After Effects Class

I’ve been taking Intro to After Effects at SVC and have been learning some cool stuff. Here’s a small clip we made in the final day of class:

 

Team Cowboy becomes Game Plan

I’ve been slowly plugging away on nailing down the UX of the Team Cowboy App. I spoke with a UX professional about it and got some valuable feedback about simplifying and following Apple’s conventions. I’ve moved on from paper wireframing and have started building the digital wireframes in Illustrator. Here are some of the paper prototypes:

Paper_prototype1

Paper_prototype2

I am showing 3 task flows. 1) RSVPing Yes to a game and marking that you’re bringing a sub, 2) Marking yourself as an available sub for a game & posting a day/time subbing availability, and 3) Manager responding to that sub who marked themselves as available for the game in Task 2.

Along with the wireframe building I have started to work on the look and feel of the App. I started sketching logo ideas and realized I didn’t like the name Team Cowboy. I made the executive decision to call the app something different. I toyed with the name “Roundup”, as in “we need to round up more players”, but people thought there was too strong an association with the weed killer Roundup. So we brainstormed as a group and came up with “Game Plan”. So the new name for my app is Game Plan. Here are some of the logo sketches I did:

TC_logos1

TC_logos2

TC_logos3

I haven’t picked a final yet and will probably keep working on the logo for a little bit longer.

Here’s just a screen grab of the digital wireframes so you can see where those are at:

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 10.12.02 AM

Next steps: Finish the wireframes, make a prototype, test it, and refine some of the screens with the UI skins. Finish the logo and style board! Go, go, go!

Team Cowboy App

It’s my very last quarter at SCCA, and that’s a pretty crazy thing to think about. I can’t believe how far we’ve all come, and I can’t believe it happened so fast. We’re already two weeks into the quarter, which means I only have 45 more days of class with my wonderful classmates that have become like family. *Tear* It’s going to be weird when I no longer get to hang out with my favorite people every day.

That being said, there’s still work to be done! Like my special topics project-the Team Cowboy app redesign. What’s Team Cowboy you ask? Team Cowboy is an existing website, mobile site, and app for Apple, Windows, and Android phones that helps coordinate and organize recreational sports teams. I personally use this website with all of my soccer teams and was interested in working on an app that I felt would actually be of help to real people.

I’ve done a lot of research so far to prepare me to tackle the redesign of the app. The research includes: an online survey, personal interviews with 2 people, email interviews with 2 people, an analysis of the features of the current website, mobile website, and app, and research on other existing competitor apps.

Here’s my current website/app audit:

UserResearch_1

UserResearch_2

UserResearch_3

Here’s some competitor research on the top 3 competitors:

UserResearch_6

UserResearch_5

UserResearch_4

And here’s the user personas I created based off of the survey info and interviews I conducted:

UserPersonas1

UserPersonas2

UserPersonas3

Next steps are to finish the Customer Journey Map that I’ve started working on, finish the paper wireframes that I’m working on and test those to see where the holes are. Once I’ve tested them, I will create digital wireframes and do a simple prototype in Invision. Next steps are testing prototype, iterating, and then starting the branding so that I can skin the app and make a complex prototype. A real client project has me a little behind schedule (already, I know…) but I’m hoping to make a lot of progress this weekend and this coming week.

Pace Magazine: The evolution continues

I’ve been working away on the home page of Pace, trying to get all the content needed to fill a very content-heavy home page. Much of the content in the print version of the magazine wasn’t actually anything I could use in the digital version. Small soundbite type info didn’t really fit in the web format, and I needed fresh content as well. So I’ve been spending quite a bit of time trying to cultivate content that fits the concept of Pace.

Now that I’ve finally figured out all the content, I’ve finished the structure of the home page (well, 85% of it…) and I’ve started working on styling it (the fun part!). I forgot how much I like designing in the browser! Here are some screen shots of various type treatments I’ve been messing around with.

Screen-Shot-2015-03-04-at-3.15.27-PM

Screen-Shot-2015-03-04-at-3.20.08-PM

Screen-Shot-2015-03-04-at-8.09.00-PM

Screen-Shot-2015-03-04-at-7.16.14-PM

Screen-Shot-2015-03-04-at-8.08.53-PM

Once I’m done with the home page, I’ll start embarking on the article templates! Woo hoo!

The National Gig Poster

Moving on from quote posters, our next poster assignment was a gig poster. There were 8 bands that we were randomly assigned and I somehow lucked out and got one of my favorite bands, The National. For those of you who don’t really know much about them, their music is a little melancholy and deals with themes such as abandonment, loss of self, low self-worth, and disconnection. Much of the previous art done for them is black and white, dark and sometimes even ominous. Here’s some of their album artwork and music video images:

EF_Inspo_Board

While listening to their music, I made word associations. I then took those word associations and made a visual image board of things that reminded me of the music and the words I had associated it with:

EF_Inspo_Board-1

From this, I decided the loose concept of my poster would be “disconnect”. I thought of people talking on phones that were connected to nothing. It’s a little weird and out there, but falls right in line with much of the album art that has been done before. Weird and sad. After sketching a bit, I ended up with the image of a tin can phone that has the string cut. This was a little nostalgic and reminded me of my childhood, which also fit into The National’s habit of referencing the past. After this, I created a mood board of what I wanted my poster to look like. I wanted to keep the dark colors and serious themes, but illustrate in a lighter, flat style. Here’s my mood board:

MoodBoard

And then, the final poster:

EmilyF_poster7_Cropped

A new Poster and a total change in direction

For our next poster assignment, we had to respond to another quote. I chose, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans”. We had to brainstorm word associations and images associations and try to narrow down a theme, based off of our take on the quote. I ended up at the theme, “Trust the Process”. At first I had the idea of illustrating pieces of something, in a broken-down, vague way, so that you wouldn’t know what the item was until you got to the end. Because sometimes you can’t see the whole journey or the whole process at once, and steps along the way seem vague or fuzzy. But you have to trust the process and know that even if you don’t understand a part of the process, it doesn’t mean that the process isn’t going exactly as planned. But the reality was I couldn’t illustrate that many things in a week. After more brainstorming, I ended up with the idea of scientific processes, like eggs being fertilized. Most people don’t understand the science, but know that life happens. I went in a completely different direction from the illustration style of my two previous posters and mixed very scientific drawings with organic, flowing watercolors. I still want to illustrate the pieces of a robot, maybe I’ll somehow find time during spring break?…

Here’s the final “Trust the Process”:

EF_Poster6_forWeb

Another hot dog poster… sorta

For our fourth poster, we had to respond to one of three quotes. I chose “Let us learn to love winter, for it is the genius of spring”. We did some serious concept brainstorming exercises, which lead me to my final concept of “growth in unexpected places”. Once I had a concept, I started brainstorming ways to execute this concept. I kept thinking of a lush jungle garden in a shipping container out at sea. I couldn’t figure out how to simply illustrate that and have it read, so I ended up simplifying the image and going with a cornfield on raft, adrift in the middle of the ocean.

The target audience was supposed to be 20-35 year olds, specifically those who shop for motivational posters on Etsy.

Here’s the final poster:

EF_week5_forWeb

Some people commented that the life raft looked eerily like a hot dog… It’s LIFE RAFT people. But, apparently I am now the hot dog lady.

Pace Magazine Digital Format

Pace is coming along! I’ve actually started building the site, the link for it is www.whoisemilyford.com/pace, in case you want to follow along! I got my Typekit fonts to work, which was pretty exciting. I also got the php loop to work in more advanced ways than I did with Trek, so that was super exciting. I’m trying to finish up the home page structure today and then start working on the templates for the articles. At this point I will probably only do 3 article templates.

The plan for the rest of the quarter is to finish the website and then mock up the app and marathon series collateral so that I have that as well for my portfolio.

Special Topics Winter Quarter-Week 4

Well, as usual, I’m a little behind! Have been doing some extra freelance to make up for my denied school loans and it’s been eating up more time than I’d like it to. As far as Pace goes, I realized last week that I needed to find free web versions of the typefaces I used for the print magazine. Searching for similar typefaces took while but I have narrowed it down, and am using Typekit instead of Google fonts, which is a new and tricky experiment! Hopefully I don’t encounter too many snafus along the way. I did more competitor research, because I’m still having a hard time nailing down exactly what the digital edition of Pace should look like, and what kind of tools it should feature (and I can feasibly build!). Still working on figuring out the home page. Once that’s solved, doing templates for the other types of content will be much easier. The home page is always a beast for me.

Also this week, I met for coffee with a friend of my brother (both are designers in the real world), and she had lots of good insights on graduating and working in the real world. She works in print at a big Seattle company and assured me there are still plenty of print jobs out there. It was comforting to hear and it sounded like she has a great job, and has never had a hard time finding great places to work. I got to hear about a typical day and week for her. She said she works in InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop equally, and those are her main tools. Also exciting for me, as those are programs I am most comfortable in. She advised me to start thinking about my portfolio now and try to get stuff out there asap. She had several interviews in late winter/early spring of her senior year, and was able to get the job she wanted right when school was over. All in all, it was great to talk to someone out there, working in the real world, and get some encouragement and inspiration.