Friday, February 26, 2010

My Thesis Process

The Director of the masters program that I am currently in (for only a few more months!) asked me to answer a few questions about my thesis process. It was a little strange to talk about my process and give advice to the next group of students doing a thesis because I am still in the middle of finishing all this! Anyway, here it is. If you are a first year visiting this site- please drop me a line and say hello. :)

A classmate of mine, Clay Ewing also was asked to answer a few questions.Here is his moment of fame. It's interesting to hear what he is up to and how far along he came with his project.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Website Creative Brief

I did THIS creative brief and brief competitive analysis for the oceanlab site. I am going to run this by a few of my potential users to get some feedback.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Peer Review Presentation

The presentation went really well. It was a nice small group of people. Only about 4 of my fellow second years showed and 3 first years. Seriously, I am not complaining! This was the most productive peer review that I have been to. Okay, so I was given good feedback on my website. Some suggestions:

-think about using javascript on the LEARN page to put all the content on the page and then let it jump down.
-think about completely separating the navigation for the TEACH page so that it is not distracting to kids using the site.
-for the exhibition, think about doing a demonstration of some sort- get people involved with the topic- if not the project.
-for the exhibition, maybe print out a beautiful user scenario

I think what was clear about my project- compared to the others in the class- was that my piece is not fine art. It's design. I made that decision for my work and I need to figure out the best way to exhibit it. My classmate Rupa suggested that I check out some science museums like the Liberty Science Center to get some ideas for display. Maybe Ill also take a look at the Brooklyn Childrens Museum.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My QR code tutorial

Review: The QR Code

I recently discovered QR codes. QR codes are two dimensional bar codes that were invented in Japan. QR is short for quick response and these codes really do just that. All that you need to do is take a picture with your cellphone and instantaneously a text message (or whatever kind of message is embedded in the code) will appear on your phone. For me it was love at first sight. I started thinking about all of the possibilities for encoding my neighborhood, writing secret love letters for my boyfriend, or even just for branding and marketing. My only issue with the qr code - for American users at least- is the qr code reader that needs to be downloaded on to your phone in order to use it. Many phones in other countries have the QR code reader built into their applications and such, but for me with my non- ipod phone- it was hell. There needs to be some better system to get the applications on to your phone. I had to hunt down a site that would have the specific reader for my specific phone. This is not so intuitive. It actually is putting a foil on my romantic code letter goals! However, after this hurdle- it is truly a pleasure to play with and it is a fun way to tap into mobile potential without building an appication.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Mocking It Up

Updated Site Architecture

Why the change? I realized that parents and teachers (ahem families and educators) needed to be separate from learning for this to be a kid-friendly site.

Site Architecture

I have been tweaking the site architecture. I went from having 5 sections to 4... among other things. I am still trying to think about what can be more dynamic on the site. However, after my thesis I am probably not going to be maintaining this. So- I am just thinking about what existing API's I can pull from.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Website Interactive Research

I have been re-thinking how to use the oceanlab website. At first I thought that it could just be a container for all of the different kinds of media that are connected to the project. However, after some thought and a good dose of inspiration- I have been thinking about more engaging ways to relate the student visitors to their coastal environment.
Here are some of my recent inspirations:

This is pretty cool because it is really just a scene that has clickable hot spots with audio, visual or text embedded into it. It really personalizes the experience in a fun way.

This website features an image of a rainforest with a scroll over-able grid. On the grid you have the ability to click on squares which represent acres that you can pay to protect.The interface is really clean and nice, and its informative at the same time that it is getting you to take action.

Urban Plough is a site that uses google map images of a farm and allows you to scroll through and look at the changes in the environment over the years. Additionally there is information that pops up about the land based on the year and then embedded within the images are markers talking about specific projects happening in that location.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

monster mash

So I have been finally making things! I think that it takes me so long to just get in the groove and start. I remember someone telling me back a few years ago that it is part of my process to mull things over and think about it, plan, conceptualize etc. But to be honest- I hate not making things. I need to jump in and just make things sometimes to get further along in my project. This past week I made a brochure with all of the associated art. Making that art was a huge improvement for me. It helps me to see a light at the end of this tunnel that is thesis.

This past week I also met with the Parks Department to talk about the project. It was a really nice experience talking with them about my work and hearing about their plans for the future of the department. Hopefully more soon on that...