Two week brief. sustain.

Okay. So the past month I haven’t kept on top of my online sketchbook as I’ve been super busy writing my project proposal, doing this project as well as doing another project. But now its the easter holiday so I am catching up from with the behind blog posts, so the tenses in which I write may change.

**Pictures are really poor quality, I have no idea whats going on with the focus on these!**

In the interim crit we spoke a lot about colour choice of paper. I did some experimenting with paper colour as well as the form of the envelope.

I decided that I would use the paper so it would fold into its own envelope so that it would save paper therefor being more sustainable than using extra paper to case the information. The layout is really simple, and the language is friendly. On the envelope side is the users address, the gas companies details and contact information. It is also says the billing amount, but the way the paper is folded that piece of information is contained on the inside.

I used large simple graphs and charts that compared the persons usage to the target that they had set themselves, for that month as well as the rest of the year.

I tired so many different papers, and i’m still trying to find the right one! I wanted to use yellow, orange and red to show the user what their usage has been before they have even opened the letter. However the black seemed to get lost on the red paper, then I decided to use pastel colour paper so that the text would stand out more, but this gives the impression that your constantly doing a good job. Also the pastel colours were too transparent.

Feedback from the crit;

– Change the EM Dash on the dates, the rule is right but it just doesn’t work visually.

– Combine the paragraphs, don’t leave so much space in the text.

– Experiment with the chart that shows targets.

– Make the reference number larger and easier to see.

During this holiday I will revisit this project as I have another assessment when I go back, at the end of term, but thankfully no presentation!

Two week brief. Sustain.

I have been super busy. This project, project proposal researching and a new brief starting Monday (Today). This blog post will be probably a mix of tenses, past & present.

Recreating or redesigning energy bills is actually really difficult. I don’t know whether it’s the fact you’ve seen the information format already which then makes it difficult to then try and forget what you have seen to make something new?

However I don’t feel like this brief is about creating something new. So I created for my interim crit, really basic and very similar layouts for the bill. I focused on usage and the way that in a bill you don’t normally know how well your actually doing. So on each bill I produced various charts that compared your usage to either, last month, year or even your neighbours.

At the crit I didn’t particularly get anything feedback, other than make my hierarchy of text clearer and to look at my grid/white space some more. But then I think that is because I didn’t really have a concept that I was particularly pushing.

After seeing others work and talking in groups I now have some ideas. So I’ve been forcing myself to try and experiment in my sketchbook with various ideas before I jump on to Indesign, as I did in the previous week.

Substain. Two week Brief.

“To design a better energy bill to help consumers save money and the planet”

This is probably the first brief i’ve done that is an actual redesign of all ready designed information.  I have chosen to redesign a British Gas, electric bill. We have to produce three different bills for three different users; Low consumers, Average consumer, and High consumer.

Things that we must adhere to;

– Retain all numbers/data

– Company logo

– Number of printed colours

– Legal information

– and any other mandatory information such as small print.

Today was the briefing, so we had a talk and a small workshop session. In groups we decided what were the most important pieces of information to display and what could be removed.

The main issue was that a lot of the bills don’t feel connected, in a sense that you do not connect them with yourself, or your usage… they information could be displayed in a more humanised form so that there was more focus on “cause & effect”

Also comparison, if you don’t compare the information, then how do you know if you are doing a good job or not? For example my bill could be £100, with 1000 Kwh usage. So what? Is that good? Could it be better? If you compared it with my last months usage, then thats a start… but still, thats comparing against myself. If you compared it against another person with the same living situation as me, then I know how well I was doing on average.

Perhaps also include a service that notifies you when your using to much? Like Loyds TSB, they will send you a text message when you are getting close to your overdraft. I plan to keep the paper bill as this is the most universal (if thats the correct term) medium. Everyone can open a letter, where no everyone can read text messages or use an Iphone app. I will perhaps add text messages on as an extra or maybe an email, but I don’t want to bombard people as they will then move the notification email to the junk folder!