Today, we had our second group meeting, deciding on the final idea of our project and setting some goal we want to have reached by after reading week. Also, we decided on some task for each one individual.
First of all, I am going to explain our project that we (so far) call the “anonymous Project”.
Idea: A place where University students can share ideas, experiences and mostly short stories or comments from their university and private life with a rating system that allows the readers to give positive or negative feedback. That concept may remind of social site like Facebook or Twitter. What we are going to do differently though is adding anonymity. The main idea of this project is creating a site where students will be able to talk freely without the intimidation of others knowing who they are.
The concept: Even though the principle behind a site like this is the users’ interaction as well as responsibility to not misuse it, we thought of a “sign-up” system to ensure the right use of the page. It would work like this:
- The users signs up. To do so, he names his year, name, gender and possibly Student ID (this would enable to track a user down in case of strong misuse. But it might also scare users off from sharing all of their thoughts, so we will still decide about that).
- It is important that the user will at this point be informed that that data is confidential and the posts will be anonymously whatever he enters.
- The user logs in.
- After that the user can use the page to either read and rank tweets or tweet himself. We thought about sorting them location wise, but we are not sure if we have enough knowledge to do so. We will have to do more research about that.
- The tweets will not contain the text, the gender of the person tweeting, their year of study (and maybe location).
- The user logs out, he returns to the sign-up/login page.
After we reviewed that idea and decided that we all agreed on where we were, we set individual tasks, each one of us should try and complete until after reading week, since we would not be able to meet during.
I was supposed to create the first version of the tweeting/login page. That means a basic layout, the tweet/login/register forms and the PHP that was needed to connect to the database.
Rebecca was supposed to create a “About the team page” and think about a possible official name/logo for the project. Also, she would take care of the navigation bar.
And Israfiel was supposed to put a “about BU/Bournemouth” page together since we are planning to create the page for BU in particular.
In our first group meeting, my group had a lot of things that had to be addressed. Starting with a theme for our project website, a possible layout and the creation of our first GITHUB repositry. We started with GITHUB. First, we logged in and followed each other. After we tried out some things, we created a shared project and made sure that all three of us where watching it. Because we did not have any code to upload at this point, we logged out and started to take care of the other things.
We collected some ideas and eventually, we found a theme that we all liked. The brief left us a lot of choice regarding the subject of our website. We could be as creative as we wanted, as long as we used databases and PHP. We all had to opinion that we wanted to create a website for an audience much like ourselves, students. Inspired by an app called YODEL, we liked the idea of some kind of anonymous live tweeting application.
We ended our first meeting after we collected a couple more ideas of how we could turn this into reality.
After I changed my arrows, I experimented with the colour a bit trying to find out if I was going to use two different colours, the same for all arrows or a gradient.
After I tried those options, I decided to stick with the gradient because the fact that it starts of bright and then slowly changes the colour to dark, leads the eye the way it is supposed to go (along the arrow). Because that process keeps repeating from arrow to arrow, the eye follows the circle.
After all, my colour scheme did not satisfy me as much as I hoped and because I felt like I was stuck in my process not knowing where to go and what to change, I decided to follow the advice of my tutor and just try another way to do it. First, I copied to structure into a new page (without background) and saved my original design so in case I would not like the result, nothing would be lost.
Then I created a gradient, I liked a lot, in a darker blue then the one I used before. I still wanted to hold on to the structure of splitting my cycle into four equal parts and also hold on to the original idea of the water being in constant flow. But I thought of another idea of how to use the given space, one that I considered in the very beginning, placing the cycle in the middle by using a circle. So I cut out a circle from my background.
What I had to do next was moving my already created design into the empty space.
I tried to drag it in but it turned out more difficult than I expected, so I had to go a step back, taking care of the quarters first. I experimented a little and ended up really being found of a simple gradient design. It separated all the quarters from each other and used colour supporting the original idea of the flow.
Next, I added arrows, another element to support the flow. I drew them using the tracing tool and then, I used the pathfinder tool to connect them to the quarters. The last thing I had to do was redoing the gradient, so the top of the arrow would be back to dark blue. I did that, so the arrow could be seen on the bright background as well as for a nicer look.
After I had taken care of those basics, I started adding my content piece by piece. It took some time because I had a lot of resizing to do. Also I changed most of the Anker points as well as the colours since they had to fit into my new nicer colour scheme.
Since the raindrops and my new coloured background would not work anymore and I thought they looked a little boring anyway, I added a gradient to all of them just to see how it would look like. I liked the idea of the slight colour change on their journey from the cloud to ground better than I thought and decided to keep it like that after I added a few minimal corrections. I made the upper ones fit the clouds colour and the bottom ones the waters colour.
Also, I worked on my trees. I wanted to give them details, like shades and change the colour of each one individually. Also, I wanted to turn the two trees I had into a forest, so I made more duplications.
To take the next step with my poster, I added gradients. It did not take long though until I realized that I could not keep up my previous colour scheme. Just blue and white did not look good and also, it did not work with the white clouds. So I experimented with green, since I used that colour for the trees anyway and a lighter blue instead of white. After all, I was satisfied but not completely happy with the result.
Another thing I did was removing the lines in the third quarter and colouring the clouds depending on how close they are to raining from white to dark grey.
For the little forest I planned to do in the second sector of my poster, I needed trees.
I created them using what I learned about tracing in my seminar session. First I found a picture of a suitable tree online. Then I used the tracing tool to recreate the shape, so I would end up with a vector graphic. Then I used the same tree to create more of them by changing size and some details.
I thought about tracing the clouds as well, when I remember how in our sessions, we created difficult shapes by using normal circles, rectangles, stars or triangles Illustrator allows you create very easily. So, I tried making clouds out of a lot of white circles and ended up with that.
I considered using the same form for all of my clouds like I did with my tree but in the end I created everyone on its own. This way they looked nicer and more natural.
In the end, I grouped all the parts of my clouds, so I could move and change them as one. The same thing I had done before for my tree.