Throughout the subject of Design for CMS Content Managers with Daniel Julià we have learned about web layout using HTML and CSS as well as PHP working with WordPress. Finally, we practised such knowledge by designing and programming our portfolios.
You will find some of the results in this next compilation:
Last Tuesday 15th of May we had the visit of Gabriela Lazbal on the subject of Rich Media Projects. Lazbal works at King, a leading interactive entertainment company for the mobile world, known worldwide for its gem game Candy Crush. After being six years in the team, she is nowadays working as a Senior Artist and as a Lead Artist supervising all the follow-up of the Bubble Witch 3.
Gabriela was born in Argentina, where she studied, but she has been living in Spain for nearly 20 years, having worked in Madrid, Zaragoza and Barcelona so far. From the beginning, she explains that her trajectory is quite multidisciplinary, always guided by her artistic vein.
Since she was thirteen, she knew that wanted to study the Fine Arts degree. However, as she is a curious mind, she discovered other disciplines along the way, such as film and television production and also analogue and 3D animation. Besides, before establishing in King and parallelly to her studies, she had dedicated plenty of her time being a teacher and working independently as a freelance.
During the session, Lazbal explains in detail the process of making video games. In the case of the Swedish company, they follow a work methodology based on the SCRUM model, which avoids hierarchies, enhancing proactivity and coordination among its members. She highlights that the success of their projects it is based on the communicative routine they persistently build.
“The most positive thing that SCRUM has is the retrospective. In this sessions, we discuss what has gone well or badly both professionally and personally, to avoid carrying problems or accumulate misunderstandings. Is the moment we establish honest relationships through conversation.”
Lazbal tells us that brainstormings are composed of different types of work profiles like artists, game designers, producers and data scientists. Also, developers and testers use to join the team when all of them start the prototyping stage. The idea is that they don’t see each other only once for the initial brainstorming, but they meet regularly being everyone involved in every decision even if is ideating, analysing or sharing the results of tests along the evolution of the product.
“Discussing ideas together makes simply enrich them, that’s why teamwork is so important.”
Lazbal defines their process as progressive and introduces us the concept of sprints. This methodology consists of stipulating a group of tasks and schedules them in weeks or months. Then, all the team have to work together to reach the deadline. The purpose of this system is to be able to test the product as soon as possible. Although both creative and production stages use to grow simultaneously, the concept always goes first. For this reason, Lazbal remarks how much necessary is to define the drawings a lot, going through many steps if needed, to achieve a definitive version that will be used as a reference when creating the 3D images.
During the talk, other aspects appeared associated with the design. On the one hand, it was interesting to realise the value of the typographic treatment and the UX / UI method. In the end, they contribute to define the style of the world’s game and satisfy the user expectations. On the other, Lazbal gave us advice on how to deal with the real world. Through anecdotes, she told us how to prepare a job interview, tips for the portfolio and the importance of being proactive but receptive at the same time, maintaining a flexible attitude and an open-mind ready for receiving the feedback that benefits us so much.
Throughout the subject of Analysis and Management of Digital Publications with Enric Mor, we discovered the DCU (User-Centered Design) and the stages that configure its iterative process. It is necessary to apply it in each interactive product because it helps to improve the usability and accessibility of the user experience.
We learned about UX/UI redesigning the official webpage of a real client. To do it, we complete all phases of the project. We started with its definition and research. Then we analysed the architecture of information and developed the sketches. After that, we continued designing the wireframes and prototyping the result. And finally, we did the evaluation. Also, we alternated the theoretical content given by the teacher with dynamics developed in class.
The Wallet Project
The first activity was an introduction to Design Thinking. In pairs, we had to create a personal briefing. In one hour, we understood the essential thing that is to know about the needs of the person who’s going to use the product or will take benefit from the service, in that case, a wallet or purse. To achieve this, we had to interview each other, leaving aside our preferences as designers and proposing real solutions that could satisfy each case.
The design of any online platform or application must contemplate user journeys. It means that is important to define previously which type of activity is, its contexts of use and the emotions experienced by users to detect such failures that we understand now as opportunities for improvement. On this occasion, we defined profiles and routes of people who would use an app to listen to music.
Pet Lost & Found
In this activity, we used flowcharts to design the navigation of an app whose functionality consisted of a search and encounter system for lost pets.
Spaghetti Marshmallow Challange
Towards the end of the subject, we carried out this activity that consisted of, by groups of 3-4 people and in 18 minutes, constructing a structure that would stand on its own with the following elements:
20 Raw spaghetti
Meter of string
And something else, the marshmallow must be located at the top. The initiative is raised from Harvard by Tom Wujec who took us to the curious observation on the success (or failure) of working as a team, especially among design students.
From the beginning, we talked about iterative design, a cyclical methodology of multi-stage problem-solving, always based on validating assumptions on the user behaviour in real-world tests. Prototypes and analysis of a product or service are made continuously to achieve a more and more recent perfected version.
In the subject of Analysis and Management of Digital Publications, we have developed infographics of topics related to the Internet and technologies. In the last session with Diego Fernández, we showed our results in class to share and discuss them all together.
Every project was diverse at both formal and content level. Themes were very broad: from the existence of cookies, the world of emojis, the success of online dating, the streaming music, the usage and abuse of smartphones or Instagram and the curious case of #foodporn.
This proposal comes from the desire to share personal interpretations of the 23rd of April’s festivity. The 11 participants, narrate and illustrate based on typical elements from the popular legend. Books, dragons and kisses appear in different ways at the same time we question them, reinterpreting the story with princesses that puncture and roses that are not for sale anymore.
The self-edition consists of 28 pages, black and white interiors and a silk-screen cover printed in the workshop of EINA Espai Barra de Ferro. In the same Arts Centre, the fourth edition of PRINT.ed Singular Publications fair took place on Saturday 21st of April, where the zine was available from 11 am to 8 pm.