Senior Seminar & Portfolio

A little me time

So the first things to do when branding yourself is to come up with your own personal logo and start planning your own portfolio website.

I’ve always loved logo design and I’ve tried many times to come up with my own logo and I’ve found that there’s nothing more difficult than trying to brand yourself. It takes forever, for me at least, to come up with something to represent myself. So, with that being said, after hours of racking my brain I came up with a handful of logo ideas. Some are decent, some are horrible, some are a little out there but hey! that’s what brainstorming is for!!

Photo Jan 31, 12 04 45 PM

Seeing as how my last name is “Locks” I kind of focused on that and have a lot of lock related logo ideas. I can’t decide if it’s clever to work my last name into my logo design or if it’s too cliche and over done by now.

After sketching these, I brought them into the computer and started tweaking them as well as coming up with a few new ideas.

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My favorite animal is the octopus and so I also tried working that into my personal logo as well. While researching I’ve noticed that a lot of people, especially lately, have been using their name/initials to create their logos and while I do like that style maybe having an image or something other than letters as my logo will set me apart.

Aside from logo design, I began creating a mind map to layout how I want my website to look.

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I thought that having a hand drawn mind map instead of a digital one would add a touch of personalization to it. I also found that it’s much easier to get my thoughts out when actually writing/drawing instead of just typing it out on the computer. I want my website to consist of 5 different pages. A page for each web design, print design, illustrations, about, and contact. I feel that including my illustrations into my portfolio site will be a good asset because it will show my versatility and ability to create things not only on the computer but by hand as well.

I found that creating this mind map actually did help me organize my thoughts and ideas about how the website should be broken up and what not but I feel that I don’t have a lot of information to actually organize. So either I did this all wrong or sometimes there’s just not that much information!

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Mobile Interaction Design

A persona’s a persona no matter how small

In order to begin creating any kind of application for an audience, a study of the targeted users is necessary. This study is called a Personas UX (UX stands for user experience). By creating a personas UX, a more detailed and specific look is taken at the users that would be involved in using the app. The personas UX design gives background to the user about their likes and dislikes, their opinions, their background in education, their goals, their preferences, pretty much a short yet detailed summation of their lives. By making them a real person in regards to the app and gathering information about them makes creating the app a much more intimate to the user as well as more informed than it would be without the users information.

To further research the steps of creating a personas UX, I read a very informational site called UX Lady. The reading, called DIY User Personas, went into great detail about how to professionally and thoroughly create user personas (image provided below). The reading was filled with elaborate and detailed explanations and examples on how to create, gather, organize, and design for a user personas poster and it helped me a lot in figuring out how to successfully create my own posters.

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Image from “DIY User Personas”

Another great article I referred back to frequently is called Personas – The Beginner’s Guide. This article, while sharing a great deal of information with the other site I used, had a few of its own takes on how to create a UX poster and what should go into making them. This article, in my opinion, was easier to read yet didn’t stick with me as much as the other site. This site discussed things like when to create a personas UX design, what it should contain, and what it should look like. The example that the site gave, however, in my opinion was not what I wanted my own poster to look like. It felt too heavy with text and not enough design. 

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Image from “Personas – The Beginner’s Guide”

After researching personas UX designs by using the two sites discussed above, several other sites, as well as a Lynda tutorial, I managed to create my own.

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I wanted my design to be clean, simple, easy to understand, informative, and have a good amount of breathing room throughout the design. I think I succeeded in achieving my goals for my design but I believe that I fell seriously short when it comes to the amount of actual information about the persona. While the graphics are successfully representational, they do not give as much information that is necessary to make this design complete. The app that I am planning on redesigning is called “Homework Planner” and it is, as the name hints, a homework planning app. Because of the nature of this app I decided to keep the graphics and information very relevant to school/studying. Using the pencil to represent stress came to me when I was trying to brainstorm for ideas while chewing on my pen for inspiration. I think that it is a clever and simple way to represent the stress levels of the personas.

I will have to research more about how to gather the amount of information necessary to create a successful UX poster and then redesign this layout in order to accommodate for the addition of information.

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