

For all the posts about Phase 1, please click here.

Starting on January 11th 2019, Ameer, Naomi and I worked with Broads Authority to conduct ethnographic user research at several sites on the Angles Way to find out what the public would like in an app to encourage them to visit the Norfolk/Suffolk Broads. From our research, we concluded that each site had its advantages and disadvantages and generally the public were most interested in finding out more about the local area in terms of its history and wildlife. With this research we created prototypes for a web app that allowed users to see how Burgh Castle looked in 300 AD when it was built, allow users to find out more information about the wildlife at Carlton Marshes and show the user how Breydon Water was formed as a diagram. We presented our research and prototypes to the Broads Authority on February 12th 2019 – more information about the presentation is available here.

Ameer, Naomi and I have been invited to present the presentation to the board at the Broads Authority offices on March 14th.

Introducing the Graphic Communication students!

The graphic comms students. From L-R: Corrina Mark, Chloe Turner and Zach Rowe.

Three graphic communication students attended our usual morning session on February 28th. All three were hand-picked by their tutor, Amy, to work with us because they are the best students for this project. We are working with:

  • Corrina Mark – I’ve known Corrina for just under a year, she’s been working with Ameer and I on the Storehouse Online team since May 2018 and has been helping us to design the new website. Corrina is passionate about typography and has recently produced a visual identity for a dentistry museum as part of her BA2a graphic communication project.
  • Chloe Turner – I went to school with Chloe so have known her for two or three years now. She comes from an A level fine art, graphic communication and biology background and has recently created app prototypes in Adobe XD for her BA2a graphic communication project, but also has interest and talent in fine art, painting and photography.
  • Zach Rowe – before today I didn’t know Zach at all, but he is passionate about film and moving image.

In our initial briefing we introduced each other and went over the timeline. We will be working with these students until the end of April by which point hopefully we will have an evolutionary, coded prototype to deliver. The prototype that I produced and showed in the presentation on February 12th is already coded, so hopefully that can be expanded on and improved – starting with writing media queries for devices other than the iPhone 6/7/8!

Ameer, Naomi and I delivered the presentation that we gave on February 12th to the graphics students to fill them in on what we had done. The difference between the original presentation on February 12th and this one that we did on February 28th was that this was far more relaxed with questions being asked during the presentation and we didn’t have the iPhone to hand to show them the coded prototypes or Ameer’s interface animations that he had made on Principle. The graphics students understood what we were trying to achieve and what we had done, they also understood several key UX terms which Naomi and I introduced them to during the presentation such as user personas, ethnographic research and information architecture. Like us at the beginning of the project, they felt that there was a lot to take in and understand.

My understanding is that the BSc students will consider the research, application and development of this project and the graphics students will be focusing on the visual identity and also working partly as interaction and interface designers with their graphic design know-how.

We finished the session by arranging to meet every Thursday morning and all day Friday to work on this brief together, but on the understanding that by the end of March we will be working ‘fully collaboratively’, meaning that e will be spending all of our timetabled university time together to work on this.

The graphic communication students have been tasked with ‘responding to’ and possibly ‘re-wording’ the three theme concepts that Ameer, Naomi and I came up with a few weeks ago, namely:

  • ‘An adventure for the senses’
  • ‘Discover what nature is hiding’
  • ‘Escape to explore’

Interestingly, just like most of the people we asked about our concepts, the graphics students favoured ‘escape to explore’, but said that they may reword it slightly. I’ve mentioned in previous posts about how ‘escape’ may be seen as ‘running away from your problems rather than facing them’.

We will be going on field trips with them as part of this collaborative unit.