Reflection 9.15

Today in class we got to present our final HiFi version of our narrative and app improvement. The whole process of evaluating and improving was extremely tedious and forced me to make sense of complex topics that I had never explored in such depth before. Since there were a lot of new lessons in this project, I gained a lot of knowledge in a short amount of time.

I have learned about a lot of components to environment design, and it has been difficult to implement them. Understanding and noticing thresholds took some time to get used to, but I feel myself becoming more comfortable with that concept. I also feel that explaining and creating hybrid environments can be tricky, but I think I can successfully identify them as well as their digital and physical components. How to communicate the meaning behind my idea for the application became very important to me. Personally, I do not see phone apps as doing much good, but when you have the broader context of the hybrid environment, the greater meaning is evident.

In addition to new concepts, I gained a lot of skills. I learned how to wireframe correctly with annotations. I also learned how to make Illustrator files look they are not photoshopped into a photo by lowering their opacity. I have never tried to make something I edited on my computer look photorealistic before, so I feel really confident now that I have that skill.

Thresholds come up a lot in class, and I think it is a very interesting concept. The point where change is noticed is a critical point in time where we can see the affects of all the variables in the larger network that surrounds us. A threshold that I noticed personally had to do with the development of my narrative. I learned that when you have a strong narrative, your direction becomes more confident and iterating becomes much faster. The more you work at the overall story and the clearer it becomes, the easier it gets to physically and digitally create the story that you are trying to visualize. Until that point, it can be hard to see what your direction is.

Throughout my process I try to take a pragmatic approach. I broke down all the steps and all the assignments into even smaller parts that were easier and faster to achieve. I also made sure that I felt comfortable with all of my process before I decided to move on and elaborate upon those ideas. I also made sure that I spoke with my peers and got their critique before I moved onto the next step in my process. I cannot always see everything or notice all the mistakes, and they always provide a new perspective that adds even more layers to my narrative.

There were many points where I felt that things were not falling into a logical sequence or my ideas were not connected. There were many times during the process when I felt frustrated or stuck. I encountered a lot of new problems that I had no idea how to solve. I really enjoy the environments thinking style, but it is more abstract and more difficult to wrap my head around.

Frequently I find that people around me are distractions. Some times whatever is going on around me will take my focus away from my work. I have to listen to music or take breaks in order for me to be able to have more control over where my focus is. When I am motivated it is much easier to focus. When I am working at something for a long amount of time and finally get to a point where I think it may be successful, I feel a lot more motivated to keep on working. Having smaller goals within the process also helps me continue to focus on work because I feel like I am being productive and using my time wisely.

Everything felt challenging in this project since it was all so new. I had to create an order that felt logical, flowed well, had good transitions, correctly sequencing all the visuals with the emotions (basically getting all the layers to match up), making a nice looking interface, making sure i had all the steps and making sure that what wasn’t shown was not imperative to the overall message, etc.

The project really made me realize why you need to have so many roles on a team because there is so much to get done and it all has to come together seamlessly.

Next time, I would have done some more hand drawn story boards. I think that is an important skill that I should be using in my work more often. I also would have liked to explore some other narratives. I picked mine because I needed it to proceed with the project, and there were infinite possibilities. I am more curious about how I would fit my narrative into other pieces of artwork on campus that might not be so explicitly connected to the city and its history.

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