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Transcript of Learning Report
Dale Rogers - Instructor
Dave Murphy - Student 2010 Capstone Learning Report I will highlight three areas, starting with the overall design approach and skills that I have learned while attending Nashville State. I will then move on to the specific projects that I was involved with in the capstone course. Finally, I will discuss the outcome of my experiences while involved with these projects. Much of the design process is matter of breaking down the projects into smaller and more manageable components. What questions do I need to ask? What assumptions am I making? This process of high-level design allows me to ask the questions of... What do I know? What resources do I have to tackle the project? The elements that are included in the design process are: These principles are:
Dominance Design Fundamentals All of the course work that I have taken has emphasized strong principles of design. The design process is about serving a client's needs. I use a four step methodology to work through the design process. Planning Phase Research
Analyze This part of the design process is to understand the client and their needs. It is here that I find out who the audience is, what the budget will be and the time frame for the project. It is in this part of the process that I begin brainstorming ideas. Concept Phase Concepts
Wireframes The concept phase moves toward creating rough ideas and sketches. If the project is a web design, then I will find current examples for a client to review. Develop Phase Deploy Phase Deliver mechanicals
Final approval Create comps
Prototype If the project is a web design, then a final check of usability is done. Information is gathered for possible future revisions of the existing design.
The final project is handed over to the client for their use. Multiple versions of the design are given to the client. It is during this phase that revision and refinement happen by gathering feedback from the client. I have learned and aquired many new skills in my time at Nashville State. The following is a quick tour through the coursework and some completed projects I have done.
A common thread through all of these designs is the process previously highlighted — the fundamentals of design, critical thinking and a systematic design approach. Adobe Photoshop Adobe Illustrator Final Cut iMovie Garageband Pro Tools Adobe Flash Evaluation Criteria Nashville State Community College offers the opportunity for students to have the internship environment come into the classroom. Students that are Multimedia and Web Design majors have projects that are involved with local businesses and organizations in the Nashville community. The following is the general competencies that the students should possess. Course Competencies Prepare a website using industry standard XHTML with CSS, or Flash.
Publish a website using FTP software and other tools.
Create custom Flash graphics in both FLA and SWF format.
Create custom raster graphics in both GIF and JPG fomats.
Capture and resize photographs in a resolution suitable for the web.
Create or re-purpose written content which conforms to web standards for text.
Define and explain the concept of information architecture.
Recognize and apply layout and design principles.
Recognize and apply typographic communication and design principles.
Ceate a flowchart, storyboard and a site map.
Create other assets as needed using audio, video and animation software. General Education Competencies To reinforce student ability to write clear, well organized documents by requiring a written summary report and reflective writing assignments.
To reinforce student ability to locate, evaluate and use multiple sources of information through assignments which require students to develop web page content.
To reinforce student ability to participate as team members and team leaders by occasionally breaking the class into teams or groups.
To reinforce student ability to use critical thinking skills through design analysis and presentation critiques.
To emphasize student ability to use and adapt current technologies through a study of and use of multiple digital media applications.
To reinforce student appreciation of cultural diversity and the influence of history and culture through an emphasis on designing websites for a variety of demographics.
To reinforce student ability to apply scientific thought process to a range of situations through software assignments. Websites My instructor, Dale Rogers, brought two projects to our class. Both are websites for local Nashville organizations. The Salama Institute is a non-profit after school program. Youth are given the opportunity to explore passions and develop skills in academics, visual and performing arts, technology and social leadership. This website, that we as a team would build for them, is a redesign of an existing site. The project is a part of rebranding campaign. A local adverstising agency, Bohan Advertising, had taken on Salama as one of their pro-bono clients. Alternator & Starter Parts Distributors is a parts remanufacturer located in Gallatin TN. The website that we as a team would build for them is a new site built from the ground up. ASPD has wanted to have website to increase their remanufacturing business. We were given this project after a meeting between Dale and ASPD's owner, Ernie Gendron. Concept Phase Develop Phase Deploy Phase With projects in hand, it was time for the class to begin the work. What do we know?
What assumptions are we making?
What questions do we have?
What resources are available to us? We began the design process by asking the questions: Planning Phase We as a team began to ask questions about each client's project. What are the client's needs?
Who is the audience?
What is the message?
What are the deadlines?
Who will do what tasks within the team? It was during this phase that we created a proposal for our clients detailing what we would do for them and a timeline for delivery. This proposal was approved by our team and our clients. We as a team began looking at existing websites as examples that we could show our clients.
Further revisions were done to our proposals to meet criteria set forth by the legal department of the Tennessee Board of Regents. I looked at existing sites on the web. The layout of this site that I found was used as a design reference for the sites we were building for Salama and ASPD. I also developed some logo ideas for our ASPD client. They did not have a logo and they were looking for ideas we could give them. These are some of the examples I submitted to our team. The team then selected a few ideas from the ones that had been created. Our client then made the final decision. None of mine were selected, but it was a positive experience to go through this part of the design process. Let's move on now to the projects in the capstone class. ASPD had also expressed an interest to have a video on their website that would showcase who they are and what they do.
We as a team went to visit their facility and get a tour. It was during this visit that we shot video footage and took still photos for the website. Everyone began to settle into their roles of each site design. Tasks were delegated based on who was a Web Design major and who was a Multimedia major. We received a brochure from Bohan Advertising that represented the look that they were developing for the Salama Institute. The Web Design team began to implement these ideas into the web design. As a Multimedia major, I spent more of my time in the development phase working with the different media needs of the ASPD site.
ASPD expressed an interest in having both a commercial type video as well a video that showcased their remanufacturing process.
I worked with another classmate to develop the script for the ASPD commercial video.
At this stage, I began to edit the video footage that we shot on our visit to ASPD's facility. This step-by-step video would showcase their remanufacture process. The team moved into testing and finalizing details of both site designs. Quality controls were done to ensure that everything was functioning properly. I completed the step-by-step video for ASPD.
I helped the web designers move content from the old Salama site to the new site.
The team discussed what method to use to embed the video for the ASPD site. We decided to embed the video using Adobe Flash.
Salama gave us some feedback on the changes and additions that they would like on their new site. We discussed these as a team and decided on what we could finish within the class timeframe and what would have to wait until a future revision. The team continued to refine each design as we received feedback from our clients. These screenshots were taken from the sites that we as a team developed during the capstone class. Now we'll take a look at the challenges I faced, solutions to those challenges and the overall outcome of my experience in this capstone course. No project of any size is without it's challenges. Even the simplest designs involve making decisions of what will be the end result and how will I get there?
Our experience as individuals and as a team working on these two capstone projects presented obstacles and opportunities to examine a way for solution. Most of the challenges we faced could be dealt with in a systematic approach. We faced the challenges with the following critical thinking:
What do we know?
What assumptions are we making?
What questions need to be asked?
What resources do we have available to us? We then used the Design Process to work our way through our challenges. We had to ask ourselves if more planning, conceptualizing or development needed to happen before our projects hit the deployment phase. Team Challenges Team Solutions Proposals needed additional work after additions from Tennesse Board of Regents legal department
Communication outside of the classroom
Getting client feedback
Defining tasks and roles for each project
Various degrees of abilities within the team
Last minute changes
Overwrites of pages on the server
Hosting issues while the sites were in development Continued to work on our projects with the understanding that proposal revisions would be forthcoming
Used a Google group to communicate and to share files
Had someone assigned to each project as a liaison to each client
Initial meetings were used to assess individual skills and interests
An understanding that these are projects in a college learning environment
Assessed what could wait for later revisions and implement what we could
Opportunity to discuss the role of a single web master with exclusive server access
Create a space that holds the student projects until the deployment phase Personal Challenges I'd now like to highlight some personal challenges and their solutions. As previously stated, I edited one of the videos for ASPD. It was challenging because we went to shoot the video with only a loose idea of what we would capture. When it came time to do the edit, I had to discard video and not use it for several reasons:
video was shaky
audio was poor
a classmate was in the shot
flashes from still photography was distracting
on camera talent stuttering through their delivery
my limited knowledge of the subject matter Taking another trip to reshoot was not really an option because of time restraints.
I found solutions to my problems by using:
dissolves to transition between the remanufacturing steps
lower third titles to explain the on-screen action and not have to use as much of the audio
followed a transcript of the audio that another classmate had done to use as a guide through the remanufacturing
I had to personally let go of everything being a perfect condition and find shots that didn't have much distraction
I added music to bring cohesion and added interest to the video Another challenge was creating an opening title for the video. ...but I used the design process to make revisions. ...but I still wasn't satisfied. Working through the design process, while keeping the fundamentals and principles of design in mind, helpled me get to the final result I was looking for. Click the arrow on the bottom of the screen to watch Self-assessment I have been able to futher advance many skills through the course of this capstone class. Working as a team member, personal time management and serving a client's needs are just a few of the invaluable skills I have been able to develop. I had the opportunity to use the tools that I have aquired through my coursework at Nashville State. When challenges presented themselves, I had to respond in a manner that found effective solutions to those challenges. A solid foundation of design fundamentals and principles helped to guide my decisions and gave the team as well as myself a solid foundation for critique and refinement of our designs. The use of critical thinking always was a guidepost when challenges arose and I had to work through a problem. Coupling this with a systematic design process enabled me problem solve at a high-level of design and then work toward the more intricate details of the projects. This learning report has taken a look at my experience with the projects that I have been a part of in my capstone class while attending Nashville State Community College. I believe it showcases not only some of my general design skills, but the high-level approach and a systematic design process that I would bring to any project. I am now prepared to take what I have learned and move into a career as a Multimedia Designer. firstname.lastname@example.org
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