Week 1 – The Future of Design/Formely known as the Audience (October 2016)

Article 1 – The Future of Design: When you come to a fork in the road you take it.

Design in it’s beginings was the creation of beautiful visual crafts that when skilled enough in combination with the access to technology, wealth and an audience would stand out from the crowd and make an impact in it’s own right.

Today it has evolved into something far more varied as technology evolves and equally becomes far more accessible to the masses, the costs of being able to produce such creations being accessible to a far greater number of the world’s population. More people than ever can design and create and without even requiring to leave their home (desktop publishing) anyone who can access the world wide web for example has the opportunity to get their voice heard by a far greater audience than at any point in the past, including people from all background, statuses of wealth and locations far reaching across the globe.

Design now is a powerful tool to communicate and interact with the world. Now we can emphasise an experience rather than the technology it is communicated through. We stand at a crossroads as creatives who venture down the visual communiacation path, to either treat it as a craft, to capture the emotion, beauty or message behind a theme of creation or to design with this problem solving in mind, to work very much in the present with an eye to the future, not rooted in a wider environment but to tackle specific areas with specific goals with an eye to explore, create, innovate and experiement in areas that will improve our interaction with elements in the present moving ahead into the future.

Education is the first area the article explores in depth. Their arguement is that the education of design does not deal enough with the technology and people aspect of modern day design that is now a core part of what it is to be a designer. The result is the further creation of beautiful things, created from a selfish standpoint of the designers vision and style, sometimes what is created serves little in the practical qualities rather the aesthetic visual beauty and skill behind their creation.

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Figure 1 – An example of the craft based approach to Design (MyFixitUpLife, 2016).

The conclusion is that design for craft can add value to an industry but ultimately serve little to move it forward.

Technology is evolving at as greater pace as we have ever seen with subtle and large scale changes happening regularly enough that it filters down to us all eventually and evolves our lives and how we live them. The world is changing, populations increasing, climates evolving, resources becoming more limited and being twindled down at an alarming rate in many instances. Social problems, inequalities and unrest still exist today even if we only encounter much of it through media outlets rather than on our own doorsteps, still they can impact us in a big way.

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Figure 2 – A few examples of these social, economic and environmental factors that rightly so have an impact on how we should approach a design challenge (Marques-Mendes, 2014).

The solution to this comes from outside of the traditional methods of designs, areas now referred to as ‘interaction design’ ‘experience design’ or ‘human computer interaction’. This area has developed through areas like psychology and computer science and now equally the designers have to catch up and evolve to include such areas in their design process and workings.

Service Design is the design in areas that are not physical objects, specifically to interact with people and systems. This is purely about psychology rather than the visual nature of design. This requires a different more formal method of process, testing and evaluation.

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Figure 3 – Service Design (Van Der Bijl, no date).

An example of the modern day environmental design factors that come into play and need to be considered when approaching design in this more thoughtful based approach.

The article suggests that there was a gap to be filled between these modern designer requirements and traditional design, now being filled with a whole different kind of modern day designer that aims to work in such conditions in this modern day environment. This sort of industry has beginings outside of design, today it is more a joint venture between the designers and industry based non designers who require such design creation.

Human centered design has risen to be of high importance, to have a deep understanding of people is a key departure from the traditional aspects of design. A process they refer to as ‘Problem Defining’ (not problem solving). These needs are discovered and met through evidence based procedures of observation, ideation, prototyping and testing. A formal research method. The result is innovation at the conclusion of such a process. The end product is intended to enhance the quality of life of the people who will use it.

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Figure 4 – The 5C Model (Xin, 2015).

The 5C model focuses on a more formal method to design, to identify problems through following the process, it has a structure but is flexible as you often revisit areas to refine and adapt your ideas, to break down the issues with what you are design and focus and develop well researched well informed solutions to the problem you have identified and are attempting to resolve through effective design practice.

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Figure 5 – Alternative Design Frameworks (O’Brien, 2014).

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Figure 6 – Alternative Design Thinking Frameworks are being developed (Spencer, 2012).

You do not rush to the solution, given that a problem arises, you stop to observe and study the issue to ensure that your design corrects the problem that you have found. Not the surface of the problem but the fundamental causes and the needs of the user.

It is based on evidence, using observations and analysis to determine needs and experimenting potential soltions in a flexible process of research, analysis, testing and prototyping.

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Figure 7 – Design Thinking (Barseghian, 2013).

It is action orientated to learn by doing, through these repeated cycles mentioned above. The findings are discovered through Cognitive, behavioral and social sciences. The idea is to use the process to work under continued discovery, analysis and continuous improvement of the problems identified as a whole. To discover the true needs of people and society. Previously we would operate in an opinion-based, now we are evidence-based and human-centered.

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Figure 8 – The Design Thinking Process (Ng, 2015).

Design Thinking – The ability to step back and reconceptualize the issues, to take a look at a different perspective to the issue at hand. Adding value to an activity, rather than devlopment of pretty things.

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Figure 9 – Design Thinking Principles (DMI, 2015).

The revolutionary idealogy is that the old emphasis on productivity, efficiency and profit is old fashioned, now the emphasis is n the experience of all people involved.

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Figure 10 – GOV.UK is an example of modern day service based design, while the visual identity of this site plays as a factor, the emphasise was on the User and Environment, to get the information the casual reader requires quickly and easily, aesthetic design values became secondary or lower as a factor to this. Interestingly the site is ever evolving and improvements are made by their designers and developers on a job by job basis, seemingly beta testing it’s ideas on it’s audience (continuous improvement) (Welcome to GOV.UK, no date)

The next few decades will see design transform to the point where it needs a new mode of thinking and human centered approach. To move away from technology and empower people.

Design will be forced to evolve as new technologies enter the environment, new processes, new materials, new companies and communities, innovative forms of interaction and new realms of experience, also a rethinking to existing activities and services.

Prominent Design Thinkers are likely to have started as design practitioners. We need thinkers and do’ers, designers traditionally are do’ers but there is a need to be thinkers, modern designers should be open to be thinkers and do’ers.

Article 2 – The People formerly known as the audience by Jay Rosen

The article writen by Jay Rosen is a witty and playful article that tackles from a number of different referenced sources the role of the audience and how the access to technology and community has added a whole new complexity to the relationship between the traditional forms of media and communication and it’s audience.

Talking about giving voice to this passenger, when you are offered a voice, what do you feel, empowered and what do you do, you use it and you would never give it back once it is offered to you.

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Figure 11 – Giving your voice to the audience (Kisani, 2014).

This suggests the media have their own agenda and methods to stay in control and be the primary voice that you should listen to and influence all these newer voices that have now got a chance to be heard and ackowledged.

Our increasing access to new technology at low to no cost that was previously out of reach, in the same idea as desktop publishing for designers, more people than ever have a chance to do something with relative ease that only a skilled, well connected and wealthy few had access to before. Of course they have access to more resources and better finances to still hold an edge over the every day perform but there is no doubt that the landscape has evolved and changed, some embrace it, some use it to create and boost content and opinions of their own and some actively try to ignore and restrict the increasing empowerment of the audience.

Blogging, podcasting and video production are all mentioned, also a nod to things like music production, an example of how things have evolved is used where you can customise the homepage of your chosen news outlet so the news you desire to read primarily is more easily accessible than those that interest you less so.

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Figure 12 – Blogging web channels (Virseo, 2016).

The lowered cost and increased accessibility of software like Adobe Creative Suite for example has given a wider number of people much easier access to high end design software, the same can be said for music production software, video production and that even extends to 3D Animation.

All mobile devices have access to Apps where you can be the editor, like the news example mentioned above, aps like Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal let you at relatively low cost have access to a huge amount of music and playlist it as you wish to listen to whenever and wherever you are. In the past you would rely on CD’s, the development of the MP3 technology through devices like the IPOD posed a huge threat on the music retail industry, some would argue that they were not open to evolving and embracing the technology and perhaps remained stubborn.

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Figure 13 – Did HMV and other music retail outlets tackle the rise in Digital Music appropriately? (The Boss, 2016).

Another point raised in the article is that now media has had to adapt to operate under own schedules and busy lives, in the past we would all gather round the tv to watch a specific programme on a specific channel at the time of their chosing. Now everyone not only has access to more channels, but everything has had to be made available to watch on things like iplayer and 4OD. Where you can watch tv shows when you want to watch them. Shows having to rely on such methods as audiences for shows at the initial time of airing have likely to have fallen considerably in some cases over the years.

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Figure 14 – Increasingly popular are online services like above the offer popular shows to watch online anytime across a number of formats and now offer exclusives and create original content to encourage you to subscribe to their services. (iphidersoftware, 2015).

Even radio has had this happen, playback features proving popular so you can listen to shows you want to hear when you want to, following the popular creation of podcasting.

While some of these changes have empowered the audience in positive ways it also has come with negatives, online bullying, abuse and trolling has seen newly empowered people speaking their minds against each other, often making horrible threats and hounding other users that has seen people commit harm to themselves and law enforcement need to get involved.

Also the audiences thirst for accessing all these new opportunities means that people now have had to face attempts of fraud from new sources, hacking, leaking of private information and documents, to leak paid and subscription television shows online to audiences for free, which is good for the everyday person but not only doing harm to the media outlets who pay hugely to show such things exclusively, but it also harms to the product itself, budgets may be slashed or the quality of the product may be reduced through online piracy.

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Figure 15 – Online bullying, abuse and trolling can be done by people who are sometimes referred to as Keyboard Warriors (Newman, no date).

The media has been mostly forced to be responsive, inceasing online presecenes and services, in fact even being more responsive to current affairs online than in say printed media like newspapers. Companies are ever diversing their product through online means and protecting their exclusive assets to their company which bring people to them in the first place.

The article often refers to the decentralisation of the traditional single based power centric organisations that controlled the output of such media out to a much larger base, where the audience are now the producers, the producers and their audiences becoming one and the same to each other, at home, at work and on the move between places. Is the audience now more of a smaller collective that could be called the community of interest.

In summary the general opinion is that there has been a shift, the power balance has moved more towards the audience, but the shift is still very much partial and far from decisive.

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Figure 16 – There has clearly been a shift but the power balance is more partial than decisive so far. (Leather, 2016).

References:

Barseghian, T. (2013) Design thinking, deconstructed. Available at: https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/10/16/design-thinking-deconstructed/ (Accessed: 13 January 2017).

DMI (2015) What is design thinking? – design management institute. Available at: http://www.dmi.org/?WhatisDesignThink (Accessed: 13 January 2017).

iphidersoftware (2015) Online video streaming – an alternative to TV viewing. Available at: http://iphidersoftware.com/vpn/online-video-streaming-an-alternative-to-tv-viewing/ (Accessed: 13 January 2017).

Kisani, M. (2014) Handling Negative Feedback on Social Media. Available at: http://exclusive.multibriefs.com/content/handling-negative-feedback-on-social-media (Accessed: 13 January 2017).

Leather, A. (2016) The highest paid YouTubers in 2017 – the Gazette review. Available at: http://gazettereview.com/2016/05/the-highest-paid-youtubers/ (Accessed: 13 January 2017).

Marques-Mendes, A. (2014) Mint-cilantro chutney, conscious citizens and the empowered educator. Available at: http://ammlcc.myblog.arts.ac.uk/2014/11/25/mint-cilantro-chutney-conscious-citizens-and-the-empowered-educator/ (Accessed: 13 January 2017).

MyFixitUpLife, M. (2016) We’re sharing high-end design trends from architectural digest design show. Available at: http://myfixituplife.com/DIY/were-sharing-high-end-design-trends-from-architectural-digest-design-show/#sthash.eg3lotvX.dpbs (Accessed: 13 January 2017).

Newman, E. (no date) ‘Desktop warrior’ sticker by Evan Newman. Available at: https://www.redbubble.com/people/evannewman/works/8238935-desktop-warrior?p=sticker (Accessed: 13 January 2017).

Ng, C. (2015) Design thinking for your data strategy. Available at: https://blog.varonis.com/design-thinking-for-your-data-strategy/ (Accessed: 13 January 2017).

Norman, D. (no date) The future of design: When you come to a fork in the road, take it. Available at: http://www.jnd.org/dn.mss/the_future_of_design.html (Accessed: 13 January 2017).

O’Brien, C. (2014) Quote of the day. Available at: http://www.forbes.com/forbes/welcome/?toURL=http://www.forbes.com/sites/reuvencohen/2014/03/31/design-thinking-a-unified-framework-for-innovation/&refURL=https://www.google.co.uk/&referrer=https://www.google.co.uk/ (Accessed: 13 January 2017).

Rosen, J. (2006) PressThink: The people formerly known as the audience. Available at: http://archive.pressthink.org/2006/06/27/ppl_frmr.html (Accessed: 13 January 2017).

Spencer, F. (2012) Design thinking must be future-empowered – Kedge. Available at: http://www.kedgefutures.com/design-thinking-must-be-future-empowered/ (Accessed: 13 January 2017).

The Boss (2016) HMV – the logistics business. Available at: http://www.logistics.co.uk/hmv-2/ (Accessed: 13 January 2017).

Van Der Bijl, D.M. (no date) Scenario based design » mieke | van der bijl | brouwer. Available at: http://www.miekevanderbijl.com/index.php/introduction/scenario-based-design/ (Accessed: 13 January 2017).

Virseo (2016) List of blogging sites. Available at: http://www.vlrseo.in/2016/01/what-are-blogging-sites.html (Accessed: 13 January 2017).

Welcome to GOV.UK (no date) Available at: https://www.gov.uk/ (Accessed: 13 January 2017).

Xin, G. (2015) The 5C model. Available at: https://gaoxinblog.wordpress.com/2015/10/04/5c/ (Accessed: 13 January 2017).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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