Author: mattmulheran

Week 13.1

Design challenge 3 has been perhaps the least satisfying experience of them all, despite having the best solution of all of my previous design challenges. In fact, the solution, as far as I am concerned, would resolve the issues of orientation week quite well, but yet again the group dynamic has ruined the experience. Quite early on, Chris and myself became aware that Nat was not doing any work, or being involved in group discussion as much as we were. In fact, during the majority of our meetings and class time his headphones were on and he was watching videos on Youtube, which in turn made meetings and class time ineffective and unproductive. This caused Chris and myself to set up a meeting without Nat, 4 days before the deadline, in order to assign the work between us. This proved to be the most effective meeting since beginning these design challenges. Within half an hour or so, Chris had assigned the work load between us and agreed upon stakeholders, solutions and the presentation format.

So now, a challenge that other groups had five people for, was being completed by 2. However, 2 days before deadline day, when I asked Chris how he was going with his part of the workload he informed me that he was not going to be able to do it as he had other assessment to do.  This meant that I had to complete the majority of the interactive poster and presentation transcript by myself. Design challenge 3 has been frustrating to say the least, but it has been a valuable learning experience nevertheless, and despite having to do other assessment, Chris proved to be one of the best team members I’ve had yet.

P.S. Thank you Christoph for being such a great help throughout the semester 🙂

Week 12 & 13

After a short discussion with our tutor, we discovered that the users of O-week, the first years, could not be used as one of our stakeholders, so I developed another stakeholder story(Graham Osman) below as well as refined versions of two of our chosen stakeholder stories:

Graham Osman, Campus Cafe and Restraunts – Artisans Cafe Owner

“Hello, I am Graham Osman and I own and run ‘Artisans Cafe’ between E and D block on QUT’s Gardens Point Campus. To accommodate for the large number of people attending O-week, I roster on more staff, which costs me more money, but the added cost of more staff should be countered by the increase in customers. However, our customers do not increase much at all during O-week, resulting in a loss for the cafe. I discovered the reason for this, was that QUT’s signage around campus, and the ability of first years to navigate the campus, was negligible. More signage and assistance in navigating the campus should be put in place to avoid, not only losses for us, but also other restaurants and cafes on campus.”

Arnold Walker, QUT Staff – Economics Unit Co-ordinator

“Hello, I am Arnold Walker and I am the unit co-ordinator for the Bachelor of Economics. I have 1500 people in my unit, but I have to give 15 lecturers during O-week, to a room that holds 400 seats. This means that I, and my fellow unit co-ordinators, are wasting our time giving welcome lectures to primarily empty rooms. I would like to do only 4 lecturers during O-week so that I can get back to my work and planning for the unit. That way the university funds are being utilised more effectively and I don’t have to work longer hours to make up for lost time.”

David Gardner, QUT Guild – Tour Guide

“Hi, I’m David Gardner and I give tours of the Gardens Point campus to first years throughout O-Week. To be a part of the tour students must sign up to the event on the QUT website. However, students either don’t sign up and tag along anyway or sign up and don’t come. This leads to inconsistent tour sizes, where I may have a group of 5 to a group of 40 at any one time. If most of the students knew they had to sign up for the tours on the QUT website, I could provide better and more detailed tours of the campus.”

The potential problems of O-week that were identified from these stakeholder stories were as follows:

QUT Guild:

  • QUT Website is not clear enough about O-week and how to sign up for events.
  • O-week orientation sign up does not succeed at managing people on campus or signed up to activities as well as it should.
  • O-week events have unregistered individuals in attendance, which can lead to a placation in group/lecture sizes, making them less manageable.

QUT Staff:

  • O-week does not succeed at managing people on signed up to activities/lecturers as well as it should.
  • Staff are forced to overwork due to their required attendance of certain O-week events.
  • Staff are distracted from their more critical work.

Gardens Point Campus Restaurants & Cafes:

  • Signage on campus during O-week does not give first years insight into where everything is, including restaurants.
  • There are no navigation points, separate from basic campus signage, to help first years to where they want to go and what’s available.
  • Estimated numbers of people on campus, and in specific zones of the campus, should be provided to stalls, restaurants, cafes, staff and security, so that the correct amount of people are scheduled to work in those areas to accommodate the increased numbers.

 

After revising these problems, we selected the following to develop solutions for:

  • The QUT website is not clear enough about the details of O-week and how to sign up for events.
  • O-week orientation planner does not manage the amount of people signed up to activities/lectures.
  • Signage on campus during O-week does not give first years insight into where everything is, including restaurants.

The reason why we selected these problems is that they are the primary cause as to why O-week is not as good as it should be. Furthermore, by solving these problems, most of the other problems we have previously identified should be resolved.

With all of this information in mind we can finally describe and define what is wrong with O-week. O-week events such as tour guides and lectures have a great deal of fluctuation in their group sizes, causing issues for the QUT Guild and QUT Staff who run them. These issues pertain to the inefficiency brought by having differences in group sizes. Whether it’s the control of a group, the detail that they can provide to a group, or if there are just too many groups. In addition to the issue with events, there is an issue with the navigation of the campus. This results in areas on campus that are largely neglected by the crowds of people at O-week, which causes a loss in revenue for businesses in the areas which are neglected.

The causation of the primary issue with O-week lies in navigation, that is the navigation; of the website, orientation planner and the campus. Whilst these seem like issues for first years, which they are, the result is a negative effect on all of the stakeholder groups involved. The problem therefore with O-week is that first years are not provided the necessary means to make O-week useful and enjoyable for all involved.

As a group we decided upon 3 ways in which to solve the problems of O-week, they are as follows:

  1. Signage and navigation infrastructure should be implemented throughout the campus during O-week, potentially using ‘the cube’ and its interactive characteristics as a means of providing a map and navigation system for the campus.
  2. The QUT website should have a devoted site for orientation week, much like QUT Virtual and Blackboard.
  3. The orientation event planner must be redone so that first years can use it. The O-week planner should also converge group numbers so that the number of sessions undertaken by lecturers during O-week are reduced.

With these solutions in place, we believe that orientation week will be a much better experience for all involved.

Week 11

Now in week 10, we have been given design challenge 3. Myself and my new group, Chris and Nat, are tasked with improving orientation week at QUT. We took some time to decide what we found was wrong with O-week, here is what we came up with:

  • Navigating the campus is difficult for first years.
  • Signing up for O-week events is difficult for first years.
  • Finding out information about O-week on the QUT website is difficult for first years.
  • Lecturers have too many sessions.
  • First years either attend a session whilst not signed up, or do sign up and do not attend, leading to inconsistent session sizes.
  • Discovering all the campus has to offer is difficult for first years.

With our issues with O-week established, work was assigned to each member of the group to develop stakeholder stories for the following stakeholders. Here is the assigned work:

  • Nat: International students, high school leavers and mature aged students. (All stakeholders for Nat are first years)
  • Chris: Dean of QUT, Lecturers and QUT Connect.
  • Matt: Stall people, tour guides and performers/bands.

This is what I came up with for the stakeholder stories:

  • Stall People: I run a stall at O-Week for QUT, where I hand out free QUT branded shirts to first years. Before giving out a shirt to someone, we must first verify if the person is a QUT student. What tends to happen is that these first years, firstly don’t know what we are doing so we have to explain that we are giving out shirts. After they discoed this, they ask for a shirt, but we can’t give them one because they don’t have a Student ID. This then prompts a rather time consuming conversation about how and where they get their Student ID’s, wasting my time.
  • Tour Guides: I give tours of the Gardens Point campus to first years throughout O-Week. To be a part of the tour students must sign up to the event on the QUT website. However, students either don’t sign up and tag along anyway or sign up and don’t come. This leads to inconsistent tour sizes, where I may have a group of 5 to a group of 40 at any one time. If most of the students knew they had to sign up for the tours on the QUT website, I could provide better and more detailed tours of the campus.
  • Performers: I play in one of the bands that performs during O-Week. My band and I are here to increase our profile and become more socially recognised and relevant. However, most of the time we are at O-Week the crowds are low, and the long days tend to reduce our performance levels

In week 12, we will select three of the nine developed stakeholder stories for the interactive poster and presentation.

Week 10

Design Challenge 2 if over now and while I do believe our app, InShape, was good aspects as far as an end product is concerned, there were some fundamental issues within the team that dismantled and dissolved the potential of the product. The first issue was within the dynamic of the team, no one seemed to click or be on the same page, one could go as far as to say that we were reading different books entirely. There were some great individual ideas and concepts, but a collective vision for what the app should be never seemed to exist. Communication, or rather the lack of, was the primary area of our failings. If we had communicated properly our final design would have been far better. During meetings it was difficult to get my opinions across, primarily because the rest of the group treated them as an obligation as opposed to an opportunity. There was at least one person every week that was 10 to 20 minutes late, then when the meeting had begun some of the groups members were talking about computer games or just indulging in some banter. It was impossible to know what they were doing because no one would tell each other and thus impossible to create a final product that fulfilled the original ideas potential. Another issue which created divisions in the group was a rather heated argument online between two group members, which contained various personal attacks and cuss words. Obviously the introduction of conflict into the group dynamic does not help in terms of productivity, creativity, decision making or communication. This was definitely a contributing factor as to why InShape did not reach its potential.

Despite this, I would not say that the product was a failure, but that the features and areas of the app were quite segregated from one another. The app lacked cohesion much like the group, which was evident considering that features and entire sections of the app were assigned to individual members of the group. With better communication between group members the product would have fulfilled its potential, but this process provides a valuable experience, one which I will definitely keep in mind in design challenge 3 and in future group/team projects.

Week 6

The group has decided on doing a health and fitness app. I have been tasked at doing the gym and restaurant recommendations section of the app. Before designing the interface for the section I decided to look at some popular mobile apps for inspiration.

Facebook_320x480-75

Facebook News Feed

3iphonesnewtwit

Twitter Layout

MyFitnessPal-Food-Diary-App-Review

MyFitnessPal Layout

first_image

Twitter Profile Page

facebook-app-timeline-iphone

Facebook Profile Page

Quite an obvious trend between the app layouts is a top menu bar with vertically organised, horizontal content. This led me to develop the following sketches.

1.1

Original Design Sketches

When I was sketching the four ideations above I decided that it would be good to add a social media component to the design, and having a news feed with updates from friends, gyms and restaurants. This led me to sketch this.

1.2

Updated and detailed interface sketch

As you can see I have sketched a few ways to improve the layout of the news feed and some extra details on certain features for future reference.

Week 5

Having completed Design Challenge 1, I started to think about Design Challenge 2 and develop some ideas for a mobile app. Here is a of my original list ideas:

  1. Sports fan app :scores and updates for your favourite team.
  2. Auto Reminder app: reminds young people who have just moved out of home what chores they need to do. i.e. laundry, mow the lawn, do the dishes.
  3. Organisational app: updates, group messages, reminders, weather updates and travel times for the various organisations you are a part of.
  4. Auto Budget app: An app developed by a bank that tracks your expenditure and bank account balance and provides recommendations of how you should spend your money based on your needs and where you can save money.
  5. TV Reminder app: Tells you when your favourite shows, movies or sports team are going to be on the television.

After considering these ideas I decided the following:

  • That there are thousands of sports apps already in existence, people don’t want another one. This is an idea to steer well clear of.
  • That young people could find it helpful to have Auto Reminders and preset schedules they can select from to fit their daily lives. This is definitely an idea to consider.
  • An Organisational app is perhaps the most useful and can be used by a vast population. The best idea to develop.
  • An auto budget app could be seen as invasive, and it can only be done on for one bank, limiting the user base. A good idea but not viable.
  • A TV reminder app is quite similar to the sports app in the sense that they have been done to death. This is not an idea with potential.

Having made those decisions I developed a very basic sketch of the Organisational app.

(Sketch needs to be scanned)

The above sketch will be used to present to my group for consideration of development for the Design Challenge 2 assessment.

Week 4.1

As a team we presented our Soviet vs Nazi themed Angry Birds redesign. Overall, the presentation went adequately, however, the presentation and final products from the team as a whole could have been finished to a much higher standard. Despite the mediocrity, there are many lessons to be learned from this experience, so that the following design challenges can produce a more satisfying final product.

As an individual I can certainly improve, and become a more productive team member. In order to achieve this I must air any concerns I have with the design concepts and implementations of my fellow team members. Furthermore, if I expect my peers to increase their standards, so must I, and to achieve that I must work harder, more creatively and create better final products and higher quality implementations.

In spite of not producing the best final products, the team were very easy to work with. Throughout the entire process there was no evidence of conflicts between members, and meetings were productive and cooperative. Furthermore, all members of the team completed their assigned work before meetings and due dates to a sufficient standard. Overall, the result was a satisfying team experience.

Week 4

This week I finalised the head with pig nose character sketches, and aligned them with the decided powers from last week. The following sketches are the fifth revision of the design, and have been refined and improved since the fourth revision.

4.03

Adolf Hitler 5th Revision

4.02

Nazi Officer 5th Revision

4.01

Nazi Soldier 5th Revision

The following images are a final, detailed coloured cartoon of the fifth revision sketches.

Soldier

Final Nazi Soldier

Officer

Final Nazi Officer

Hitler

Final Adolf Hitler