Unit 10 – Brief 1: Rest in Pixels – Project Proposal / Final Crit

This post is a bit late, but I am now catching up with this project. Its has been a week since I have finished uni (for Christmas) so I will be continuing my project and trying to get it ready for my February mid assessment. As well as looking to see what I can take from this project to start a self initiated project in January.

I should have done this post straight away after the crit as now I can’t really remember everything and my notes are not too great. Also my posts are going to be all muddled up as I did not post about the work I did for my interim crit, so I will be starting from there and working up to the final crit I had first.

In my last post I changed my proposal to;

“My intention is to make people aware of the digital afterlife that continues a persona legacy once dead.

My solution will look at the change of use of social media used to commemorate a persons death and life.”

At our interim crit we were asked to complete a Project Development and Working Process sheet. It helped us check our ideas/work to see if there was anything that didn’t quite make sense or was not right for the project. Here is mine below;

Intention:  To make people aware of the concept that there is life after death – digitally.
People who talk about the dead online prolong their life.

Approach: To use social media to evidence this Idea. E.g RIP Tweets and Hashtags

Content: Twitter posts and Hashtags / Data – Number of tweets

System/Structure/Organisation:  Putting the data into a system/order that shows the mass and scale of content.

Curation: Visualising content to create impact of the scale of data online.

What this means for the user/audience: That they can look at death in another way. That you might biologically die but other people digital tributes prolong your digital self. There is life after death and its online.

How this relates to my intention: The intention is the same, It explains what I want my audience to understand.

From this I decided to start just trying to visualise what this would look like.
I have a problem with drawing, as when I want to explain something I normally just write it. Which doesn’t do me any favours considering I am meant to study Visual Communication. I did quick mock ups of various visuals just to force myself to make something visual.


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From the information I collected online I found that there is roughly 340million tweets a day and that 1.4 million of those are hash tagged RIP. Therefore I naturally looked at turning these numbers into a infographic. On this particular visual I used the twitter logo to represent tweets and used the black to represent those tagged with RIP. This visual is not that good as it doesn’t really show the shear amount. It shows that there is a lot said online, but not that much said about death.
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This is a slight variant of the above, but once again it is not showing the shear amount, it is referring to scale, which doesn’t get my message across about the change mass of online mourning.

img010Due to my issue with scale, I decided that if I broke down the numbers perhaps this would be a better way of showing the amount of data. On this A4 page I used 34,000 hash tags. Therefore each one represents 100 tweets. The light ones are tweets the black ones are the RIP tweets.
There was so many tweets that the point size of the text was around 4pt. This works much better and when you look at it you can see that there is a lot of data. That there is so much data it become illegible.

After creating these visuals I decided that I need to create something that is digital, shows the mass of information and also makes a point of death is becoming ever so more present online – a change in the traditional mourning process.

The traditional mourning process played a big part in my early research. One method of mourning was written remembrance – such like the pages in a newspaper – obituary. By looking at twitter I felt that this was a similar process of mourning. Instead of writing into the local paper to express the sadness of someones death, people could now do it online. Twitter has allowed self publishing meaning that this ease of publishing has lead to the increase of memorial posts.

The obituary in newspapers was way to communicate a persons death to large community before things like mobile phones, Facebook and twitter were created. The newspaper was a communication tool that was guaranteed to be seen by many. Now that this part of the news paper maybe redundant, as literally everyone has phones it has remained as it is formed into a tradition of death.

img008

The obituary is an interesting visual as there is a clear grid system within the layout. I feel that as twitter is now the technological version of this tradition I think that I should take visual inspiration from this.

I did some more scribbles to see what I could do digitally to show the tweets and the mass of them.

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From drawing a couple of solutions, I decided to propose an online obituary that would update automatically each time a person tweeted using the RIP hash tag. This digital version does two things, 1. Shows the shear amount of data (an infinite scrolling system like pinterest) 2. Also shows the self publishing system that social media has created.

Due to only having 2 days to create a visual proposal I did not experiment much. I literally looked at online grid systems and then created a visual. I used a 16 column gird provided by 960 grids website. I also used Lucida typewriter as my type choice. This typeface is used in programming and coding therefore its strong connection to the digital felt like a good reason to use it.

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 22.13.35Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 22.13.47I showed my work at the crit and got generally good feedback. There was a positive response to the use of typeface and the minimalistic approach as it felt suitable. The data was being displayed without being over complicated.

It was suggested that I should experiment more with the layout which I totally agree. As this was my first visual idea and I just went with it due to time restriction. It was said that maybe I should attempt to represent the shear amount of data better, perhaps the more tweets the smaller the text boxes get.
Also I should look at how the data would be displayed on different devices, twitter on the iPhone looks much better than it does than on the web browser.

Other points;
– Are the divides needed?
– The number of tweets needs to be infinite
– Sorted by date, how can I jump to the date? – Time machine apple
– Look at other colours perhaps

After getting feedback as a group we went through the learning outcomes to see what was missing in my project and what I need to do to full fill all of the points.

Subject Knowledge (how does it relate to design) :  In my project I am putting other peoples data into a system to communicate the issue of digital after life. Design especially within information design is focused on presenting information in a way that is easy to understand as well as enforcing meaning to the content.

Experimentation: Need to do a lot more of it! Basically what I produced for final crit was more so mid crit.

Analysis: Doing so throughout, evident where I made decisions such as when my infographics did not communicate well enough, also blog posts about my work are a form of reflection and analysis.

Research: Done a lot of research but need to group it all together. e.g Idea – death, digital legacy, tradition, mourning, news papers, twitter, websites, grids, typefaces, layout, technical elements.

Technical Competence: Quite good, I used some pieces of research about web design to inform the way I was creating the layout: 16 column grid, web safe font and colours, creating work using pixels. But I want to improve this by making this a live and functional website.

Personal Professional Development: I think this project has helped me look at other areas that I should be able to create work in. E.g Digital and screen based.

Collaborative & Independent Professional Working: I worked on my own but also looked for others opinion when working, such as other students feedback on ideas, and also spoke to tutors to help me understand the design issues around web design.

Next Steps:

– Collect my Research together (Basically starting again!)
– Experiment with new layouts
– Analysis of work
– More Experimenting
– Research: Technical
– Proposal of site
– Creation

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