Below is the image of the original poster / social media design (gasp!):

Screen Shot 2018-11-12 at 07.12.30.png

I focused on the following principles for the redesign:

1. Legibility 

2. Visual Hierarchy 

3. Colour 

4. Typography 

5. Context 



For this poster challenge, I wanted to ensure the information being displayed was instantly readable, as the main issue of the original poster was the difficulty disseminating any type of information because there was just too much going on. I aimed for creating a simple poster that emphasized the most important/captivating information. This is how I broke down the importance of information: 

1. Time/Place/Date (practical logistics of the event)  

2. what is this event? / what will included in the event? 

3. how and who to follow for more info on social media  

4. buzzwords about the event. 

Looking at the event website and what was included in the original poster, I selected what I thought to be the most important and well-worded information on the event and carefully considered how I would design it onto the poster. I aimed to have as little paragraph-style information as possible since it is going to be viewed as a tweet/social media post and the audience wouldn’t be spending a decent amount of time viewing the image itself. The information needed to be discernable within seconds of seeing the image. 


In terms of the design, layout, and format, I purposefully oriented the poster to be similar sizing as the original as it is the most effective sizing for social media posts and compatible with all platforms. Going A1 or A3 sizing would result in cutting off the information when it would be posted, meaning the viewers would have to click into the image to see the whole thing, which is an extra step that many won't do and therefor the information is being seen by less people than if it were available right from the get go. I also split the poster into thirds-ish (rule of thirds). Compositionally, rule of thirds orientation tends to be most pleasing on the eye and is a good way of breaking up information and creating a visual hierarchy. 

Climathon poster.jpg
CLIMATHON tweet.jpg

The Creative Practitioner: Netflix

“What started as a DVD-by-mail rental service has now spawned a slew of award-winning original television series, made available over 100 million hours of content, and virtually redefined what it means to watch, and create, TV in 2015.” – Business Insider UK 

Netflix is a great example of Design Thinking, with each phase carefully constructed and continually re-examined to help give the best user experience out there. There is no denying they have revolutionised the entertainment industry.  

I remember growing up first hearing about Netflix. It started off with seeing my friends and their parents ordering DVDs online and having them sent in the mail to arrive in a few short days. In the age where patience for these kinds of things hadn’t worn thin like it has today, this was novel. Not having to have your parents drive you down to the local Blockbuster and, instead, being able to click and choose your DVDs online was a major game changer... especially from a kid's perspective.  

Netflix spawned out of direct empathy for movie-watchers and their quest to watch their favourite or latest films. The whole company is based on empathising with making movies more accessible and easy to rent/purchase with as little hassle or inconvenience as possible. Their DVD-by-mail revolutionised the game and quickly made them a strong competitor to the veteran company, Blockbuster. Since then, Netflix has not only knocked out the OG's like Blockbuster but has continued to remain one of the strongest competitors in the rapidly evolving online services, remaining top of its game even as new competitors, such as Hulu and Amazon, have surfaced and tried their hand to dethrone Netflix. When you take Netflix and compare it to Amazon, Hulu, Blockbuster, etc., there is one aspect that remains clear as to how Netflix has gained and maintained its success: user experience. The user experience of Netflix is superb. Their design thinking shines through in their regard for not only how individuals navigate their site but also their targeting of niche and broad spectrum watching options for any and all types of people. You like documentaries? Netflix has not only the classics (aka anything with David Attenborough in it) but has spent years creating their own content, like award-winning Chefs Table, that allow any documentary-buff the accessibility to further expand their interests and find new and exciting subjects to dive head first into (all without commercials!). This same algorithm is applied to all genres: action, romance, comedies, reality TV, anime... you name it and Netflix not only has the classic favourites BUT has also contributed their OWN spin and content to the genre.  


Since its founding in the mid 1990's, Netflix has gone through many iterations and Design Thinking processes.  From the very first prototype of Reed Hastings and Marc Randolf testing their packaging and delivery by posting themselves DVDs and seeing if the DVDs remained undamaged to present day updating their online platform so that each program you hover over automatically plays a quick trailer and upping the amount of Netflix originals they put out monthly so keep the viewers engaged and interested. They exemplify how the Design Thinking process is not over once you complete each phase and that, in fact, once you've tested and put your product out there it is back to square one figuring out how to improve and better emulate human centred design. As technology improves, as VR/AR and other technologies become better incorporated into the online scene, it wouldn't be surprising if Netflix is at the forefront of testing and prototyping these technologies into their website and expand their platform if it means improving and engaging with their audience in unique and cutting-edge ways.  

Even the simple buffering issue has been a major example of how Netflix uses Design Thinking to problem solve and keep the viewer as their top concern! Netflix has gone through many iterations in the last 5 years to keep their buffering as minimal as possible and figured out a a way to keep their shows running even while the system buffers in areas with shotty wifi—by lowering the quality of the show as it buffers the viewer is still able to continuously watch (read:binge) their favourite shows while their system works hard to keep up and load properly.

Photo Manipulation & the Female Perspective

Reflection based on the readings:

Photo editing: Enhancing social media images to reflect appearance ideals. by the Journal of Aesthetic Nursing

Thinner, smoother, better: in the era of retouching, that’s what girls have to be by Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett

I found these articles both interesting and unsurprising. In 2018, it is nothing new to know about apps, such as facetune, that allow you to curate your face, body, and online persona to compete with the ridiculous and unachievable beauty standards of the social media world. If you want to play to social media game, if you want to try your hand at being a blogger/influencer/'insta famous', particularly as a female, you need to adhere to society's code of beauty and perfection. In other words, you need to be hot, and your photos need to constantly affirm you being 'hot'.   

The area which I hail from, Orange County,  California, is saturated with these influencers and insta models... all girls younger than me with tens of thousands of followers... followers that are hungry to be like them, or be with them. These girls are beautiful and hardly out of their teenage years, with still-developing bodies and not yet facing the realities of what slowing metabolisms and drinking too much beer can really do to a waistline, and yet they all are using tuning apps to slim down, de-wrinkle their faces and bodies... Which begs the questions, if we can't accept what we look like at our best, what will we face later down the line, when time and age set in?  


Women especially have always had unrealistic expectations for what they should look like, this is nothing new. But these expectations are being heightened and exacerbated by social media and the online world, where we can post an image of ourselves and within seconds be 'liked' and/or scrutinized by the public. So much of today and so much of social media platforms like instagram have dwindled these girls' and women's worth into likes and followers, into their online persona and not who they actually are.  Social Media is very unforgiving. If you let yourself be vulnerable online and build up a virtual community of fans and followers you are also inviting in the critics, the haters, the trolls, and everyone else who might want to take a dig at who you are and what you look like. It's vicious and mean and absolutely perverse. 


In my opinion, these articles are describing things, at least from my perspective, that are nothing new. I think anyone, at least any young-ish person who has any type of social media presence, knows this dark, parasitic underbelly exists. The question remains, how do we combat this issue? What can we do to promote positive body image online and offline, particularly for young females? 


Another great example that highlights this issue is the documentary 'Miss Representation'  

(which is on Netflix!) 

Social Media & Design

Reflections based on the following readings:

The Basic Social Media Mistakes Companies Still Make by Keith A. Quesenberry

How Graphic Design Is Evolving by Natalie Norcross

Brain Rules by John Medina

I found that the social media article, ‘The Basic Social Media Mistakes Companies Still Make’,  connected very well to our Digital Marketing class. In our Digital Marketing class we discuss the importance of learning the language of different social media platforms to understanding how to utilize them best based on a company’s ethos and objectives. From this article and the article based on the digitization of graphic design, there is much talk over how designing for digital media differs from traditional print media. Both media genres are important and valid vehicles for communicating to audiences, neither one is more important than the other. With that being said, because of the current accessibility of social media and digital media, along with the general ‘newness’ of the medium, there is a lot of emphasis on how to take advantage of the design, UX, and UD potential that isn’t as prevalent in traditional print. 

First off, digital media opens up the possibility for animations, action/navigations, moving design, gifs, and a whole lot of linkage between design and its purpose. For example, on a website homepage you could have a design capability that interacts with the user and draws them to navigate further into the site by adding clickable media and animations. Pottermore is a very good example of this. The dynamism, instant communication and potential wide-spread audience are all very attractive features of digital media and digital design. With more complexity comes more responsibility and the need to understand the capacity is functions best in. Traditional print has a more limited area of which it can be seen, such as billboards, busses/bus stops, flyer walls, etc. Printed media cannot follow you around, it is the person whom has more control over their interaction with print and whether or not they see certain designs and media in the daily commute/interaction with the world. For better or for worse, digital media is much harder to escape. The moment one goes online or opens an app they are instantly confronted with digital design, be is advertisements, the app UX design, the website media…. everything is connected to design on the web.